Dan Kolov Women's Wrestling Preview

By Eric Olanowski

RUSE, Bulgaria (February 27) - Reigning world champions Petra OLLI (FIN), RONG Ningning (CHN), and Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) will wrestle at this week’s Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament, United World Wrestling’s second freestyle and women's wrestling Ranking Series event of the 2019 season.

In addition to the three reigning world champions, there will be seven defending Dan Kolov gold medalists and 25 women who are ranked inside the top-15 that'll be competing for the all-important Ranking Series points.

Deepest Weight Class: 57kg 
Without a doubt, the most loaded weight class of the tournament is 57kg. This weight features three of the four Budapest world medalists, including China's Rong Ningning and Bulgaria's Bilyana DUDOVA. The two wrestled each other for the Budapest gold medal, where Rong was victorious, 3-3, on criteria. 

Rong earned the top-spot in Budapest and collected the No.1-ranking at 57kg with her 60 Ranking Series points. Dudova’s runner-up finish at the 2018 world championships gave her 50 Ranking Series points, which are good enough for the second ranking. India’s Pooja DHANDA (IND) is the third and final returning 57kg medalist entered at this weight. Dhanda is ranked No. 5 in the world and has 25 Ranking Series points. 

In total, five top-10 wrestlers will compete at 57kg, with Grace BULLEN (NOR) and Kateryna ZHYDACHEVSKA (ROU) rounding out the ranked competitors. 

Bullen jumped into the third spot in the world rankings with her 30 Ranking Series points after her fifth-place finish at worlds and bronze-medal finish at the Ivan Yariguin. 

Though it didn’t count towards her Ranking Series points, Bullen does have a recent win over defending world champion Rong. Bullen used a last-second takedown to knock off Rong in the U23 finals to win her first world title. This win came just over a month after the 2018 Budapest World Championships. 

Ranked Wrestlers 
No. 1 Ningning RONG (CHN)
No. 2 Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL)
No. 3 Grace BULLEN (NOR)
No. 5 Pooja DHANDA    (IND)

Yusein Looking for Back-To-Back Kolov Titles 
After a tumultuous 13th-place finish at the Ivan Yariguin, reigning 62kg world champion Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) used the 2018 Dan Kolov as a turning point in her season. That 3-3 quarterfinal round loss to Russia’s Inna TRAZHUKOVA at the Ivan Yariguin sparked something inside of the Bulgarian that ignited one of the most impressive runs in the world across all divisions. 

After that January defeat, Yusein didn’t drop another match and went on to have gold-medal performances at the Yasar Dogu, the Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial and, the world championships. 

Yusein is the No.1 ranked wrestler in the world at 62kg and has 60 Ranking Series points. 

Ranked Wrestlers 
No. 1 Taybe YUSEIN (BUL)
No. 4 Mallory Maxine VELTE (USA)
No. 11 Malin MATTSSON (SWE)

Olli One of Three World Champions Entered 
Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) is one of the three defending world champions that’ll be wrestling in Ruse. Olli defeated Canada’s Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN), 6-5, in the 65kg world-title bout to become Finland’s first-ever women’s wrestling world champion. 

Olli will wrestle at 65kg where she’s the No.1 ranked wrestler in the world. She brings 60 Ranking Series points into the Dan Kolov. 

The only ranked opponent she could face this weekend is third-ranked Forrest MOLINARI (USA). Molinari, who’s ranked third in the world, lost in the bronze-medal match at the 2018 world championships and 2019 Ivan Yariguin. She has 28 Ranking Series points.

Ranked Wrestlers
No. 1 Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN)
No. 3 Forrest Ann MOLINARI (USA)

Pair of Returning Champions Entered at 53kg and 68kg 
Two weight classes feature a total of four defending Dan Kolov champions. They are 53kg and 68kg. 

Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) and Roksana ZASINA (POL) won the 53kg and 55kg Dan Kolov titles respectively last season – but only one will have the opportunity to win the 53kg title. 

