Greco News

Monday Roundup: HUN Wrestlers Negative; Kayaalp Update

Photo: Kadir Caliskan/UWW

Members of Hungary’s National Team recently underwent testing for the coronavirus and all of them came up negative. The news comes just as the Hungarian Wrestling Federation, or MBSZ (Magyar Birkózó Szövetség) completed a list of guidelines that will allow athletes (at the club level) to begin participating in limited-capacity practices.

According to Dániel Tollár, the author of this short article on MBSZ’s official domain, one of the reasons why the allotment of negative virus tests brings a sigh of relief is due to what went on in the winter. Hungarian athletes competed in several tournaments both in Europe and the Middle East; plus the nation hosted a joint training camp featuring wrestlers from around the world. For what it’s worth, Tollár attributes the zero infection rate to “the strict hygiene measures taken at the time” of the camp.

Unlike some other European countries recently, Hungary has not detailed what the protocols will entail for when training with contact officially begins, which is expected to be very soon. It does say in the piece by Tollár that national camps are currently planned for next month.

Kayaalp To Bounce After Tokyo?

In an Instagram video last week, four-time World Champion heavyweight Riza Kayaalp (TUR, world #1) intimated that if he should win Olympic gold next summer in Tokyo, he would likely retire. Altogether, the 30-year-old owns an astounding ten Senior World-level medals. Along with the four World golds are: a pair of World silvers; two World bronze; one Olympic bronze; and an Olympic silver from 2016. Kayaalp, who won his fourth World title in September, is still missing the most elite prize in sports after falling to fellow future Hall of Famer Mijian Lopez (CUB) in the 130-kilogram final in Rio.

“I am thinking of quitting this job peacefully,” Kayaalp said before noting that an Olympic gold would represent the fifth title of his career. A member of Turkey’s military, the decorated wrestler also mentioned the prospect of being called upon to take an active-duty role following retirement. “If I am going to serve after quitting this job, I will do it. May the authority not put the sport in front of it.”

In addition, Kayaalp shared that quarantine has not affected his preparation. Everything he needs to work out is available in his home, which apparently is not by accident. “I have established my own order at home for about three years,” he said. “I was prepared for this process. I looked at whether the new house I moved to was suitable for sports. Because this is my job. I am doing at least four to five workouts a week now.” (H/T to the Turkish Wrestling Federation for Kayaalp’s transcript.)

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