Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! January 07, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing why Sadualev will miss the Ivan Yarygin, and Gadisov's coaching promotion. Also looking at the Indian Pro League roster and the Best Wrestlers of the Year award winners. 

1. Sadulaev to Miss First Ranking Series Event of the Year, Ivan Yarygin
Gaidar GAIDAROV (RUS), the “senior coach of the Dagestan national wrestling team”, has confirmed to United World Wrestling that four-time world and Olympic champion Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) will sit out of the first Ranking Series event of the year, the Ivan Yarygin. Gaidarov simply told UWW “No, he will not be wrestling in Krasnoyarsk.” He later said, "Russia's head coach freed him from the tounrament in Krasnoyarsk." 

The news of Sadulaev not competing came five days before registration closes, and 20 days before the first whistle at the Ivan Yarygin, which is often referred to as the “Toughest Wrestling Tournament in the World.”

Sadualev not making the trip to Krasnoyarsk eliminates the potential “Round 3” matchup with the three-time world and Olympic champion Kyle SNYDER (USA) after the pair split the 2017 and 2018 world finals. “Captain America” was victorious in 2017, but the “Russian Tank” got his revenge in 2018, pinning Snyder one minute into the 97kg gold-medal bout. 

The duo of superstars have recently gone back and forth on Instagram teasing a potential third match at the Ivan Yarygin. 

First, it was Snyder who tagged Sadulaev in that post that was captioned, “Round 3. Let's do it. Krasnoyarsk, Russia." 

Sadulaev quickly responded, saying, ”Buddy Snyder, I understand your condition, but I advise you to approach the trilogy with a cool head. And then suddenly the psyche will suffer. On the way to Tokyo 2020, we will meet again.”

With the news of Sadulaev sitting out of the Yarygin, it looks like we’ll have to wait until the 2019 World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the third match-up. 

The Ivan Yarygin begins on January 24 and is the first Ranking Series for freestyle and women’s wrestling. 

India's brightest young star and 2018 world runner-up, Bajrang PUNIA , will compete for the NCR PUNJAB ROYALS at the 2019 Indian Pro League. 

2. Indian Pro Wrestling League Rosters Announced 
For the fourth straight year, wrestling’s biggest stars will travel to India to compete in arguably the world’s most popular professional wrestling league, the Indian Pro League (IPL). 

Last week, the Indian Pro League announced the rosters for the six teams that feature five men and four women. Each team will have five Indian wrestlers and four international wrestlers.

Last season, the NCR Punjab Royals knocked off the returning champions, Haryana Hammers, 44-35, to win their first Indian Pro League title. This was the third year in a row that the Haryana Hammers made the finals. The three-time finalists won the team title in Season 2, but fell short in the Season 1 and Season 3 finals.

The daily matches from India last three weeks and begin on January 14 and go through January 31.

Women's Wrestling 
53kg - Pinki PINKI (IND) 
57kg - Katherina ZHYDACHIVSHA (ROM)
62kg - Sakshi MALIK (IND)
76kg - Shustova ANASTASIA (UKR)

57kg - Rahul AWARE (IND)
65kg - Andrey KVIATKOVSKI (UKR)
74kg - Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) 
84kg - Praveen PRAVEEN (IND)
125kg - Sumit Malik (IND) 

Women's Wrestling 
53kg – Seema SEEMA (IND) 
57kg - Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) 
62kg - Tayana OMELCHENKO (AZE) 
76kg – Kiran KIRAN (IND) 

57kg - Ravi KUMAR (IND) 
65kg – Rajneesh RAJNEESH (IND) 
74kg - Parveen RANA (IND) 
86kg - Ali SHABANOV (BLR) 
125kg - Aleksander KHOTSIANIVSKI (UKR) 

Women's Wrestling 
53kg - Vinesh PHOGAT (IND)
57kg - Angelica BETZABETH (VEN)
62kg - Shilpi YADAV (IND)
76kg - Zsaneet NEMETH (HUN)

57kg - Ibragim ILYASOV (RUS)
65kg – Harphool HARPOOL (IND)

