UPDATED: NF Roundup Blog, Nov. 9-13

By United World Wrestling Press

Images from Cadet National Championships in Uzbekistan

Images from Kabul Zone Competition in Afghanistan

Russia Claims 5/6 FS Golds at Moscow Grand Prix
The Russian Federation claimed five of six Olympic-weight freestyle gold medals at the 2020 Moscow Grand Prix. Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) ended the host nation's run of four consecutive gold medals with a barn-burning 10-10 victory over Erik DZHIOEV (RUS) in the 97kg finals. Russia's handful of champions were: Ramis GAMZATOV (57kg), Nachyin KUULAR (65kg), Israil KASUMOV (74kg), Magomed RAMAZANOV (86kg) and Shamil SHARIPOV (125kg).

Freestyle Results
57kg: Ramis GAMZATOV (RUS) df. Islam BAZARGANOV (RUS), 9-4
65kg: Nachyin KUULAR (RUS) df. Daud IBRAGIMOV (AZE), 2-2
74kg: Israil KASUMOV (RUS) df. Yakup GOR (TUR), 6-5
86kg: Magomed RAMAZANOV (RUS) df. Arsen BUDAZHAPOV (KGZ), 4-1
97kg: Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) df. Erik DZHIOEV (RUS), 10-10
125kg: Shamil SHARIPOV (RUS) df. Aiaal LAZAREV (KGZ), via fall


Etlinger Gives Host Nation Zagreb Open Title
Croatia's own Dominik ETLINGER defeated Moldova's Valentin PETIC, 8-0, in the 72kg finals and won gold on home soil at the Zagreb Open. "When I woke up Saturday, I knew it was going to be a great day," said Etlinger. "I wasn't exhausted because I only cut two kilograms, and that's nothing to me. I was also excited because it was my first international tournament since February, and it was in my town." Etlinger now patiently awaits the decision on the 2020 World Championships, saying, "I hope a decision will on the World Championships be made soon so I can take gold there, too."

Meanwhile, four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) led a Turkey squad who captured four gold medals. In addition to Kayaalp's 130kg winning-performance, Ekrem OZTURK (55kg), Kerem KAMAL (60kg) and Burhan AKBUDAK (82kg) also finished atop the podium in Croatia.

Greco-Roman gold-medal match results from the Zagreb Open:
55kg - Ekrem OZTURK 🇹🇷 df. Serif KILIC 🇹🇷, 7-4
60kg - @keremkamal 🇹🇷 df. Viktor CIOBANU 🇲🇩, 7-4
67kg - Donior ISLAMOV 🇲🇩 df. @atakanyuksel_a.h 🇹🇷, 6-1
72kg - @dominiket 🇭🇷 df. Valentin PETIC 🇲🇩, 8-0
77kg - @cataraga.daniel 🇲🇩 df. @alexandrin.gutu 🇲🇩, 4-2
82kg - Burhan AKBUDAK 🇹🇷 df. Salih AYDIN 🇹🇷, 3-0
87kg - Oskar JOHANSSON 🇸🇪 df. @ivanhuklek 🇭🇷, 4-1
97kg – Mihail KADZAIA 🇷🇸 df. @cenkildem 🇹🇷, 5-1
130kg - @rizakayaalp 🇹🇷 df. Marko KOŠČEVIĆ 🇭🇷, 9-0

Turkey Takes Home Four Poland Open Gold Medals
Turkey's freestyle squad matched their countrymen's four gold-medal performance from the Zagreb Open in Warsaw at the Poland Open. Ahmet DUMAN (57kg), Fazli ERYILMAZ (74kg), Erhan YAYLACI (92kg) and Suleyman KARADENIZ (97kg) finished in first place in their respective weight classes. 

Meanwhile, Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (70kg) and Polish teammates Krzysztof BIENKOWSKI (65kg) and Robert BARAN (125kg) each seized gold medals.

