Day 5 Notebook
By Jason Bryant
GOLD: Yuliya TKACH (UKR) df. Elena Sergey PIROZHKOVA (USA), 4-2
BRONZE: Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT) df. Monika Ewa MICHALIK (POL), 5-1
BRONZE: Valeriia LAZINSKAYA (RUS) df. Henna Katarina JOHANSSON (SWE) by FALL, 12-0
GOLD: Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) df. Neven ZUGAJ (CRO), 4-0
BRONZE: Elvin MURSALIYEV (AZE) df. Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (GEO), 1-1
BRONZE: Andrew Thomas BISEK (USA) df. Hiroyuki SHIMIZU (JPN) by TF, 8-0
GOLD: Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA) df. Saman TEHMASEBI (AZE), 3-0
BRONZE: Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Kristofer Alf Ragnar JOHANSSON (SWE), 3-0
BRONZE: Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) df. Ramsin AZIZSIR (GER), 3-0
Final Women’s Team Scores
1. Japan 55 (4)
2. Russia 48
3. United States 41 (1)
4. Ukraine 29 (1)
5. Sweden 27
6. Mongolia 24 (1)
7. Poland 22
8. Azerbaijan 18
9. Canada, North Korea, Latvia 16
Three Americans will compete on the fifth day of the United World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Elena Pirozkhvova will finish up the women’s freestyle competition at 63kg, while Minnesota natives Andy Bisek (75kg) and Jordan Holm (85kg) will compete in Greco-Roman.
So memo to you Americans
You know those people who just want to dump Greco-Roman to add weights for the more American-favored freestyle? Well, that’s not how the rest oft he world works. In men’s freestyle, only one weight class had more than 32 competitors — 86kg — which had 38. The first two Greco-Roman weights have 39 (75kg) and 36 (85kg). So yes folks, Greco is just as popular as freestyle is worldwide.
We still haven’t seen separation from placement or even rankings yet from the artist formerly known as FILA. Case in point, the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked wrestlers will meet in the first round at 85kg in Greco-Roman as No. 1 Zhan Belenyuk of Ukraine will face No. 2 Rami Hietaniemi of Finland to start things off. It also hit the women’s side as the United States’ Elena Pirozhkova is ranked third at 63kg. She’ll face top-ranked Anastasija Grigorjeva of Latvia in the opening round. Grigorjeva beat Pirozhkova at the Olympics in 2012.
Jordan Holm drew Uzbekistan’s Rustam Assakalov in the first round and fell 5-0 at 85kg in Greco-Roman. Holm fell behind early after Assakalov hit a slick headlock, putting Holm to his back. Holm was unable to get any offense going and will now await to see if he gets pulled back into the repechage.
Let’s just get it out of the way
Citing Twitter follower Justin Hoch with this one. Why not just get #1 vs. #3 out of the way in the first round? American Elena Pirozhkova used a nice four-point footsweep late in the first period and held on to defeat top-ranked Anastasija Grigorjeva of Latvia 5-4. Grigorjeva went up 2-0 early on a takedown before Pirozhkova hit the footsweep with mere seconds left in the first. Grigorjeva scored a takedown late to tie the bout at four, but Pirozhkova had criteria with the higher scoring move. Pirozhkova got an extra point after Latvia challenged, but it was denied. Pirozhkova will face 2010 world champion Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia in the next round. Soronzonbold has pinned Pirozhkova on two occasions in the past, including last year’s World Championships.
The Stache prevails
Andy Bisek advanced to the second round at 75kg after a 5-0 win over Greece’s Petros Manouildis.
World No. 2 Renteria falls by fall
Colombia’s Jackeline Renteria has a knack for showing up at the Olympics. The two-time Olympic bronze medalist has continued to struggle at the Worlds. Up at 63kg, the second-ranked Renteria fell behind big to Belarus’ Maria Mamashuk and was pinned at 5:58. Mamashuk came in ranked 14th.
Are you not entertained?
