Greco News

Monday Roundup: UVRTC Camp Starts; DEN Juniors; Lorincz Offspring; Kakhelashvili

Nikoloz Kakhelashvili -- Photo: UWW

The third USA Greco-Roman “Summer Series” camp began earlier today at the Utah Valley Regional Training Center in Orem, UT. Going by the initial roster released two weeks ago, attendance is expected to eclipse the number of Seniors who were in Nebraska last month. A final headcount should avail itself today or tomorrow, and we plan on offering updates/insights as camp rolls on throughout the week.

As a reminder, both Ben Provisor (77 kg, NYAC/BVRTC) and RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) are in attendance leading up to their bout on the Wrestling Underground card scheduled for Sunday night that will stream live on UFC Fight Pass (subscription required).

Danish JR Nationals Set

The Danish Wrestling Federation have scheduled their Junior National tournament for Sunday, November 1 (in Kolding). Like other nations across the globe, Denmark has had to move all age-group qualifying events to (much) later in the year than is the usual due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of now, United World Wrestling still targets December 4-10 in Belgrade, Serbia for the Junior World Championships despite recently scrapping all sanctioned tournaments in September and October.

Lorincz Becomes a Father

Congratulations are in order for multi-time World medalist Viktor Lorincz (87 kg, HUN, world #1), whose wife Vivien gave birth to their first child on August 8, a baby girl named Anna. The timing involved with the arrival of his daughter is not lost on Lorincz. If the Tokyo Olympics had come and gone as planned this month, he fears that his mind might have become preoccupied, potentially leading to a disappointing result. “I was sure that I would handle the mental burden of worrying about her birth while in Tokyo like a pro. In hindsight, I was wrong,” admitted Lorincz to the Hungary Wrestling Federation. “I would have been very stressed. This would probably have been to the detriment of my performance.”

With the birthing process out of the way, the 30-year-old has found it easier to focus. There are over 11 months until Greco begins at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The postponement has elicited a rollercoaster of emotions for athletes across the globe. But for Lorincz, things are different now. Amid uncertainty and a recently-increased training regimen, he feels a sense of motivation after training sessions that has renewed his conviction. “I come home, look at my daughter, and I know I have to show her who her dad is,” Lorincz said. “My job, regardless of anything, is to prepare with steam power and be ready for when I have to go to Tokyo. And when I come home from there, I want to give my daughter a gold medal.”

Citizenship for Kakhelashvili

2015 Junior World Champion Nikoloz Kakhelashvili (97 kg) received some good news recently. He found out that when the European Olympic Games Qualifier take place next spring, he will be allowed to represent his adopted country, Italy. Originally from Georgia, 24-year-old Kakhelashvili broke to Western Europe in ’16 and did not compete again for almost two seasons. But ever since, he has been a part of Italy’s program — and he has also turned into a very serious Senior contender. Kakhelashvili went on a tear beginning in the winter of ’19, first earning bronze at the Hungarian Grand Prix before winning the last two UWW “Ranking Series” events in Rome. This past March, he made an even deeper impression by finishing second in the European Championships to multi-time World/’16 Olympic Champion Artur Aleksanyan (ARM).

The Italian Council of Ministers approved Kakhelashvili’s citizenship in the beginning of August, confirming that he will be eligible to participate in Tokyo donning ITA on the back of his singlet. “The Italian supporters in Ostia give me a special feeling and every day I appreciate and belong more to Italy,” said Kakhelashvili. “Living in Rome is a dream. Being Italian means having a unique style, and I really like being considered Italian.”

At the ’18 Pytlasinski Memorial in Poland, G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist, world #8) edged Kakhelashvili in the quarterfinals before stopping Aleksanyan via fall. Later, Hancock dominated Nikolai Bayrakov (BUL) for gold. The following spring, Hancock and Kakehlashvili met again, this time in the finals of the Sassari City ranking tournament. The result went in the other direction, with Kakhelashvili the beneficiary of less-than-stellar officiating.

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