Greco News

Monday Roundup: ONLY 12 SPOTS LEFT FOR TOKYO; GER & HUN Euro Rosters; Kiss; Rankings Update

asian olympic games qualifier, greco-roman wrestling
Photo: Sachiko Hotaka

The final continental Olympic Games qualifier came and went this past weekend in Almaty, Kazakhstan. There were not too many surprises in terms of unexpected results or performances. Iran picked up two more weight categories and now has a grand total of five Tokyo berths. Kyrgyzstan added three, Korea now has two, and India is still at zero. Japan, the Olympiad’s host country, entered action at the Asian continental qualifier with only 60 kilograms locked down thanks to World champ Kenichiro Fumita, and was able to grab 77 in Almaty following a runner-up showing from Shohei Yabiku.

No, there were not many surprises. But there was a rather large one. Popular Korean star and multi-time World/Olympic medalist Kim Hyeon-Woo (77 kg) was blasted by Gurpreet Singh (name often published in reverse order) in a bout that ended via pin. Kim found himself on the wrong end of a drawn-out 50/50 position Singh used to come away with a big bodylock. A short time later, Kim was over the top with a front headlock and Singh submarined to another bodylock. He then brought Kim down for more points before lifting up his counterpart and slamming him down for the touch fall. The pair had met previously, most notably in last year’s Asian Championships, where Kim cruised to a VSU.

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32-year-old Kim had enjoyed a typically sparkling season in 2019 until he was ousted early on at the Nur-Sultan Worlds. The event on Friday represented his first tournament in over 17 months. Korea does not have any other fearsome options on the roster in Kim’s weight category, which means that, unless injured, he will be suiting up for the “Last Chance” World Qualifier next month in Sofia, Bulgaria. Other established names in his bracket, aside from Singh, are likely to include ’17 World champ Viktor Nemes (SRB), two-time World bronze Aik Mnatsakanian (BUL), ’18 World bronze Fatih Cengiz (TUR), ’19 U23 World champ Gela Bolkvadze (GEO), recent World bronze Pascal Eisele (GER), and American Jesse Porter (NYAC/NTS).

2020 Asian Olympic Qualifier Results

April 9 — Almaty, KAZ


60 kg: Zholaman Sharshenbekov (KGZ) def. Sailike Walihan (CHN) 4-3
67 kg: Mohammadreza Geraei (IRI) def. Ryu Han-Soo (KOR) 9-0, TF
77 kg: Akzhol Makhmudov (KGZ) def. Shohei Yabiku (KOR) 7-3
87 kg: Nursultan Tursynov (KAZ) def. Fei Peng (CHN) via forfeit
97 kg: Mohammadhadi Saravi (IRI) def. Uzur Dzhuzupbekov (KGZ) 10-0, TF
130 kg: Muminjon Abdullaev (UZB) def. Kim Min-Seok (KOR) via forfeit


60 kg

Zholaman Sharshenbekov (KGZ) def. Gyanender Gyanender (IND) 6-1
Sailike Walihan (CHN) def. Firuz Mirzorajabov (TJK) 10-0, TF

67 kg

Ryu Han-Soo (KOR) def. Aram Vardanyan (UZB) via fall
Mohammadreza Geraei (IRI) def. Ashu Ashu (IND) 9-0, TF

77 kg

Akzhol Makhmudov (KGZ) def. Singh Gurpreet (IND) 8-2
Shohei Yabiku (JPN) def. Hujun Zhang (CHN) 6-2

makhmudov over gupreet

Akzhol Makhmuov (red) of Kyrgyzstan defeated Singh Gurpreet (IND) 8-2 in the semifinals of the 2020 Asian Olympic Games Qualifier to ensure his spot in Tokyo. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

87 kg

Nursultan Tursynov (KAZ) def. Kumar Sunil (IND) 9-5
Fei Peng (CHN) def. Hossein Nouri (IRI) 4-4 (criteria)

97 kg

Uzur Dzhuzupbekov (KGZ) def. Lee Se-Yeol (KOR) 6-0
Mohammadhadi Saravi (IRI) def. Yanan Chen (CHN) 10-2, TF

130 kg

Kim Min-Seok (KOR) def. Naveen Naveen (IND) 7-1
Muminjon Abdullaev (UZB) def. Lingzhe Meng (CHN) 9-0, TF


*As of 4/12

The first update offering occupied bracket spots for each weight category at the Tokyo Olympic Games was published in the March 22 edition of the Monday Roundup. With all continental qualifiers now exhausted, brackets are up to 14 wrestlers each. The 15th and 16th nations for each weight category will become available following the aforementioned World Olympic Games Qualifier in Sofia early next month.

