Wrestlers to watch at the 2019 Men’s Freestyle World Championship (First Divisions)

A dramatic year of freestyle wrestling action has brought us to the 2019 World Wrestling Championship, hosted by United World Wrestling in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

The Greco-Roman and Women’s Freestyle portions have already concluded, the Russian Greco and Japanese Women’s Freestyle teams, predicted to dominate, suffered numerous upsets that shook up the field.

The outstanding wrestler thus far has to be Cuba’s Ismael Borrero. A 2015 World and 2016 Olympic champion, Borrero knocked off four World champions including superstar Frank Staebler to win the “bracket of death”.

Freestyle action is set to kick off on September 19th, you can access the schedule and eventually the brackets for each weight through United World Wrestling. If you’re an American fan only concerned with US athletes, USA Wrestling will keep you updated. The action streams on TrackWrestling, it’s behind a paywall for now but United World Wrestling will post every match on YouTube after some time.

If you’re unfamiliar with the men’s freestyle field, here’s a weight-by-weight crash course, I’ll pick out athletes to follow per category.
2019 World Wrestling Championship
Men’s Freestyle Wrestlers to Watch
57 KG

1) Zaur UGUEV (RUS)

The lightest weight class is unbelievably deep, but the leading contender has to be the returning World champion, Russia’s #1 Zaur Uguev.

Uguev knocked off three currently ranked wrestlers on his way to a title in #18 Reineri Ortega, 2017 World champion #10 Yuki Takahashi, and #16 Nurislam Sanayev.

In his wrestle-off to make the Russian World team, Uguev defeated #4 Aryan Tyutrin by 10-0 technical fall, leaving no doubt.

Uguev’s 2019 had highs and lows. At the Ali Aliev tournament, he won gold, taking out Giorgi Edisherashvili to avenge losses from the 2018 European Championship finals and 2017 European Championship semis.

Unfortunately Uguev could not shake his pattern of taking lumps at continental tournaments, taking bronze at the 2019 European Games after an upset loss to current #3 Makhir Amiraslanov.

Based on his output at United World Wrestling Ranking Series tournaments, Uguev is currently the two-seed, putting him on a collision course with third-seeded Yuki Takahashi once again, possibly meeting in the finals with our next wrestler.

2) Suleyman ATLI (TUR)

Ranked #2 in the world, Turkey’s Atli won bronze at last year’s World Championship, losing to #16 Sanayev and beating America’s 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman.

Atli has had a strong 2019 that has seen him earn the one-seed at Worlds this year. His most noteworthy performance was at the European Championship, where he won gold after defeating #3 Amiraslanov, #19 Vangelov and #6 Muslim Sadulaev in the finals.

Atli also reached the quarterfinals of the European Games where he suffered an upset to an American representing Serbia, #13 Stevan Micic. He bounced back to win bronze, and he’ll carry that momentum into Worlds. It’s worthy of note that Atli has defeated Zaur Uguev, albeit in 2017.

3) Makhir AMIRASLANOV (AZE)

Some might see Amiraslanov as the favorite to win right now, considering he knocked off #1 Uguev in the semifinals of the 2019 European Games in a 3-2 match. Of course, this is complicated by the fact that Amiraslanov also lost to Suleyman Atli at the 2019 European Championship, 6-3.

Amiraslanov was inactive in 2018, but his 2019 performances have been outstanding. After losing to Atli, Amiraslanov knocked off #19 Vangelov for bronze, then went on to dominate the European Games.

He defeated Vangelov again in the qualification round, returning World champion and #1 Zaur Uguev in the semifinals, then extinguished a red-hot #13 Stevan Micic in the finals by a shocking 9-1 margin.

61 KG

1) Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS)

Another weight class, another #1 ranked Russian, something international fans are more than familiar with.

Although he won the 2018 Russian Nationals, Idrisov was unable to compete at the senior level at the 2018 World Championship, Russia sent Gadzhimurad Rashidov instead, who took silver.

