Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France Preview

By Eric Olanowski

The 47th Annual Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France kicks off January 14-18. The star-studded entry list is headlined by four Olympic champions, five reigning world champions and will feature nearly 300 athletes from 23 different nations.

Potential Showdown of Olympic Champs Sharifov and Snyder
The most intriguing storyline coming into the competition is the potential showdown of Olympic champions Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) at 97kg. If the pair of superstars meet, it'd be a rematch from the ’19 world championship semifinasl, where the London Olympic champion and Rio Olympic bronze medalist defeated the American, 5-2, en route to his world silver-medal run.

Sharifov shut down all 19 of Snyder's attacks, while only surrendered an inactivity point and a step out in their Nur-Sultan meeting. In addition to earning a stepout point, he capitalized on a pair of Snyder's attacks by scoring a takedown off a high crotch and two exposure points. 

In my opinion, the key adjustment for Snyder to even the series: Get to the corner on his straight on attacks.

Gadzhiev Making '21 Debut Down at 65kg
Poland's Magomedmurad GADZHIEV will make his ’21 debut down at the Olympic weight of 65kg and just his third appearance at the weight since ’17. 

Gadzhiev, a two-time world medalist, is fresh off an undefeated ’20 campaign up at 70kg. He claimed consecutive golds at the World Cup, European Championships, and Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial.

For Gadzhiev to strike gold at his fourth consecutive competition, he’ll have to get through a long list of tough competition – including Olympic champion Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) and fellow two-time world medalist James GREEN (USA). Tokyo Olympian Agustin Alejandro DESTRIBATS (ARG) and rising star John DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) will also compete in the 65kg bracket.

Reigning three-time world champion Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) will compete at 125kg. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Other Freestyle World Champs Entered 
Freestyle world champions Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), Kyle DAKE (USA), and Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) are the other must-watch wrestlers that'll be in action later this week.

The favorite to win gold at 61kg is reigning world champion Lomtadze. His biggest threat will be '18 world bronze medalist Joseph COLON (USA).

Dake, a two-time world champion at the non-Olympic weight of 79kg, is making his second appearance down at 74kg. In his first showing down at the Olympic weight, he claimed gold at the Matteo Pellicone. Dake dismantled Olympic bronze medalist Soener DEMIRTAS (TUR), 10-0,  is less than a minute to finish atop the Ranking Series podium.

Dake will have to navigate a 74kg field that includes '18 world silver medalist Avtandi lKENTCHADZE (GEO) and '18 junior world champion Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE).

Petriashvili, the reigning three-time world champion, is entered at 125kg. His most credential competition will be two-time world bronze medalist Nicholas GWIAZDOWSKI (USA).

Tamyra MENSAH STOCK (USA) will take the mat at 68kg. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Mensah Back in Action After Downing Gray
Tamyra MENSAH STOCK (USA) will return to action at her normal weight, less than a week after upsetting five-time world champion Adeline GRAY (USA). 
The reigning 68kg world champion bumped up to 76kg and defeated Gray, 4-0, in the headlining bout of Flo Wrestling’s 10-match card.

Olympic champion Helena MAROULIS (USA) will wrestle at 57kg. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Olympic Champ Maroulis Leads Shuffled Team USA
Rio Olympic gold medalist Helena MAROULIS (USA) leads a shuffled United States squad that'll see multiple world medalists moving down a weight in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Maroulis will compete at 57kg, while Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) and Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) are dropping from their Nur-Sultan world championship weights of 53kg and 55kg, respectively. 

Hildebrandt, a '18 world silver medalist at 53kg, will make her third appearance at 50kg. Her first outing at 50kg came at the '20 Matteo Pellicone, where she upset top-ranked Alina VUC (ROU) with a last-second takedown to win her second Ranking Series title. Hildebrandt followed up that performance by qualifying the United States for the Olympic Games with a second-place finish at the '20 Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. 

Winchester, the reigning 55kg world champion, dropped to the Olympic weight of 53kg. She'll make her second appearance at the weight. Winchester's competed at 53kg for the first time at the '20 Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, where she earned the USA a berth to the Olympic Games through her runner-up finish.

'19 world champion Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) is entered at 55kg. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

Tsurtsumia Leads Greco-Roman Entries
Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) is the lone reigning world champion entered in Greco-Roman. He'll 
face a 55kg field that includes world bronze medalist Ekrem ÖZTÜRK (TUR) and Individual World Cup runner-up Serif KILIÇ (TUR).

The Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France, which will be streamed live on United World Wrestling, begins Friday at 10:30 local time, with women's wrestling qualification rounds at 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 62kg, 68kg, and 76kg. 


10:00-12:00: Final entries WW-50kg 53kg 57kg 62kg 68kg 76kg (+2kg)
18:00-19:00: Draw WW-50kg 53kg 57kg 62kg 68kg 76kg (+2kg)

8:00: Medical control WW-50kg 53kg 57kg 62kg 68kg 76kg (+2kg)
8:30: Weigh-in WW-50kg 53kg 57kg 62kg 68kg 76kg (+2kg)
10:00: Final entries FS–57kg 61kg 65kg 70kg 74kg 79kg 86kg 92kg 97kg 125kg (+2kg)
10:30: Qualification rounds and finals
18:00: Draw Freestyle FS–57kg 61kg 65kg 70kg 74kg 79kg 86kg 92kg 97kg 125kg (+2kg)
20:30: Finals awards ceremony

8:00: Medical control FS–57kg 61kg 65kg 70kg 74kg 79kg 86kg 92kg 97kg 125kg (+2kg)
8:30: Weigh-in FS–57kg 61kg 65kg 70kg 74kg 79kg 86kg 92kg 97kg 125kg (+2kg)
10:00: Final entries GR–55kg 60kg 63kg 67kg 72kg 77kg 82kg 87kg 97kg 130kg (+2kg)
10:30:  Qualification rounds and finals
18:00: Draw GR–55kg 60kg 63kg 67kg 72kg 77kg 82kg 87kg 97kg 130kg (+2kg)
20:30: Finals awards ceremony

8:00: Medical control GR–55kg 60kg 63kg 67kg 72kg 77kg 82kg 87kg 97kg 130kg (+2kg)
8:30: Weigh-in GR–55kg 60kg 63kg 67kg 72kg 77kg 82kg 87kg 97kg 130kg (+2kg)
10:00: Qualification rounds and finals
10:30: Finals awards ceremony


LIVE BLOG: Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France (Day Three)

By Eric Olanowski

The third day of wrestling at the #WrestleNice Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France is headlined by Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), the reigning world champion at 55g. 

WATCH: Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France 

Match Order + Brackets

4:22: What a way to kick off the '21 season! That'll do it for our coverage of the  Henri Deglane Grand Prix of France. Until next time, wrestling fans!

Greco-Roman Gold-Medal Match Results:
55kg: Serif KILIC (TUR) df. Elcin ALI (TUR), 4-3
60kg: Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Murad MAMMADOV (AZE), 4-0
63kg: Abdurahman ALTAN (TUR) df. Mehmet CEKER (TUR), 5-3
67kg: Mamadassa SYLLA (FRA) df. Gagik SNJOYAN (FRA), via default
72kg: Selcuk CAN (TUR) df. Ibrahim GHANEM (FRA), 3-3
77kg: Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) df. Yunus BASAR (TUR), 8-0
82kg: Emrah KUS (TUR) df. Rafiq HUSEYNOV (AZE), 1-1
87kg: Islam ABBASOV (AZE) df. Metehan BASAR (TUR), 8-4
97kg: Giorgi MELIA (GEO) df. Murad LOKIAEV (AZE), via inj. default
130kg: Yasmani ACOSTA (CHI) df. Sabah SHARIATI (AZE), 3-1

Kerem KAMAL (TUR) was one of six Turkish wrestlers to claimed #WrestleNice gold. He claimed his gold at 60kg. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

4:15: Kerem KAMAL (TUR) scored an open-period four-point throw and defeated Murad MAMMADOV (AZE), 4-0, in the 60kg gold-medal match. Kamal's win gave Turkey their sixth gold medal of the night.

4:00: That's how it'll end. After a scoreless second period, Abbasov upsets two-time world champion Basar, 8-4, for the 87kg crown.

3:56: Islam ABBASOV (AZE) leads two-time world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR), 8-4, at the break!

3:50: Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) cruised to the 77kg title with an 8-0 shutout win over Yunus BASAR (TUR). 

3:43: In the battle of world silver medalists, Emrah KUS (TUR) edged Rafiq HUSEYNOV (AZE), 1-1, in the 82kg finals. 

3:40: Mamadassa SYLLA (FRA) was awarded the 67kg after Gagik SNJOYAN (FRA) defaulted out of the gold-medal match. 

3:35: These guys came to scrap! In the action-packed 63kg finals, Abdurahman ALTAN (TUR) edged Mehmet CEKER (TUR), 5-3, and claimed Turkey's second gold of the night.

