Greco News

2020 UWW Individual World Cup: The Biggest Names & Best Weights

2020 individual world cup, greco-roman
Artur Aleksanyan -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

Following months of speculation, anticipation, confusion — and eventually, optimism — United World Wrestling’s attempt at concluding the calendar year on a high note has finally arrived. The 2020 UWW Individual World Cup, to be considered as an inaugural event should it continue in the future, begins Saturday morning live from Belgrade, Serbia offering Greco-Roman fans an opportunity to catch some of the sport’s most prominent competitors in action without traditional team concerns on the line.

What is on the line for wrestlers, save for pride and an earnest surge of confidence prior to the last leg of the Olympic training block, is money. 300,000 SF (Swiss francs) is set for division among all 30 weight categories (including men and women’s freestyle). Therefore, the financial incentive and general format of the Individual World Cup bring to mind a popular event from the recent past, Azerbaijan’s Golden Grand Prix.

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On an annual basis, the Golden Grand Prix functioned as one of Greco-Roman’s cornerstone tournaments primarily because exclusivity was its biggest strength. Whereas the majority of international events allow for multiple entrants per weight from the same nation, the Golden Grand Prix did not; in addition, the allure of relevant allocated prize money along with healthy participation from virtually every major program on the planet created a natural sense of separation between the GGP and all other tournaments each season. Its absence since ’16 is still noticed because of this, even with the advent of UWW’s “Ranking Series” and other implied “big-ticket” events coming into view the past three years.

Although the Individual World Cup was conceived out of necessity after a long list of nations declined to send delegations to a potential World Championships, there is a stake in its success. For if the response among athletes, coaches, and fans rings with near-uniform positivity, perhaps it might eventually occupy a permanent place on the schedule — which would not only provide another venue for top Greco-Roman athletes to showcase their skills, but also replace one of the discipline’s crown jewels.

Depth Explanation

The 2020 Individual World Cup will not feature bracket sizes with which most have become familiar (a World Championships bracket may contain as many as four dozen entrants). What this particular event might lack in overall numbers will be supplemented by compression. Remember: a bracket’s true depth is not determined solely by the amount of competitors; rather, it is the ability and veracity of said competitors which is responsible for the relative difficulty present in a given weight category.

For example: at the ’19 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 38 athletes populated the 77-kilogram bracket. This coming weekend, that number will be reduced to 23 — a nearly 40% drop-off. But there is a silver lining: 77 kilograms at the Individual World Cup is home to the most medals and most medalists of any bracket and includes the likes of two-time Olympic Champion Roman Vlasov (RUS, world #16), ’17 World champ Viktor Nemes (SRB) — and though he is yet to earn Senior hardware, Karapet Chalyan of Armenia, who is widely recognized as one of the discipline’s most skilled and exciting practitioners.

97 kilograms is an even better rendering of compressed depth. Only 18 athletes are expected to appear in Belgrade, just under 50% less than there were in Nur-Sultan ’19. But five of the wrestlers on the entry list are prior Senior medal-winners, led by ’16 Rio champ/three-time World gold Artur Aleksanyan (ARM, world #2) and two-time World Champion Musa Evloev (RUS, world #1).

Below is a breakdown of the number of entrants as per the tentative list provided by UWW this week (followed by the number of Senior World/Olympic medalists in that bracket).

55 kg — 14 (1)
60 kg — 20
(3)
63 kg — 15 (0)
67 kg — 18 (3)
77 kg — 23 (4)
82 kg — 19 (3)
87 kg — 18 (2)
97 kg — 18 (5)
130 kg — 15 (2)

Most Decorated Athletes

Several of the names are mentioned above but they are a mere sampling of the accomplished lot registered for the Individual World Cup. In total, 12 World and/or Olympic Champions will be in the running.