Idrisov, still age-eligible, competed at the U23 World Championship where he won gold, defeating #14 Nikolai Okhlopkov and #15 (57 kg) Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov.

Idrisov has had a nearly spotless 2019. He took out #14 Ohklopkov and #2 Ramazan Ferzaliev on his way to a Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix title, but was upset by #13 Recep Topal. Idrisov also took a loss at the Ali Aliev to the #3 ranked wrestler, his countryman Zelimkhan Abakarov.

However, Idrisov cemented his place at the top with wins over #3 Abakarov and #2 Ferzaliev at the 2019 Russian Nationals. In his final tournament before Worlds, Idrisov won the Ziolkowski tournament, taking out #16 Tumenbileg on the way.

Idrisov is a tremendously heavy favorite to win at 61, but we cannot count out the returning World champion, #10 Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez. Bonne has had a rough 2019, but he is no stranger to taking losses during the year. Check out this career recap of the explosive Cuban!

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Borrero Caps Amazing Run to Greco 67kg Title by Dethroning Surkov

Ismael BORRERO (CUB) had one last world champion to vanquish, and this one happened to be the reigning one. Now it’s the Cuban who occupies the throne again going into an Olympic year. 

Borrero, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion, capped a spectacular run at the World Championships by capturing the Greco-Roman 67kg title with a 3-1 victory in the final over defending champion Artem SURKOV (RUS).

The victims that Borrero left in his wake en route to the gold reads like a Who’s Who of the weight class – three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER), two-time champion and Olympic medalist RYU Hansu (KOR), and rising star Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY).

“So many champions…I wrestled with focus and tried my best to win,” said the 27-year-old Borrero, who lost in the third round at last year’s World Championships in Budapest.

The final offered little respite in the form of Surkov. But Borrero was up to the task, scoring a 2-point exposure in the par terre position in the first period, then holding off Surkov’s attempts when he was placed on bottom in the second period.  

“I’m a lot stronger this year than the last two years,” Borrero said. “I’ve worked on some techniques, but mostly on my strength. The strength is important because of the bigger weight.”

Borrero won his last world championship at 59kg in 2015, then followed that by taking home the gold the following year from the Rio Olympics. That’s a pattern he would like to repeat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

“It was very important [to win tonight],” he said. “I’ve been a champion at 59[kg] and now I’m champion at 67.”


Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) improved on his 2018 world silver medal by edging Viktor LORINCZ (HUN), 2-1, in the 87kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Like Borrero, Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) regained the world title he last won in 2015, as the 2018 silver medalist moved back to the top of the podium at 87kg by grinding out a 2-1 win over Viktor LORINCZ (HUN). 

“It was a difficult match because Viktor Lorincz is a very strong guy,” Beleniuk said. “It was a very hard match for me and I’m so happy I could win because I worked so hard to get first place.”

All points in the final were scored for passivity, and Beleniuk received the decisive second one in the second period to defeat Lorincz, a two-time world bronze medalist in 2013-14. Earlier in the session, Lorincz saw older brother Tamas advance to Tuesday’s final at 77kg.

With the top six wrestlers in each of the Olympic weight classes earning spots for their country at Tokyo 2020, Beleniuk set a minimum goal of clinching a spot. The “maximum,” naturally, was winning the world gold. 

But that wasn’t the only reason he wanted to capture the title. Beleniuk has been serving as a deputy to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, advising him on sports matters, and there has been criticism of his splitting time between his government position and his preparation for the world championships. 

“In Ukraine, some people criticize me [about the two roles], so it was very important to win here and show the people that I can do both,” said Beleniuk, a silver medalist at both Budapest 2018 and Rio 2016.


Musa EVLOEV (RUS) won his second consecutive world title with an injury default over Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) in the 97kg finals.(Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Meanwhile, Musa EVLOEV (RUS) retained his world title at 97kg without having to break a sweat, as final opponent Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) was forced to default due a rib injury suffered during the tournament. 

Evloev’s ascendance has heralded a changing-of-the-guard in the weight class, as Aleksanyan had been the dominant force, winning world and Olympic golds from 2014 to 2017.