Krawczyk was Poland’s world team representative at 53kg in 2018, but Zasina will be dropping back down to 53kg where she’s welcomed the most success of her career. While at 53kg,  Zasina finished with a bronze medal at the world championships– the only one of her career.

Meanwhile, Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) and Agnieszka WIESZCZEK KORDUS (POL) also won a pair of Kolov titles last year and find themselves in the same weight. Hanzlickova and Wieszczek Kordus will compete at 68kg.

Hanzlickova will be moving up from her 2018 championship weight of 65kg, while Wieszczek Kordus will be stepping down from her 72kg Kolov title-winning weight. 

Ranked Wrestlers at 53kg 
No. 3 Qianyu PANG (CHN)
No. 6 Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL)

Ranked Wrestlers at 68kg 
No. 4 Feng ZHOU (CHN)
No. 5 Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA)

Two World Finalists Entered at 55kg and 76kg 
There are two world finalists that are entered at 55kg and 76kg. 

Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR) and Sofia MATTSSON (SWE) are the only two ranked wrestlers competing at 55kg, and they're the only two wrestlers who’ve previously reached a world final. 

SIdakova is coming off her first world finals appearance where she fell short against Japan’s Mayu Mukaida, while Mattsson has reached the world finals five times. The Swedish wrestler captured the 2009 world title but dropped her other four world finals matches. 

SIdakova holds 40 Rankings Series points and is the second-ranked wrestler in the world at 55kg. Mattsson, who left Budapest with a seventh-place finish, is ranked No. 7 in the world with 18 Ranking Series points.

The second weight class that’ll feature a pair of past world finalists is 76kg. 

Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER) and Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) fell short in the world finals two seasons ago but failed to medal at last year’s world championships. 

Focken won two matches before falling to the eventual third-place finisher and Rio Olympic champion Erica WIEBE (CAN) in the quarterfinals and had settled for eighth place. The German wrestler bounced back at the Ivan Yariguin and won the bronze medal, helping her take control of the third spot in the world ranking with 28 Ranking Series points 

After a silver-medal finish in Paris, Marzaliuk lost her first match in Budapest to Hungary’s Zsanett NEMETH and dropped down to 14th place. The tenth-ranked Belarusian wrestler rebounded at the Ivan Yariguin and collected 14 Ranking Series after a second-place finish. 

Ranked Wrestlers at 55kg 
No. 2 Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR)
No. 7 Sofia MATTSSON (SWE)

Ranked Wrestlers at 76kg
No. 10 Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR)

Sun Looking for Second Gold of the Year 
China’s Rio Olympic and 2018 world bronze medalist Yanan SUN (CHN) will make her second appearance of the year. Last weekend, she wrestled her way to a 50kg Klippan Lady Open title in Sweden. 

The Chinese star is the highest ranked 50kg wrestler that’s entered into the Dan Kolov. She owns 25 Ranking Series points and is ranked third in the world behind Japan’s two-time world champion Yui SUSAKI and two-time Olympic medalist Mariya STADNIK (AZE).

Ranked Wrestlers 
No. 3 Yanan SUN (CHN)
No. 8 Fredrika PETERSSON
No. 13 Victoria ANTHONY

Ranking Series Point Structure (Placement Points + Entry Points = Total Points) 

Placement Points
GOLD - 8 points 
SILVER - 6 points 
BRONZE - 4 points 
BRONZE - 4 points 
Fifth - 2 points 
Fifth - 2 points 

Entry Points 
10 or less entries - 6 points 
11-20 entries  - 8 points 
20 or more entries - 10 points 


February 27 (Wednesday) 
16:30 - Draw - FS - 61, 70, 79, 92kg; GR - 55, 63, 72, 82kg; WW - 55, 59, 65, 72kg

