Live Blog: Poland Open Ranking Series, Day One

By Eric Olanowski

Poland Open Ranking Series begins in Warsaw with five freestyle weight categories in action on Monday.



Tuesday's Final Matchups:
57kg: Makhmudjon SHAVKATOV (UZB) vs. Stevan Andria MICIC (SRB) (Round 3)
70kg: Alec PANTALEO (USA) vs. James GREEN (USA) 
79kg: Rashid KURBANOV (UZB) vs. Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK) 
86kg: Sandro AMINASHVILI (GEO) vs. Zahid VALENCIA (USA) 
97kg:  Ali Khalil SHABANIBENGAR (IRI) vs. Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) 

13:22: That'll do it for the morning session. We'll see you back here at 18:00 (local time) for the Day One medal matches.

13:13: Aliyev scores five unanswered points in the second period, but Pantaleo's four-point move in the first period pushes him past the three-time world champ, 6-6. He'll wrestle the winner of James Malcolm GREEN (USA) and  Zurabi IAKOBISHVILI (GEO), who are wrestling now on Mat B. 

13:08: What a first period for Alec PANTALEO (USA). He scored a four-point move and a two-point takedown and leads three-time world champion Haji Aliyev, 6-1, after the first period. 

13:03: James GREEN (USA) and Iakobishvili are on the clock, too. They'll wrestle at 13:09 on Mat B.

12:57: We'll take a quick seven-minute break to give Aliyev some rest time. When the time is up, he'll take on Alec PANTALEO (USA) for a spot in tonight's 70kg finals. 

12:37: World champs Aliyev and Iakobishvili are wrestling right now on Mat A!

12:27: Mohammadian held on to win a close battle against Karimmachiani. He scored a takedown and gave up a pair of one-point moves in the second period but held the criteria advantage. He'll now take on Ali SHABANIBENGAR (IRI) in tonight's 97kg gold-medal match.

12:22: Mohammadian struck first with the matches only takedown. He leads, 2-0, after the first period.

12:20: HERE. WE. GO! MAT A: Alireza KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) and Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) are wrestling now!

12:14: World champions  Haji Aliyev (AZE) and Zurabi IAKOBISHVILI (GEO) are up in three matches on Mat A.

11:56: With Alireza Mohammad KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) and Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) wrestling in the 97kg semifinals, it's important to note that this plays a major role in who represents Iran at the Tokyo Olympic Games. I spoke with the Iranian Wrestling Federation, and they said, "We have a qualification cycle. This consists of the performances of each wrestler during the last 7 months (in training and competitions) and for sure Poland Rankings will be one part of this cycle."

11:52: Deepak PUNIA (IND) won't compete at the Poland Open. The Indian pulled out of the competition with an elbow injury. That pushes Zahid VALENCIA (USA) into the semifinals. He'll take on the winner of Tokyo Olympians Stefan REICHMUTH (SUI) and Myles AMINE (SMR). 

11:49: Karimmachiani just put on a show! He thumped Conyedo, 11-0, in just five minutes. He'll now take on Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI). 

11:38: It feels like he just wrestled, but Conyedo is up again! He's wrestling two-time world silver medalist Alireza Mohammad KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI).

11:30: That was close, but Zahid VALENCIA (USA) got the job done. He hung on late to defeat Sebastian JEZIERZANSKI (POL), 6-5. He'll square off against '19 world silver medalist Deepak PUNIA (IND).

Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA) upset Olympic champion Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 2-2, in their opening-round meeting. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

11:21: We're not even one with our first cup of coffee and we already have a massive upset. Italy Abraham Conyedo scored the matches only takedown and upset Olympic champion Sharifov in their opening-round meet.

11:14: This should be a good one on Mat A. It's Olympic champion  Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) and world bronze medalist Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA). They've both qualified their nation's for the Tokyo Olympic Games at 97kg. 

11:13: I spoke too soon! As I wrote Aliyev trailed, 2-1, he strung together seven unanswered points and won the match, 8-2. That win pushed him into his 70kg Round 2 match against Syrbaz TALGAT (KAZ). 

11:06: It's still early, but three-time world champion Haji ALIYEV (AZE) trails Sirojiddin KHASANOV (UZB), 2-1, with short time left in the first period. They are wrestling on Mat C.

11:00: Good morning, wrestling fans! For those asking about brackets: instead of releasing them all at once, they'll be released each morning after weigh-ins. 