Evloev beat the Armenian in the semifinals last year in Budapest, avenging a loss to Aleksanyan in their first-ever meeting, in the final of the 2017 World Championships in Paris. 

The Russian said he had been looking forward to their latest clash, and was not aware that he would win by default until the two wrestlers took the mat for the official decision. 

“I didn’t know until the last seconds,” Evloev said. “Artur is a good friend, but on the mat, he is a strong opponent. I was really waiting for this.”


Frank STAEBLER (GER) rebounded to win a bronze medal after falling to eventual champion Ismael BORRERO (CUB). (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

In the third-place matches, Germany and Serbia both came away with a pair of bronze medals. 

Staebler fell behind 5-0 to Elsayed at 67kg, but, helped by a 2-point fleeing penalty, came back for a 6-5 victory that he clinched with a stepout with :49 left. The other bronze went to Mate NEMES (SRB), who overwhelmed Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN) by 10-0 technical fall.

At 87kg, Rio 2016 bronze medalist Denis KUDLA (GER) and Asian champion Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) both added bronzes to world silvers they had previously won. Kudla edged Mikalai STADUB (BLR), while Assakalov defeated Atabek AZISBEKOV (KGZ) 6-2.

Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) and Cenk ILDEM (TUR) earned the bronzes at 97kg, with the former topping Tadeuz MICHALIK (POL) by 9-1 technical fall and the latter beating Giorgi MELIA (GEO) 4-1.


Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN).will take on returning world champion Sergey EMELIN (RUS) in the60kg finals on Tuesday night. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Emelin, Fumita set up clash between current, former champs in 60kg final 
Earlier in the night session, the semifinals were held in the remaining three Greco weight classes, and defending champion Sergey EMELIN (RUS) set up a battle for the 60kg gold with his predecessor, Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN).

Emelin capped a near-perfect performance with his fourth straight technical fall of the day, easily beating Mirambek AINAGULOV (KAZ) by 8-0 in 4:30. That was only three seconds longer than the time it took for Fumita to oust Alireza NEJATI (IRI) by a 10-1 score. 

Fumita, coming off a disappointing third-place finish at the Asian Championships, scored eight points from the par terre position in the second period in his latest solid performance of the tournament. 

“I didn’t allow him to lock me up [from the standing position], and I was able to resist being rolled [from par terre], so it was a good showing,” Fumita said. 

For Fumita, by being assured of at least a silver medal, clinched a place for himself at the Olympics in his homeland. The Japan federation has decreed that any wrestler winning a medal in Nur-Sultan in an Olympic weight class automatically fills that spot at Tokyo 2020, without any further qualification process. 

“I’m really riding high right now, but I need to overcome this joy with a full effort in tomorrow’s match,” he said.

The 77kg final will pit Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) against Alex KESSIDIS (SWE). Lorincz broke some Kazakhstan hearts when he ousted Ashkat DILMUKHAMEDOV (KAZ), 1-1, as his passivity point came last. Kessidis scored a 4-point throw with 1:25 left to stun Karapet CHALYAN (ARM) 5-2.

At 130kg, Riza KAYAALP (TUR) will add to his extensive world medal collection after advancing to the final with an untroubled 4-1 win over Eduard POPP (GER). He will face Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB), who defeated Amir GHASEMI (IRI), 6-2.

Dating back to 2009, Kayaalp has three world golds, two silvers and two bronzes. That’s not to mention his two Olympic medals---a silver in 2016 and bronze in 2012.

