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  • Photo: Ben Mrad Bayrem

    Photo: Ben Mrad Bayrem

    2022 Men's and Women's Freestyle World Cup Preview

    Hayden Zillmer (left) and Geno Petriashvili (photo courtesy of Ben Mrad Bayrem; UWW)

    The World Cup is Back! No, not the one from Qatar, the men's and women's freestyle World Cup is back and will take place tomorrow and Sunday in Coralville, Iowa. It will be the first time that the men's and women's World Cup have been held in conjunction with each other. The top-five teams from the 2022 World Championships will be in attendance, along with an All-Star team is comprised of top-finishers from countries that didn't make it to the top-five at worlds.

    Below is a primer on the event with a schedule for all of the action, rosters for our men's and freestyle team's and matches to watch for Saturday's duals. There will be an additional dual for each team on Sunday, based on their performance. Iran and Japan are expected to advance on the other side of the brackets and would make for great matchups with our men's and women's team, respectively.

    Saturday, March 10th

    10:00AM (Central)

    Mat A - USA vs. Mongolia (Men's Freestyle)
    Mat B - Japan vs. Mongolia (Women's Freestyle)


    11:30AM

    Mat A - Iran vs. Japan (Men's Freestyle)
    Mat B - USA vs. China (Women's Freestyle)


    3:00PM

    Mat A - Mongolia vs. Georgia (Men's Freestyle)
    Mat B - Mongolia vs. Ukraine (Women's Freestyle)


    4:30PM

    Mat A - Japan vs. All-World Team (Men's Freestyle)
    Mat B - China vs. All-World Team (Women's Freestyle)


    6:00PM

    Mat A - Georgia vs. USA (Men's Freestyle)
    Mat B - Ukraine vs. Japan (Women's Freestyle)


    7:30PM

    Mat A - All-World vs. Iran (Men's Freestyle)
    Mat B - All-World vs USA (Women's Freestyle)


    Sunday, March 11th

    11:00AM

    Women's 3rd Place Bout


    12:30PM

    Men's 3rd Place Bout


    4:00PM

    Women's Championship Bout


    5:30PM

    Men's Championship Bout


    US Men's Freestyle Roster

    57 kg - Zane Richards, Nick Suriano
    61 kg - Seth Gross, Daniel DeShazer
    65 kg - Yiannii Diakomihalis, Evan Henderson
    70 kg - Tyler Berger, Alec Pantaleo
    74 kg - Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph
    79 kg - Jordan Burroughs, Chance Marsteller
    86 kg - Zahid Valencia, Mark Hall
    92 kg - Nathan Jackson, Jay Aiello
    97 kg - Kyle Snyder, Kollin Moore
    125 kg - Hayden Zillmer, Nick Gwiazdowski

    US Women's Freestyle Roster

    50 kg - Alyssa Lampe, Erin Golston
    53 kg - Felicity Taylor
    55 kg - Jacarra Winchester, Jenna Burkert
    57 kg - Alex Hedrick, Amanda Martinez
    59 kg - Lexie Basham, Michaela Beck
    62 kg - Kayla Miracle, Jennifer Rogers
    65 kg - Mallory Velte
    68 kg - Sienna Ramirez, Solin Piearcy
    72 kg - Amit Elor, Skylar Grote
    76 kg - Dymond Guilford, Yelena Makoyed


    US Men's Team vs Mongolia

    Potential Matches to Watch:

    57 kg: Richards/Suriano vs. Zanabazar Zandanbud (Mongolia)

    Zandanbud was a 2022 World bronze medalist that fell to Thomas Gilman, 5-1 in the quarterfinals this year. That should set up a good match with whoever the US coaching staff chooses at 57.

    61 kg: Gross/DeShazer vs. Narankhuu Narmandakh (Mongolia)

    Team Mongolia has world bronze medalists in each of their first three weights. Narmandakh put up at least 10 points in his first three bouts at the 2022 World Championships before running into Reza Atrina (Iran) in the semis. He responded by beating Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria) for the bronze. This could be a “Match of the Tournament” candidate with the high-scoring Seth Gross.

    65 kg: Diakomihalis/Henderson vs. Tulga Tumur Ochir (Mongolia)

    Both Yianni and Tumur Ochir were in the 2021 65 kg World Championship weight class. The Mongolian came away with a bronze medal and Diakomihalis was empty-handed. Tumur Ochir beat an impressive group of wrestlers to earn his medal (Kaiki Yamaguchi - Japan, Vazgen Tevanyan - Armenia, Rohit - India) and lost to the eventual champion from Russia by a point. Mongolia sent a different rep this year when Yianni took the silver.