Eldaniz Azizli (55 kg, AZE, world #4) — ’18 World Champion
Stepan Maryanyan (60 kg, RUS, world #2) — ’18 World Champion
Davor Stefanek (67 kg, SRB) — ’16 Olympic Champion, ’14 World Champion
Bálint Korpási (72 kg, HUN, world #5) — ’16 World Champion
Viktor Nemes (77 kg, SRB) — ’17 World Champion
Roman Vlasov (77 kg, RUS, world #16) — Two-time Olympic Champion, two-time World Champion
Maksim Manukyan (82 kg, ARM) — ’17 World Champion
Davit Chakvetadze (87 kg, RUS) — ’16 Olympic Champion
Artur Aleksanyan (97 kg, ARM, world #2) — ’16 Olympic Champion, three-time World Champion
Musa Evloev (97 kg, RUS, world #1) — Two-time World Champion
Melonin Noumonvi (97 kg, FRA, world #10) — ’14 World Champion
Sergei Semonov (130 kg, RUS) — ’18 World Champion

roman vlasov, julfalakyan

Roman Vlasov (red), still considered one of the top competitors in the sport, has not earned a World-level medal since scoring his second Olympic gold in 2016; and as of this moment, is still not qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which he will have a chance to correct in March at the European Olympic Qualifier. (Photo: Mikhail Japaridze)

Most Decorated Rosters

When it comes to overall Senior medals, no one would be surprised to learn that Russia leads the pack (historically and otherwise). For this tournament, one in which only a handful of nations are sending full rosters, Armenia, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey also acquit themselves well.

Below are the countries at the Individual World Cup with the most Senior World/Olympic medals from most to least.

Russia — 14
Armenia — 9
Serbia — 8
Azerbaijan — 3
Bulgaria — 3
Hungary — 3

2020 Individual World Cup Greco-Roman Full Rosters

Algeria (ALG)

55 kg: Abdelkarim Fergat (world #11) — Three-time African Championships gold
60 kg: Abdennour Laouni (world #15) — ’18 African Championships gold, ’19 African Championships silver
63 kg: Abdeldjebar Djebbari (world #12) — ’20 African Championships gold
77 kg: Abdelkarim Ouakali (world #13) — ’20 African Championships gold, three-time African Championships silver
82 kg: Chawki Doulache (world #11) — ’20 African Championships gold
87 kg: Bachir Sid Azara (world #13) — ’16 Junior World bronze, three-time African Championships gold
97 kg: Adem Boudjemline (world #14) — Four-time African Championships gold
130 kg: Hamza Haloui — ’18 African Championships gold, three-time African Championships silver

Armenia (ARM)

55 kg: Rudik Mkrtchyan — ’11 Junior World bronze
60 kg: Armen Melikyan — ’19 U23 World Champion
63 kg: Gevorg Gharibyan (world #9 at 60 kg) — ’20 European Championships gold
67 kg: Slavik Galstyan (world #8) — ’19 World bronze, ’14 Junior World bronze, ’13 Cadet World bronze
72 kg: Malkhas Amoyan world #10) — ’18 Junior World Champion, ’17 Junior World silver, two-time Cadet World bronze
77 kg: Karapet Chalyan (world #3) — ’13 Junior World Champion, ’12 Junior World bronze, two-time European Championships bronze
82 kg: Maksim Manukyan — ’17 World Champion, ’18 World bronze, ’18 European Championships gold
87 kg: Artur Shahinyan — ’18 World bronze, two-time European Championships bronze
97 kg: Artur Aleksanyan (world #2) — ’16 Olympic Champion, three-time World Champion, ’19 World silver, ’12 Olympic bronze
130 kg: David Ovasapyan — ’19 U23 World bronze, ’18 Junior World silver

maksim manukyan

’17 World Champion Maksim Manukyan of Armenia is back down at the non-Olympic weight category of 82 kilograms for the Individual World Cup following two appearances last season at 87. (Photo: UWW)

Azerbaijan (AZE)

55 kg: Eldaniz Azizli (world #4) — ’18 World Champion, ’19 World bronze
60 kg: Nihat Mammdali
63 kg: Taleh Mammdov
67 kg: Islambek Dadov — ’16 Junior World bronze, ’14 Youth Olympic gold, ’14 Cadet World bronze
72 kg: Ulvu Ganizade (world #14) — ’19 Junior World silver, ’20 European Championships bronze, ’16 Cadet World silver, ’15 Cadet World bronze
77 kg: Sanan Suleymanov (world #15 at 72 kg) — ’19 U23 World silver, ’20 European Championships gold, ’12 Junior World bronze
82 kg: Rafik  Huseynov (world #2) — ’19 World silver, two-time European Championships gold, multi-time European Championships medalist
87 kg: Islam Abbasov — Two-time U23 World bronze, ’15 Junior World silver, ’20 European Championships bronze, ’19 European Championships silver
130 kg: Beka Kandelaki

