Ranking Series

Yasar Dogu to Determine Overwhelming Number of World Championship Top-Four Seeds

By Eric Olanowski

VEVEY, Switzerland (July 16) -- After several months of jockeying for individual Ranking Series points, the final freestyle Ranking Series event of the year, and the pre-seeds for the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, are only a month away. The Yasar Dogu will take place from July 11 to 14 in Istanbul with more than 370 wrestlers expected in freestyle and women’s wrestling.

With many top-four seeds up for grabs, there is still a lot at stake -- 18 Ranking Series points to be exact. Of the current 40 top-four seeds, five wrestlers have seized the No. 1 seed, 17 wrestlers have cemented at least a top-four seed, leaving 23 seeds open for the taking. Wildly enough, there are still 150 non-seeded wrestlers that can steal a seed for September's World Championships. 

How Many Non-Seeded Wrestlers Can Still Earn A Seed?
57kg - 7
61kg - 7
65kg - 36
70kg - 41
74kg - 1
79kg - 36
85kg - 7
92kg - 5
97kg - 6
125kg - 4

Atli and Uguev Locked up Top-Two Seeds at 57kg
Suleyman ATLI (TUR) and Zavur UGUEV (RUS) will be the top two seeds at 57kg, but seven wrestlers can still steal the third or fourth seed from current holders Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN) and Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ).

Defending European champion Suleyman Atli and Budapest world champion Zavur Uguev have 61 and 60 points respectively and have built at least a 19-point lead over their closest competition. Although Atli and Uguev can flip flop each other for the first and second spots, it's numerically impossible for anyone to pass them. 

Last year’s world bronze medalist Yuki Takahashi and Budapest silver medalist Nurislam Sanayev are ranked third and fourth respectively. Seven wrestlers can steal a third or fourth seed from Takahashi and Sanayev. Of those seven wrestlers within striking distance, Georgi VANGELOV (BUL) and Givi DAVIDOVI (ITA) are the only two entered into the Yasar Dogu. Vangelov is ranked eighth with 28 points and needs at least 13 points to jump into a top-four seed; and Davidovi, who is ranked ninth with 26 points, requires at least 15 points to earn a seed.

Top 10 at 57kg
61 Suleyman ATLI (TUR)
60 Zavur UGUEV(RUS)
40 Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ)
34 Muslim SADULAEV (RUS)
32 Thomas Patrick GILMAN (USA)
28 Georgi Valentinov VANGELOV (BUL)
26 Darthe CAPELLAN (CAN)

“Big Move Bonne” Nabs First Seed at 61kg
The only wrestler that's locked up their seed at 61kg is defending world champion Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUEZ (CUB). "Big Move Bonne" has 76 points, which is 23 points ahead of Joseph COLON (USA), who has 53 points.

Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) and Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) are the third and fourth-ranked wrestlers respectively, but the Russian departed 61kg and moved up to the Olympic weight category of 65kg. Rashidov’s bump in weight slides Lomtadze into the third position and inserts Romania's Nikolai OKHLOPKOV into the mix. He'll move into the fourth seed at 61kg.

There are now six wrestlers who are within eight points of fourth-seeded Okhlopkov, but only two of those wrestlers have entered their names into the Yasar Dogu. They're No. 5 Rahul AWARE (IND) and No. 10 Behnam EHSANPOOR (IRI). Aware is only two points away from earning a seed at 61kg, while Ehsanpoor sits eight points out from jumping into the No. 4 slot.

Top 10 at 61kg
53 Joseph Daniel COLON (USA) *Not expected to compete for USA*
40 Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS)
28 Nikolai OKHLOPKOV (ROU)
26 Rahul Balasaheb AWARE (IND)
25 Tuvshintulga TUMENBILEG (MGL)
21 Mohamed Al Amine LAKEL (ALG)\
20 Mohammadbagher Esmaeil YAKHKESHI (IRI)
20 Behnam Eshagh EHSANPOOR (IRI)

Bajrang and Otoguro Will Be Top-Two Seeds at 65kg
Perhaps the most wide-open weight heading into the final Ranking Series event is at 65kg. Outside of India's top-ranked Bajrang BAJRANG and Japan's Takuto OTOGURO locking up their top-two seeds, there are still 36 wrestlers who could sneak into at least a fourth seed.

