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57kg @ 2023 Worlds


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One of the best locks to win a Gold Medal at Belgrade will not be there according to the list put out by UWW. That is Zavur Uguev of Russia. He's won 12 Gold in 15 tournaments since 2017. In the other three tournaments, he medaled. Now, is his absence because there is some unmet stipulation for the Russian athletes? If so, what happens if the stipulation is eventually met? 

To add to the mystery Belarussian wrestlers are listed but they are given the "under the UWW flag" designation. For 57kg, that means Aryan Tsiutryn, who was a Bronze Medalist last year. 

Still another mystery is the double listings for some nations. At 57kg, you have the exceptional Rei Higuchi listed along with that country's multiple age-level medalist Yuto Nishiuchi. Can you list multiple wrestlers if the main wrestler has a nagging injury? Are these practice partners? At 74kg, Dake and Facundo are listed. Why wouldn't Nolf be listed if Dake was flirting with an injury? 

In any event, even without Uguev the weight looks like the toughest at the World Championships, although perhaps it falls behind heavyweight if Uguev doesn't show up. Without him, there are still two returning World Champions from last year: Zelimkhan Abakarov (57kg) and Rei Higuchi (61kg). 

Besides Zane Richards, who I rank above all of the wrestlers including Uguev because I'm a complete Homelander, this is how I see the tournament shaping up: 

 

Rei Higuchi of Japan. He won 61kg last year, and he's a threat to win. Silver at 2016 Olympics. 

Zelimkhan Abakarov of Albania. He won last year at 57kg. Zane beat him in a practice match. Will be #2 seed. Former Russian.

Aman Aman of India. Also goes by Aman Sehrawat. Dude has been on an absolute tear. 

Wanhao Zou of China. The #1 seed because of ranking series placements (1st, 3rd), but I don't think he stands a chance at winning. 

Almaz Smanbekov of Kyrgyzstan. He has finished with a 1st and 2nd at the last two ranking series tournaments. 

 

Throw Zane into that pot above, and I believe that you have your main medal contenders. However, that still leaves off previous World Championship medalists, including Zanabazar Zandanbud, who won a bronze last year, and the Belarussian Aryan Tsiutryn (another former Russian) also won a bronze in 2022. Other past World medalists include Stevan Micic of Serbia and Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia. Finally, the Uzbeki and Azerbaijani are age group world medalists. 

Here's everybody listed, including the double Japanese and Canadian entries:

57kg
Aryan TSIUTRYN (AIN)
Zelimkhan ABAKAROV (ALB)
Bofenda David KALUWEKO (ANG)
Arsen HARUTYUNYAN (ARM)
Aliabbas RZAZADE (AZE)
Georgi Valentinov VANGELOV (BUL)
Darthe CAPELLAN (CAN)
Treye Colby TROTMAN (CAN)
Wanhao ZOU (CHN)
Gamal Abdelnaser Hanafy MOHAMED (EGY)
Levan METREVELI VARTANOV (ESP)
Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS)
Beka BUJIASHVILI (GEO)
Niklas STECHELE (GER)
Aman AMAN (IND)
Milad Jahangir VALIZADEH (IRI)
Simone Vincenzo PIRODDU (ITA)
Yuto NISHIUCHI (JPN)
Rei HIGUCHI (JPN)
Meirambek KARTBAY (KAZ)
Almaz SMANBEKOV (KGZ)
Gukhyeon KIM (KOR)
Igor CHICHIOI (MDA)
Zanabazar ZANDANBUD (MGL)
Vladimir EGOROV (MKD)
Muhammad BILAL (PAK)
Darian CRUZ (PUR)
Razvan Marian KOVACS (ROU)
Gayan Kathurangana EKANAYAKA MUDIYANSELAGE (SRI)
Thomas EPP (SUI)
Suleyman ATLI (TUR)
Kamil KERYMOV (UKR)
Zane Raye Rhodes RICHARDS (USA)
Gulomjon ABDULLAEV (UZB)

ILLINIWRESTLING637.jpg

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3 hours ago, ILLINIWrestlingBlog said:

To add to the mystery Belarussian wrestlers are listed but they are given the "under the UWW flag"

Maybe I'm not seeing the correct entries but I see the Belarussian entries as AIN and no UWW wrestlers listed?  I read that the Indian wrestlers would be under the UWW flag. I 'm not seeing any Russians under the AIN flag?

