UWW to award prize money to Ranking Series winners

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 18) — With an aim to reward wrestlers participating in Ranking Series tournaments, the United World Wrestling will award prize money to the medal winners in all weight classes with a total prize money of 390,000 Swiss Francs.

The UWW Bureau approved the prize money after a proposal was put forward for the same. The Ranking Series tournament participation has been growing every year and the prize money will be a catalyst to grow it further.

The gold medal winners at the four Ranking Series tournaments in 2023 will receive 1500 Swiss Francs with the silver medallists getting 750 Swiss Francs. The two bronze medallists will receive 500 Swiss Francs each.

This prize money will be awarded at the Zagreb Open, the first Ranking Series tournament of the year which begins February 1.

The Bureau also approved a total prize money of 150000 Swiss Francs for the Best Wrestler of the Year. The award is given to 30 wrestlers, 10 each is three styles, at the end of the year.

This award is based on the ranking points collected at the Senior World Championships, the continental championships and the four Ranking Series events.


Greco-Roman rankings see drastic changes

By Vinay Siwach

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (March 24) -- Wrestlers from nine different countries highlight the Greco-Roman rankings after the two Ranking Series events that were held in February. The only country with two wrestlers at the top spot is Serbia which had four world champions at the World Championships in Belgrade last year. But with Zagreb Open and Ibrahim Moustafa events, a few of the world champions were displaced from their top ranks.

The rankings will now determine the seeds for the continental championships, which also give rankings points. With two more Ranking Series events scheduled before the World Championships, wrestlers will have more chances to get points and improve their seeds for the World Championships.

Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) continues to lead the 55kg rankings with the world title he won last year. A few wrestlers have improved their ranks but no new wrestler has been able to break into the top 10 even after two events.

Azizli has 45000 points, 4000 points more than Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) who won a silver in Belgrade for 37000 points. He then finished fifth at the Zagreb Open to earn 4000 points.

Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) was sixth at the start of the year but has improved his rank to third with a gold medal in Alexandria which was worth 8000 points and took his total to 33000 points. He overtook the two world bronze medalists, Yu SHIOTANI (JPN) and Jasurbek ORTIKBOEV (UZB), as both have 31000 points. Max NOWRY (USA) has also slipped one rank to sixth.

Poya DAD MARZ (IRI) has moved one place up to seventh with 25000 points. He was seventh at the start of the year but won the Zagreb Open for 8000 points. Rudik MKRTCHYAN (ARM) is now eighth while Fabian SCHMITT (GER) and Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) remain ninth and 10th respectively.

Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ)Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) remains the leader at 60kg. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

While world champion Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) leads the rankings with 45000 points and silver medalist Edmond NAZARYAN (BUL) remains second with 37000 points, the 60kg rankings have seen a lot of changes in the lower half.

Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN) has moved from fifth to third with 34000 points as he finished fifth at the Zagreb Open which was worth 9000 points. That has pushed Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) and Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) to the fourth and fifth spots respectively.

Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) increased his points from 25000 points to 30075 points but still got pushed to the seventh spot as Liguo CAO (CHN) gathered 14000 points over two tournaments. Mammadov finished 13th in Zagreb but Cao finished ninth and then went to Alexandria and finished eighth. He won 7800 points for Zagreb and 6200 points in Alexandria to go past Mammadov. Kerem KAMAL (TUR), who was seventh at the start of the year with 18200 points, slipped to eighth despite winning gold in Alexandria and increasing his points to 29200 points due to Cao-inflicted damage.

Haithem MAHMOUD (EGY) remains ninth with 23700 points, an improvement from 15500 points he had at the start of the year. Mehdi MOHSEN NEJAD (IRI) was 11th at the start of the year with 9000 points, moved to eighth after winning the Zagreb Open for 13000 points but has slipped to 10th with 22000 points as others continue to collect more points.

Leri ABULADZE (GEO)Leri ABULADZE (GEO) is the new top ranked wrestler at 63kg. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

An ensuing battle for the top place was on at 63kg as Sebastian NAD (SRB) skipped the two events in February. That gave second-placed Leri ABULADZE (GEO) a chance to take that spot. However, it was Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE) who came in touching distance of going to the top.