February 28 (Thursday) 
8:00 - Medical examination and weigh-in 1 - FS - 61, 70, 79, 92kg; GR (+2 kg) - 55, 63, 72, 82kg; WW - 55, 59, 65, 72kg
10:00 - Elimination rounds - FS - 61, 70, 79, 92kg; GR - 55, 63, 72, 82kg; WW - 55, 59, 65, 72kg
16:00 - Draw - FS - 57, 65, 74; GR-87 ,97, 130; WW - 62 ,68 ,76kg
16:30 - Opening ceremony
17:00 - Semifinals FS - 61, 70, 79, 92kg; GR - 55, 63, 72, 82kg; WW - 55, 59, 65, 72kg

March 1 (Friday) 
8:00 - Medical examination and weigh-in 1 - FS - 57, 65, 74; GR (+ 2 kg) - 87, 97, 130; WW - 62, 68, 76kg
8: 30 - Weigh-in 2 FS - 61,70,79, 92 kg; GR (+ 2 kg) - 55,63,72,82 kg; WW - 55,59,65, 72 kg Referee meeting
10: 00 - Elimination rounds FS - 57, 65, 74; GR - 87, 97, 130; WW - 62, 68, 76 kg
10: 00 - Repechages FS - 61, 70, 79, 92kg; GR - 55, 63, 72, 82kg; WW - 55, 59, 65, 72kg
16: 30 - Draw - FS - 86, 97, 125; GR - 60, 67, 77kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg
17: 00 - Semi-finals FS - 57, 65, 74; GR - 87, 97, 130; WW - 62, 68, 76kg
18:00 - Final matches and awarding ceremony - FS - 61,70,79, 92kg; GR - 55, 63, 72, 82kg; WW - 55, 59, 65, 72kg

March 2 (Satuday) 
8:00 - Medical examination and weigh-in 1 - FS - 86, 97, 125; GR (+ 2 kg) - 60, 67, 77 kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg 
8:30: - Weigh-in 2 - FS - 57, 65, 74; GR (+ 2 kg) - 87, 97, 130; WW - 62, 68, 76kg 
10: 00 - Elimination rounds - FS - 86, 97, 125; GR - 60, 67, 77 kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg
10:00 - Repechages - FS - 57, 65, 74; GR - 87, 97, 130; WW - 62, 68, 76kg
17:00 - Semifinals - FS 86, 97, 125kg;GR - 60, 67, 77 kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg
18: 00 - Final matches and awarding ceremony - FS - 57, 65, 74; GR - 87, 97, 130; WW - 62, 68, 76kg

March 3 (Sunday) 
8:00 - Weigh-in 2 - FS - 86, 97, 125; GR (+ 2 kg) - 60, 67, 77kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg
Repechages - FS - 86, 97, 125; GR (+ 2 kg) - 60, 67, 77 kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg
Final matches and awarding ceremony - FS - 86, 97, 125; GR - 60, 67, 77 kg; WW - 50, 53, 57kg


United States and China Claim Dan Kolov Team Titles

By Eric Olanowski

RUSE, Bulgaria (March 3) – Olympic champion Kyle SNYDER sealed the Dan Kolov team title for the United States (147 points) with a 4-0 shutout win over Ukraine’s Valerii ANDRIITSEV in the 97kg gold-medal bout. 

In the finals, Snyder won the position battle and capitalized on four one-point exchanges to join fellow Americans Jordan BURROUGHS and Alex DIEREINGER as Dan Kolov freestyle champions. 


A second Olympic champion also claimed a gold medal on the fourth and final day of wrestling in Ruse, Bulgaria. 

Iran’s Rio Olympic champion Hassan YAZDANICHARATI (IRI) obliterated four-time world medalist Ali SHABANAU (BLR), 16-5 in the 86kg finals and won his first Ranking Series gold medal. Yazdani’s smothering pace and left side underhook proved to be too much for the Belarusian, as he gave up a pair of four-point moves, two takedowns, and a quartet of step-outs.

Iran’s 2018 world bronze medalist Parviz HADI (IRI) closed out the tournament and handed Iran their second gold medal of the night, when he edged Oleksandr KHOTSIANIVSKYI (UKR), 6-4, for the 125kg gold. 