Since the artist formerly known as FILA got rid of the rule that ended a match after one five-point move, the fans get to see more than just one great throw, or at least the opportunity for it to occur. As Olympic champion Roman Vlasov of Russia showed, limiting scoring was a bad thing. Vlasov hit two absolutely glorious five-pointers in a 10-0 tech fall win over Richard Rico of Slovakia. There was also a turn in there, but for some reason, that score just kind of got forgotten. Vlasov faces Andy Bisek in the next round. Headline credit to Brandon Paulson.
Mexico’s Juan Escobar had a solid tournament victory earlier this year, taking gold at the Grand Prix of Spain. That’s nice, but his previous performances at the World Championships haven’t exactly been something to write home about, until on Friday when Escobar dominated No. 8 Robert Rosengren of Sweden 7-1.
The battle between No. 1 and No. 2 at 85kg was pretty much a dud as Ukraine’s Zhan Belenyuk topped Rami Hietaniemi of Finland 1-0 on a first-period caution point. Belenyuk will now face No. 18 Pablo Shorey Hernandez of Cuba, who rallied past Russia’s No. 19 Azamat Bikbaev 6-3.
Down goes Marinov
No. 20 Vladimir Gegeshidze of Georgia knocked off 2010 world champion Hristo Marinov of Bulgaria 4-3 in the round of 32 at 85kg. Marinov hasn’t done much on the world stage since his 2010 world title. Gegeshidze will face Tajikistan’s Isfandiyor Lapitov, who pinned American Samoa’s Fanolua Fanolua.
Not all brake, not all gas, but always clutch
Uzbekistan’s Rustam Assakalov hit a big four point throw from par terre to knock off No. 9 Saman Tahmasebi of Iran. With the scored tied at four and the scoreboard showing an incorrect leader on criteria, Assakalov went with a straight lift and then arched Tahmasebi through for four and an 8-4 win. That keeps Jordan Holm alive.
More late heroics
Elena Pirozhkova topped Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold with a takedown late in the match to pull out a 6-4 win to reach the quarterfinals. Pirozhkova will face Canada’s Danielle Lappage in the next round.
Andy Bisek pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, beating world and Olympic champion Roman Vlasov of Russia 6-6 on criteria. Bisek fell behind early 2-0 and then countered a Vlasov throw attempt, nearly pinning him to knot the score at 2-2. Vlasov went up 5-2 after a pushout and a takedown, but Bisek started to wear down Vlasov, forcing par terre after a passivity warning and turning him twice with gutwrenches. The U.S. challenged the second gut, believing it was two points, but the challenge was denied, putting Bisek down 6-4 with 30 seconds to go. Bisek pushed Vlasov to the edge and converted the takedown with five seconds to go to knot the score at 6-6 and win on criteria.
Pirozhkova reaches semis
The rough draw is still proving to be not so rough for Elena Pirozhkova. The 2012 world champion and three-time world medalist topped Canada’s Danielle Lappage 2-1 on the strength of a first-period takedown. Pirozhkova will face Poland’s Monika Michalik in the semifinals.
For most people, the match between Croatia’s Neven Zugaj and Andy Bisek of the U.S. was even. The difference in Bisek’s 1-0 loss to Zugaj was a second-period passivity call that forced a caution point that was never matched. Bisek will now wait to see if Zugaj can pull him back in.
Nasty par terre
Ukraine’s Zhan Belenyuk was down 1-0 against Egypt’s Ahmed Ibrahim when Ibrahim was put down in the par terre position. The world’s top-ranked 85kg wrestler Belenyuk, then put on a clinic on how to turn your opponent, getting up 6-1 before finishing things off with a takedown after going back to the standing position and then a powerful gutwrench. Belenyuk will face Saman Tahmasebi of Azerbaijan in the semifinals.
Pirozhkova returns to the finals
Slow and steady was the way for Elena Pirozhkova of the United States in her 3-0 win over two-time world bronze medalist Monika Michalik of Poland at 63kg. Pirozhkova scored a takedown in the first period and scored the third and final point after Michalik was cautioned after not scoring on the shot clock.
The Stache is back in
With Croatian Neven Zugaj picking up 2-0 win over Japan’s Hiroyuki Shimizu in the semifinals, that win pulled Andy Bisek back into the draw at 75kg. Bisek will face the winner of the Iran-Finland match to wrestle for the right to compete in the bronze medal match tonight.
Updated 2:56 p.m. UZT