Day 3 results

Greco-Roman

60kg (39 entries)
Semifinal – Sergey EMELIN (RUS) df, Mirambek AINAGULOV (KAZ) by TF, 8-0, 4:30
Semifinal – Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) df. Alireza NEJATI (IRI) by TF, 10-1, 4:27

67kg (41 entries)
Gold – Ismael BORRERO (CUB) df. Artem SURKOV (RUS), 3-1 
Bronze –Mate NEMES (SRB) df. Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN) by TF, 10-0, 1:47
Bronze – Frank STAEBLER (GER) df. Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY), 6-5

77kg (38 entries)
Semifinal – Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) df. Karapet CHALYAN (ARM), 5-2
Semifinal – Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) df. Ashkat DILMUKHAMEDOV (KAZ), 1-1

87kg (39 entries)
Gold – Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) df. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN), 2-1  
Bronze – Denis KUDLA (GER) df. Mikalai STADUB (BLR), 2-1 
Bronze – Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) df. Atabek AZISBEKOV (KGZ), 6-2 

97kg (37 entries)
Gold – Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df, Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) by DEF.
Bronze – Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) df. Tadeuz MICHALIK (POL) by TF, 9-1, 4:40 
Bronze – Cenk ILDEM (TUR) df. Giorgi MELIA (GEO), 4-1

130kg (31 entries)
Semifinal – Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) df. Amir GHASEMI (IRI), 6-2 
Semifinal – Riza KAYAALP (TUR) df. Eduard POPP (GER), 4-1

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Gold for Gabriel Rosillo in World Youth Championship

One of the new Cuban talents of Greco-Roman wrestling, Gabriel Rosillo, graps the Gold in the World Youth Championship in Tallinn (Estonia), winning in the final of the 97th division kg to German Patrick Neumaier.

In the fight for the Gold, he showed superiority over his rival and won 8-0. For the new phenomenon of the Cuban Greco-Roman wrestling, it was his fourth victory in a row in the tournament, just a few days after also being unbeaten at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

In Tallinn, the 20-year-old from Santiago de Cuba overwhelmed all his rivals, to the point that he scored 36 points and only allowed one against. He successfully opened against the Chinese Houzhi Hao (8-0), then beat the Hungarian Alex Gergo (9-1) and in the semifinals the Turkish Beytullah Kayisdag (9-0).

Although he still has to compete in the adult World Cup (September in Kazakhstan), Rosillo has had a dream 2019 and is emerging as a strong candidate for the Rookie of the Year distinction in Cuban sports.

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Olympic champion Snyder contributes to American golden hat-trick in Lima 2019 wrestling

Reigning Olympic champion Kyle Snyder was one of three American gold medallists in the wrestling competition here at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Snyder won in the men's under-97kg final at Villa Deportiva Regional del Callao, defeating Venezuela's Jose Diaz 9-3.

They were joined by Dominican Republic's Luis Miguel Perez and Reineris Salas of Cuba, who both finished with bronze. 

More American success came in the men's under-74kg, with London 2012 Olympic gold medallist and four-time world champion Jordan Burroughs beating Puerto Rico’s Franklin Gomez 4-1. 

Canada's Jevon Balfour and Cuba's Geandry Garzon were the bronze medallists. 

The men’s 125kg final was then won by the US’ Nicholas Gwiadzdowski, who thrashed Oscar Pino of Cuba 10-0. 

Canada collected another bronze through Korey Jarvis, with Luis Vivenes of Venezuela joining him on the podium.

Cuba managed to triumph in one gold-medal bout, after Yurieksi Torreblanca edged past Venezuela’s Pedro Ceballos 4-3 in the men's under-86kg final. 

James Downey of the US and Colombia's Carlos Izquierdo were in third place. 

The United States defeated Canada to win gold in the women's water polo competition ©Getty Images
The United States defeated Canada to win gold in the women's water polo competition ©Getty Images

America continued to pick up gold medals throughout the day, with the men and women's water polo teams both topping the podium.

The women's side overwhelmed Canada with a 24-4 victory, while the men beat the same opponent 18-6. 

Their victories saw both teams qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Brazil claimed the bronze medal in the women's competition with a narrow 8-7 win over Cuba, while their male compatriots also took third place following a 9-6 defeat of Argentina. 

The US and Canada met yet again in the women's softball grand final, with the Americans achieving gold after a 3-1 victory. 

Puerto Rico were consigned to bronze when the US beat them by the same scoreline earlier in the day. 

Elsewhere, bodybuilding made its Pan American Games debut. 

