LIVE BLOG: Bishkek Ranking Series event, Day One

By Eric Olanowski

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (June 1) --- The third Ranking Series event of the season kicks off today in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. Thursday's action will feature seven Greco-Roman weights--55kg,60kg, 63kg, 67kg, 87kg, 97kg and 130kg.

Everything you need to know:
📍Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬
🗓️: June 1-4
🕙: Qualification = 10:30
🥇🥈🥉= 18:00
🖥️: http://uww.org 
📱: UWW App

Thursday's final matchups:
55kg:  Marlan MUKASHEV (KAZ) vs. Ikhtiyor BOTIROV (UZB) 
60kg:  Nursultan BAZARBAYEV (KAZ) vs. Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB)
63kg:  Leri ABULADZE (GEO) vs. Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB) 
67kg:  Husiyuetu HUSIYUETU (CHN) vs. Seyed SOHRABI (IRI) 
87kg:  Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO) vs. Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) 
97kg:  Yiming LI (CHN) vs. Mohammadhadi Abdollah SARAVI (IRI) ​​​​​​​
125kg: Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) vs. Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) 

3:00: That does it for our early session. We'll see you back here at 18:00 for the medal matches. Until then, I say, "So long, wrestling fans."

2:42: Saravi showed he's still Iran's top guy at 97kg, beating Balihamzehdeh, 7-1. In the lop-sided win, Saravi scored a takedown, exposure, passivity, and a pair of step outs.

2:25: For the second time this season, Husiyuetu HUSIYUETU (CHN) took down Olympic champion Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB). In those two matches, he's outscored Orta, 22-4. In the Zagreb Open semifinals, Husiyuetu beat Orta, 13-3, and scored a 9-0 win in Bishkek.

2:10: Here. We. Go. This is the match I have been waiting for since the brackets came out. It's Balihamzahdeh and Saravi, next, over on Mat C.

2:00: I'm not sure just went on, but Alin ALEXUC CIURARIU (ROU) just injury defeated out of the 130kg semifinals, handing Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) his spot against Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB).

1:40: That was a close call for Pino Hines. The Cuban big man trailed Fatih BOZKURT (TUR), 3-1, with less than 90 seconds left, but increased his pace and scored two takedowns, punching his ticket to the finals, 5-3.

1:23: That's two wins for Balihamzehdeh today. More importantly, that's two wins again over his 2022 and '23 Asian finals opponents, Assakalov and Dzhupbekov, respectively.

Balihamzehdeh will now wrestle 2021 world champion Saravi. The last time these two wrestled, Saravi won, 3-0, in the 2021 Poland Open. Watch the match below.

1:13: The 2022 Asian finals rematch between Mehdi Mohammad BALIHAMZEHDEH (IRI) and Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) has been a one-sided affair thus far. The Iranian wrestler leads 6-0 after the first, scoring a two-point left foul and a four-point throw.

1:03: We're rolling right along this session. We're two matches away from the semifinals taking place on Mat B. 

12:49: Atabaev and Sohrabi gave up about all we could ask for. The lead changed hands on three occasions, but it was Sohbrabi's takedown with 1:20 left that was the deciding factor.

Sohbrabi built a an early 5-0 lead, but he quickly saw that dwindle away after a par terre point and a four-point throw from Atabaev.

The felling of the match change after Atabaev's throw. He took his left shoe off as the doctors worked on his ankle. When the match resumed, Sohrabi scored a quick arm drag, 10 seconds after the match resumed, winning the bout 7-5. 

Sohrabi will wrestle European runner-up Joni KHETSURIANI (GEO) next in the 67kg quarterfinals. 

12:27: Turn your attention to Mat C. Rising stars Abror ATABAEV (UZB) and Seyed SOHRABI (IRI) are making their way to the mat. This is one where I leave my computer and head over to the mat to watch it up close and personal.

I'll see you all after the mat!

12:19: Sharshenbekov was holding his on his feet, but Orta capitalized on his opportunity on top, scoring four turns to win the match, 9-1.

12:10: Olympic champion Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) will wrestle Tynar SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) next on Mat A.

12:08: When he needed it the most, he delivered.

Mirzazadeh drove Yildirm to the out of bounds line with a left-sided undertook, scored the takedown and added a point for a failed Turkish challenge, determining the match, 4-1.

11:56: The second on the list of four matches to watch in the morning session is up now on Mat C. Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) ​​and ​​​​Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) are in a close out, as the Tokyo Olympian is up 1-0 after the first period.

11:32: The crowd came alive for a moment, trying to get behind a Dzhuzupbekov rally, but yet again, he didn't have enough to get past Balihamzedeh.

Balihamzedeh was satisfied with his lead after the first and shut it down in the second, winning the match 7-2. He'll await the winner of Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) and Narinder CHEEMA (IND), who are wrestling over on Mat C.

Assakalov leads Cheema, 1-0, after the first period. If he holds on to win this match, it'll set up a rematch of last year's Asian finals with Balihamzedeh. 

For those wondering, Balihamzedeh won that match, 5-1.

11:26: The rematch from the 97kg Asian finals is going on over on Mat A between Mehdi Mohammad BALIHAMZEHDEH (IRI) and U. DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ).

Balihamzehdeh jumped out to an early 7-0 first-period lead after two takedowns, two gut wrenches and a shot clock point.

11:21: Those are the matches where you hate to see someone come out on the losing end. Cengiz and Alizadeh battled for six consecutive minutes, but it was the Turkish wrestler who scored late to take out the reigning Asian champion, 4-1.

Cengiz and Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO) will wrestle next in the 87kg quarterfinals.

10:58: Reigning Asian champion Naser Ghasem ALIZADEH (IRI) has a nasty cut on his head and is currently getting his head wrapped. This is the third time they've stopped the match.

He's currently down on criteria, 1-1, to European silver medalist Ali CENGIZ (TUR).

10:36: Things are going to be slow for about a half hour before the stars being taking over the mats in Kyrgyzstan.

10:16: Before we get started, here are my top three matches for the morning session. The guys listed in bold are 2023 continental champs.
Bout 7 | Mat A: Mehdi Mohammad BALIHAMZEHDEH (IRI) vs. U. DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ) 
Bout 13 | Mat A:  Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) vs. Tynar SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) 
Bout 70 | Mat C: Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) ​​vs. ​​​​Osman YILDIRIM (TUR)
Bout 74 | Mat C: Abror ATABAEV (UZB) vs. Seyed Danial Seyed Shamsollah SOHRABI (IRI) 
9:54: We're about a half hour out from the first whistle. This is always one of the most hectic half hours of any competitions. The last minute preparations are being made to the arena while everyone is scrambling to make sure their respective jobs are done correctly so the tournament runs seamlessly. For now, I'll leave you as I answer the question for the 100th time :"Do you have the wifi password?"


WATCH: 10 Greco-Roman finals from #WrestleBishkek

By Vinay Siwach

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (June 13) -- Iran brought some of its best Greco-Roman wrestlers to Bishkek for the third Ranking Series event and they did not disappoint, winning five gold medals in the tournament to finish at the top of the team rankings.

Georgian and Uzbekistan won two gold medals each while Kazakhstan won a single gold as well.

Watch all the 10 gold medal bouts from the third Ranking Series event here.

GOLD: 55kg - Marlan MUKASHEV (KAZ) vs. Ikhtiyor BOTIROV (UZB) 

GOLD: 67kg - Danial SOHRABI (IRI) vs. HUSIYUETU (CHN) 

GOLD: 97kg -  Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) vs. Yiming LI (CHN) 

GOLD: 130kg - Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) vs. Oscar PINO (CUB)