Only two more days remain until “January Camp 2022” wraps at the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Training began this past Thursday (January 6) and reaches its conclusion on Wednesday.
On Sunday, US National Team head coach Matt Lindland shared his pleasure regarding that morning’s session. “We had a great practice this morning, one of the best we’ve had,” Lindland said. “It was 56 minutes bell-to-bell. 20 minutes for a drill/warm-up with all different situations that I have been covering. Mohamed (Abdelfatah) then ran a really good session based on what I had been going over, and he executed it just like I had envisioned. ”
What Lindland is referring to are various strategies and tricks of the trade that are often taken for granted by onlookers. For example, the machinations involved with starting a match were a point of focus. “I wanted to look at it like ‘How do you begin a match?’ So I started them off with three rounds of four, with each round :20. Every go was :20. If you went out of bounds, you came back in and the referee blew the whistle. ‘How are you going to start the match?’ Then it was, ‘How are you going to start the period?’ The whistle blows and we have to find a way to get to that body, or get to that step-out.
“That went well, and then we did four rounds of :40 standing/:20 par terre, and then it was back on the feet for :40/:20. Because, there are these long delays. After the :40, there were :15 to get set, get the guy on top. Some guys got it, some guys still rushed. Take that :15, use that whole :15. Shake your arms out, even dry them off. Catch your breath, and get your lift.”
During the course of most Senior bouts, athletes — particularly those with substantial experience — tend to take their time whenever an opportunity to break presents itself. This is especially true for par terre, when both athletes prepare to assume the position and wait for the whistle. “How do you recover during those quick breaks?” asked Lindland. “If you’re doing down, don’t get down right away. Make the referee call you like, three times. Use that time. Look at the best guys. Look at (Roman) Vlasov. He acts like he doesn’t even know what’s happening. ‘Oh, yeah, I want him down in par terre.’ Then he walks over slowly… The official is going, ‘Now, now, get set…’ He’ll jump-start sometimes. ‘Stand up, back away, let’s do it again.’ He can kill :30 playing that game. He knows he wants that recovery time. Some of our guys don’t quite get that yet, but they will.”
Sunday morning was, as Lindland put it, “a lot of live” while the afternoon was mostly technical work. Today (Monday) saw the Greco campers mix in with members of the men’s freestyle program for two mat sessions. Tuesday is light as United World Wrestling official Casey Goessl will speak with attendees via Zoom, and Wednesday (the final day of camp) intends to push the intensity up just a bit with a “pyramid” workout in the morning followed by par terre in the afternoon.
A full overview of camp, and more, can be found in the upcoming Coach Lindland’s Report later this week.
Serbia Looks Ahead
The 2028 Los Angeles Games are over six years away and Serbia is attempting to get ahead of the game by conducting a series of athlete tests — spread out over time — in order to inform their training program. With assistance from the Provincial Institute for Sports and Sports Medicine, the Serbian federation is testing for motor functionality and psychology, which began with 55 age-group athletes at the Vojvodina Wrestling Academy in Kanjiža. Serbia says their plan is to “perform at least 14 tests in the next seven years” as a mechanism to track development and observe progress as LA ’28 comes into view.
Note on Tasmuradov
Earlier today, United World Wrestling released an article covering several athletes who have recently stepped away in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics. Two of the Greco-Roman names discussed and their respective retirements had already previously been well-covered, ’20 Olympic/’19 World champ Tamas Lorincz and three-time World gold Frank Staebler, the latter of whom finished with bronze back in August (and is actually still an active athlete, just not internationally). But another caught some by surprise, the one and only Elmurat Tasmuradov of Uzbekistan.
Throughout a career spanning 12 years, Tasmuradov was best-known for his athleticism, innovation, and an arsenal of sound fundamental mechanics that was always in reserve when the situation demanded as such. Most will remember the dynamics, and the scrambling ability that is uncommon for high-level Greco competition. Tasmuradov’s array of setups was built on offensive might, and his instincts for creating throwing positions regularly resulted in highlight-worthy sequences. But his nose for counter-attacks, which oft arose from his own original attacks, is what truly set him apart.
Tasmuradov, 30, cited “severe injuries” as the primary reason for his decision to retire. In the years following Rio ’16, where he earned bronze, weight increasingly became an issue, as well. Once an occupant of the sport’s lightest weight category, most of Tasmuradov’s appearances since Rio occurred at 67 kilograms. However, when the time arrived for Tokyo qualifying, he was back down at 60 for the ’19 Nur-Sultan Worlds. He had accomplished the mission with a 5th-place finish; but a year ago in Zagreb he had jumped all the way up into the 72-kilogram field. Tasmuradov did manage to make 60 for Tokyo this past August and was eliminated by two-time World bronze Lenur Timirov (UKR).
Tasmuradov’s career ends with two World bronze, one silver, an Olympic bronze, and five Asian Championships titles.
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