Belarus (BLR)

60 kg: Maksim Kazharski
63 kg: Soslan Daurov — ’19 European Games bronze, ’15 European Games silver
77 kg: Pavel Liakh (world #5) — ’17 European Championships silver
82 kg: Radik Kuliyev — ’17 World silver, ’17 European Championships silver
87 kg: Kiril Maskevich — ’19 U23 World bronze
97 kg: Aliaksandr Hrabovik — ’19 European Games silver, ’17 European Championships silver

Bulgaria (BUL)

55 kg: Nedyalko Petrov
60 kg: Tsvetan Sirashki
63 kg: Nikalas Sulev
67 kg: Konstantin Stas
72 kg: Aik Mnatsakanian (world #6) — Two-time World bronze
77 kg: Rosian Dermanski — ’17 U23 World bronze
82 kg: Daniel Aleksandrov (world #12) — ’14 University World silver, multi-time European Championships medalist
87 kg: Yoan Dimitrov 
97 kg: Kiril Milov — ’18 World silver, ’19 European Championships silver
130 kg: Radoslav Georgiev

Chile (CHI)

67 kg: Cristobal Torres Nunez
130 kg: Yasmani Acosta Fernandez — ’17 World bronze

Croatia (CRO)

72 kg: Luka Malobabic
77 kg: Antonio Kamenjasevic — ’14 Cadet World silver, ’17 U23 European Championships bronze
82 kg: Filip Sacic 
87 kg: Vjekoslav Luburic

Czech Republic (CZE)

77 kg: Jakub Bielesz
82 kg: Oldrich Varga
97 kg: Artur Omarov (world #8)
130 kg: Stepan David

Estonia (EST)

60 kg: Helary Maegisalu — ’18 European Championships silver
82 kg: Ranet Kalijola

France (FRA)

67 kg: Gagik Snjoyan — ’18 Cadet World bronze
72 kg: Ibrahim Ghanem
77 kg: Evrik Nikoghosyan 
97 kg: Melonin Noumonvi (world #10) — ’14 World Champion, ’09 World silver, three-time Olympian

Germany (GER)

55 kg: Fabian Schmitt — ’19 European Championships bronze
60 kg: Etienne Kinsinger — ’13 Cadet World Champion, ’16 Junior World silver
67 kg: Witalis Lazovski
72 kg: Idris Ibaev — ’20 Thor Masters gold
77 kg: Pascal Eisele — ’17 World bronze
82 kg: Roland Schwarz — ’19 European Championships silver
130 kg: Eduard Popp — ’16 Olympian

Greece (GRE)

77 kg: Georgios Prevolarakis
87 kg: Ilias Pagkalidis
97 kg: Michail Iosifidis
130 kg: Nikolaos Ntounias

Hungary (HUN)

60 kg: Krisztián Kecskeméti 
63 kg: Erik Torba 
67 kg: Krisztián Váncza — ’18 Junior World bronze, ’14 Cadet World bronze
72 kg: Bálint Korpási (world #5) — ’16 World Champion, ’17 World bronze, ’18 World silver
77 kg: Zoltán Lévai (world #4) — ’20 European Championships silver, ’19 U23 European Championships gold, ’16 Junior World bronze
82 kg: Tamás Lévai — ’18 U23 World bronze
87 kg: István Takács — ’19 Junior World Champion, ’18 Junior World bronze, ’17 Cadet World silver
97 kg: Alex Szoeke 

balint korpasi

Balint Korpasi has been the picture of consistency throughout the lustrum, winning World gold in ’16 before adding a bronze and silver in ’17 and ’18, respectively. Korpasi has publicly declared an intent to drop down to 67 kilograms for the European Olympic Qualifier in March but will stay put at his usual weight category of 72 kilos for the Individual World Cup. (Photo: UWW)

India (IND)