As the rankings sit right now, Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) and Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR) are ranked third and fourth respectively. There are six wrestlers within a distance of third-ranked Chakaev, but 36 wrestlers can still steal the fourth-spot from European silver medalist Kilicsallayan. Of those 36 wrestlers who can take the four-spot from the Turkish wrestler, only No. 21 Kaireddine BEN TELILI (TUN), No. 28 Peiman Bioukagha BIABANI (IRI), and No. 40 Haji ALI (BRN) will make the trip to Istanbul in July.

Top 10 at 65kg  
78 Bajrang BAJRANG (IND)
60 Takuto OTOGURO (JPN)
41 Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS)
32 Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR)        
32 Nachyn KUULAR (RUS)
30 Sayatbek OKASSOV (KAZ)
28 Niurhun SKRABIN (BLR)
25 Alejandro VALDES TOBIER (CUB)           
22 Haji ALIYEV (AZE)

Gazimagomedov Leads By 52 Points, Seals up No. 1 Seed at 70kg
Russia's defending world champion Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV has amassed 92 points and has cemented his spot as the weights No. 1 seed. Bahrain's second-ranked Adam BATIROV jumped up to the Olympic weight of 74kg for the Asian Championships but is moving back down to 70kg for the Yasar Dogu. It's not yet clear what weight Batirov will go for the World Championships.

After Gazimagomedov and Batirov, the other top-four ranked wrestlers are Nurkozha KAIPANOV (KAZ)  and Andriy KVYATKOVSKYY (UKR). Kaipanov, the Asian and Sassari champion, is ranked third with 36 points, and Kvyatkovskyy is ranked fourth with 30 points.

Gazimagomedov is the only wrestler who has locked up his seed for the World Championships. There are still eight wrestlers who can catch Batirov, but only No. 8 Fares LAKEL (ALG) (26 points) will compete at the Yasar Dogu.

Kaipanov has 15 wrestlers chasing him, while 41 wrestlers are within striking distance of Kvyatkovskyy. The wrestlers who can overtake either the third or fourth spot that are entered into the Yasar Dogu are Lakel, Kaya, Mustafayev, and No. 44 Ali UMARPASHAEV (BUL).

Top 10 at 70kg  
92 Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (RUS)
36 Nurkozha KAIPANOV(KAZ)
28 Yones Aliakbar EMAMICHOGHAEI (IRI)
26 Fares LAKEL (ALG)

Sidakov, Chamizo, and Burroughs Cement Seeds at 74kg
Arguably the most straightforward weight class in the world is 74kg. Although there's only one wrestler who could sneak into a top-four seed, only 18 points separate first-seeded Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) from fourth-seeded Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO).

Italy's Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ won the Sassari in his home country and jumped from fourth to second, and finds himself four points behind the Russian defending world champion. Chamizo has already entered his name into the Yasar Dogu. If he at least places, he'll take over the top spot at the 2019 World Championships, pitting him against world runner-up Kentchadze in the semifinals.

America's Budapest world bronze medalist Jordan BURROUGHS sits in the third spot, 13 points behind top-ranked Sidakov.

Unlike many of the other weight classes, there's only one wrestler who could sneak into the top four of the world rankings, and that's Bekzod ABDURAKHMONOV (UZB). Abdurkhmonov would have to win the Yasar Dogu to jump into the top four. If he won the final Ranking Series event,  he'd have one more point than Georgia's fourth-ranked Avtandil Kentchadze.

Top 10 at 74kg
76 Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS)
63 Jordan Ernest BURROUGHS(USA)
58 Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO)
38 Azamat NURYKAU (BLR)
34 Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ)
28 Yakup GOR (TUR)
28 Amit Kumar DHANKHAR (IND)
28 Timur BIZHOEV (RUS)

Dake and Hasanov Tied For First at 79kg Heading into Yasar Dogu
The top-three finishers respectively at the World Championships: Kyle DAKE (USA), Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE), and Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) have locked up the top three seeds at the World Championships. Dake and Hasanov both have 60 points, but the American holds criteria because of his Budapest World Championship placement. Gadzhimagmedov sits three points behind the pair of world finalists with 57 points. The trio of top-three guys have built at least a 27-point lead over fourth-ranked Galymzhan USSERBAYEV (KAZ) who heads into the Yasari Dogu with 30 points.