74kg - Sachin RATHI (IND)
86kg - Deepak PUNIA (IND)
125kg - Vladislav BAITSEEV (RUS) 

Women's Wrestling 
53kg – Anju ANJU (IND)
57kg - Mimi HRISTOVA (BGR)

62kg – Anita ANITA (IND)
76kg – Alina STADNIK(UKR)

57kg - Nitin RATHI (IND)
65kg - Bajrang PUNIA (IND)
74kg - Amit DHANKAR (IND)
125kg - Korey JARVIS (CAN)

Women's Wrestling 
57kg – Sarita SARITA (IND)
62kg - Navjot Kaur (IND)
76kg - Epp MAE (EST)

57kg - NaveenNAVEEN (IND)
65kg - Pankaj RANA (IND)

74kg - Jitender JITENDER (IND)
86kg - Irakli Misituri  (GEO)
125kg - Georgi SAKANDELIDZE (QAT)

Women's Wrestling 
53kg - Ritu PHOGAT (IND) 
57kg - Pooja DHANDA (IND) 
62kg - Elise MANOLOVA (AZE) 
76kg- Andrea CAROLINA (COL) 

57kg - Sandeep TOMAR (IND) 
65kg - Haji ALIYEV (AZE) 
74kg - Vasil MIKHAILOV (URK) 
86kg - Deepak DEEPAK (IND) 
125kg - Akash ANTIL (IND)

Russia's Abdulsalam GADISOV, the 2014 world champion, has been promoted to head coach of the junior freestyle team. (Photo: Martin Gabor)

3. World Champ Gadisov Named Head Coach of Russian Junior Freestyle Team
Dshambulat TEDEEV, the head freestyle coach of the Russian Federation, announced that a pair of world champion wrestlers turned coaches received promotions this weekend. First, Abdulsalam GADISOV, a 2014 world champion and 2015 world runner-up for the Russian Federation, has been named the head coach of Russia’s junior freestyle team, and Magomed AZIZOV (RUS), a 1994 world champion, has been promoted to the 65kg coach for the senior-level team. 

Coach Tedeev made the announcement on Instagram, saying, “There have been small changes in the coaching staff of the Russian national team in freestyle wrestling. Magomed Azizov, who was previously at the position of senior coach of the Russian wrestling team among juniors under 20, was transferred to an adult team, where he will be responsible for the weight category up to 65 kg And Abdusalam Gadisov became the head coach of the junior team. Congratulations to my brother and wish us success in future work!” 

4. Taylor, Olli, and Bacsi Named Best Wrestlers of the Year 
With the 2018 wrestling season officially at a close, United World Wrestling has awarded “Best Wrestler of the Year” honors to David TAYLOR (USA) in freestyle, Petra OLLI (FIN) in women’s wrestling, and Peter BACSI (HUN) in Greco-Roman.

The award was based on the number of ranking points each of the wrestlers attained over the course of the 2018 season. A majority of points were earned at the world and continental championships, with additional points earned at a number of style-specific Ranking Series tournaments around the world.

For their efforts, Taylor, Olli, and Bacsi each received a 10,000 CHF prize from United World Wrestling.

Click here to watch the Best Wrestlers of the Year videos. 

Two-time world champion Yui SUSAKI (JPN) has won six world titles across all divisions. (Photo: Martin Gabor)

5. Meet Yui Susaki, Japan's 20-Year-Old Six-Time World Champion
At just 20 years of age, Yui SUSAKI (JPN) has reached the top of the world stage six times across all age-levels. Her international resume remains unblemished and includes a trio of cadet world titles, a junior world championship and a pair of senior-level world gold medals. 

Susaki’s international debut came at the 2014 Cadet World Championships in Snina, Slovakia, where she went undefeated and claimed the 43kg world title. She ultimately went on to win back-to-back-to-back cadet world titles, claiming the 46kg and 49kg world titles in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Surprisingly, in 2017, the Waseda University freshman (who's studying Sports Science) bypassed the junior-circuit and made her senior-level debut at the “Toughest Wrestling Tournament in the World,” the Ivan Yarygin, where she outscored her five opponents 48-0 and grabbed her first-ever senior-level gold medal. 

