Greco News

Monday Roundup: U23 Week; GEO, HUN, & TUR Rosters; Japan Nat’l Team Camp

Photo: Japan Wrestling Federation

Greco-Roman at the 2019 U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary begins Friday morning at 10:30am local time (5:30am ET). It should be noted that due to the end of Daylight Savings Time (Saturday night), Sunday’s action will start an hour earlier in the US (4:30am ET, 3:30am CT, and so on). Fans who reside in Arizona and Hawaii, we salute you.

European countries were called upon to wind their clocks back this past weekend, FYI.

2019 U23 World Championships


Friday, November 1 (Day 1)
10:30am-4:00pm — Qualification round-quarterfinals (55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, & 130 kg)
5:15pm-6:00pm — Semifinals (55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, & 130 kg)

Saturday, November 2 (Day 2)
10:30am-4:00pm — Qualification round-quarterfinals (60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, & 97 kg)
10:30am-4:00pm — Repechage rounds (55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, & 130 kg)
5:15pm-6:00pm — Semifinals (60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, & 97 kg)
6:00pm-8:30pm — Finals/bronze medal matches (55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, & 130 kg)

Sunday, November 3 (Day 3)
3:00pm-4:45pm — Repechage rounds (60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, & 97 kg)
5:00pm-7:30pm — Finals/bronze medal matches (60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, & 97 kg)

We will have post-round recaps and ongoing results throughout the weekend. Fans who would like to watch live can do so on (subscription required).

2019 USA U23 World Team

55 kg: Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC)
60 kg: Taylor LaMont (Sunkist/UVRTC) 2016 Junior World bronze
63 kg: Dalton Roberts (NYAC/OTS)
67 kg: Peyton Omania (MSU/CYC) 2019 Junior World bronze
72 kg: Lenny Merkin (NJRTC)
77 kg: Jesse Porter (NYAC/OTS)
82 kg: Andrew Berreyesa (NYAC/FLWC) 2018 Junior World silver
87 kg: Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood WC)
97 kg: Chad Porter (Sunkist)
130 kg: David Tate Orndorff (NYAC/UVRTC)

Georgia, Hungary, & Turkey Rosters

They have been arriving in drips leading up to this weekend, but three more powerhouse nations have declared their rosters for the U23 Worlds. Hungary is led by returning U23 bronze Tamas Levai, who is up at 82 kilos for this event. Also increasing in size, apparently, is ’15 Cadet World runner-up Robert Ersek. This tournament will represent the first time Ersek tests the waters at heavyweight after spending the majority of his career between 97 and 98 kilos.

Turkey’s lineup is just as, if not more considerable, with returning U23 World titlist Cengiz Arslan (72 kg), ’18 World bronze Ekrem Ozturk (55 kg), and ’16 Junior World champ Ali Cengiz (87 kg) all on board. Turkey has finished third at the first two iterations of the U23 World Championships.

But the country that has won the first two U23 World events and has consistently pounded out accolades at each age-group level is Georgia, and once again, their roster is impressive from top to bottom. Nugzari Tsurtsumia (55 kg) is coming off of his first Senior World crown and will be attempting to capture his second-straight U23 title. Also involved are 2016 Junior World gold Dato Chkhartishvili (60 kg); fellow ’16 Junior champ and 5th at the Senior Worlds this year, Giorgi Melia (97 kg); and three-time Junior/returning U23 World Champion Zviadi Pataridze (130 kg).

Georgia (GEO)

55 kg: Nugzari Tsurtsumia (2019 World Champion, ’18 U23 World Champion, ’18 World bronze, ’16 Junior World bronze, ’15 Junior World silver
60 kg: Dato Chkhartishvili (2016 Junior World Champion)
63 kg:
Levan Kavjaradze (2013 Cadet World bronze)
67 kg: Giorgi Kurtanidze
72 kg: Ramaz Zoidze (2018 U23 World silver, two-time Junior World Champion, ’11 Cadet World Champion, two-time Cadet World medalist)
77 kg: Beka Mamukashvili
82 kg: Aivengo Rikadze (2015 Cadet World Champion)
87 kg: Guram Khetsuriani
97 kg: Giorgi Melia (2016 Junior World Champion, ’18 U23 World bronze)
130 kg: Zviadi Pataridze (2018 U23 World Champion, ’17 U23 World silver, three-time Junior World Champion, two-time Cadet World Champion)

Hungary (HUN)

55 kg: Richard Racz
60 kg: Krizatian Kecskemeti 
63 kg:
Erik Torba (2018 Military World bronze)
67 kg: Bence Balatoni (2018 University World silver)
72 kg: Oliver Kajtan
77 kg: Zoltan Levai (Three-time Junior World bronze)
82 kg: Tamas Levai (2018 U23 World bronze)
87 kg: Bertalan Papp (2015 Junior World bronze, ’13 Cadet World silver)
97 kg: Alex Szoeke (2016 Cadet World Champion, ’17 Cadet World bronze)
130 kg: Robert Ersek (2015 Cadet World silver)

Turkey (TUR)

55 kg: Ekrem Ozturk (2018 World bronze, ’18 University World Champion)
60 kg: Ahmet Duyar
63 kg: Mehmet Ceker
67 kg: Hacı Karakus
72 kg: Cengiz Arslan (2018 U23 World Champion, ’16 University World bronze)
77 kg: Serkan Akkoyun (2013 Cadet World bronze)
82 kg: Salih Aydin (2017 Junior World bronze)
87 kg: Ali Cengiz (2015 Junior World Champion, ’18 University World Champion, ’16 Junior World silver, ’13 Cadet World bronze)
97 kg: İbrahim Tigci
130 kg: Osman Yildirim (2018 U23 World silver, ’16 Junior World silver, ’15 Junior World bronze, ’14 Cadet World bronze

Japan National Team Training for World Cup

The majority of Japan’s Greco-Roman athletes, including the group targeted for the U23 Worlds this week,  began a national training camp last Wednesday. The primary motivation for the camp is intended to serve the Seniors who are preparing for the 2019 World Cup scheduled for next month in Tehran, Iran. It was reported in the piece found on Japan’s official outlet that Kenichiro Fumita (60 kg, world no. 1), who surged to his second Senior gold in September and third consecutive World title counting his U23 win last year, will participate in the World Cup but then shut it down until the Asian Championships in March. That is because Fumita’s spot on the Japan’s 2020 Olympic Team was secured the moment he made the World final last month.

japan national team

Japan’s latest National Team camp, which includes members of its 2019 U23 squad, began last week with top Seniors focusing on the World Cup that takes place towards the end of next month. (Photo: Japan Wrestling Federation)

If Fumita is mentioned, so must be friend/chief domestic rival Shinobu Ota. Two weeks ago, the World champ at 63 kilos (and Rio Olympic silver at 59) declared his candidacy for 67. Ota will not have to wait too long to become familiar with what the new weight category feels like — according to the article, Ota is already ticketed for Iran. He is also working to put on size. “I realized that the amount of muscle has increased, and even during practice with Bunda (Fumita), I was able to push it in,” Ota said. “I’m more concerned about eating and sleeping than ever to make my body bigger.”

Kudla Is Awarded

Earlier this month, the German Wrestling Federation named Denis Kudla (87 kg, world no. 5) its “Male Wrestler of the Year”. Kudla, 24, earned bronze last month at the Senior World Championships and this past week added a bronze from the CISM Military World Games. In 2016, Kudla placed third at the Rio Olympics, and was runner-up to Metehan Basar (TUR) the next year in Paris.

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