Freestyle gold-medal match results from the @pzz_official Poland Open:
57kg: Razvan KOVACS 🇷🇴 df. CraciunPETRU 🇲🇩, 12-2
61 kg: Ahmet DUMAN 🇹🇷 df. Recep TOPAL 🇹🇷, 1-1
65 kg: Krzysztof BIENKOWSKI 🇵🇱 df. Ilman MUKHTAROV 🇫🇷, 4-3
70 kg: Magomedmurad GADZHIEV 🇵🇱 df. Haydar YUVUZ 🇹🇷, 3-2
74 kg: Fazli ERYILMAZ 🇹🇷 df. Maxim VASILIOGLO 🇷🇴, 4-1
79 kg: Saifedine ALEKMA 🇫🇷 df. Alan AMIROVS 🇱🇻, 12-6
86 kg: Pitor IANULOV 🇲🇩 df. Zbigniew BARANOWSKI 🇵🇱, 5-1
92 kg: Erhan YAYLACI 🇹🇷 df. Arif OEZEN 🇹🇷, 10-0
97 kg: Suleyman KARADENIZ 🇹🇷 df. Radoslaw BARAN 🇵🇱, 10-0
125 kg: Robert BARAN 🇵🇱 df. Daniel LIGETI 🇭🇺, 3-2

Cuban Wrestlers Complete 60-Day Training Camp
Freestyle, women's wrestling and Greco-Roman teams from Cuba spent two-months training in the Cuban cities of Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey very profitable.

“Never before have our athletes completed a 60-day training base, in which all the provinces created excellent living conditions. This favored the guarantee of two training sessions per day, and sometimes up to three, something never achieved in Havana," Luis de la Portilla, president of the Cuban Wrestling Federation.

Portilla reported that the multi-champion Mijaín López was one of the men who showed the best performance in these months.

Cuba has 12 wrestlers qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games and intends to send the rest of their squad to the Last Chance Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, from April 30 to May 3.

To select the representatives, the results of the next Pedro Val December 11 and 12, at the Ciudad Deportiva in the capital, will be taken into account.


#WrestleSkopje Weight-to-watch: 87kg (Greco-Roman)

By Eric Olanowski

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (May 13) – Rising stars Aleksandr KOMAROV (RUS) and Istvan TAKACS (HUN) headline the 18-man 87kg Greco-Roman bracket at the U23 European Championships (May 17-23). The weight will also feature a total of seven wrestlers with age-group world medals. 

Komarov, the four-time age-group world and European gold medalist, will make his U23 debut in Skopje. He closed out his junior career in '18 – winning a fourth consecutive world title before grabbing the reigns at 87kg on Russia's senior squad.

Komarov's success from the cadet and junior levels quickly transitioned to the senior level. In his 14 senior-level appearances, the young Russian stud claimed a whopping ten gold medals – highlighted by '19 gold medals at the Russian National Championships and the Dan Kolov - Nikola Petrov Ranking Series Tournament.

Most recently, Komarov appeared in Russia's lineup at the '20 European Championships. He went 3-1 and finished with a bronze medal. Despite falling to eventual champion Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) in the semifinals, Komarov ended his trip to Italy with a shocking 3-1 win over two-time world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR).

Komarov's biggest threat to winning 87kg U23 European gold will be one of the future faces of Hungarian wrestling, Istvan TAKACS (HUN). 

Takacs, a '19 junior world champion and three-time age-group world medalist, will also be making his U23 debut. Like Komarov's ascent to the senior level after winning his junior world title, Takacs did the same. He grabbed gold at the '19 Junior World Championships in Tallin, Estonia, and bumped up to the senior circuit.

Takacs finished in second place at the Hungarian Championships in his first senior outing. He then dropped to a seventh-place finish at the Individual World Cup but stormed back to win Ranking Series gold at January's Matteo Pellicone. During his run to a first senior gold medal, Takacs stopped '19 world silver medalist Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) and David LOSONCZI (HUN). He halted Lorincz from winning a historic seventh Ranking Series title before avenging his Hungarian c'ship finals loss to Losonczi to win gold.

Other guys who command attention at 87kg are '18 U23 world silver medalist Nicu OJOG (ROU), cadet world champs Lachin VALIYEV (AZE) and Dmytro KIIASHOK (UKR) and junior world bronze medalists Ihar YARASHEVICH (BLR) and Muhutdin SARICICEK (TUR)

Two other dark horses who are poised to make some noise at 87kg are '18 European champion Temuri TCHKUASELIDZE (GEO) and Mirco MINGUZZI (ITA). Although his resume lacks a world or continental medal, in late March, Minguzzi finished with a bronze medal at the European Olympic Qualifier and was one match short of earning an Italian Tokyo quota at 87kg.

Catch all the action from the U23 European Championships live on Freestyle action begins on Monday, women's wrestling takes center stage on Wednesday and Greco-Roman closes out the competition beginning on Friday.

87kg Entries
Svetoslav Nikolaev NIKOLOV (BUL)
Andreas VAELIS (EST)
Nicu Samuel OJOG (ROU)
Aleksandr Andreevitch KOMAROV (RUS)