Greco News

Monday Roundup: Winter Thor; Emelin & Vlasov

thor masters, randon miranda
Randon Miranda -- Photo: Marion Stein

Thor Masters, Denmark’s grand annual event, is normally held in the winter but 2021 offered an exception. Rather than March (or even January, ala ’20), it was mid-September this time around, which for some athletes fit quite nicely as a pre-Oslo warm-up tournament. The scheduling anomaly was the result of pandemic-influenced restrictions. Only a handful of relevant competitions were run in Europe last season; and even in the absence of such restrictions, both Rome’s “Ranking Series” tournament and the European Olympic Games Qualifier would have created an otherwise unnecessary logjam, thus hindering Thor Masters’ usual appeal.

But when ’22 arrives, it appears there might be clear sailing. The current plan is for next year’s Thor Masters to run in either February or March, in which case either month would accommodate the usual degree of interest Thor commands.

However, United World Wrestling’s tentative Senior schedule through the winter includes, as of press time, five events prior to the European Championships (Budapest, HUN; March 28-April 3). Perhaps the main hitch for Thor’s tournament organizers in settling on a date is UWW’s own “Ranking Series” concerns, a point also referenced by United States National Team head coach Matt Lindland two weeks ago. Two “Ranking Series” events are already listed — February 3-6 and 24-27. The issue? Locations for both have not yet been confirmed.

Thor Masters generally provides a testing ground for top Euro Seniors in the lead-up to their continental championships. That, in conjunction with the popular accompanying training camp, plays a large role in its attractiveness. But presuming Thor Masters 2022 does slot back into its customary date range on the calendar, the international schedule for winter competition will not allow for much of a lull heading into Budapest.

January

15 — Herman Kare Int’l – Kouvola, FIN
21-23 — Henri Deglane GP – Nice, FRA

February

3-6 — 1st Ranking Series
17-20 — Nikola Petrov – Plovdlv, BUL
24-27 — 2nd Ranking Series

March

28-(April 3) — European Championships – Budapest, HUN

Alrosa Will Have Emelin & Vlasov

The Moscow Grand Prix/Alrosa Cup takes place December 3 featuring a format alteration that will involve a lineup of Russian stars squaring off against selected international counterparts, presumably beholden to high repute. On the Greco side for Russia, now-three-time World Champion Roman Vlasov (77 kg, world #2) and ’18 winner/multi-time medalist Sergey Emelin (60 kg, world #4) are getting the nod. Their opponents have not been chosen, though the Russian Wrestling Federation does outright claim that Emelin will face a Tokyo Olympic medalist. “I am glad that there is an opportunity to close 2021 with a beautiful fight at a bright tournament,” said Vlasov. “It will be very interesting!”

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