Weekly FIVE! February 4, 2020
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 11:53 By Eric Olanowski
Discussing David Taylor's return date and the updated world rankings. Also looking at the upcoming African, European and Asian Championships.
1. David Taylor Long-Awaited Return Set for Pan-Am Qualifier
David TAYLOR announced he’ll return to competition on March 15 at the Pan-American OG Qualifier in Ottowa, Canada. The “Magic Man” reported his comeback on his Instagram, saying, “I’m so excited to return to competition at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in 7 weeks ➡ Ottawa, Canada. Let’s Go!!!”
Taylor, a 2018 world champion, suffered a season-ending knee injury while wrestling Drew FOSTER (USA) at Beat the Streets and has been sidelined since May 6, 2019.
The United States failed to qualify for the Olympic Games at 86kg at the 2019 World Championships. They'll rely heavily on Taylor to qualify the weight in Canada after his 315-day layoff. Taylor has to finish top-two in Ottawa to cement the USA’s spot in Tokyo at 86kg.
If Taylor fails to finish top-two at the Pan-American OG Qualifier, the United States will likely send their Olympic Trials winner to the “Last Chance Qualifier” on April 30 - May 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Whoever the Stars and Stripes sends to Bulgaria must to finish with at least a silver medal or the United States will not be represented at 86kg at the Olympic Games.
United States Tokyo Olympic Freestyle Qualified Weights
57kg – n/a
65kg – n/a
74kg – Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) – 2019 world bronze
86kg – n/a
97kg – Kyle SNYDER (USA) – 2019 world bronze
125kg – n/a
2. Tokyo 2020 Qualifiers Bajrang, Kaisanov, Micic Improve Freestyle Rank in January
Bajrang PUNIA (IND), Stevan MICIC (SRB), and Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ) moved one step closer to sealing up seeds for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after the trio medaled at this month’s Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in Rome.
Indian superstar Bajrang had the most successful outing in Rome -- earning gold and taking home 16 points -- while Kaisanov and Micic each earned 12 points for taking bronze.
In the 65kg finals, Bajrang upended Jordan OLIVER (USA) 4-3 to catapult himself from No. 4 to No. 2 in the rankings. He now trails No. 1 Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) by 19 points and sits ahead of No. 3 Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ) by one point. All three are expected to compete in their respective continental championships this February and can earn up to an additional 22 points. Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR) jumped to No. 5 at 65kg where he now trails No. 4 Iszmail MUSZUKAJEV (HUN) by a single point.
Top Ranked Freestyle Wrestlers
57kg - Zavur UGUEV (RUS) - 60
61kg - Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) - 60
65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) - 60
70kg - David BAEV (RUS) - 60
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) - 60
79kg - Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA) - 60
86kg - Hassan YAZDANICHARATI (IRI) - 60
92kg - J'Den COX (USA) - 58
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) - 60
125kg - Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) - 60
3. "Wrestler of the Year" Lorincz in Pursuit of Top Seed at Tokyo 2020
Viktor LORINCZ (HUN), United World Wrestling’s reigning “Wrestler of the Year” in Greco-Roman, made it clear this month that he’s out to defend his well-earned title and win Olympic gold.
Lorincz improved his Ranking Series tournament record to a perfect 23-0 this month with a one-point victory over 2019 Asian silver medalist Kumar SUNIL (IND) in the finals of the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series. With the win, the Hungarian added 16 points to his second ranking leaving him just four points shy of world champion Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) heading into next month’s continental championships.
But Lorincz is poised to shake up the top spot of the 87kg ranking and gain control of the world's No. 1 spot. Beleniuk elected to sit out of the European Championships, so Lorincz only needs to finish top-eight in Rome to reach the summit of the 87kg rankings.
"I want to win the [European Championships and Poland Open] because it will help my seed for the Olympic Games," said Lorincz, the defending world silver medalist at 87kg. “I will also be in the lead for the Ranking Series again.”
Germany's Denis KUDLA, who is ranked fourth at 87kg, is also expected to miss the European Championships. Without Beleniuk and Kudla, Lorincz needs nine points at the European Championships to ensure a top-four seed in Tokyo.
Top Ranked Greco-Roman Wrestlers
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) - 58
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) - 60
63kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN) - 58
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) - 60
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) - 60
77kg - Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) - 60
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) - 60
87kg - Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) - 60
97kg - Musa EVLOEV (RUS) - 60
130kg - Riza KAYAALP (TUR) - 60
4. Tynybekova and Mensah Inch Closer to Locking up Top Seed at Olympics
Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) and Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK (USA) inched closer to locking up top seeds at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after medalling at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament this month in Rome.
Tynybekova, who took gold at the Matteo Pellicone, has amassed a comfortable 36-point lead over No. 2 Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) and will earn the No. 1 seed at 62kg in Tokyo if she earns four points at the Asian Championships February 18-23 in Delhi. Tynybekova is the defending Asian champion.
Mensah-Stock finds herself in a similar situation heading into the Pan-American Championships March 6-9 in Ottawa.
Mensah-Stock (74 points) earned 60 with her gold at the world championships last September and added another 14 after taking silver at the Matteo Pellicone. She has a 34-point advantage over Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) and can put her out of striking distance -- and become the No. 1 seeded 68kg woman at the Olympic Games -- if she scores six points at the Pan-American Championships.
Top Ranked Women's Wrestlers
50kg - Mariya STADNIK (AZE) - 60
53kg - Yong Mi PAK (PRK) - 60
55kg - Jacarra Gwenisha WINCHESTER (USA) - 58
57kg - Risako KAWAI (JPN) - 60
59kg - Linda MORAIS (CAN) - 58
62kg - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) - 76
65kg - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) - 72
68kg - Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA) - 74
72kg - Natalia VOROBEVA (RUS) - 58
76kg - Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) - 60
5. February to Feature Trio of Continental Championships
February might as well be called “Continental Championship Month.” The African, European and Asian Championships are all sandwiched between February 4-23.
This year’s continental championships hold extra weight -- especially during the Olympic year. The continental championships grant those Olympic-qualified wrestlers an opportunity to improve on their ranking and earn up to 22 Ranking Series points.
The African Championships kick-off first. They’ll take place February 04-09 in Alger, Algeria, and will be highlighted by 23 of last year’s 30 returning champions. The senior-level portion of the competition takes place Saturday and Sunday. Women’s wrestling and Greco-Roman starts on Saturday (February 8), and Freestyle closes out the tournament on Sunday (February 9).
The European Championships begin February 10-16 and feature eleven reigning world champions and 17 returning European champions that highlight the list of 515 entries.
New Delhi, India, will host the Asian Championships February 18-23. The Asian Championship entry list will be released on February 13.
Weekly FIVE! In Social Media
1. Big Move Monday -- Sushil K. (IND) -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. #TBT - Shiraev Wrestles in Junior World Finals before Winning Yariguin Gold
3. Happy Friday, wrestling fans!
4. Who ya got in these three potential #WrestleAlgerAfrican championship matchups?
5. Who are the wrestlers to watch at the #WrestleAlger African Championships (February 4-9)?