El Salvador were the recipients of two gold medals after William Yuri Rodriguez Gonzalez won the classic bodybuilding event and Carlos Alberto Giraldo Barragan the women's fitness.

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Lopez Returns to Competition, Wins Fifth Pan Am Games Gold

Three-time Olympic champion and four-time World champion Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) made his return after taking more than a year off from competing. In his first tournament back, Lopez claimed his fifth Pan American Games gold medal, winning the 130 kg weight class in Greco-Roman on Thursday in Lima, Peru.  

To start his day, Lopez rattled off a quick 8-0 tech fall over Luciano DEL RIO (ARG). In the semifinals, he bested 2017 World bronze medalist and former teammate Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI), 4-0.

For gold, Lopez dominated Moises PEREZ HELLBURG (VEN) in 2:02 with an 11-0 victory, highlighted by an impressive four-point throw.

Two other Cubans earned the top spot on the podium in Greco-Roman, including 2016 Olympic champion Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) and Gabriel ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB).

Wrestling at 67 kg, Borrero recorded three technical falls on the way to his first Pan Am Games title and did not give up a single point.

In the final, Borrero cruised past 2019 Pan American Championships bronze medalist Shalom VILLEGAS REQUENA (VEN) with a 12-0 technical fall.

At 97 kg, Rosillo won his third Pan American event of the year, adding to his 2019 Senior and Junior Pan Am Championship golds.

In a rematch of the Senior Pan Am finals from April, Rosillo downed 2016 Junior World bronze medalist G’Angelo HANCOCK (USA) in Wednesday’s gold-medal match.

A second-period four-point throw helped Rosillo separate himself from the American and eventually win the bout, 7-2.

Three other countries picked up gold medals in Greco this week, including Ecuador, United States and Venezuela.

Andres MONTAÑO ARROYO (ECU) earned his second-straight Pan Am Games championship, winning the 60 kg bracket.

After a 6-6 show-stopping win over two-time Pan Am champion Luis ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) in the first round, Montano dominated the competition, securing two technical falls to propel him to gold, including an 8-0 victory in the finals over two-time Pan Am bronze winner Dicther TORO CASTAÑEDA (COL).

Winning the title at 77 kg was three-time Pan Am Championships gold medalist Pat SMITH (USA), who grinded out some solid wins en route to his first Pan Am Games gold.

In the championship match, Smith outlasted 2015 Pan Am Games champion Wuilexis RIVAS ESPINOZA (VEN) with a 3-2 decision.

Venezuela did, however, win a gold on Wednesday night as two-time Pan Am Championships gold winner Luis AVENDAÑO ROJAS (VEN) picked up the win at 87 kg.

Avendano put together an impressive day, defeating 2018 U23 World silver medalist Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) in the semifinals before surpassing four-time Pan Am medalist Alfonso LEYVA YEPEZ (MEX) in the finals, 5-3.

mijain 2

In the team race, Cuba was first with 120 points, followed by Venezuela with 110 and USA with 91.

2019 PAN AMERICAN GAMES
at Lima, Peru

Greco-Roman results

60 kg
GOLD - Andres MONTAÑO ARROYO (ECU) df. Dicther TORO CASTAÑEDA (COL), 10-1
BRONZE - Luis ORTA SÁNCHEZ (CUB) df. Anthony PALENCIA PUENTES (VEN), 8-0
BRONZE - Ildar HAFIZOV (USA) df. Emilio PEREZ ALONZO (MEX), 7-2

67 kg
GOLD - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) df. Shalom VILLEGAS REQUENA (VEN), 12-0
BRONZE - Manuel LÓPEZ SALCEDO (MEX) df. Nilton SOTO GARCIA (PER), 3-1
BRONZE - Ellis COLEMAN (USA) df. Luis DE LEÓN (DOM), fall

77 kg
GOLD - Patrick SMITH (USA) df. Wuilexis RIVAS ESPINOZA (VEN), 3-2
BRONZE - Jair CUERO MUÑOZ (COL) dec. Emmanuel BENITEZ CASTRO (MEX), 5-1
BRONZE - Yosvanys PEÑA FLORES (CUB) df. Angelo MARQUES MOREIRA (BRA), 8-0

