Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series day three finals set

By Vinay Siwach

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (February 25) -- Six women's wrestling and two freestyle weight classes highlight day three of the Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series event in Alexandria. The previous two days have been nothing short of exceptional and expect nothing else on Saturday.


Here are the gold medal match-ups for the evening session

Meng FAN (CHN) vs. Ziqi FENG (CHN)

Lucia YEPEZ (ECU) vs. Li DENG (CHN)

Bediha GUN (TUR) vs. Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA)

Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) vs. Yuliia TKACH (UKR)

65kg Round 5
Khadija JLASSI (TUN) vs. Emma BRUNTIL (USA)
BHATERI (IND) vs. Ayatalla AHMED (EGY)

Alina RUDNYTSKA (UKR) vs. Dalma CANEVA (ITA)  

FS 97kg
Batyrbek TCAKULOV (SVK) vs. Zbigniew BARANOWSKI (POL)


14:05: Li DENG (CHN) and Stalvira ORSHUSH (HUN) exchanged passivity points in their 53kg semifinal. Deng got the passivity point in the second period and kept that advantage to win 1-1 on criteria.

13:45: Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) avenges her World Championships loss to Mengyu XIE (CHN). Winchester led 12-6 in Belgrade when she suffered an injury and lost to Xie. But in Alexandria, she controls the bout for a 4-0 win.

13:35: Lucia YEPEZ (ECU) gets the job done! She led 2-0 and then controlled the whole second period against Andreea ANA (ROU) to win the semifinal at 53kg.

13:30: Taha AKGUL (TUR) navigates through Nicholas GWIAZDOWSKI (USA). A good win there for the world champion. Gwiazdowski has troubled Akgul in the past but today the story was different. Akgul wins 7-2

13:15: Two big results at 97kg. Zbigniew BARANOWSKI (POL) proved that the 97kg weight class is not for Amirhossein FIROUZPOUR (IRI) who has been a force at 92kg. However, Firouzpour at 97kg failed to match the strength and conditioning of Baranowski who wins 6-4.

World silver medalist Batyrbek TCAKULOV (SVK) struggled a little but managed to beat Benjamin HONIS (ITA) 11-3 to advance.

13:00: Jonna MALMGREN (SWE) and Stalvira ORSHUSH (HUN) should have been a final but we have it in the quarters. Orshush put on the clock but she gets a low single to score a takedown before adding leg lace to lead 6-0. Malmgren tries the toss but fails and Orshush adds gut wrench to win 10-0. Sweden has challenged the call. No points for Malmgren as the challenge is lost. Orshush wins 11-0

12:30: Akhmed TAZHUDINOV (BRN) gets a taste of his own medicine as Vladislav BAITCAEV (HUN) scores a takedown with a second left on the clock. Baitcaev wins 6-4 to advance at 97kg.

12:10: Iulia LEORDA (MDA) can't believe she has given up a takedown at the last moment. She led 2-2 against Stalvira ORSHUSH (HUN) but could not handle the pressure Orshush was putting on her. The Hungarian wins 4-2

11:52: Taha AKGUL (TUR) with another easy win. He leg laces DINESH (IND) for an 11-0 victory at 125kg.

11:45: World champion Dom PARRISH (USA) is wrestling European champion Jonna MALMGREN (SWE) at 53kg. The Swede has the first takedown and she will go into the break leading 2-0. Parrish scores two out of bounds and takes the criteria lead. A quick double-leg from Malmgren and she retakes the lead 4-2. Solid underhook defense from Malmgren and she wins 4-2.

11:15: Ziqi FENG (CHN) and Oksana LIVACH (UKR) went allout in that 50kg bout. Livach with two takedowns to lead 4-0 but Feng then got the head pinch. She exposed Livach twice before launching her for a four. A takedown and gut gave Feng a 15-4 technical superiority win.