Double Olympic Champ Vlasov Suffers Loss, Hurts Tokyo Games Chances

By Vinay Siwach

WARSAW, Poland (June 12) --- “The smallest,” Roman VLASOV (RUS) did not mince his words when asked about his chances to make the Russian team for the Tokyo Olympics.

He was the favorite to win the 77kg weight class in Warsaw on Saturday but the Russian suffered a shock defeat to the rising star Tamas LEVAI (HUN) in the semifinal 1-1, hurting his own chances of making the Russian team for the Games.

It was one of those matches where Vlasov failed to find his rhythm despite being the aggressive wrestler. He did not anticipate the tactics Levai deployed first to come out unharmed from the par terre position and then defend the 1-1 criteria lead until the end of time.

The two-time Olympic champion's fate now hangs in balance as Russia will decide the the Tokyo Olympian later this month.


In the 77kg final, Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) manhandled Levai -- outplacing Vlasov in the process -- and will likely square off against fellow world champion Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) for the Russian 77kg at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Much like Iran did earlier in the week with their freestyle squad, Russia used the Poland Open as a special wrestle-off. But in the case of Russia’s 77kg spot, they used the Poland Open as a placeholder for a spot in a showdown against Chekhirkin, who punched his nation’s ticket to Tokyo through his gold-medal performance at the European Olympic Qualifier in March.

It’s not clear when or where the special wrestle-off will take place, but once that information is available, it’ll be posted on www.uww.org and all of our social media accounts.

However, Iran got their Olympian at 130kg. In the all-Iranian battle for the gold and a place on the team for Tokyo, Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) used a mean underhook throw-by with 45 seconds left in the second period to pick up the match's only offensive points against Aliakbar YOUSOFIAHMADCHALI (IRI). That was the match-deciding takedown, as Mirzazadeh claimed gold with the 3-1 victory.


There was a third Iranian -- Amir GHASEMIMONJEZI (IRI) -- part of the process but Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) defeated him 8-0 in the quarterfinal to end his run for the Olympics.

Abdullaev finished with the bronze medal and will receive 12 points, breaking into the top four seedings for the Olympics. His 12 points made his jump over Moises Salvador PEREZ HELLBURG (VEN) and sit fourth with 40 points.

At 67kg, Murat FIRAT (TUR) forged a five-point second-period comeback and stopped Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) from putting a third Ranking Series gold on his resume. The 24-year-old Turk surrendered an inactivity point and a right-sided two-point gut wrench against the Tokyo Olympian, but conserved enough energy to string together five unanswered points and steal the match from the Egyptian.

Firat’s point-scoring frenzy started with a pair of step-outs, followed by a two-point exposure that results from an inactivity point.

What the silver medal does is take Elsayed to second place in the Tokyo seeds at 67kg as he collected 12 points for his silver medal. His total of 50 points keeps him behind Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) who has 80 points but he moves ahead of Artem SURKOV (RUS) and Mate NEMES (SRB) who have 40 points and 39 points respectively.

Elsayed said he missed competing internationally and due to lack of training due to COVID-19, he was not 100 percent on Saturday. But the U23 world champion was confident of being in best shape for the Olympics.

Another Olympic qualified athlete claimed the gold medal as Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) traded inactivity points with Yaroslav FILCHAKOV (UKR) and held criteria in the end and grabbed 82kg gold.

The youngsters' win here doesn't give any ranking points for the Tokyo Olympics as he will be moving down to 77kg at the Olympics.

At 55kg, Max NOWRY (USA) was awarded the gold medal as he was the only entry in the weight class.

Greco-Roman wrestling will continue on Sunday with five more weight categories in action in Warsaw.



GOLD - Murat FIRAT (TUR) df. Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY), 5-3
BRONZE - Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) df. Makhmud BAKHSHILLOEV (UZB), via injury default
BRONZE - Bohdan KOVERNYUK (UKR) df. Mateusz SZEWCZUK (POL), 4-1

GOLD - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) df. Tamas LEVAI (HUN), 9-0
BRONZE - Yasaf ZEINALOV (UKR) df. Yunus Emre BASAR (TUR), via injury default

GOLD – Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) df. Yaroslav FILCHAKOV (UKR), 1-1
BRONZE - Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) df. Magnus GROENVIK (NOR), 9-0

GOLD - Amin Mohammadzaman MIRZAZADEH (IRI) df. Aliakbar Hossein YOUSOFIAHMADCHALI (IRI), 3-1
BRONZE - Eduard POPP (GER) df. Heiki NABI (EST), via injury default