Though Usserbayev's fourth seed is in jeopardy because he's not entered into the Yasar Dogu, and four wrestlers who can steal the spot are entered. The four wrestlers who are within 10 points of overthrowing Usserbayev are No.5 Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG), No. 6 Parveen RANA (IND), No. 11 Muhammet KOTANOGLU (TUR), and No. 17 Bahman TEYMOURI (IRI).

Top 10 at 79kg
60 Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA)
60 Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE)
30 Galymzhan USSERBAYEV (KAZ)                       
28 Parveen RANA (IND)
26 Unurbat PUREVJAV (MGL)
26 Omaraskhab NAZHMUDINOV (ROU)
26 Alexander David DIERINGER (USA)

Erdin Locks up Top-Seed at 86kg After Taylor Undergoes Knee Surgery
Reigning 86kg world champion David TAYLOR (USA) recently had surgery on his knee and was forced to sit out of America's World Team selection tournament, Final X -- meaning he'll miss the 2019 World Championships. Taylor's absence means two things. First, Turkey's world runner-up Fatih ERDIN has locked up the 86kg top seed. Second, Taylor will forfeit his No. 2 seed, which will move up the third through fifth-ranked wrestlers.

Four points separates Iran's soon-to-be second-ranked Hassan YAZDANICHARATI (43 points) and Spain's eventual fourth-ranked Taimuraz FRIEV (39 points). But, Slovakia's third-ranked Boris MAKOEV (39 points) and Spain's Taimuraz Friev won't wrestle at the Yasar Dogu. Makoev and Friev's absence leaves the door open for the six wrestlers that are looking to steal a seed. Currently, India's ninth-ranked Deepak PUNIA (28 points), who finds himself 11 points away from a world seed, is the only wrestler that could overthrow Friev that'll compete at the Yasar Dogu.

*Top-ranked Erdin and second-ranked Yazdanicharati will both wrestle at the Yasar Dogu.

Top 10 at 86kg
84 Fatih ERDIN (TUR)
40 Boris MAKOEV (SVK)
34 Vladislav VALIEV (RUS)
28 Deepak PUNIA (IND)
26 Akhmed AIBUEV (FRA)

Cox Without of Reach, Will Be Top Seed at 92kg
Defending world champion J'Den COX (USA) has a commanding 19-point lead over second-ranked Alireza KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) and has locked up the No. 1 seed at 92kg at the World Championships.

There can only be one wrestler per nation per weight at the World Championships so Russia will be forced to forfeit one of their two top-four seeds. Right now, Magomed KURBANOV holds the third seed and a two-point advantage over fellow Russian and fourth-seeded Batyrbek TCAKULOV. Kurbanov has 44 points, and Tcakulov has 42 points.

After Russia drops one of their two top-four seeds, the fourth seed will likely go to Georgia's seventh-ranked Irakli MTSITURI, who has 30 points. The reason being, fifth-ranked Atsushi MATSUMOTO (JPN) and sixth Ivan YANKOUSKI (BLR) have transitioned to the Olympic weight of 97kg.

Mtsituri taking over the No. 4 spot means that if Turkey's eighth-ranked Ibrahim BOLUKBASI and India's ninth-ranked Viky VIKY score more than five points at the Yasar Dogu, they will gain the No. 4 seed at the World Championships.

Top 10 at 92kg
78 J'Den Michael Tbory COX (USA)
44 Magomed KURBANOV (RUS)
42 Batyrbek TCAKULOV(RUS)
41 Atsushi MATSUMOTO (JPN)
30 Irakli MTSITURI (GEO)
26 Ibrahim BOLUKBASI (TUR)
25 Viky VIKY (IND)
22 Ulziisaikhan BAASANTSOGT (MGL)

Sadulaev and Snyder Will Be Top Two Seeds At 97kg 
The two pound-for-pound kings Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) have locked up the top two seeds at 97kg and are only separated by two points heading into the final Ranking Series event. "The Russian Tank" has 80 points, which is good enough for the No. 1 ranking. "Captain America" has 78 points and is ranked No. 2 at 97kg.