55 kg: Arjun Halakurki (world #17) — ’20 Asian Championships bronze
60 kg: Gyander Gyander
63 kg: Sachin Rana
67 kg: Ashu Ashu — ’17 Cadet World silver, ’20 Asian Championships bronze
72 kg: Aditya Kundu
77 kg: Sajan Sajan — Two-time Junior World bronze
87 kg: Kumar Sunil (world #4) — ’20 Asian Championships gold, ’19 Asian Championships silver
97 kg: Hardeep Hardeep — ’16 Olympian, multi-time Asian Championships medalist
130 kg: Naveen Naveen

Iran (IRI)

87 kg: Hossein Ahmad Nouri — ’17 World bronze, three-time Asian Championships gold, ’18 Asian Games gold
97 kg: Mohammadhadi Abdollah Saravi (world #4) — ’18 Junior World Champion, ’19 World silver, ’20 Asian Championships gold

Israel (ISR)

60 kg: Abere Fetene
77 kg: Roman Zhernovetski
82 kg: Igor Petrishin

Italy (ITA)

60 kg: Jacopo Sandron
67 kg: Ruben Marvice
77 kg: Matteo Maffezzoli
87 kg: Fabio Parisi
97 kg: Nikoloz Kakhelashvili (world #5) — ’15 Junior World Champion, ’20 European Championships silver

Kyrgyzstan (KGZ)

55 kg: Balbai Dordokov — ’18 U23 World bronze
60 kg: Zholaman Sharshenbekov (world #16) — ’18 World silver, ’19 U23 World silver, ’17 Junior World silver, ’16 Cadet World silver
63 kg: Kaly Sulaimanov — ’16 Junior World Champion
67 kg: Khalmurat Ibragimov
72 kg: Ruslan Tsarev — ’14 Asian Championships gold, multi-time Asian Championships medalist
77 kg: Akzhol Makhmudov — ’16 Cadet World Champion, ’17 Junior World silver, ’18 Junior World bronze
82 kg: Kairatbek Tugolbaev
87 kg: Atabek Azisbekov (world #11) — ’12 Cadet World bronze, two-tme Asian Championships silver
97 kg: Uzur Dzhuzupbekov — ’19 Asian Championships gold, two-time Asian Championships bronze

Moldova (MDA)

55 kg: Artiom Deleanu
60 kg: Victor Ciobanu (world #20) — ’18 World silver, ’19 European Championships gold, ’15 U23 European Championships gold, ’19 European Games bronze
67 kg: Donior Islamov
72 kg: Valentin Petic
77 kg: Daniel Cataraga — Two-time U23 World Champion, ’18 European Championships bronze, ’15 U23 European Championships gold
82 kg: Mihail Bradu

Morocco (MAR)

60 kg: Fouad Fajari — Multi-time African Championships medalist
82 kg: Zied Ait Ouagram — Ten-time African Championships gold
97 kg: Choucri Atafi — Multi-time African Championships medalist

Panama (PAN)

67 kg: Alex Pineda Marin
87 kg: Alvis Almendra Jimenez — ’15 Pan-American Games silver, two-time Pan-American Championsips bronze

Peru (PER)

60 kg: Joao Benavides Rochabrun
67 kg: Nilton Soto Garica — ’19 Pan-American Games bronze

Poland (POL)

63 kg: Mateusz Szewczuk
67 kg: Roman Pacurkowski — ’18 U23 European Championships bronze
77 kg: Iwan Nylypiuk — Two-time University World silver
87 kg: Szymon Szymonowicz
130 kg: Rafal Krajewski 

Portugal (POR)

55 kg: Andre Oliveira Silva
63 kg: Julinho Correia Dju

Romania (ROU)

55 kg: Cristian Vagiunic
60 kg: Razvan Arnaut — ’19 U23 European Championships silver
63 kg: Mihai Mihut — ’18 U23 World bronze, ’18 European Championships gold, ’18 U23 European Championships gold
77 kg: Ilie Cocojari — ’16 World bronze
82 kg: George-Vlad Mariea
130 kg: Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu (world #11) — ’20 European Championships gold, multi-time European Championships medalist, two-time Olympian

RUSSIA (RUS)

