USA Greco

Monday Roundup: Each Nation Qualified for Tokyo at Each Weight; NOR

tokyo olympic games greco-roman brackets, weights qualified
Stig-Andre Berge -- Photo: Kadir Caliskan

The process required 20 months to complete, eight more than were originally planned. Those extra 12, the result of a global pandemic responsible for temporarily shuttering competition, may have blurred the picture to a degree. Such a long, unexpected forced hiatus did provide a rare opportunity for many wrestlers to heal their bodies and recalibrate their minds, as has been espoused upon numerous times on this platform and elsewhere.

Then again, an argument could be made that, for some, their respites were harmful. Momentum seized became momentum lost. Aging combatants with whom most associate with greatness re-appeared once the dust settled and weren’t quite the same. One could also point to a recent string of positive COVID tests, an unfortunate but unsurprising scenario which pre-emptively pulled the rug out on several top competitors.

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They had their chances previously, lest anyone forget there were in most cases three total opportunities for nations to secure Tokyo bracket spots. But in the minds of many, something doesn’t feel quite right about all of that — and maybe, they’re right, particularly if one of those opportunities had been eliminated due to the protocols in place. Various COVID restrictions are necessary for the sport to function; but their collateral damage, in several instances, also brought to bear the sudden and disappointing eradication of Olympic hopes for top-caliber athletes.

But in spite of the postponements and subsequent residual hang-ups that were always unavoidable, the field for Greco-Roman at the Tokyo Olympic Games will not deviate far from the norm. The style’s powerhouse nations will all be represented accordingly. Even in the weight categories which delivered surprising outcomes during “Qualifying season”, the general outline for bracket participation comes suitably close to mirroring Olympiads of the recent past, with just enough outliers to keep things interesting.

Tokyo Olympics: Greco-Roman Brackets

With the conclusion of the World Olympic Qualifier on May 9, each of the six Olympic weight categories have now been completed. Names corresponding with countries are not intended to suggest entries and are only displayed to signify the athlete responsible for qualifying his weight.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Brackets

60 KG

Armenia (Armen Melikyan — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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)

Moldova (Victor Ciobanu — ’20 World OG 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)

Armenia (Karen Aslanyan — ’20 World OG 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)

Ukraine (Parviz Nasibov — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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

77 KG

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

Azerbaijan (Rafik Huseinov — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

Bulgaria (Aik Mnatsakanian — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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)

Croatia (Ivan Huklek — ’20 World OG 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)

Serbia (Zurabi Datunashvili — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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)

Czech Republic (Artur Omarov — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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

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

Hungary (Alex Szoeke — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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)

Finland (Matti Kuosmanen — ’20 World OG Qualifier)

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)

Romania (Alin Alexuc-Ciurarriu — ’20 World OG 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)

Comparing to 2016 Rio

The Olympic weight categories were amended for the 2017-18 season, as well as the weigh-in procedures. However, those alterations have not influenced the viability of most nations with regard to tournament contention. One quantifiable difference for 2020ne is in terms of participation numbers; brackets in Rio averaged 19 wrestlers while Tokyo’s event will be capped at 16 athletes total.

Changes in weight classes and weigh-in procedures affect wrestlers on an individual basis and are considered intangible relative to performance, which cannot be measured. What can, are medals per country.

Below are the medal-winning nations from each weight class at the Rio Olympics. Each weight category averages one country that will not send an athlete to Tokyo, with 75 kilograms (now 77) holding the most at two (Denmark and Korea).

Rio Olympics: Medals By Nations Per Weight

59 kg
CUB (Ismael Borrero Molina)
SILVER: JPN (Shinobu Ota)
BRONZE: NOR (Stig-Andre Berge)
BRONZE: UZB (Elmurat Tasmuradov)

Nations not returning: 1 (NOR)

66 kg
SRB (Davor Stefanek)
SILVER: ARM (Migran Arutyunyan)
BRONZE: AZE (Rasul Chunayev)
BRONZE: GEO (Shmagi Bolkvadze)

Nations not returning: 1 (AZE)

75 kg
RUS (Roman Vlasov)
SILVER: DEN (Mark Madsen)
BRONZE: KOR (Kim Hyeon-Woo)
BRONZE: IRI (Saeid Abdevali)

Nations not returning: 2 (DEN & KOR)

85 kg
RUS (Davit Chakvetadze)
SILVER: UKR (Zhan Belenyuk)
BRONZE: GER (Denis Kudla)
BRONZE: BLR (Javid Hamzatov)

Nations not returning: 1 (RUS)

98 kg
ARM (Artur Aleksanyan)
SILVER: CUB (Yasmany Lugo Cabrera)
BRONZE: TUR (Cenk Ildem)
BRONZE: IRI (Ghasem Rezaei)

Nations not returning: 0

130 kg
CUB (Mijain Lopez)
SILVER: TUR (Riza Kayaalp)
BRONZE: AZE (Sabah Shariati)
BRONZE: RUS (Sergey Semenov)

Nations not returning: 1 (AZE)

No Good for Norway

On Saturday at the World OG Qualifier in Sofia, Norway had five athletes entered: ’14 World/’16 Olympic bronze Stig-Andre Berge (60 kg), ’20 European Championships gold Morten Thoeresen (67 kg), Per Anders Kure (77 kg), ’17 Euro gold Felix Baldauf (97 kg), and Oskar Marvik (130 kg). Not one of them placed in the top-2. Newsworthy for one reason: Norway’s streak of nine consecutive Greco-Roman Olympiads has now come to a crashing halt.

As rendered in the list above, Berge had earned bronze in Rio by downing multi-time medalist Rovshan Bayramov in one of that tournament’s more thrilling bouts. Bayramov was at the time hunting for his third straight Olympic medal after grabbing silver in ’08 and ’12, respectively. That bronze match in Rio was a high point for the popular Berge, and he remained competitive throughout the Tokyo quad, particularly at 63 kilos at which he finished second in the Euros twice (’18 and ’19). Berge, 37, has not definitively confirmed that he will walk away from competition — and the thought had been that the World Championships scheduled for October in Oslo might be enough to entice him to hang on for just a little longer. But going by his words posted on Instagram this past Saturday, it would seem that the three-time Olympian is in fact calling it a career.


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A post shared by Stig-Andre Berge (@stigandreberge)

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