The 2022 Greco-Roman World Cup takes place this coming weekend (November 5-6) from the Baku Sports Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan. FLOWrestling will carry the live broadcast for the United States audience (subscription required) with coverage beginning on Saturday morning at 10:00am local time/2:00am ET.
Pairings for the first three rounds of competition have been revealed and are available to view below. As reported last week, United World Wrestling has brought forth a change to the 2022 Greco-Roman World Cup by reducing the number of teams from eight to six — and by instituting an “All-World” squad comprised of recent medalists from various nations. Many of the sport’s most recognizable athletes are expected to compete, including two-time World Champions Eldaniz Azizli (55 kg, AZE) and Metehan Basar (97 kg, TUR), as well as multi-time medalists such as Nugzari Tsurtsumia (60 kg, GEO), Kiril Milov (97 kg, BUL), and Leri Abuladze (63 kg, GEO). There are plenty more slated to be on hand, with the full list viewable here.
2022 Greco-Roman World Cup
(All times local/+8 hours ET)
Saturday, November 5
10:00am — ROUND 1
(Group A) Turkey vs. Iran
(Group B) Azerbaijan vs. Serbia
5:00pm — ROUND 2
(Group A) Iran vs. Kyrgyzstan
Group B) Serbia vs. All-World
6:30pm — ROUND 3
(Group A) Turkey vs. Kyrgyzstan
(Group B) All-World vs. Azerbaijan
Sunday, November 6
5:00pm — THIRD-PLACE DUAL MEET
6:30pm — FIRST-PLACE DUAL MEET
Note: on Wednesday, November 3, United World Wrestling announced that Serbia will no longer compete in the 2022 Greco-Roman World Cup due to COVID infections. Serbia’s exclusion awards byes to their Saturday opponents (AZE and All-World, respectively).
Bisultanov Up for Danish Award
Brand new World silver medalist Turpal Bisultanov (87 kg, DEN) will be on hand in Baku this weekend as part of the All-World team. He is also a nominee for Danish fashion company Bestseller‘s Olympic Hope 2022 award, which according to the press release is given “each year to an athlete who is expected to be able to make a mark on the future Olympic or Paralympic Games”. Bisultanov is in the running opposed by two other Danish athletes and he is the only wrestler nominated.
It has been a sparkling 15 months for Bisultanov. Starting with his victory at the ’21 U20 European Championships last July, the young upper-weight has appeared in 11 finals out of 12 tournament appearances — with golds from the Senior Euros, the Zagreb Grand Prix, the German Grand Prix, and consecutive Thor Masters titles among his accomplishments. In September, Bisultanov advanced all the way to the World final but was defeated by Zurabi Datunashvili (SRB). Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Bisultanov’s ascension for Denmark — and most foreboding for competitors in his weight category — is his age. On October 14, the Chechen-born star celebrated just his 21st birthday.
KGZ VP Respects Lorincz
Kyrgyzstan is on a hot streak as of late following their historic team performance at the ’22 Worlds and individual golds from Zholaman Sharshenbekov (60 kg) and Azkhol Makhmudov (77 kg). They are, as noted above, also one of the nations on the docket this weekend at the World Cup.
Last week, Kyrgyzstan federation vice president Damirbek Aszilbek visited Hungary, where a multi-national training camp had commenced. While taking in the scene at the Kozma István Hungarian Wrestling Academy in Budapest (their national training facility), Aszilbek spoke about Makhmudov’s loss in the Tokyo Olympic final, which was won by none other than Tamas Lorincz, who is now the director at KIMBA, as well as the unique circumstance of Makhmudov defeating Hungarian Zoltan Levai for gold in Belgrade.
Aszilbek on Makhmudov, Lorincz, & Levai
“Kyrgyz athletes won two silvers and one bronze in Tokyo, both in wrestling. We were close to the gold medal, but it seems that it is still waiting for us. Azkhol Mahmudov drew great motivation from the fact that he failed to win in Japan, so much so that he already had the final victory. It is ironic that he met a Hungarian wrestler in the finals of both competitions. Tamas Lorincz is a fantastic wrestler. He worked for many years to become the best in the world. He won everything he could, both the World and European Championships, and the Olympic gold was deservedly his. Zoltan Levai is also an excellent sportsman. He is young, just like Azkhol. I am sure that if he continues to work just as hard, he will have a bright future ahead of him.”
On KGZ athletes & comparing them to Hungarians
“There are approximately 25,000 wrestlers in Kyrgyzstan. More of them choose wrestling, it is the #1 discipline. If I had to articulate what the biggest difference between Hungarian and Kyrgyz styles is, I would say that we place more emphasis on technique, while the Hungarians stand out from the international field mainly with their strength.”
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