Beach Wrestling named a core discipline for 2023 & 2025 ANOC World Beach Games

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (August 20) -- The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has named wrestling, with the specific discipline of Beach Wrestling, as one of nine sports to its core program for both the 2023 and 2025 ANOC World Beach Games.

We are proud to announce that during the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the president of United World Wrestling (UWW), Nenad Lalovic, has signed an agreement with ANOC’s Secretary General, Gunilla Lindberg, for Beach Wrestling to be part of the mandatory events of the ANOC World Beach Games sports program for the 2023 and 2025 editions of the event.

We are delighted to sign a MoU with ANOC and solidify Beach Wrestling for the World Beach Games in 2023 and 2025. ANOC organized world-class Games in Qatar and I am very pleased we will continue to grow beach wrestling and the Beach Games together,” states UWW’s president Lalovic.

Part of the 10 core sports, Beach Wrestling is planned to continue with the same format as in 2019 with 8 categories, 4 men and 4 women. 80 athletes in total, with 64 under qualification process established by the UWW plus 16 invitations.

Beach Wrestling was part of the first ANOC World Beach World Games, held in Qatar in 2019. The inclusion as a core sport for the upcoming two editions represent a major development for the UWW’s fastest growing discipline, as ANOC is an important organization with ties to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the various international federations of Olympic sports (IF), in addition to serving the National Olympic Committees.

All further details will be announced in due time!

Find out all about the Beach Wrestling World Series and watch the competitions live at www.beachwrestling.org

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#WrestleOslo Day Seven Preview: GR 60kg, 97kg and 130kg

By Vinay Siwach

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (September 23) -- Musa EVLOEV (ROC) is still receiving gifts and awards for becoming the Olympic champion in Tokyo. But the felicitations are coming to an abrupt halt as he prepares to lead the Russian Olympic Committee team at the Oslo World Championships as the defending World and Olympic 97kg Greco-Roman champion.

Cars, house, cash awards and national honor was bestowed upon the Russian wrestler and now he can expect more if he manages to win the World Championships in Oslo.

In the last four years, Evloev has established himself as the wrestler-to-beat in the world after he won the World titles in 2018 and 2019, defeating the then world champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM).

Evloev's rivalry against Aleksanyan has clearly tilted in his favor after he scored more wins over him at the Individual World Cup in 2020 and later in Tokyo. The two met in the final in Tokyo where Evloev won 5-1 to improve the head-to-head record against Aleksanyan to 4-1.

If he can continue his dominating run in Oslo, Evloev will definitely become a Greco great in the world. His last loss at an international competition came back at the 2018 senior European Championships in which he finished 18th. Since then, he has been unbeaten winning gold at 13 international tournaments including the Olympics.

But unexpected challenge can come from Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Mohammadhai SARAVI (IRI). The two were on the opposite side of the bracket in Tokyo and Saravi lost to Aleksanyan in the semifinal 4-1 after a leg foul and then challenging the referee's call. He is making his senior World Championships debut in Oslo and the former junior world champion can challenge Evloev in his quest for his third world gold.

Saravi's non-stop wrestling will test Evloev's stamina on the mat while the Iranian will have to up his defence if he wants to upset the Olympic champion.

But at 97kg, the two will have to first navigate through Kiril MILOV (BUL) who was also at the Tokyo Olympics but lost to Saravi in the quarterfinals. Artur OMAROV (CZE) and Alex SZOKE (HUN) were also in Tokyo and the latter defeated Omarov in the opening round before losing to Evloev. The Hungarian did reach the bronze medal bout but lost 0-10.

Two other Olympians that can shock the field are Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) and G'Angelo HANCOCK (USA). Kajaia is a bronze medalist from the 2019 World Championships but could not repeat his performance in Tokyo while Hancock lost in the quarterfinal at the Olympics.

But both Kajaia and Hancock can win against the best in Oslo and capture a medal for their respective countries.

sergey Emelin
Sergey EMELIN (ROC), in red, won a bronze medal in Tokyo. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Another Olympic weight class that will be in action on October 7 in Oslo is 60kg and Tokyo bronze medalist Sergey EMELIN (ROC) will lead a field that is filled with young superstars. Emelin was primed to win the gold in Tokyo but lost to Luis ORTA (CUB) who won the gold medal instead. He wrestled back for a bronze medal.

Emelin is a 2018 world champion and took silver in 2019 after losing to Kenchiro FUMITA (JPN) in 2019. But he will look to reclaim his title in the absence of the Japanese star and Olympic champion Orta.

Emelin looked a little out-of-sorts in Tokyo and could not match the strength of Orta in their quarterfinal match-up. It was later in the tournament that Emelin looked his old self. In Oslo, he would like his best to show up of he wants to reclaim that title he lost to Fumita.

For that, he will have to overcome a couple of junior world champions and medalist at age-group Worlds. First would be Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ), a wrestler who won a silver medal at the 2018 Worlds at 55kg. But three years later, Sharshenbekov gained experience and was also in Tokyo before losing in the quarterfinals. Sharshenbekov has won the U23 World Championships and is a silver from Junior Worlds.

Murad MAMMADOV (AZE), a former junior world champion and silver medalist at the U23 Worlds, will be one of his biggest challenges including Edmond NAZARYAN (BUL), a senior European champion from 2020. He lost in the quarterfinals at the junior World Championships this year but can upset the stars on his day.

Another Tokyo Olympian who would like to grab a medal in Oslo is Victor CIOBANU (MDA) who lost in the semifinal against Orta in Tokyo. In the bronze medal bout, Emelin humbled him with a 12-1 win. Ciobanu has a win over Emelin from the European Championships in 2019. A repeat of that performance can well guarantee him a medal.

Iakobi KAJAIAIakobi KAJAIA (GEO) defeated Sergei SEMENOV (ROC) in the 130kg quarterfinal in Tokyo. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

An Olympic silver and bronze medalist will be going head-to-head at 130kg as both Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) and Sergei SEMENOV (ROC) are entered for the Oslo Worlds. Kajaia lost a lopsided final at 130kg against Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) in Tokyo. But with Lopez and Riza KAYAALP (TUR) missing from Oslo, it's an opportunity for others to stand on the top of the podium.

Kajaia is the favorite to do so as he has a win over Semenov from the Olympics. The two met in the quarterfinals and the former came on top with a 3-1 win. Semenov won the world title in 2018 and he would like to claim it once again but for that he has to beat Kajaia.

Though still very young, Cohlton SCHULTZ (USA) can be a super element in the 130kg field in Oslo. The USA star who has a cadet world title and a silver and bronze from junior World Championships can pull off a few upsets on his way to the podium to claim a medal for the USA. His lack of senior level experience can be a roadblock for him but in a depleted field, Schultz can be the dark-horse.