87 kg
GOLD - Luis AVENDAÑO ROJAS (VEN) df. Alfonso LEYVA YEPEZ (MEX), 5-3
BRONZE - Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRÍA (CUB) df. Josef RAU (USA), 8-2
BRONZE - Alvis ALMENDRA (PAN) df. Carlos MUÑOZ JARAMILLO (COL), 2-1

97 kg
GOLD - Gabriel ROSILLO KINDELÁN (CUB) df. G’Angelo HANCOCK (USA), 7-2
BRONZE - Kevin MEJIA CASTILLO (HON) df. Thomas BARREIRO (CAN), 8-0
BRONZE - Luillys PEREZ MORA (VEN) df. José ARIAS PAREDES (DOM), 9-0

130 kg
GOLD - Mijaín LÓPEZ NÚÑEZ (CUB) df. Moises PEREZ HELLBURG (VEN), 11-0     
BRONZE - Yasmani ACOSTA FERNÁNDEZ (CHI) df. Luciano DEL RIO (ARG), 8-0
BRONZE - Leo SANTANA HEREDIA (DOM) df. Edgardo LOPEZ MORELL (PUR), 2-0

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Cuba's Sanchez Brings The Boom To Open Cerro Pelado Women's Tournament

Home-nation representative Yudari SANCHEZ (CUB) was magnificent on the first day of women’s wrestling at the Granma Y Cerro Pelado, earning three early-stoppage wins at 68 KG.

It was a quick, first-period fall over Saidy Loena CHAVEZ (HON) for Sanchez to begin the day. She then reeled off technical fall victories over Soleimy CORABALLO (VEN) and Yariannys MARIN (CUB) to position herself a single win away from the gold medal.

Sanchez, a junior world silver medalist and U23 world bronze medalist last year, takes on Diana MIRANDA (MEX) in tomorrow afternoon’s session. Miranda was a fifth-place finisher at the 2015 World Championships and will no doubt be a tough out for Sanchez.

Montero was upset in her last-of-four round-robin matches by Maria FERNANDA (CUB), 4-1.

Montero, a recent Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix bronze medalist, completed her tournament with a 3-1 record. Both Fernanda and 2016 Pan American bronze medalist Alejandra ROMERO (MEX) can finish 3-1 with wins tomorrow and force criteria to determine the 57 KG champion.

Cuba has two more women who are the only undefeated wrestlers left in their respective round-robin brackets. Returning Cerro Pelado silver medalist Milaimys MARIN (CUB) can take the 76 KG gold with a win over 2017 junior Pan American champion Mabelkis CAPOTE (CUB). Similarly, Hangelen LLANES (CUB) needs a win over 2018 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix bronze medalist and six-time Pan American medalist Yakelin ESTORNELLA (CUB) to finish unscathed.

The remaining four weight classes, while also round-robin in nature, will feature pseudo gold-medal matches between unbeaten women tomorrow.

Two-time Pan American champion and London Olympian Kelsey CAMPBELL (USA) impressed with a pair of shutout wins at 59 KG. Next, she meets up with the talented Dayselis RODRIGUEZ (CUB), winner-take all.

At 53 KG, three-time Pan American bronze medalist Betzabeth Angelica ARGUELLO VILLEGAS (VEN)
seeks perfection against Amanda HERNADEZ (CUB).

Dual Cuba-on-Cuba finals round out the list of gold-medal contenders in women’s wrestling. 2016 junior Pan American champion Yusneylys GUZMAN (CUB) will battle last year’s Cerro Pelado bronze medalist Leanne MENDOZA (CUB) at 59 KG. Lesser known Cubans Yayneli SANZ (CUB) and Laura HERIN (CUB) will vie for the 55 KG crown.

The women’s wrestling day two session will begin at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Complete results and a live stream of all the action can be found at unitedworldwrestling.org.

