This coming Thursday begins the 2022 Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov Memorial live from Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. For Greco-Roman, it is commonly referred to just as “Petrov” given that Petrov himself was a pre-modern era Greco wrestler — and his name has been attached to the tournament since 1963.
The United States is entering athletes into Petrov for the first time in four years. ’18’s version of the event saw appearances from Olympian Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP, 5PM #2), Ryan Mango (60 kg, Army/WCAP, 5PM #3), Mike Fuenffinger (60 kg, Army/WCAP, 5PM #2 at 63 kg), and three-time World Team member Patrick Smith (72 kg, Minnesota Storm, 5PM #1). Fuenffinger was the US’ highest placewinner (5th). However, despite the lack of medals for the Americans, it was this very trip to Bulgaria in ’18 that helped birth the Army’s “Ninja Squad”.
But this is a multi-style event and the format involves splitting the three international disciplines across each day, which is not dissimilar from how the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Memorial is segmented in conjunction with the Poland Open. Participation at Petrov is expected to be significant: reports are that there are over 400 entrants (combining all three available disciplines) from 31 countries.
The full tournament schedule can be found below. As of press time, the Bulgarian Federation has not officially declared a hosting location for the broadcast, though in past years they have utilized their YouTube page.
2022 Nikola Petrov Memorial Schedule
*All times +7 hours ET
Thursday, February 17 (Day 1)
10:30am-2:30pm — Qualification Rounds (55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg)
5:00pm — Semifinals
Friday, February 18 (Day 2)
10:30am-2:30pm — Qualification Rounds (87 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg)
10:30am-2:30pm — Repechage (Day 1 weight categories)
5:00pm — Semifinals (Day 2 weight categories)
6:00pm — Finals/bronze matches (Day 1 weight categories)
Saturday, February 19 (Day 3)
10:30am-2:30pm — Qualification Rounds (60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg)
10:30am-2:30pm — Repechage (Day 2 weight categories)
5:00pm — Semifinals (Day 3 weight categories)
6:00pm — Finals/bronze matches (Day 2 weight categories)
Sunday, February 20 (Day 4)
11:00am-12:00pm — Repechage (Day 3 weight categories)
12:00pm — Finals/bronze matches
Szilvassy Back on Top at 87
Hungary ran their team selection tournament for the European Championships next month with ’17 U23 World champ Erik Szilvassy coming away the victor at 87 kilograms. News-making it is, for in ’21 Szilvassy had fixed his eyes on 97 in hopes of contending for the Olympics. He had fallen short in his bid, with eventual World silver Alex Szoeke commandeering the weight class.
Szilvassy originally returned to 87 this past September at the Ljubomir Gedza (SRB) in what was not one of his stronger performances. But over the weekend it was a different story. Standing across from Szilvassy with Euro selection at stake was Istvan Takacs, who has become one of Hungary’s best upper-weights. A tight race unfolded between the two and, as most might suspect, it was not a scoring-friendly contest. But Szilvassy got the nod 2-1 as he will now aim for his second European Championships medal after earning bronze in ’19.
Hungary’s 2022 Euro Roster
55 kg: Krisztian Gazdag
60 kg: Mate Gyurasits
63 kg: Erik Torba
67 kg: Istvan Vancza
72 kg: Attila Tosmagi
77 kg: Zoltan Levai
82 kg: Tamas Levai
87 kg: Erik Szilvassy
97 kg: Robert Ersek
130 kg: Darius Vitek
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