Hadi trailed 3-0 but scored six unanswered points from a takedown and a four-point throw off a high crotch to gain the 6-3 lead. Hadi surrendered a late step out, but his two-point cushion was still enough to give him the win and his first Ranking Series title. 

It’s also worth noting that Hadi had to win back-to-back matches over returning world medalist just to make it to the finals. He defeated China’s returning world finalist Zhiwei DENG (CHN), 8-4, and followed that up with a 5-2 win over two-time world bronze medalist Nicholas GWIAZDOWSKI (USA). 

The United States won the freestyle team title, finishing 32 points ahead of second place Russia (115 points), and 47 points ahead of the bronze-medal winners Turkey. Ukraine (88 points) and Georgia (80 points) rounded out the top-5 respectively. 

In women’s wrestling, PANG Qianyu (CHN) and RONG Ningning (CHN) carried China to the team title with their gold-medal performance on the final day of wrestling in Ruse. 

In the 53kg finals, Pang Qianyu trailed India’s Vinesh VINESH (IND) 2-0 after the opening frame but scored nine unanswered points and gave China their first Dan Kolov women’s wrestling title of the weekend.

On her lone scoring sequence of the match, Pang grabbed a takedown from a high-level shot and fell right into a left side trapped arm gut wrench. The Chinese wrestler rolled Vinesh with a trio of gut wrenches and gained control of the match, 8-2. A failed Indian challenge brought the score to 9-2, which is where the 53kg gold medal bout ended. 


Reigning world champion Rong Ninging handed China their second gold medal of the day when she avenged her U23 world championship loss to Norway’s Grace BULLEN and picked up the fall in the 57kg finals. 

Rong was shutting out the Norwegian wrestler 4-0 before stopping a throw attempt and scoring the fall. 

The third women’s wrestling gold medalist on the fourth and final day of wrestling in Ruse was Iwona MATKOWSKA (POL), who defeated America's Erin GOLSTON (USA), 4-1, in the 50kg finals. 

China won the women's wrestling team title, finishing 20 points ahead of second place Ukraine (92 points), and 35 points in front of third-place the United States (77 points). Turkey (75 points) and India (65 points) finished in fourth and fifth places respectively. 

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GOLD - United States (147 points)
SILVER - Russia (115 points)
BRONZE - Turkey(100 points)
Fourth - Ukraine (88 points)
Fifth - Georgia (80 points)

BRONZE - Boris MAKOEV (SVK) df. Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ), 4 - 4
BRONZE - Akhmed AIBUEV (FRA) df. Fatih ERDIN (TUR), via inj. def.

GOLD - Kyle Frederick SNYDER (USA) df. Valerii ANDRIITSEV (UKR), 4-0 
BRONZE - Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR) df. Baki SAHIN (TUR), 10-0

GOLD - Parviz HADI (IRI) df. Oleksandr KHOTSIANIVSKYI (UKR), 6-4 
BRONZE - Daniel LIGETI (HUN) df. DENG Zhiwei (CHN), 6-1 
BRONZE - Said GAMIDOV (RUS) df. Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO), via inj. def. 

Women’s Wrestling 
GOLD - China (112 points)
SILVER - Ukraine (92 points)
BRONZE - United States (77 points)
Fourth - Turkey (75 points)
Fifth - India (65 points)

GOLD - Iwona Nina MATKOWSKA (POL) df. Erin Simone GOLSTON (USA), 4-1 
BRONZE - Whitney CONDER (USA) df. Victoria Lacey ANTHONY (USA), 4 - 0

GOLD - PANG Qianyu (CHN) df. Vinesh VINESH (IND), 9-2 
BRONZE - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) df. Juan DENG (CHN), via fall 

GOLD - RONG Ningning (CHN) df. Grace Jacob BULLEN (NOR), via fall 
BRONZE - Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) df. Sara Johanna LINDBORG (SWE), 10 - 0
BRONZE - Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) df. Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL), 8-2