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As brother @bnwtwg has noted, the Freestyle preseeds are out for the World Championships. I personally believe that the best three wrestlers at the weight who will be wrestling in Belgrade are not included in UWW's seeds. Top four if you include Thomas Gilman. 

There is certainly a case for Abakarov being in the top four, though. He's seeded #2 and deserves it as returning World Champion. 

The wrestlers not included in the top eight seeds are Zavur Uguev of Russia, Rei Higuchi of Japan and Zane Richards. 

There's an interview of Higuchi posted on the UWW website that I think is pretty revealing. In my mind, he was going over his top threats. He had this to say:

"But a lot has changed at 57kg since he last wrestled internationally at this weight class. Most of the wrestlers have changed weight classes or have retired. Zaur UGUEV is the defending Olympic champion. Zelimkhan ABAKAROV (ALB) is the world champion. Two youngsters are champions in Europe and Asia. Iran has lost its stronghold on the lightest weight. But Higuchi is updated.

'I don't care about the World Championships,' Higuchi says. 'I watched Final X and Zain [sp] RICHARDS (USA) winning it. AMAN (IND), Abakarov, Uguev, Aliabbas RZAZADE (AZE). I watched them all.'”

 

Except for Rzazade, but including Higuchi himself, I think that his list contains the names of everybody who can win the Gold Medal. So excite! 

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17 hours ago, KingOtoguro said:

I'll take Uguev.  He is the best at 57kg by quite a margin.  

Yep... all signs are pointing Uguev's way.

Some of the other contenders would have to catch some lighting in a bottle to top/or get on the podium at least.

We'll find out in about 2 weeks.

D3

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Corby is reporting this on Twitter just now:

UWW has posted an updated participation list for Worlds. Gable is no longer listed. Lucas Davison is listed at 125 kg. No 57 Uguev, 74 Sidakov or 97 Sadulaev listed for Russia . Also no 86 Kurugliev (injury) 

I have asked him where he got this information, as there is nothing I can find on the UWW or USA Wrestling websites or their Twitter feeds. If this is true, then there will be major repercussions. There needs to be some resolution of this matter. I had sent a tweet to UWW just a few minutes before Corby's that read as follows:

 

ILLINIWRESTLING682.jpg

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Our Moneyball look at the chief competition for Zane Richards at 57 kg is up at The ILLINI Wrestling Blog and Forum and Beyond here. Zelimkhan Abakarov and Zavur Uguev are takedown specialists who rarely turn anybody who's any good. Rei Higuchi has a small takedown repertoire, and, frankly, his attempts seem pretty slow, but he's dynamite with the leglaces and leg turks. 

All of these guys are experts at interlocking fingers. 

Finally, we've included a special UWW/Russia section. What the **** is going on? There's still no definitive word on that front, but we've compiled some evidence.

 

ILLINIWRESTLING661.jpg

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On 9/5/2023 at 11:47 PM, ILLINIWrestlingBlog said:

Corby is reporting this on Twitter just now:

UWW has posted an updated participation list for Worlds. Gable is no longer listed. Lucas Davison is listed at 125 kg. No 57 Uguev, 74 Sidakov or 97 Sadulaev listed for Russia . Also no 86 Kurugliev (injury) 

I have asked him where he got this information, as there is nothing I can find on the UWW or USA Wrestling websites or their Twitter feeds. If this is true, then there will be major repercussions. There needs to be some resolution of this matter. I had sent a tweet to UWW just a few minutes before Corby's that read as follows:

 

ILLINIWRESTLING682.jpg

impatience.gif

WELLLLL!?!

WE'RE WAITING!