11:00: Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) is the latest to score a 10-0 win. She rolls over Farah HUSSEIN (EGY) with ease to move at 59kg.

10:50: Madison PARKS (CAN) is an underrated wrestler. She has now racked up so many good wins. Include the latest one as she beats Emilia VUC (ROU) 9-3 at 50kg.

10:30: Taha AKGUL (TUR) is such a calm wrestler. There are no signs of panic in his body language. In his first bout of the day, he casually moves past Yusup BATIRMURZAEV (KAZ) at 125kg.

10:15: European champion Tatiana RIZKHO (UKR) with some early action in Alexandria. She hits a foot sweep and scores a fall over BHATERI (IND) to win at 65kg. 

10:00: Welcome to yet another exciting day of wrestling in the historical city of Alexandria. We are done with Greco-Roman and it will be all about women's wrestling and freestyle today.


Shikhdzhamalov explains the mystery move in Alexandria

By Vinay Siwach

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (March 5) -- Iakub SHIKHDZHAMALOV (ROU) is looking for a name for his move that broke the internet.

At the Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series tournament in Alexandria, Egypt last week, Shikhdzhamalpv won his 74kg semifinal against Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) after trailing 3-0. Nothing was working for him until he hit a "scoop", an unofficial name for the same in the wrestling lingo.

However, Shikhdzhamalov says that he does not know what to call the move which has been shared and viewed by millions on social media.

"There is no name for this move," Shikhdzhamalov said. "I am now thinking of a name for this move. I guess it will be my personal move."

It is not the first time Shikhdzhamalov has performed the move, a mix of cut-back and outside trip. Over the years, he has used it in various competitions and even during training but Shikhdzhamalov says one cannot prepare to execute it.

"I’ve been using this move for quite a long time," he said. "Nobody showed it to me. I managed to do it once at the training around 7-8 years ago. My coach noticed that I was good at doing it, and we tried to practice it together, but it was not even possible to do it during the training bout. It only works during the real match when you are concentrated."

Shikhdzhamalov explained the setup and execution of the same. He stressed that a wrestler should perform it at a very high speed to catch his opponent by surprise.

"When the opponent is pushing you and putting his hand underhook, that’s the right moment to do it," he said. "It’s very difficult to explain the technical part of it and also difficult to show how to do it, but it really works well. The most important is the high speed while making the move." 

After the tournament, Shikhdzhamalov opened his social media and to his surprise, he received praise and feedback about the skill which he is proud of.

"Since I performed it at this tournament, there were so many comments and feedback about it," he said. It wasn’t just an occasional move. Yet, no one can do it. Even in my wrestling gym, the guys know that I can make this move, but no one can repeat it. If someone learns to do it, I would be really glad."

Training in Dagestan has helped Shikhdzhamalov improve his skills with the guidance of Gamid GAMIDOV and his personal coach Anvar MAGOMEDGADZHIEV.

After struggling at 79kg weight class last year where he failed to win a gold medal, Shikhdzhamalov has emerged as a contender for the gold at the European Championships.

"The 74kg weight class is preferable for my body," he said. "Last year I wrestled at 79kg because I had some health issues, I had to figure out what the problem was. The doctors advised me not to cut my weight at all. Last year my weight was about 77-78kg, although I wrestled at 79kg. This year I’ve solved all the problems and I went down to my weight class, since it’s more comfortable for me.

"I will wrestle for gold at the Europeans and the World Championships. I know most of the leaders in this weight class."

The European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia next month will be the first big test that Shikhdzhamalov will face before the World Championships. But after the gold medal in Alexandria, he hopes he can create more upsets in the weight class as the Olympics approach.

"Next tournament for me is the European championships," he said. "I don’t want to mention specific names that I would like to wrestle at 74kg, but for later tournaments, I am getting ready for the American, Iranian, Italian and all other leaders. I am getting ready to wrestle anybody and win. It's certainly interesting to wrestle against the top guys."