Beach Wrestling back in the fast lane as wrestling’s fastest growing discipline returns for 2022 World Series

By United World Wrestling Press

COSIER-VEVEY, Switzerland (April 27) --- Increasing from 4 to 5 events, the Beach Wrestling World Series continues to gather popularity with its incredible athleticism, non-stop action, easy to understand points system and rules, as well as recognition from the world of sports.

Already the fastest growing discipline in the United Word Wrestling (UWW) calendar, the wrestlers will be hitting the beaches on the May 28 and 29 as the sand superstars get the season underway in Ortaca, Turkey on Sarigerme Beach.

Then the series will head to Sanxenxo, Spain where the sands of Silgar Beach will be flying on June 18 abd 19.

The third stop sees the series move on to sensational Saint Laurent du Var and Cousteau Beach in France on the July 1 and 2.

The penultimate event on Paralia Beach in Katerini, Greece, on July 9 and 10 should already provide a clearer picture of who the kings and queens of the sands may well be, before the finale, and also World Championship on September 3 and 4. Following a pulsating 2021 finale, the Beach Wrestling World Champions will once again be crowned on magical Mamaia Beach in Constanta, Romania.

As well as the winners of the World Championships, and with four times the ranking points on offer it could see a dark horse emerge to take home the gold.

Last season's +90KG mens World Series runner up and head coach of the Azerbaijani Beach Wrestling Oyan Nazariani is looking to go one better this year and reclaim the title he won in 2019. Having lost out last year by a tiny margin, the 28-year-old athlete has high hopes both for his own chances, but also for his team who have spent the off season working hard in Baku.

A very popular athlete on the tour, the Big Gun said: “Beach Wrestling, for me, is a great way for people who are new to wrestling to come along and watch, it is really easy to understand with simple rules although for the athletes it is a lot tougher than it looks,as trust me it’s not easy to wrestle in the sand”. He continues, “I have been working hard alongside my team-mates over the winterand I’m coming to reclaim the Series gold medal. It would also be a dream for me for my team to be the best overall country in the series and take home the world championship!

In the women’s, Francesca Indelicato is the current -60kg queen of the sand, having become the first Italian Beach Wrestling world champion, winning the event in Constanta last season, which, along with silver medals in France and Italy was enough for her to pip Ukrainian Anastasiya Kravchenko to the title. She hopes to lock horns with her again this series. “I hope this war can end as soon as possible and that the people affected by it have the right to go back to doing what they love.”

The 27-year-old university graduate is also determined to get as many ranking points as possible this series to keep her dream alive of taking the Beach Games by storm, and of course retain her title: “I will strive to keep my ranking scores high as I want to give all of myself to make sure I have the best chance of keeping my title and give me the opportunity to win at the next edition of the World Beach Games in 2023.

The Beach Wrestling World Series is popular with fans and athletes alike with its party atmosphere as the sun shines down on the sand stars, the music playing and the ooohs and ahhhs of the crowd as the sands fly alongside the wrestlers as they go for gold.

The adrenaline filled action helps feed the vibe and its easy to see why the crowds sandside continue to grow with each event. With Beach Wrestling being named one of ANOC’s Beach Games core disciplines for 2023 and 2025 the popularity of the sport is sure to continue to grow at the rapid rate it has so far.

There are four different weight categories for both the men and women in beach wrestling, with the men competing in -70kg, -80kg, -90kg and +90kg, with the women competing in -50kg, -60kg, -70kg and +70kg, each bout lasting three frantic minutes, or first to 3 points.

A takedown or pushing your opponent out of the sandy circle is judged as 1 point, however, if you pin your opponent’s shoulder to the sand on a takedown its 3 points, and this means that no bout is ever over until the winners’ hand is raised, as we seen last season with some amazing comeback wins in the final seconds of bouts.

In the event of a tie, the wrestler who has scored the last point of the bout will take the win, and where 0-0 is the score after 3 minutes of action, the lighter of the two competitors will be given the victory.

The UWW have put prize money of 1000CHF for the gold medalists, 500CHF for silver medalists and 250CHF for the bronze medalists as well as the ‘Top Technique’ award for the best move over the weekend, voted for by the fans, which sees the winners take home 1000CHF for each gender.

Who will take home the gold this series? Will the Glorious Georgians go on another Gold Run? Will anyone be able to match Romania’s 50kg ‘heavyweight’ Princeputu? Can Team USA make an impression on this years event? It’s anyone’s guess as we head towards the start of the series with competitors from all over the world gearing up for the biggest Beach Wrestling World Series to date.

Tune in to see how the drama unfolds and who will be the sand kings and queens come September in Constanta.

Dates & Locations, Beach Wrestling World Series 2022
28-29 May – Ortaca (TUR) | Sarigerme Beach|
18-19 June – Sanxenxo (ESP) | Silgar Beach
01-02 July - Saint Laurent du Var (FRA) | Cousteau Beach
09-10 July - Katerini (GRE) | Paralia Beach
03-04 September - Constanta (ROU) | Mamaia Beach


UWW promotes clean-up, turtle preservation at beach wrestling

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (June 13) -- United World Wrestling hosted the first stop of the Beach Wrestling World Series in Sarigerme, Turkey last month. Apart from focusing on bringing beach wrestling to the mainstream, UWW implemented actions and activities to raise awareness about the environment while reducing its impact during major events since 2018.

For the first stop, UWW put three goals in focus in Turkey. It worked on donations and spreading a message to treat turtles, clean up the beach during and after the competition and help the region replant trees that were destroyed by the 2021 wildfires in Turkey.

The international body for wrestling signed the UNCCC framework and adopted the Sport Climate Action Plan in 2019.

"I think it's wonderful that during the world series, the community is paying attention to global issues," Nese GUNDOGAN, Turkey NOC Secretary-General, said. "Planting trees and cleaning the beach so it's wonderful to be active on environmental issues too."

UWW's initiative to help save turtles was inspired by the people who were already working hard to preserve the animal by involving all stakeholders in the situation of Caretta caretta, the loggerhead sea turtles, and their eco-system.

The project is to bring officials for a tour of the sea and try to understand better how this Caretta is living there. A visit to the hospital where the turtles are treated and brought back to water is also undertaken.

Last year, Turkey faced massive wildfires including Sarigerme. The local community and authorities have already established a replantation program for the burnt forest. UWW began an initiative to raise awareness of climate change matters. The national teams and officials joined the 'replant trees day'.

 BeachA tree plantation drive was also conducted in Sarigerme. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The Beach Clean initiative began in Sarigerme but will be replicated at all the stops of the world series in 2022. All delegations will take part in the initiative in collaboration with the local community.

At the first stop, reusable water bottles were given to the participants with the objective to stop the use of plastic bottles. The trend will continue at the remaining stops including the finals.

For beach wrestling action, please check out beachwrestling.org as the second stop is live from Sanxenxo, Spain on June18-19.