3:21: Next up will be Mehmet CEKER (TUR) and Abdurahman ALTAN (TUR), who are wrestling for the 63kg gold.

3:16: What a way to kick off the finals! Serif KILIC (TUR) dug deep and fought off a late flurry of attacks and defeated  Elcin ALI (TUR), 4-3, in the 55kg finals. He led 4-0, but gave up three unanswered points before ultimately winning gold with the one-point victory.

3:13: How about the day that the Turkish Greco-Roman team is having. Of the six non-Nordic-style bracket finals, Turkish wrestlers occupy 7/12 gold-medal spots. 

3:10: Tune in to Mat A for the Greco-Roman finals!

2:53: We're keeping things rolling! The first medal matches are underway on Mat A, while the remaining semifinals are wrapping up on Mat B.

2:36: Basar has his dancing partner for tonight's 87kg finals. The two-time world champion will battle two-time U23 world bronze medalist Islam ABBASOV (AZE) in the gold-medal match. The Azeri shutout USA's John STEFANOWICZ, 6-0, in their semifinal meeting. 

Two-time world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR) will wrestle for 87kg gold on Sunday night. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2:29: It wasn't anything special but Basar got the job done and moved into the 87kg final with a 3-1 win over Zaleski.

2:21: Two-time world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR) is making his way to Mat B for his semifinals meeting with Terrence ZALESKI (USA). 

The semifinals are ongoing, so as they wrap up and the finals berths are locked in, I'll continue to update the list below! 

Sunday Night’s Final Matches
55kg: Serif KILIC (TUR) vs. Elcin ALI (TUR)
60kg: -- Nordic Style Bracket -- 
63kg: Mehmet CEKER (TUR) vs. Abdurahman ALTAN (TUR)
67kg: Gagik SNJOYAN (FRA) vs. Mamadassa SYLLA (FRA)
72kg: -- Nordic Style Bracket -- 
77kg: Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) vs. Yunus EMRE BASAR (TUR)
82kg: -- Nordic Style Bracket -- 
87kg: Metehan BASAR (TUR) vs. Islam ABBASOV (AZE) 
97kg: Murad LOKIAEV (AZE) vs. Giorgi MELIA (GEO)
130kg: -- Nordic Style Bracket -- 

1:38: Semifinal matches are starting to get called to the mats. Yunus BASAR  (TUR) and Johnny BUR (FRA), who are wrestling for a 77kg finals berth, are the first semifinal match that we'll see,

1:05; Bout 33 on Mat B should be a good one. Acosta will face Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sabah SHARIATI (AZE). 

12:41: World runner-up Rafiq HUSEYNOV (AZE0 and Individual World Cup runner-up Salih AYDIN (RU) are up next on Mat A. That match is at 82kg.

12:08: The quarterfinals matches are started to come on the match order chart.


11:28: Chile's first-ever world medalist Yasmani ACOSTA is set to take on Sulkhani BUIDZE (GEO) at 130kg. That match will be Bout 19 on Mat B. 

11:23: Kamal leads Albert BAGUMYAN (ESP), 7-0, after the opening period. An inactivity, followed by a two-point gut and a four-point throw gives Kamal the 7-0 advantage. Kamal scored a takedown from a high-hip shot and won the match, 9-0.

11:19: We had a short wait for Kamal to get to the mat, then the mats needed to be cleaned. We should be good now! Either way, Kamal is wrestling now on Mat B.

11:09: Turkey has a few heavy hitters coming up. We'll see world silver medalist Emrah KUS wrestle in Bout 16, and on Mat B, one of my personal favorites, Kerem KAMAL, will wrestle in Bout 14.

10:58: Tsurtsumia is rolling in his first match. He's up 7-0 heading into the second period and hasn't been tested yet in his opening-round match. He closed out the match with an early second-period takedown and earned a spot in tonight's 55kg semifinals.

10:33: Reigning world champion Nugzari Tsurtsumia is coming up shortly on Mat A. He'll be up in five matches (Bout 10)  on Mat A. 

10:17: Selcuk CAN (TUR), the reigning European bronze medalist, is looking for his third consecutive medal finish. Last year, he finished the Matteo Pellicone, European Championships and Zagrebb Open with a silver and two bronze medals, respectively. He's coming up on Mat A. 

10:10: Let's get things rolling. The third and final day of wrestling is underway and we'll start our day by watching two-time U23 world bronze medalist Islam ABBASOV (AZE). He'll wrestle Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO) in Bout 8 on Mat B,