    125 kg: Zillmer/Gwiazdowski vs Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)

    Munkhtur is the only multiple-time Senior world medalist in the lineup for Mongolia. Munkhtur was a silver medalist in Belgrade and medaled in each of the last two years. He and Gwiazdowski met in 2018 and the American took a 5-1 victory.


    US Women's Team vs China

    Potential Matches to Watch:

    55 kg: Winchester/Burkert vs Qianya Pang (China)

    Both of our women at this weight have Senior world medals to their name with Winchester earning a world title in 2019 and Burkert with a bronze in 2021. Pang is a tough-out; she has three Olympic/World medals on her resume, with a silver coming at the 2020 Olympics.

    65 kg Velte vs Jia Long (China)

    Perhaps the biggest toss-up match of this dual takes place at 65 kg with Velte and Long. Both earned medals at the 2022 World Championships. Velte bronze and Long silver. The two were not on the same half of the bracket, but both had identical 2-0 losses to the gold medalist Miwa Morikawa (Japan). Velte looked as good as ever in Belgrade, so hopefully she can keep the momentum going.

    76 kg: Guilford vs. Juan Wang (China)

    This should be a close dual and may come down to the final bout. If so, it will be a close match between a pair of wrestlers with some age-group credentials. Wang was a 2020 Yarygin champion and wrestled for the bronze medal at Senior World's in 2018. Guilford was a Senior representative for the first time in 2022 and was a silver medalist a month later at U23's.


    US Men's Team vs Georgia

    Potential Matches to Watch:

    65 kg: Diakomihalis/Henderson vs. Beka Lomtadze (Georgia)

    If Diakomihalis goes, this could be a battle between a pair of past World silver medalists. The difference could be that Yianni is at/or reaching his peak, while Lomtadze's finals appearance was at 61 kg in 2016. Over the past two years, Lomtadze's best performances came at the European Championships where he was seventh in 2022 and a bronze medalist in 2021.

    70 kg: Berger/Pantaleo vs. Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia)

    Either Berger or Pantaleo will have the tough task of taking on 2017 World Champion Zurabi Iakobishvili. The Georgian has a total of four world medals in his collection. The most recent came this year when he claimed a bronze medal. This came after a 7-0 loss to Zain Retherford in the semifinals.


    79 kg: Burroughs/Marsteller vs. Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (Georgia)

    Should Jordan Burroughs get the call, this could become of meeting of an all-time great and perhaps a future star. Gamkrelidze was a U23 World Champion this year at 79 kg. At Senior's, Gamkrelidze took his lumps and fell 10-0 to Ali Umarpashaev (Bulgaria). Burroughs would defeat the Bulgarian 9-2 in the semifinals. It may be “too-much, too-soon” for the young Georgian.


    92 kg: Jackson/Aiello vs. Miriani Maisuradze (Georgia)

    2023 has been a good year for Maisuradze who has taken bronze medals at U23 and Seniors. That should made for an entertaining match with Jackson, who took a match from J'den Cox at Final X or Aiello, who got a U23 world bronze medal of his own in 2021.

    125 kg: Zillmer/Gwiazdowski vs Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)

    It'll be a tall task for whoever the US sends out at 125 kg as they'll face legendary big man Geno Petriashvili. The three-time world champion has been a gold medal threat at every tournament he's entered for the last decade. He downed Zillmer at the 2022 World Championships 9-4.


    All-World Lineup for Women's Freestyle


    50 kg - Anna Lukasiak (Poland): 2022 World Bronze Medalist

    53 kg - Maria Prevolaraki (Greece): 3x World Bronze Medalist

    55 kg - Karla Godinez-Gonzalez (Canada): 2022 World Bronze Medalist

    57 kg - Zhala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan): 2022 World 5th Place

    59 kg - Anastasia Nichita (Moldova): 2022 World Champion

    62 kg - Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan): 2020 Olympic silver medalist, 2x World Champion

    65 kg - Mimi Hristova (Bulgaria): 2022 World Bronze Medalist

    68 kg - Irina Ringaci (Moldova): 2021 World Champion, 2022 World Bronze Medalist

    72 kg - Zhamila Bakbergenova (Kyrgyzstan): 2x World Silver Medalist

    76 kg - Yasemin Adar (Turkey): 2x World Champion, 2020 Olympic Bronze Medalist

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