D3

Edited by D3 for LU
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Forgot the forums existed anymore . 
Higuchi Wins. 
Aman Upsets somebody 
Either Abakarov or Uguev don't medal. One of them will get upset by a random, or maybe they'll wrestle for Bronze, but I'm leaning no medal for the Russian. 
Uguev has close bouts in whatever he does, I just feel like all the uncertainty  doesn't do him any favors 

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1 hour ago, nhs67 said:

List isn't final until UWW finalizes the brackets.

Agreed. I was going to explode but went to the UWW site, and there are zero Russians added to the official entrants list. Additionally, in the "news" section of the website, there's no mention of any Russian additions or any final disposition of the Russian question. 

If it comes out that UWW didn't update their entries (like they have for other reasons i.e. Gable Steveson) because they wanted to avoid protests before Worlds, then I will have a life-long grudge against the organization. I can't believe they'd slip the Russians in by the back door, though, as that would be so ******* cowardly. 

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By the way, there is nothing on UWW's twitter feed either. 

On another, much happier note, here is your ILLINI, ILLINI RTC and ILLINI RTC-emeriti schedule of events at the World Championships:

ILLINI, ILLINI RTC & ILLINI RTC-EMERITI SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 -- ZANE RICHARDS WRESTLES

TIME: 3:30 am (Central)

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 -- ERMAK KARDANOV WRESTLES

TIME: 3:30 am (Central)

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 -- KAMAL BEY WRESTLES

Time: 3:30 am (Central)

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 -- JOE "THE RAUSTLER" RAU WRESTLES

Time: 3:30 am (Central)

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 -- ZAC BRAUNAGEL WRESTLES

Time: 3:30 am (Central)

 

So excite! 

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36 minutes ago, ILLINIWrestlingBlog said:

Agreed. I was going to explode but went to the UWW site, and there are zero Russians added to the official entrants list. Additionally, in the "news" section of the website, there's no mention of any Russian additions or any final disposition of the Russian question. 

If it comes out that UWW didn't update their entries (like they have for other reasons i.e. Gable Steveson) because they wanted to avoid protests before Worlds, then I will have a life-long grudge against the organization. I can't believe they'd slip the Russians in by the back door, though, as that would be so ******* cowardly. 

https://arena.uww.org/weight-category/1ee3cbae-f1ff-6c1c-96f1-d54d04edeeec

They are listed at the top under AIN.  The Belarus gents are as well.

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35 minutes ago, nhs67 said:

https://arena.uww.org/weight-category/1ee3cbae-f1ff-6c1c-96f1-d54d04edeeec

They are listed at the top under AIN.  The Belarus gents are as well.

Thanks for posting. Cheers for that!

As for hiding it like this, **** the UWW. Just **** them! They have had an official entries link on their front page, and instead of updating that like they've done the past week or two, they chose to back door the ******* Russians.

I'm furious.

But a reminder: The IRTC, Coach Medlin and Zane Richards have a great relationship with Russian wrestlers and coaches. I'm sure they hoped that they would be allowed entry. I am not an official anything when it comes to the ILLINI or IRTC.

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Sure, @bnwtwg, the smaller fellow is two-time World Medalist at 57kg from Mongolia, Erdenebatyn Bekhbayar, who's been training with the IRTC and working specifically with Zane. The tall fellow is another IRTC athlete, Ermak Kardanov, the former Russian who is now wrestling for Slovakia and recently won a Euro Championship Bronze at 92kg. 

Both Zane and Ermak wrestle on Sunday at 3:30 am (Central). So excite! 

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My take on the first part of Zane's draw is here at The ILLINI Wrestling Blog and Forum and Beyond. It is true that he's in the more difficult half of the bracket, but I have him easily favored to get into the quarters, and after that, it's a crapshoot. His first-round opponent will be tougher than either guy he could meet in the second round. Still, I think the Azerbaijani is too young and wild-eyed and prone to mistakes. Moreover, he's a bit of a one-trick pony who had big wins but has since been scouted. 

