Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series day two finals set

By Vinay Siwach

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (February 24) -- The second of the Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series in Alexandria will see three Greco-Roman and four women's wrestling weight classes in action. After an enthralling first day, expect nothing less.


The finals for the evening session are set






Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) vs. Alexandria TOWN (CAN)

Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) vs. Xiaojuan LUO (CHN)

Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) vs. Forrest MOLINARI (USA)

Juan WANG (CHN) vs. Kennedy BLADES (USA)

15:10: Kennedy BLADES (USA) is having a dream run here! She takes on Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ) 12-1. She will wrestle for gold at 76kg against Juan WANG (CHN).

15:00: Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) controls the bout through and through to win 6-1 against Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) to book her place in the 68kg final. She will now face Forrest MOLINARI (USA) who defeated Alexandria GLAUDE (USA) via fall in the other semifinal.

14:55: Mohammedreza GERAEI (IRI) cannot catch a break. He now suffers an 8-0 loss to Otar ABULADZE (GEO) in the 72kg semifinal. Abuladze with a throw to start which was challenged by Geraei but he lost that. From 3-0, Abuladze countered Geraei's bodylock for four and added another correct throw for one point to win 8-0.

14:50: Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) and Iryna KOLIADENKO (UKR) on Mat A. Koliadenko is called passive and Tynybekova takes the lead. In the second period, Koliadenko tries to force Tynybekova out of bounds but she fails. However, she challenges that she did score a stepout. A lost challenge. Tynybekova holds on for a 2-0 win. 

14:40: Forrest MOLINARI (USA) wins 5-3 over Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ) at 68kg. Molinari never stopped her attacks and Zhumanazarova never got going. Big win for Molinari at this weight. 

14:15: Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) continues her run at 57kg. She beats Qi ZHANG (CHN) 7-0 in the semifinals and will take on Alex TOWN (CAN) in the final. Town, surprisingly, has beaten Evelina NIKOLOVA (BUL) via fall.

14:10: They never disappoint! Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ) and Samar HAMZA (EGY) once again put on a show at 76kg. Hamza led 5-0 against Medet Kyzy. But the Kyrgz wrestler was never giving up and scored a fall over Hamza. She will face Kennedy BLADES (USA) in the semifinals.

13:50: Johanna LINDBORG (SWE) moves into the semifinal at 62kg after a close 3-3 win over Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL). Some great defense from Lindborg at the end of that bout.

13:40: Kayla MIRACLE (USA) fails to trouble Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) who scores a 10-0 win over Miracle. Tynybekova, despite struggling for sometime now, keeps posting these big wins perhaps telling everyone to never count her out. 

13:35: Sheroz OCHILOV (TJK) could have caused a big upset had he pinned Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI). Ochikov got the headlock for two and held Geraei to his back but could not finish the job. Geraei rarely gives a second chance. He scores a four and two takedowns after reversals to win 11-3.

13:30: Grace BULLEN (NOR) up against Iryna KOLIADENKO (UKR) on Mat B. She begins with a double leg for two. Koliadenko counters an attempt from Bullen to score a takedown. As Koliadenko tries a lace, Bullen holds her to her back for two but gives up a lace. Koliadenko leads 5-4 after that exchange. Huge throw from Bullen with locked arms! She gets the lead 8-5. The second period begins with Koliadenko scoring a takedown and transitioning to a lace. She manages two of them and takes the lead 11-8. A takedown from Bullen with under a minute remaining. Another double-leg blast to regain the lead 12-11. A shot from Bullen but Koliadenko exposes her for two. Bullen challenges the call but loses. Koliadenko wins 14-12

13:15: Evelina NIKOLOVA (BUL) always finds a way to win! Yongxin FENG (CHN) got exposure late in the bout to win 4-3 but Nikolova was sure there was no score in the exchange. She challenges and wins the call. A 3-2 win for Nikolova.

13:00: Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) gets a correct throw in the second period to beat Yunus BASAR (TUR) 3-1 at 77kg. Basar would be ruing the chance he got in par terre but failed to get anything out of it.

12:45: Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) continues to control her opponents with great command. She worked up a 6-0 lead before finishing the bout 10-0 against Giullia OLIVEIRA (BRA) to move into the semifinals at 57kg.