The order in which nations are listed below is alphabetical and not intended to suggest actual entries — or seeding (for that will be determined according to United World Wrestling’s “Ranking Series” point system). Names included are those who qualified weight classes on behalf of their respective countries and the event in which it occurred.

60 KG

China (Sailike Walihan — silver, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Cuba (Luis Orta Sanchez — gold, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Germany (Etienne Kinsinger — silver, ’20 European Qualifier)

Iran (Ali Reza Nejati — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Japan (Kenichiro Fumita — gold, ’19 Worlds

Kazakhstan (Mirambek Ainagulov — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Kyrgyzstan (Zholaman Sharshenbekov — gold, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Morocco (Fouad Fajari — gold, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Russia (Sergey Emelin — silver, ’19 Worlds)

Tunisia (Mehdi Jouni — silver, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Turkey (Kerem Kamal — gold, ’20 European Qualifier)

Ukraine (Lenur Temirov — 5th — ’19 Worlds)

United States of America (Ildar Hafizov — silver, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Uzbekistan (Elmurat Tasmuradov — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

67 KG

Algeria (Abdelmalek Merabet — silver, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Colombia (Julian Horta Acevedo — gold, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Cuba (Ismael Borrero Molina — gold, ’19 Worlds)

Denmark (Fredrik Bjerrehuus — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Egypt (Mohamed Elsayed — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Georgia (Ramaz Zoidze — gold, ’20 European Qualifier)

Germany (Frank Staebler — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Hungary (Balint Korpasi — silver, ’20 European Qualifier)

Iran (Mohammadreza Geraei — gold, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Korea (Ryu Han-Soo — silver, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Russia (Artem Surkov — silver, ’19 Worlds)

Serbia (Mate Nemes — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Tunisia (Souleymen Nasr — gold, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

United States of America (Alex Sancho — silver, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

77 KG

Armenia (Karapet Chalyan — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Croatia (Bozo Starcevic — silver, ’20 European Qualifier)

Cuba (Yosvanys Pena Flores — gold, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Hungary (Tamas Lorincz — gold, ’19 Worlds)

Iran (Mohammadali Geraei — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Japan (Shohei Yabiku — silver, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Kazakhstan (Ashkat Dilmukhamedov — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Kyrgyzstan (Akzhol Makhmudov — gold, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Mexico (Jose Vargas Rueda — silver, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Morocco (Zied Ait Ouagram — silver, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Russia (Alex Chekhrikin — gold, ’20 European Qualifier)

Sweden (Alex Kessidis — silver, ’19 Worlds)

Tunisia (Lamjed Maafi — gold, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Uzbekistan (Jalgasbay Berdimuratov — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

87 KG

Algeria (Bachir Sid Azara — silver, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Azerbaijan (Islam Abbasov, ’20 European Qualifier)

Belarus (Mikalai Stadub — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

China (Fei Peng — silver, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Cuba (Daniel Gregorich Hechavarria — silver, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Egypt (Mohamed Moustafa Metwally — gold, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Georgia (Lasha Gobadze — silver, ’20 European Qualifier)

Germany (Denis Kudla — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Hungary (Viktor Lorincz — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Kazakhstan (Nursultan Turysnov — gold, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Kyrgyzstan (Atabek Azisbekov — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Ukraine (Zhan Belenyuk — gold, ’19 Worlds)

United States of America (Joe Rau — gold, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Uzbekistan (Rustam Assakalov — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

97 KG

Algeria (Adem Boudjemline — gold, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Armenia (Artur Aleksanyan — silver, ’19 Worlds)

Bulgaria (Kiril Milov — silver, ’20 European Qualifier)

Cuba (Gabriel Rosillo — gold, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Finland (Arvi Savolainen — gold, ’20 European Qualifier)

Georgia (Giorgi Melia — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Iran (Mohammadhadi Saravi — gold, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Kyrgyzstan (Uzur Dzhuzupbekov — silver, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Poland (Tadeusz Michalik — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Russia (Musa Evloev — gold, ’19 Worlds)

Serbia (Mihail Kajaia — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Tunisia (Haikel Achouri — silver, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Turkey (Cenk Ildem — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

