Weekly FIVE!

Weekly Five! November 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing results from Women's World Cup, four matches you may have missed, and the top-three upsets. Also, looking at Snyder's run to a Bill Farrell title and the upcoming Greco-Roman World Cup. 

1. Japan Wins Fifth Consecutive World Cup 
Japan won its fifth consecutive Women’s World Cup and tied China (2007-’11) for the annual dual meet event’s longest win streak. The host nation defeated the United States in the gold-medal dual after taking out rival China and a young Ukrainian team in pool play. 

The four-time defending champions kick-started their day with an impressive 9-1 routing of Ukraine. Japan won the first seven matches before Alla BELINSKA, a 2019 World Military Games bronze medalist, put Ukraine on the board with a fall over Mei SHINDO (JPN) in their 72kg meeting. Japan’s domination in the dual was highlighted by Sae NANJO’s (JPN) 10-0 blanking of last year’s U23 world bronze medalist, Olena KREMZER (UKR). 

Japan’s win over Ukraine set up an all-star dual between them and China – who combine for 17 of the 18 Women’s World Cup titles. 

Yui SUSAKI (JPN), a two-time world champion, returned to Japan’s lineup with a massive bang -- taking down world champion and Rio Olympic bronze medalist, Yanan SUN (CHN), 3-2. Japan followed Susaki’s 3-2 victory over Sun by winning five straight matches before dropping the final four matches. Japan's strong early lead cemented their spot in the finals against the USA with the 6-4 advantage over China. 

In the gold-medal dual, Japan won seven of ten matches and captured their fifth straight Women’s World Cup title -- tying China’s run, which lasted from 2007-’11.

The only three losses Japan suffered in the finals came from the Stars and Stripes trio of world champions, Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA), Tamyra MENSAH (USA) and Adeline GRAY (USA). 

China closed out the tournament with a 7-3 win over Mongolia in the bronze-medal match, and Ukraine edged Russia, 5-5 on criteria, in the fifth-place match. 

Japan df. The United States, 7-3 
50kg: Yui SUSAKI (JPN) df. Whitney CONDER (USA) by TF, 10-0, 3:17
53kg: Haruna OKUNO (JPN) df. Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) by TF, 10-0, 5:32
55kg: Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) df. Akie HANAI (JPN), 5-1
57kg: Risako KAWAI (JPN) df. Kelsey CAMPBELL (USA) by TF, 11-0, 4:10
59kg: Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) df. Desiree ZAVALA (USA) by TF, 10-0, 4:12
62kg: Yukako KAWAI (JPN) df. Macey KILTY (USA), 7-0
65kg: Naomi RUIKE (JPN) df. Forrest MOLINARI (USA), 5-1
68kg: Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK (USA) df. Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN), 8-1
72kg: Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) df. Victoria FRANCIS (USA), 3-1
76kg: Adeline GRAY (USA) df. Hiroe MINAGAWA (JPN) by Fall, 5:04 (3-1) 

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) and Yanan SUN (CHN) trade gifts before clashing at the 2019 Women's World Cup. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

2. Four Women’s World Cup Matches You May Have Missed 
With 17 returning world medalists entered at this weekend’s Women’s World Cup, it wasn’t a question if there would be good matches; the question is when they would take place. 

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) df. Yanan SUN (CHN), 3-2 
Yui SUSAKI (JPN) downed Yanan SUN (CHN) for the second time in three years at the Women’s World Cup and improved her career record against the Chinese world champion to 3-0. Outside of their two World Cup meetings, their third meeting came at the 2017 Asian Championships, where Susaki defeated Sun 9-4 in the quarterfinals. She ultimately went on to grab the continental title. 

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) df. Milana DADASHEVA (RUS), 10-7
Maybe one of the most confusing endings to a match that I’ve ever seen, but after a challenge that lasted nearly five minutes, Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) defeated Milana DADASHEVA (RUS), 10-7. 

The 2018 world runner-up fought off a late flurry of attacks and scored the three-point victory over last year's U23 world silver medalist, Milana Dadasheva. 

Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) df. Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN), via fall 
One of the most highly anticipated matches coming into the tournaments that left wrestling fans licking their chops was the potential 76kg world finals rematch between Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) and Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN). 

Both Japan and the United States went undefeated in pool play, which set up the Gray and Minagawa matchup that we were all waiting for. But, this match was much different than the six-point match the two put in the world finals. In their World Cup matchup last weekend, Gray went big early and scored the fall over Minagawa and handed the United States their third win of the dual. 

Adeline GRAY (USA) df. Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS), 11-6 
Adeline Gray may have more world medals than Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS), but the Russian has one thing that the American is still searching for -- an Olympic medal. But that wasn’t on Gray's mind this weekend when the two heavyweights closed out the United States and Russian dual with an impressive back and forth 17-point showing. 