After winning the Zagreb Open, Mammadov had 42000 points to be placed second, two places up from his original rank -- fourth. But he skipped the Ibrahim Moustafa event which allowed Leri ABULADZE (GEO) to jump to the top spot, thanks to his silver medal in Alexandria. Abuladze got 9400 points in Alexandria which were enough to help him overtake Nad and Mammadov. World bronze medalist Erbatu TUO (CHN) is now fourth with 31000 points while Hrachya POGHOSYAN (ARM) and Ali Reza NEJATI (IRI) are fifth and sixth respectively with 25000 points.

Luis ORTA (CUB) was seventh with 18200 points at the start of the year but has not contested in this weight class since and lost that place to Victor CIOBANU (MDA) who has 23520 points as he got 6520 points for his sixth place finish in Alexandria.

Aleksandrs JURKJANS (LAT) broke into the top 10 after Zagreb and has now improved to eighth with 21400 points. Aker SCHMID (AUT) has 19080 points to be placed ninth and Orta is 10th with 18200 points.

Mate NEMES (SRB)World champion Mate NEMES (SRB) is the top ranked wrestler at 67kg. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

World champion Mate NEMES (SRB) and silver medalist Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) continue to occupy the number one and two spots at 67kg with 45000 points and 37000 points respectively.

After Zagreb Open, the top four were the same but after the Ibrahim Moustafa event, HUSIYUETU (CHN) occupied the third spot with 36700 points. He was ninth at the start of the year but won the gold medal in Zagreb for 13000 points to jump to fifth and is now third with 8200 points more as he finished third in Alexandria.

The fourth spot is taken by Joni KHETSURIANI (GEO) who was fifth at the start of the year and slipped to seventh after Zagreb as he did not participate in it but improved as he won a silver medal in Alexandria worth 9400 points.

Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE) has slipped from third to fifth with 31000 points. He did participate in Zagreb Open but finished out of the top 16 to not receive any points. Amantur ISMAILOV (KAZ) is sixth, also with 31000 points.

Murat FIRAT (TUR) is now seventh with 25000 points while Mihai MIHUT (ROU), who was not in the top 10 at the start is now eighth with 20360 points. He was 13th in the first rankings, improved to 10th with 14880 points as he finished 10th in Zagreb and finished 10th in Alexandria to move to eighth.

Mateusz BERNATEK (POL) has slipped to ninth from seventh with 18200 points while ASHU (IND) is the new entrant in the top 10 with the 17200 points he collected over the two tournaments. He got 10200 points for his bronze in Zagreb and 7000 points for finishing fifth in Alexandria.

Ali ARSALAN (SRB)Ali ARSALAN (SRB) is the number one ranked wrestler at 72kg. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

In yet another weight class, the world champion continues to take the top spot. Ali ARSALAN (SRB) is number one at 72kg with 45000 points. The second spot is occupied by Selcuk CAN (TUR) who won the gold medal in Zagreb for 13000 points. He replaced Ulvi GANIZADE (AZE) who has 37000 points and is now third. Ibrahim GHANEM (FRA) was fifth at the start of the year but has now moved to fourth, thanks to his bronze medal in Zagreb which gave him 10200 points.

The fifth spot is taken by Andrii KULYK (UKR) who has 31000 points followed by Robert FRITSCH (HUN) who finished fifth in Zagreb for 9000 points. He moved from 17000 points to 26000 points and remains undisturbed after Alexandria.

Ibragim MAGOMADOV (KAZ) is seventh with 25000 points and Valentin PETIC (MDA) is eighth with 20100 points, an improvement from his 10th at the start of the year. The ninth spot goes to Samuel BELLSCHEIDT (GER) with 18200 points Jose VARELA (GUA) finishes the list at 10th with 15500 points.

Zoltan LEVAI (HUN)Zoltan LEVAI (HUN) has replaced world champion Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ), blue, as the top ranked wrestler at 77kg. (Photo: UWW / Kostadin Andonov)

It took two tournaments for world silver medalist Zoltan LEVAI (HUN) to replace world champion Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) from the top at 77kg with 46175 points. He finished 12th in Zagreb to get 5100 points and then collected 3075 points for his 13th rank in Alexandria. Makhmudov is now second with 45000 points.

Yunus BASAR (TUR) is third with 39200 points as he won a bronze medal in Alexandria. Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) is fourth with 31000 points. Rui LIU (CHN) has jumped from the ninth spot at the start of the year to fifth with 29980 points. He won 7480 points for his 10th-place finish in Zagreb and 7000 points for his fifth-place finish in Alexandria.

Aram VARDANYAN (UZB) is sixth with 26000 points which he collected for finishing ninth in Zagreb. Viktor NEMES (SRB) sits seventh with 25000 points followed by Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) who also has 25000 points.

Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) has broken into the top 10 with 21200 points. He began the rankings at 13th with 10200 points for his bronze in Zagreb and added 11000 points more by winning the gold in Alexandria. Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) is 10th with 19600 points as he won silver in Zagreb for 11400 points and bronze in Alexandria for 8200 points.

Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR)Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR), red, is the number one wrestler at 82kg while Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) is number two. (Photo: UWW / Dogukan Karadag)

Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO) has jumped from sixth to third at 82kg with 33000 points, thanks to his gold in Alexandria. Barring that, the 82kg top half remains the same with world champion Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) leading the rankings with 45000 points and silver medalist Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) in second spot with 37000 points.

Tamas LEVAI (HUN) is fourth with 31000 points and Yaroslav FILCHAKOV (UKR) is fifth with the same points. Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) is sixth with 25000 points followed by Roland SCHWARZ (GER) with 21000 points, 4000 points more than at the start of the year as he finished fifth in Alexandria.

Dias KALEN (KAZ) is eighth with 18700 points while Chengwu WANG (CHN) is ninth with 18200 points. Yuya OKAJIMA (JPN) remains 10th with 14300 points.

Turpan BISULTANOV (DEN)Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN), 22, is the top ranked wrestler at 87kg. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem ben Mrad)

Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) overtook world champion Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (SRB) for the top spot after winning the bronze medal in Zagreb. He got 10200 points for the bronze which took his total to 47200 points, 2200 points more than Datunashvili's.

Ali CENGIZ (TUR) sits third with 40400 points, 400 points more than fourth-placed David LOSONCZI (HUN). Cengiz had slipped to fifth after Zagreb but won a silver medal in Alexandria to move to third. Losonczi was fifth in Zagreb to get 9000 points.

Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) is fifth with 36400 points while Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) is sixth with 33200 points. The former had moved to the fourth spot after Zagreb but has slipped again as he did not participate in Alexandria.

Damian VON EUW (SUI) has slipped to ninth spot with 18200 points as Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) with 23520 points and A. AZISBEKOV (KGZ) with 22500 points move up to seventh and eighth spot respectively. Barthelemy TSHOSHA (COD) remains 10th with 14300 points.

Kiril MILOV (BUL)Kiril MILOV (BUL) replaced world champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) at the top at 97kg. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Kiril MILOV (BUL) won the gold medal in Zagreb to replace world champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) from the top spot at 97kg. With 13000 points from Zagreb, Milov moved his tally from 37000 points to 50000 points, 5000 points more than Aleksanyan.

World bronze medalists Arif NIFTULLAYEV (AZE) and Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) were third and fourth respectively at the start of the year and even after Zagreb but Saravi exchanged spots by winning the gold in Alexandria for 13000 points. He now has 44000 points compared to 38800 points of Niftullayev.

Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) is fifth with 30800 points as he finished 11th in Zagreb for 5800 points. He is followed by Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) who has 26720 points, up from the 18200 points he had at the beginning of the year. He increased the points by finishing seventh in Zagreb. Giorgi MELIA (GEO) is seventh with 26000 points.

The three have overtaken Metehan BASAR (TUR) who is now eighth with 25000 points followed by a surprise entrant Tamas LEVAI (HUN) who has 19920 points. He got his first points in Zagreb, 11400 points for winning silver, and added 8520 for finishing seventh in Alexandria. Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) is 10th with 16400 points as he got 9000 points for finishing fifth in Zagreb.

Alin ALEXUC (ROU)Alin ALEXUC (ROU) rose to the top at 130kg. (Photo: UWW / Kostadin Andonov)

Since both Riza KAYAALP (TUR) and Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) have not competed since the World Championships, Alin ALEXUC CIURARIU (ROU) has overtaken them and occupied the top spot at 130kg with 46400 points. Alexuc has 1400 points more than Kayaalp and 9400 points more than Mirzazadeh. Alexuc's rise included a fifth-place finish in Zagreb for 9000 points and a silver medal in Alexandria which got him 6400 points.

Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU) is fourth with 36075 points followed by Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) with 25000 points and Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) is sixth with the same points. Danila SOTNIKOV (ITA) and Dariusz VITEK (HUN) have moved to seventh and eighth place respectively.

Oskar MARVIK (NOR) is the new name in the top 10 with 19600 points while Sabah SHARIATI (AZE) is 10th with 18200 points.