RESULTS: http://uww.io/4gTea

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YOUNG ATHLETES OF THE CUBAN SPORT: Oscar Pino, Mijaín’s Follower

Oscar Pino will always remember August 22nd, 2017 as the day that Greco-Roman wrestling smiled upon him. He won in Paris a Bronze Medal in the World Championship for Adults. His win was an example of gratitude to Héctor Milián and Mijaín López, their predecessors among the Cuban super heavyweights.  

Still in shock for being chosen the best Cuban athlete in wrestling in the year, and among the 10 sportsmen from Cuba in the selection of federative and expert, Pino agreed to talk to Cubasí:  

Your division has a long history, how do you evaluate this first experience in the world championship with a medal won?  

"I had the chance to have both of them next to the wrestling mattress. Milián was supporting the group of coaches, with notorious influence and very aware of the details. I trained with Mijaín for a while on the mattress. With those tutors, Raúl Trujillo and Mario Olivera, the training could not be less than excellent. Before the World Championship I felt sure. I commented to Trujillo that would win a medal and I told him that again when I was on the weight."  

This weight category technically becomes complex when moving. Taking that into account, what is Oscar Pino main resource?  

"As fighter, since I began in the EIDE School, I always watched Mijaín’s matches, he was already an established elite wrestler and I have been devoted to take all what’s positive in his system. Then when I entered the national pre-selection I kept the learning process. I especially mimic his pulling on the standing combat, move aside and defend myself, also tricks when performing the unbalancing of opponents and closing the grips, because he is unquestionably number one doing that. Those are the keys of my system: intensity standing, I study the opponents, constantly on the offensive with pulls and putting my arm on the inside, controlling the fights…"  

Which was the most difficult combat in the World Championship? Do you have a formula to gain weight?  

"In the World Championship of Paris I fought weighing 123 kg. We won match by match, with a technical-tactical strategy for each competitor. Many of them were already known to me, like the Hungarian I was pitted on the first combat, a difficult opponent. Winning on the first match gave me confidence. Now I weight 127 kg. The preparation we have developed after the World Championship has aimed at that among other elements. The combination of work-rest, an extra diet with carbohydrates and other energy meals.  

Now I seek adaptation, but that doesn’t mean to diminish speed, I have to work on the intensity and endurance of strength on the second rounds, but overall I feel fine."  

Oscar lives in the capital, the only medal winner in the Championship of Paris, and one of the three of our retinue, currently occupies the third position in the world ranking, following the Turkish Ryza Kaayalp and the Estonian Heiki Nabi, two very well-known to Cubans and who lost to Mijaín in the global balance of matches. By the way, position four is occupied by Yasmani Acosta, from Matanzas province equally trained by Mijaín and who also won a bronze medal in Paris, but he fought representing Chile, a fact we still have to live with.  

Anyway, Mijaín has expressed his intentions of winning his fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo 2020. Three years left to see what will happen. Meanwhile, Pino will continue growing, and the idol from Herradura will have on the mattress a talented relief who will contribute youth, will and drive in each session on the "arena".

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

  • Published in Specials

Cuba Won Three Silver Medals in Wrestling Golden Grand Prix

Cubans Yowlys Bonne, Alejandro Valdes and Reineris Salas won silver medals in the Wrestling Golden Grand Prix final in Baku.

In the 61-kilogram category, Bonne, who won bronze in Tashkent-2014, lost the gold by 0-9 to Akhmednabi Gvarzatilov, after defeating the Belarusian Husein Shakhbanau (7-2) and the American Alan Taylor Waters (6-4).

Meanwhile, Valdes (65 kilograms) had a perfect competition until the final, when he was outscored by the Russian Magomed Kurbanaliev (2-4).

Finally, Salas (97-kilogram category) lost the title to the Russian Abdusalam Gadisov, who beat him 9-3.

Eliecer Guevara (57 kg), Livan Lopez (74 kg) and Yudenny Alpajon (125 kg) were eliminated in their first matches.

This tournament will continue tomorrow, with the fight for the medals in the female discipline, to which Cuba sent four wrestlers.

  • Published in Sports
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