Susaki continued her dominance through 2017, winning the Klippan Lady Open and the Asian Championships before heading to Paris, France to make her World Championship debut. In her rookie debut, Susaki went 5-0, finished four of those five matches early with technical superiority victories and outscored her opponents 53-8.

In 2018, Susaki failed to make Japan’s Asian Games and Asian Championship teams and decided to circle back and compete at the 2018 Junior World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia. The Japanese superstar won her first junior world title and fifth overall world championship with a quartet of 10-0 wins before booking her trip to Budapest, Hungary, to defend her senior-level world title. 

Susaki proved that she belongs in the discussion as one of the most dominant wrestlers across all styles, in all divisions after successfully defending her world title in Budapest. To win back-to-back senior-level world titles, Susaki shutout reigning world finalist Emilia VUC (ROU), world bronze medalist Oksana LIVACH (UKR), and the eight-time world and Olympic medalist Mariya STADNIK (AZE). 

After winning her second straight world title, Susaki was forced to withdraw from Japan's Emperor's Cup due to a dislocated elbow suffered at the national team training camp last month. This means that Susaki will have to win the All-Japan Invitational Championships, also known as the Meiji Cup, next spring, then defeat the winner of this tournament (known as the Emperor’s Cup) in a playoff. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. There’s only one more day until the weekend! Why not throw everything you have into it?
2. The pain of defeat.
3. How do you spend the winter?😉 А как ты проводишь эту зиму? Video from Kazakhstan @daniyarkaisanov
4. “Hayatımın en unutulmaz günlerinden biriydi..#Kareografi#Teşekkürler #Sivasspor #Yiğidolar#YiğidoGençlik @yigido.genclik @sivasspor@sivassporsk” “It was one of the most memorable days of my life.” - @tahakgul
5. Doesn’t get much cooler than this! Here’s three-time Olympic champion @saori___yoshida rolling with Rio Olympic champion @eri_tosaka!

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! March 17, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Valencia Escoto and Destribats' historic performances at the Pan-Am Olympic Qualifiers. Also looking at Cuba's GR team qualifying every weight for #Tokyo2020 and Olympic champs Maroulis and Wiebe qualifying their nation's for the Tokyo Games.

1. Valencia Escoto First Mexican Woman to Qualify for Olympic Games
Alma Jane VALENCIA ESCOTO (MEX) became the first-ever Mexican women's wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games after winning the 57kg gold medal at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. She won all four of her bouts in Ottawa – including a win by fall over world champion Linda MORAIS (CAN) and a victory via forfeit over Helen MAROULIS (USA).

Valencia Escoto opened her day up with a pair of decisive wins over Betzabeth SARCO COLMENAREZ (VEN) and Nes RODRIGUEZ TIRADO (PUR), which inserted her into the semifinals against Canada's reigning world champion, Linda Morais. 

In her semifinals meeting with the current 59kg world-title holder, Valencia Escoto stopped an early open double-leg attempt with a counter-offensive throw. She snuck in an underhook on the Canadian's right side during her shot attempt and tossed her to her back for the early 4-0 lead. 

Valencia Escoto's opponenet fought off her back and nearly scored a takedown of a slide by attempt. Still, somehow, the newly-minted Olympian had the world champion fighting off her back for the second time in the opening period. 

The tides turned quickly, and Valencia Escoto was the one fighting off her back. She got saved by the period-ending whistle and carried the 6-2 lead into the closing period.

In the final period, Valencia Escoto halted a left side high crotch attempt and flattened Morais for the fall – becoming the first-ever Mexican women to wrestle at the Olympic Games.

Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) finished in second place at 65kg at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier and qualified Argentina for the Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

2. Destribats Ends 24-year Argentinean Freestyle Olympic Drought
Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) ended a 24-year Argentinean freestyle Olympic drought and qualified his nation for the Tokyo Olympics after he pinned American Zain RETHERFORD (USA) in the 65kg semifinals. With his semifinal victory via fall, Destribats became the first Argentinean freestyle wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games since Paulo IBIRE (ARG) did so at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

In his meeting with the Retherford, Destribats conceded an open double leg and nearly gave up an ankle lace but was able to fend off the turn and catch the American on his back. He held Retherford on his back for 25 seconds before picking up the opening period fall to secure his spot at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Helen MAROULIS (USA) qualified the United States for the Olympic Games at 57kg with her silver-medal finish at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Olympic Champs Maroulis and Wiebe Qualify Nation's for Olympic Games 
Olympic champions Helen MAROULIS (USA) and Erica WIEBE (CAN) qualified their nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing in the top-two of their respective weights at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. The pair remained on course to defend their gold medals from the Rio Olympic Games. 

Maroulis, who was wrestling in her first international competition since the 2018 World Championships, won four matches before injury defaulting out of the finals after locking up the United States' spot at 57kg for the Olympics.

In her first match, Maroulis easily handled Canada's Linda Morias, 10-2, in the battle of Olympic champion and world champion. 

Maroulis defeated Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA) and Lissette ANTES (ECU) in the next two rounds and was one win away from earning a second berth to the Olympic Games for the United States. 

In the semifinals, Maroulis crushed Nes RODRIGUEZ (PUR), 10-0, and qualified the Stars and Stripes for the Olympic Games at 57kg. 

She'll now have to win the Olympic Trials to become the United States' Olympic representative at 57kg.

Canada's Erica Wiebe was the second Olympic champion who qualified for the Olympic Games over the weekend. Wiebe, who was wrestling in her hometown of Ottawa, won the 76kg bracket and locked up her shot at repeating as Olympic champion. 

She opened up her day with a narrow 2-1 win over Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA). She tacked on dominant wins over Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) and Andrimar LAZARO (VEN), setting up a semifinals match with Genesis REASCO (ECU).

Wiebe shutout Reasco Valdez, 6-0, in their semifinals meeting and earned her berth to the Olympic Games. She injury defaulted out of the gold-medal match against Aline Da Silva Ferreira and finished with a silver medal.

Wiebe won the Canadian Wrestling Trails in December and will represent Canada at 76kg at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) is one of six Cuban Greco-Roman wrestlers who will wrestle at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo) 

4. Cuba Sending All Six GR Wrestlers to Olympics 
Cuba’s Greco-Roman team came into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier searching for four qualification spots after earning two Olympic berths from the Nur-Sultan World Championships from Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB). Over the weekend, they had three wrestlers win gold medals and one individual finish in second place at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier – which took their qualification total to all six weight categories. 

Their three champions were Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB), Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) and Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB), while Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) finished in second place.

In addition to their Greco-Roman success, Cuba's women's wrestling team also shined in Ottawa. 

Coming into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, Katherine VIDIAUX (CUB) was the lone Cuban woman who ever wrestled at the Olympic Games. She'll now be joined in the history books by Lianna MONTERO (CUB) and Yusneylis GUZMAN (CUB), who won gold medals at 50kg and 53kg, respectively, and qualified for the Olympic Games. 

Greco-Roman Qualifying Weights/Athletes
60kg - Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) – World Championships gold 
77kg - Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
87kg - Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier silver
97kg - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
130kg - Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) World Championships silver

5. European, World 'Last Chance' Olympic Qualifiers Postponed
The European Qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled for March 19-22 in Budapest, along with the World "Last Chance" Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, scheduled for April 30-May 3, have been postponed.

The events will be rescheduled, with the European Qualifier expected to take place in mid-May and the World "Last Chance" Qualifier held at the beginning of June.

"We are closely monitoring the governmental response to COVID-19 and will continue to provide updates to our wrestlers, coaches, and fans with more information as it becomes available," said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic.

"The process for determining our Olympic participants will happen on the field of play, but we need to remain patient and vigilant as the worldwide community battles this pandemic. The health and well-being of the athletes is an absolute priority."