It will not be so easy for some of the other favorites. 

In fact, I almost want to pick Rei Higuchi as my upset special for the entire tournament. He has a tough opponent in round one, then the #1 seed in round two. I think he gets past the first round because his opponent will be sucking almost as much weight as he is. In the second round, though, he has the Chinese #1 seed who doesn't appear to be cutting hard. That could get him, especially since the Chinese kid will have a two minute 10-0 tech fall in the first round. 

The Russian has the returning World Bronze in the second round. Last year's champion, Abakarov, has my dark horse Aman Aman of India in round two. These folks'll be beat on severely before they get a chance to meet Zane.  

Finally, this doesn't relate to 57kg, but to explain one-half of the graphic below, Ermak Kardanov is with the IRTC, and he wrestles for Slovakia. He has the best (as in easiest) first couple of rounds in the entire tournament! Of course, as the #8 seed, his quarter-final will be tough to say the least. 

ILLINIWRESTLING701.jpg

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Zane would like to have that back. He had the only takedown in a 2-3 loss, while the Azeri Euro Championships Gold had two pushouts and a shot clock. I would just note that the one takedown in the match was so beautiful and effortless, if Zane had done that to Gilman, everybody would say Gilman was not Gilman. 

Will Rzazade make the Finals? Very long odds. Even though he's this year's Euro Gold at 57 kg, the 61 kg Euro Gold and the last World Champion at 57 kg (Abakarov) is still in it, along with dark horse Aman Aman of India and World and Olympic champ Uguev of Z. They're all on Rzazade's side of the bracket, too. 

So, he'll need to beat two of them. 

But don't feel sorry for Zane. Feel sorry for me. After the match, I started drinking. I'm two beers in and my wife has already thrown me out of the house for complaining about the pancakes. I just wish she'd thrown me out before I took the call from my boss, who wanted me to come in to work tomorrow, and I slurred at him, "**** off." He said, "You're fired," and I said, "Fine, see if you can find a better french fry guy in Myrtle Beach." Now, I'm resorting to free internet at the library. 

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Feel sorry for me. After the match, I started drinking. I'm two beers in and my wife has already thrown me out of the house for complaining about the pancakes. I just wish she'd thrown me out before I took the call from my boss, who wanted me to come in to work tomorrow, and I slurred at him, "**** off." He said, "You're fired," and I said, "Fine, see if you can find a better french fry guy in Myrtle Beach." Now, I'm resorting to free internet at the library. 



Sounds like a pretty good morning. Hopefully the library has an open bar .

ZR wrestled about as good as he could wrestle, just a little short. Tough draw regardless. Only going to get 1 match, but solid one there
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15 minutes ago, ILLINIWrestlingBlog said:

Zane would like to have that back. He had the only takedown in a 2-3 loss, while the Azeri Euro Championships Gold had two pushouts and a shot clock. I would just note that the one takedown in the match was so beautiful and effortless, if Zane had done that to Gilman, everybody would say Gilman was not Gilman. 

Will Rzazade make the Finals? Very long odds. Even though he's this year's Euro Gold at 57 kg, the 61 kg Euro Gold and the last World Champion at 57 kg (Abakarov) is still in it, along with dark horse Aman Aman of India and World and Olympic champ Uguev of Z. They're all on Rzazade's side of the bracket, too. 

So, he'll need to beat two of them. 

But don't feel sorry for Zane. Feel sorry for me. After the match, I started drinking. I'm two beers in and my wife has already thrown me out of the house for complaining about the pancakes. I just wish she'd thrown me out before I took the call from my boss, who wanted me to come in to work tomorrow, and I slurred at him, "**** off." He said, "You're fired," and I said, "Fine, see if you can find a better french fry guy in Myrtle Beach." Now, I'm resorting to free internet at the library. 

I have to say this...

You're an absolute delight.  Even in defeat you can make a humorous take on it.

Richards is a stud and deserved to be here.  He will be fine and right in the thick of it to make (and qualify) the team for 2024.

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