3. Top-Three Upsets from the Women’s World Cup 
1. Bolortuya BAT OCHIR (MGL) df. Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA), via fall 
The four reigning world champions who wrestled in Narita last weekend went 10-1, and the only wrestler who scored a victory over a Nur-Sultan gold medalist was BAT OCHIR Bolortuya (MGL). Bat Ochir, this year's world bronze medalist, stuck 55kg world champion Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA). 

Bat Ochir gave up a takedown but strung together a pair of step-outs and trailed 2-2 on criteria mid-way through the first period. A second American takedown put the Mongolian down 4-2, but Bat Ochir remained calm and caught Winchester on her heels during an underhook throw by attempt -- pancaking the world champion to her back for the fall. 

2. Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) df. Ningning RONG (CHN), 2-0 
Although it wasn’t flashy or high scoring, high schooler Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) struck down reigning two-time world finalist RONG Ningning (CHN), 2-0, in their 59kg meeting. 

Inagaki, this year’s junior and U23 world champion, scored both points while the Chinese wrestler was on the activity clock and picked up the 2-0 win.

It should be noted, to avoid a 57kg world finals rematch with rival Risako KAWAI (JPN), the three-time world and Olympic champion, Rong bumped up to 59kg from her Nur-Sultan world silver-medal winning weight of 57kg. 

3. ZHOU Qian (CHN) df. Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN), 7-0 
ZHOU Qian (CHN) and Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN) have been going back and forth for years, and after the Chinese wrestler “upset” the Japanese wrestler last weekend, it doesn’t look like the rivalry is dying down anytime soon. 

Zhou lost to Minagawa 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the World Championships but avenged her loss with a 7-0 shutout win in the second round at the Women’s World Cup. 

4. Snyder Highlights Bill Farrell Memorial Champions 
The first Olympic Team Trial qualification tournament, the Bill Farrell Memorial, wrapped up at the historic New York Athletic Club and the two-time world and Olympic champion Kyle SNYDER (USA) highlighted the list of six American champions. 

Kyle SNYDER (USA) highlighted the list of six American Bill Farrell Memorial champions. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Snyder only needed just over two and a half minutes to demolish Michael MACCHIAVELLO (USA), 10-0,  in the 97kg finals.

He kicked off the match with monstrous double to his feet for the opening takedown then quickly extended his lead to six points with a pair of right side gut wrenches. The Rio Olympic used a counter-offensive spin behind to push his lead to eight points before closing the match out with an uncharacteristic open double leg. 

Other notable Bill Farrell Memorial champions were Alex DIERINGER (USA) and Gable STEVESON (USA). 

Dieringer, the Alexander Medved, Dan Kolov and Yasar Dogu champion added a second Bill Farrell Memorial gold medal to his resume after taking down Myles MARTIN (USA), 7-2, in the 86kg finals, which is a weight up from his normal weight of 79kg. 

At 125kg, Gable STEVESON (USA), a three-time age-group world champion, won his first senior-level gold medal with a three-point finals win over Dominique BRADLEY (USA). 

The highest finisher at each weight class qualified their spot for April's Olympic Trials. In cases where the highest finished already qualified for the Olympic Trials (97kg), the next highest finisher earned the qualification spot. 

57kg - Seth GROSS (USA) df. Nathan TOMASELLO (USA), 11-1 
65kg - Jordan OLIVER (USA) df. Frank MOLINARO (USA), 8-6 
74kg - Isaiah MARTINEZ (USA) df. Jason NOLF (USA), 12-0 

86kg - Alex DIERINGER (USA) df. Myles MARTIN (USA), 7-2 
97kg - Kyle SNYDER df. Michael MACCHIAVELLO (USA), 10-0 
125kg - Gable STEVESON (USA) df. Dominique BRADLEY (USA), 4-1 

Two-time world and Olympic champion BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) highlights the entries for the 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

5. Greco-Roman World Cup Begins Next Friday
The third and final World Cup begins next Friday (November 28-29) in Tehran, Iran's Azadi Stadium. As the entries sit heading into this week, there are six reigning world gold medalists who will travel to Tehran to compete in the Greco-Roman World Cup. 

The schedule and the full set of entries for the Greco-Roman World Cup will be released later this week. 

Reigning World Champions Entered
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB)
67kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN)
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS)
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO)

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Wang J. (CHN) -- Women's World Cup 2019 #wrestlenarita
2. World Championship Highlights: Mariya STADNIK (AZE)
3. Two trips to the World Championships. Two gold medals for @kyledake444.
4. 1/2 Final Matches | Women's Wrestling World Cup 2019
5. ‪Happy Friday, wrestling fans!

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."