55 kg: Emin Sefershaev — ’19 Junior World silver, ’18 Junior World bronze, ’17 Junior World silver
60 kg: Stepan Maryanyan (world #2) — ’18 World Champion, ’19 World silver, ’17 World bronze
63 kg: Zhambolat Lokyaev — ’17 U23 European Championships silver
67 kg: Nasir Abdullaev 
72 kg: Narek Oganyan — ’18 U23 European Championships bronze
77 kg: Roman Vlasov (world #16) — Two-time Olympic Champion, two-time World Champion, ’13 World silver
82 kg: Milad Alirzaev — ’19 U23 World Champion
87 kg: Davit Chakvetadze — ’16 Olympic Champion, ’15 European Games gold
97 kg: Musa Evloev (world #1) — Two-time World Champion, ’17 World silver
130 kg: Sergei Semonov — ’18 World Champion, ’16 Olympic bronze, ’17 U23 World Champion

Serbia (SRB)

55 kg: Sebastian Kolompar
60 kg: Kristian Fris — ’17 European Championships gold, two-time Olympian
63 kg: Perica Dimitrijevic
67 kg: Davor Stefanek — ’16 Olympic Champion, ’14 World Champion, ’18 World silver, ’15 World bronze
72 kg: Mate Nemes (world #3 at 67 kg) — ’19 World bronze, ’19 European Games bronze
77 kg: Viktor Nemes — ’17 World Champion, ’18 World bronze, ‘two-time European Championships silver
82 kg: Branko Kovacevic
87 kg: Zurabi Datunashvili — two-time European Championships gold, ’13 European Championships silver, two-time Olympian
97 kg: Mihail Kajaia (world #12) — ’18 World bronze, ’18 European Championships silver
130 kg: Boban Zivanovic — ’13 Cadet World silver

Slovakia (SVK)

72 kg: Leos Dermola
77 kg: Denis Horvath

Switzerland (SUI)

72 kg: Andreas Vetsch 
97 kg: Damian Von Euw

Turkey (TUR)

55 kg: Serif Kilic — ’13 Junior World Champion
60 kg: Ahmet Uyar
63 kg: Abdurrahman Altan
67 kg: Atakan Yuksel — ’17 World bronze
72 kg: Cengiz Arslan — ’18 U23 World Champion, ’19 European Championships silver
77 kg: Furkan Bayrak — ’14 Junior World Champion
82 kg: Salih Aydin — ’17 Junior World bronze
87 kg: Dogan Goktas
97 kg: Suleiman Demirci
130 kg: Osman Yildirim — 2018 U23 World silver, ’18 University World Champion, three-time Junior World medalist

Ukraine (UKR)

55 kg: Vladyslav Kuzko — ’17 Cadet World Champion, ’16 Cadet World silver
60 kg: Viktor Petryk
63 kg: Aleksey Masyk
67 kg: Artur Politaev — ’12 Cadet World Champion, ’13 Cadet World silver, ’19 U23 World bronze
72 kg: Maksym Yevtushenko
77 kg: Yasaf Zeinalov
82 kg: Yaroslav Filchakov — ’18 U23 European Championships silver
87 kg: Semyon Novikov (world #12) — Two-time U23 World Champion, ’20 European Championships gold
97 kg: Vladlen Kozliuk — ’17 Junior World Champion, ’14 Cadet World silver, ’19 U23 European Championships bronze
130 kg: Nikolai Kuchmii (world #16) — ’20 European Championships bronze, ’15 U23 European Championships silver

2020 INDIVIDUAL WORLD CUP SCHEDULE

*Stream available in the United States on Trackwrestling (subscription required).
All times +6 hours EST

Saturday, December 12
11:00am-3:00pm — Qualification rounds (55 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg)
6:00pm-7:30pm — Semifinals

Sunday, December 13
11:00am-3:00pm — Qualification rounds (60 kg, 63 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg)
11:00am-3:00pm — Repechage (55 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg)
6:00pm-6:45pm — Semifinals (60 kg, 63 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg)
7:00pm-10:00pm — Finals & Bronze rounds (55 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg)

Monday, December 14
11:00am-2:00pm — Repechage (60 kg, 63 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg)
6:00pm-8:30pm — Finals & Bronze rounds (60 kg, 63 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg)

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