Ota Knocks off Fifth-Ranked Tuo, Wins First Career Ranking Series Gold

By Eric Olanowski

GYOR, Hungary (February 23) - Shinobu OTA (JPN) shutout China’s fifth-ranked TUO Erbatu in the 63kg Hungarian Grand Prix gold-medal bout and seized his first career Ranking Series event title.

In the finals, the Rio Olympic runner-up grabbed the 2-0 advantage with a slick duck under, then scored back-to-back front head pinches, extending his lead to 6-0. Ota held onto the shutout and bagged his first career Ranking Series gold medal. 

In addition to his finals win over a top-five opponent, Japan's 2018 Asian Games champion scored his second career win over Rio Olympic bronze medalist Stig-Andre BERGE (NOR), outscoring the Norwegian wrestler 6-1. 

Meanwhile, Tracy HANCOCK (USA) used a late takedown to pick up the 3-3 come-from-behind criteria victory over Turkey’s Fatih BASKOY in the 97kg gold medal bout. 

Hancock’s Hungarian Grand Prix gold-medal win was only the third time an American Greco-Roman wrestler had reached the top of the podium at a Ranking Series event. Dalton ROBERTS and Kamal BEY were the first American's to win a Ranking Series event when they captured gold medals at the 2018 Granma y Cerro Pelado. 

In the 87kg finals, reigning U23 world champion Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO) rolled Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) three times with a trio of gut wrenches and won the gold medal with a 7-1 victory. 

Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO) won the 72kg gold medal after Sachino DAVITAIA (GEO) injury defaulted out of the finals, and Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) grabbed the 55kg gold medal with a 4-0 record in the round-robin competition. 


Sunday (February 24) 
8.30 - Medical examination & Weigh-in for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
10.00 - Qualification rounds and repechage for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
16.00 - Finals for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg and Award ceremonies

Team Scores 
GOLD - Iran (59 points)
SILVER - Turkey (56 points)
BRONZE - Georgia (50 points)
Fourth - China (43 points)
Fifth - United States (35 points)

55kg (Round-Robin) 
SILVER - Reza Kheirollah KHEDRI (IRI) 

GOLD - Shinobu OTA (JPN) df. Erbatu TUO (CHN), 6-0 

BRONZE -  Meysam Karamali DALKHANI (IRI) df. Stig-Andre BERGE (NOR), 5 - 2
BRONZE - Sailike WALIHAN (CHN) df. Travis Michael RICE (USA), 9-0

GOLD -  Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO) df. Sachino DAVITAIA (GEO), via inj. def. 

BRONZE - Selcuk CAN (TUR) df. Michael Felix WIDMAYER (GER), 4 - 2
BRONZE -  Martin TOTH (HUN) df. Istvan KOZAK (HUN), 4-1 


BRONZE - Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) df. Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB), 7-6

GOLD –  Tracy Gangelo HANCOCK (USA) df. Fatih BASKOY (TUR), 3-3 

BRONZE - Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) df. Pontus Johan LUND (SWE), 10-0 
BRONZE - Abudourexiti ALIMUJIANG (CHN) df. Hassan Ali ARYANEZHAD (IRI), 6-3 


Lorincz Wins Second RS Gold of the Year, Hungary Takes Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

GYOR, Hungary (February 24) - Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) picked up his second Ranking Series title of the year with a 6-0 shutout victory over Algeria's Ivan LIZATOVIC in the 87kg Hungarian Open finals, and catapulted the host nation to the top of the leaderboard, five points above Iran, who led after the first nine weight classes. 

In the finals, the Hungarian exposed his Algerian opponent twice with a pair of gut wrenches after the Lizatovic was dinged for passivity, and owned the 5-0 lead. A second period step out gave Lorincz the 6-0 advantage and his second Ranking Series gold of the season. The Hungarian also had a title-winning performance at the Zagreb Open two weeks ago. 

Lorincz is quietly building a case to be looked at as one of the most dominate Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world after the first two Ranking Series events. Lorincz has an undefeated 9-0 record this season and has scored six shutout victories while outscoring his opponents 45-8. 

Meanwhile, Korea’s KIM Seunghak and RYU Hansu collected a pair of gold medals on final day of wrestling, joining Georgia as the only nation to win more than one gold medal. 

Ryu, Korea’s two-time world champion, had no trouble scoring the 8-1 victory over Ruslan KUDRYNETS (UKR) in the 67kg gold-medal bout. 

Ryu smothered Kudrynets in the opening period, scoring all eight of his points. The Korean wrestler scored four points on a front head pinch/lift then tacked on an additional four points, transitioning from a takedown to a gut wrench, and commanded the 8-1 lead heading into the second period. 

Ryu took the match and the 72kg gold medal with an 8-1 victory after a scoreless second period. 

Kim Seunghak was the second Korean wrestler to claim a gold medal on the final day of wrestling at the Olimpia Sportpark in Gyor, Hungary. Kim won the 60kg gold medal after his finals opponent Firuz TUKHTAEV (UZB) forfeited out of the finals match. 

The final two golds went to the pair of former world champions, Viktor NEMES (SRB) and Heiki NABI (EST). 

In the 77kg finals, Nemes used a pair of passivity points to get past Dmytro PYSHKOV (UKR), 2-1, while Nabi used a pair of passivity points to get past Georgi CHUGOSHVILI (BLR), 2-0, in the 130kg finals. 

The host nation Hungary (91 points), edged Iran (86 points) by five points to win the team title. Ukraine (83points), Turkey (68 points) and Korea (65 points) rounded out the top-five, respectively. 

Team Scores 
GOLD - Hungary (91 points)
SILVER - Iran (86 points)
BRONZE - Ukraine (83points)
Fourth - Turkey (68 points)
Fifth- Korea (65 points) 

GOLD -  Seunghak KIM (KOR) df. Firuz TUKHTAEV (UZB), via inj. def. 
BRONZE -  Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO) df. Di HU (CHN), 6-0
BRONZE -  Shirzad Ali BEHESHTITALA (IRI) df. Liguo CAO (CHN), 8-1 

GOLD - Hansu RYU (KOR) df. Ruslan KUDRYNETS (UKR), 8-1 
BRONZE - Tsuchika SHIMOYAMADA (JPN) df. Shogo TAKAHASHI (JPN), via fall 
BRONZE - Mate NEMES (SRB) df. Soslan DAUROV (BLR), 4-1 

GOLD - Viktor NEMES (SRB) df. Dmytro PYSHKOV (UKR), 2-1 
BRONZE - Volodymyr YAKOVLIEV (UKR) df. Pavel LIAKH (BLR), 4-1 
BRONZE - Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) df. Laszlo SZABO (HUN), 3-3 

GOLD -  Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Bachir SID AZARA (ALG), 6-0 
BRONZE - Radzik KULIYEU (BLR) df. Fabio PARISI (ITA), 3-2 
BRONZE - Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) df. Mikalai STADUB (BLR), 6-3 

GOLD -  Heiki NABI (EST) df. Georgi CHUGOSHVILI (BLR), 2-0 
BRONZE - Balint LAM (HUN) df. Mykola KUCHMII (UKR), 1-1