12:15: Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ) has eked out a 2-0 win over Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) at 68kg. On Mat C, Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) and Buse TOSUN (TUR) were involved in a fierce battle. Larroque scored a takedown to lead 3-1 but Tosun pushed for a stepout. However, Larroque held on for a 4-2 win. 

12:10: Tokyo Olympic silver bronze medalist Iryna KOLIADENKO (UKR), wrestling for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, using a lethal leg lace to win against Esther KOLAWOLE (NGR) at 62kg. She faces Grace BULLEN (NOR) next.

12:00: Kayla MIRACLE (USA) with a final second takedown to beat Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) 5-4 at 62kg. That was ridiculous from Miracle, circling around and forcing Prokopevniuk to give up. On Mat B, Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) beats Ameline DOUARRE (FRA). Both Miracle and Tynybekova will face each other in the quarterfinal.

11:50: Grace BULLEN (NOR) is becoming a force at 62kg. She gets the better of Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) in the quarterfinals. Dudova was leading 3-2 but Bullen scored two takedowns in the second period to win 6-3.

11:40: A lot of action at 76kg. Anastasiia OSNIACH (UKR) has pinned Skylar GROTE (USA) on Mat C while Samar HAMZA (EGY) starts with a 5-0 win over Maria ACOSTA ((VEN).

11:30: World bronze medalist Epp MAE (EST), wrestling for the first time since the World Championships, looking in trouble on Mat B against KIRAN (IND). She did get the first point for Kiran's passivity but gave up a takedown and passivity point to trail 3-1. Kiran scores a takedown to make it 5-1. A desperate throw attempt lands Mae on her back as Kiran wins 9-1.

11:15: Former U20 world champion Kennedy BLADES (USA) makes her senior debut in Alexandria. She begins with a solid 11-2 win over Qian ZHOU (CHN) at 76kg.

11:10: Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) wrestling at 72kg in Alexandria. He faces Omar OKIL (EGY) in the first bout. Geraei gets the parterre and scores two. Underhook from Okil but Geraei with a slam for four! Okil can't stop Geraei from another exposure but scores a reversal as well. Okil is asking for a takedown. He challenges but there is no takedown. Geraei wins 10-1

10:55: Alina HRUSHYNA (UKR) is one of those wrestlers who will keep you busy throughout the bout and will capitalize on each opening she gets. Sandra PARUSZEWSKI (GER) gave her one and Hrushyna used an arm-bar to pin her German opponent. She moves on at 57kg.

10:40: Yunus BASAR (TUR) and Zoltan LEVAI (HUN) on Mat B for their 77kg bout. Basar gets the first par terre advantage. He manages to roll Levai using a chest wrap but was himself in danger of giving up danger position. Basar returns on top and throws Levai for four. Referees call for a foul from Levai which means a 9-0 win for Basar. Levai challenges the call but there is a leg foul. Basar wins 10-0

10:35: Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) has challenged the call after he gave up a series of gut wrenches against Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ). Gutu got the par terre advantage and tried to front headlock but failed Zhadrayev scored a 10-1 win but Gutu challenged. No illegal move by Zhadtayev and Gutu goes down 11-1.

10:30: Forrest MOLINARI (USA) and Alla BELINSKA (UKR) win with falls at 68kg. Dominant start for both the wrestlers who can meet later in the session.

10:20: Nathali GRIMAN (VEN) gave Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) a scare in the opening match at 62kg. Griman at one point led the bout 6-4 but Prokopevniuk manages to roll to a 9-6 win.

10:15: Early big match here in Alexandria. Grace BULLEN (NOR) is up against Jennifer PAGE (USA) at 62kg. She was put on the clock but scores a double leg for four over Page. A reversal and gut wrench for Page to make it 4-3 before adding a stepout. Bullen holds 4-4 criteria at the break. Bullen starts the second period with a takedown and another double leg for four. Page manages to reverse once again and score from the gut wrench. Bullen leads 10-7 with just over a minute left in the bout. Page with a slipby takedown to make it 10-9. Great comeback from Page. Bullen adds a stepout to make it 11-9. Page needs three points to win this. She scores a takedown but the time runs out. Bullen wins 11-11.

10:00: The wrestlers enjoyed their time going around Egypt and seeing the pyramids. But now serious business. Day two of the tournament is here. Greco-Roman 72kg, 77kg and 82kg will be in action along with 57kg, 62kg, 72kg and 76kg in women's wrestling. 


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."