The third and fourth seeds are still open for the takers. Right now, Mongolia's Batzul ULZIISAIKHAN and Georgia's Elizbar ODIKADZE are the third and fourth-ranked wrestlers respectively. Italy's Abraham CONYEDO RUANO still has a chance to take over the third spot with a win in Istanbul, while five others can potentially steal the fourth spot from Odikadze.

Of those who can sneak into a top-four seed, No. 5 Conyedo Ruano, Iran's seventh-ranked Reza YAZDANI and Turkey's tenth-ranked Baki SAHIN are entered into the Yasar Dogu.

Top 10 at 97kg
80 Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS)
78 Kyle Frederick SNYDER (USA)
41 Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO)
37 Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA)
34 Reza Mohammad Ali YAZDANI (IRI)
32 Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR)
24 Baki SAHIN (TUR)

Akgul Needs One Point to Ensure He’s on Opposite Side as Petriashvili
As it sits right now, Georgia's top-ranked Geno PETRIASHVILI (88 points) has apprehended the No. 1 seed at the World Championships and would meet Turkey's Olympic champion and fourth-ranked Taha AKGUL in the semifinals.  But, that has the potential to change over the next month because Taha will wrestle at the Yasar Dogu in his home country.

Taha and Russia's third-ranked Anzor KHIZRIEV are tied with 50 points apiece, but Khizriev holds the advantage because he placed higher at the Budapest World Championships. The Turkish big man cannot catch China's second-ranked DENG Zhiwei, so his goal at the Yasar Dogu is to pick up at least a point. That'll put him ahead of Khizriev, but more importantly, get him away from his biggest rival Petriashivili at the World Championships.

Outside of the top four, there is a quartet of wrestlers who can still find themselves sitting in the top-four with a promising performance at the Yasar Dogu. Of those four, India's Sumit SUMIT (36 points) is the only one entered that has the potential to catch Khizriev and Akgul. Sumit would have to score at least 15 points and hope that Taha does not wrestle to grab the fourth seed.

Top 10 at 125kg
77 Zhiwei DENG(CHN)
50 Anzor Ruslanovitch KHIZRIEV (RUS)
50 Taha AKGUL (TUR)
45 Nicholas Edward GWIAZDOWSKI (USA)
38 Daniel LIGETI(HUN)
36 Sumit SUMIT (IND)
22 Oleg BOLTIN  (KAZ)

*The United States, who usually sends their first team to the Yasar Dogu, has not entered anyone as of Monday night. 

Ranking Series

Rome, Warsaw Tapped to Host 2020 Ranking Series Events

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY (October 10) – United World Wrestling has announced Rome and Warsaw as hosts of the 2020 Ranking Series. Both events will include all three wrestling styles: freestyle, women’s wrestling, and Greco-Roman and will influence seeding for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Rome will host its competition January 15-18, while Warsaw will welcome wrestlers June 4-7 – one month after the final Olympic qualification tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

“We are pleased to announce our host cities for the 2020 Ranking Series,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic. “There was outstanding participation at the 2019 events, which helped create excitement around our wrestlers and the World Championships in Nur-Sultan. We thank the local organizing committees in Rome and Warsaw for hosting these events.”

The 2020 Ranking Series will influence the top four seeds at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which will mark the first-time wrestling has used the Ranking Series to seed at the Olympics. With weight classes limited to 16 entries per weight, 25-percent of each category will be seeded, ensuring fans will enjoy several premier matchups in the semifinals and finals.

Ranking Series points are collected from finishes from the World Championships, Continental Championships, and Ranking Series events. Current rankings are posted on the United World Wrestling homepage and are updated after each relevant tournament.

The remaining Olympic qualification tournaments will also utilize seeding for the top two positions, drawing from the 2019 World Championships, first Ranking Series event, and the Continental championships.

Currently all NOC’s who earned Olympic qualification at the 2019 World Championships have confirmed their nation’s participation at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Wrestling at Tokyo 2020 will run from August 2-8 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.