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The third ranking series event of the year will be in Italy this weekend. Some of the brightest stars in United World Wrestling will be in the city of Sassari on the island of Sardinia, trying to improve their placement and earn a seed for this year's world championships.
May 23 -25 | 2:00 AM Eastern Time
The entries have already been released by UWW, so we have a pretty good idea of who will be going. Though of course there will be some last second weight changes and guys who have to pull out due to injuries or extenuating circumstances, here are some of the biggest names to watch this weekend.
65kg: Niurhun Skryabin (BLR) - Yarygin champ
65kg: Selahattin Kilicsallayan (TUR) - World #4
74kg: Frank Chamizo (ITA) – Two-time world champion
74kg: Khetik Tsabolov (RUS) - World runner-up
74kg: Yakup Gor (TUR) - World bronze
74kg: Soner Demirtas (TUR) - World bronze
86kg: Selim Yasar (TUR) - Olympic silver
86kg: Fatih Erdin (TUR) - Ranked #1
92kg: Alireza Karimi (IRI) - 2x World bronze
92kg: Vladislav Valiev (RUS) - World bronze
125kg: Parviz Hadi (IRI) - World bronze
125kg: Sumit Sumit (IND) - 2x Asian silver
125kg: Daniel Ligeti (HUN) - Ranked #9
In terms of matchups, the rematch from last year's European championships between Frank Chamizo and Khetik Tsabolov might be the biggest of the weekend. Tsabolov, a 2014 world champ and runner-up in 2017 to Jordan Burroughs, could once represent Russia at this year's world championships in Kazakhstan. Chamizo is currently ranked fourth in the world but should overtake Burroughs to put himself in the #2 spot after this weekend. Also entered at 74kg at Yakup Gor and Soner Demirtas, the latter of whom is a world bronze medalist who beat Chamizoat at Euros in 2018.
There is a similar situation up at 86kg, where Turkey's top two stars will be in attendance. Selim Yasar was a world bronze in 2014, and followed that up by being the world silver in 2015 and Olympic silver in 2016. However, since making the world quarterfinals in 2017 in Paris, he has been superseded by Fatih Erdin. The current world #1, Erdin was runner-up to David Taylor last year at both the world championships and Yarygin.
At 92kg, two-time world bronze and 2019 Asian champ Alireza Karimi of Iran will hopefully be separated from 2019 Euro champ Vladislav Valiev of Russia. Valiev, a 2017 world bronze medalist, is coming up from 92kg and will be joined by his fellow countryman Batyrbek Tcakulov, who was Russia's only world team member last year that did not wrestle for a medal. Rounding out this small but competitive weight is three-time Euro bronze Istvan Vereb of Hungary.
There are three wrestlers ranked in the Top-10 at 125kg. Parviz Hadi of Iran, who upset Taha Akgul en route to his world bronze last year, carries a #6 ranking into the event and could move up to as high as #2 after the weekend is over. Hadi teched world #7 Sumit Sumit of India in the first round of last year's Asian Games and could see Sumit again this weekend. Rounding out the weight is #9 Daniel Ligeti, a two-time Olympian for Hungary.
67kg: Ryu Hansu (KOR) – World champion
77kg: Kim Hyeon-woo (KOR) – Olympic champion
77kg: Tamas Lorincz (HUN) – World runner-up
87kg: Erik Szilvassy (HUN) – U23 World champion
97kg: G'Angelo Hancock (USA) - World #3
97kg: Balazs Kiss (HUN) - World #9
97kg: Daigoro Timoncini (ITA) - World #14
The juiciest matchup comes at 77kg, where we will hopefully get a rematch of last year's world semis between Tamas Lorincz of Hungary and Kim Hyeonwoo of South Korea. The rivalry goes back well beyond that, however. Lorincz also beat Hyeon-woo in the 2017 world semis, but Hyeon-woo beat Lorincz in the 2012 finals to win his Olympic gold medal in London.
Check out Tim Hands' thorough preview of G'Angelo Hancock and the 97kg weight class here.
55kg: Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (BLR) – World champion
55kg: Sofia Mattsson (SWE) – World champion
57kg: Grace Jacob Bullen (NOR) – U23 World champion
62kg: Mallory Velte (USA) - World bronze
68kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock (USA) - World bronze
72kg: Anna Fransson (SWE) – Olympic bronze
76kg: Erica Wiebe (CAN) – Olympic champion
76kg: Natalia Vorobieva (RUS) – Olympic champion
76kg: Aline Rotter Focken (GER) – World champion
The two weights with excellent matchups in women's freestyle this weekend are 55kg and 76kg. Before we get into those though, we should mention the world medalists America is sending. Currently ranked #3 at 62kg, Mallory Velte is competing for the second time this month after teching Linda Morais at Beat the Streets. Velte has an opportunity to move up to the #2 spot this weekend. Tamyra Mensah Stock is looking to win her third ranking series event of the year, however, one was up at 72kg. But she did win the Nikola Petrov at 68kg, as well as Pan Ams, and could cement her spot as the #2 seed at worlds.
At 55kg, we could get a matchup between 2017 world champ Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus and seven-time world/Olympic medalist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden. One of the deeper weights in the world is 76kg, and three champions will all be in the bracket this weekend. Natalia Vorobieva won a 2012 Olympic gold for Russia and was silver in 2016, but has not competed at the past two world championships. Erica Wiebe won Olympic gold in 2016 and was world bronze last year. Aline Rotter-Focken has won three medals for Germany, a gold in 2014, silver in 2017 in Paris, and bronze in 2015.