United States of America (G’Angelo Hancock — silver, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

130 KG

Brazil (Eduard Soghomonyan — silver, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Chile (Yasmani Acosta Fernandez — gold, ’20 Pan-Am Qualifier)

Cuba (Oscar Pino Hinds — silver, ’19 Worlds)

Egypt (Abdelatif Mohamed — gold, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Estonia (Heiki Nabi — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Georgia (Iakobi Kajaia — bronze, ’19 Worlds)

Germany (Eduard Popp — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Iran (Amir Ghasemimonjiezi — 5th, ’19 Worlds)

Korea (Kim Min-Seok — silver, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Lithuania (Mantas Knystautas — silver, ’20 European Qualifier)

Russia (Sergey Semenov — gold, ’20 European Qualifier)

Tunisia (Amine Guennichi — silver, ’20 African & Oceania Qualifier)

Turkey (Riza Kayaalp — gold, ’19 Worlds)

Uzbekistan (Muminjon Abdullaev — gold, ’20 Asian Qualifier)

Germany & Hungary European C’Ship Rosters

Greco-Roman at the European Championships begins on Friday, April 23 in Warsaw, POL (and live in the US on FLOWrestling). Appropriately, rosters are trickling in with Germany and Hungary leading the charge.


For Germany, three-time World Champion Frank Staebler, multi-time medalist/’16 Rio bronze Denis Kudla (87 kg), and Eduard Popp (130 kg) are all in the mix, and all three are set for Tokyo along with Etienne Kinsinger, who qualified 60 kilos last month in Budapest. Kinsinger, he’s not on the roster for the Euros, and Staebler is the only member of the group who will compete in Warsaw at a non-Olympic weight (72 kg).

55 kg: Fabian Schmitt (’19 European Championships bronze)
63 kg: Andrej Ginc
67 kg: Witalis Lazovski
72 kg: Frank Staebler (3X World Champion)
77 kg: Michael Widmayer
82 kg: Hannes Wagner
87 kg: Denis Kudla (’16 Olympic bronze, 2X World medalist)
130 kg: Eduard Popp


Hungary is going with a similarly power-packed delegation that will see Tamas Lorincz (77 kg) and Viktor Lorincz (87 kg) take the mat in what could be their last European Championships together. Both World-decorated siblings have hinted at retirement recently, upper-weight Viktor more so.

Neither Lorincz brother has confirmed that Tokyo is their definitive endgame. However, Warsaw will likely mark the end of ’09 World Champion Balazs Kiss‘ (97 kg) stellar career. Now 38, and married, Kiss participated in a round-robin wrestle-off last week to determine who will represent HUN at 97 kg in Sofia. Kiss got past Evrik Szilvassy in his first match but fell to Alex Szoeke in their closed-door best-of-three series.

After dropping the series to Szoeke, Kiss spoke to the Hungarian Federation about his continuation in the sport over the course of the current Olympic cycle as well as how he is viewing the upcoming European Championships.

“I just laugh because even before the 2016 Rio Olympics, I said it would be the last World tournament of my career,” said Kiss. “That was five years ago, and I don’t even know how many renaissances I’ve been living since. Last year, the Tokyo Games were postponed for a year; but after much deliberation, my family and I decided to still try to make the Olympic Team. So in my case, it is not possible to know when I will hang my wrestling shoes on the nail — but most likely, yes, this European Championships will be my last.”

60 kg: Jozsef Andrasi,
63 kg: Erik Torba
67 kg: Mate Krasznai
72 kg: Robert Fritsch
77 kg: Tamas Lorincz — ’12 Olympic silver, ’19 World Champion, 2X World silver, ’14 World bronze
82 kg: Laszlo Szabo
87 kg: Viktor Lorincz — ’19 World silver, 2X World bronze
97 kg: Balazs Kiss — ’09 World Champion, 2X World bronze

Rankings Info

Coming up soon, the updated 5PM Greco-Roman rankings will be released on FLO. The 2020ne Olympic Trials meant the rankings were reset. But there is something different for which to account that was unforeseen when the rankings were originally launched.

Because the United States will hold a National tournament this month, with all ten weight categories available, the initial updated rankings have no choice but to present an incomplete picture. We will still release them if only to avail their accompanying point totals. The finalized and complete rankings for all ten weight categories will then be released on the heels of the US Open in Coralville, Iowa.

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