Further encouraging signs of the pandemic beginning to loosen its grip on Europe have come to light as two more countries have announced an intent to resume organized wrestling workouts.
After Denmark and Austria recently green-lighted steps for their respective wrestling programs to hold training sessions, Hungary and Switzerland have laid the groundwork to do the same. The measures of precaution both nations will take are similar, with emphases firmly placed on limited participation, recommended distance between athletes, and proper sanitation.
There is one key difference between DEN/AUT and HUN/SUI: it would appear the latter two nations are not subject to an “outdoors first” type of policy, which would mean their wrestlers can start practicing indoors (with each other) right away.
Hungary’s federation (officially known as Magyar Birkózó Szövetség) first sent out a release on May 4 explaining that the country’s Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) had approved activities for “amateur sports, leisure sports, and mass sports” to relaunch under a series of medical guidelines and procedures. Three days later, the Hungarian federation followed-up with a breakdown of said procedures, which include stipulations similar to what Austria plans on observing.
Guidelines for both countries can be found below (items related to wrestling displayed in bold by 5PM). Text converted from Hungarian/German to English using machine translation; in some cases, words and/or phrases were replaced with their English equivalent.
“Training can be started with the following conditions and restrictions:
“- In the following weeks, physical contact should be avoided as much as possible, and children should focus on strength and endurance exercises during the workouts.
– It is recommended that everyone sign the enclosed information leaflet, according to which the child (in the case of minors: parental signature) participates in the training at his/her own risk. It is recommended to keep this for later.
– It is also recommended that everyone complete the enclosed Declaration (“Epidemiological Questionnaire”) on a weekly basis, which includes the recommended twice-daily body temperature measurement. This is measured and documented by the parent in the case of a wrestler or minor.
– All athletes must have a valid sports medicine license (suitable/can compete).
– In the case of wrestling training, it is recommended to train with the same (maximum 3) training partners until the epidemiological measures are lifted.
– The distance between the pairs on the mat should be at least 5 meters.
– As soon as possible after workouts, you should leave the training center, avoid proximity to the workout and in the locker room, in addition to the above training partners.
– It is recommended that training participants do not enter the community other than their family (home) and training in accordance with epidemiological measures.
– Pay special attention to hand washing, use your own training clothes and water bottle, shower at home if possible, and clean sports equipment.
– Coaches and staff over the age of 65 will continue to be gradually protected and, if possible, released.
– If possible, take care of the placement of hand sanitizers and draw the attention of children to their use; If it is possible to provide a shoe cover (footbag), we encourage athletes to use it as well.
– Clean and disinfect the carpet surface regularly.
– We ask all coaches and associations to conduct non-wrestling workouts (gym, running) with appropriate distance.
– Wrestling competitions cannot be held until June 30, according to UWW (United World Wrestling) rules. If this rule is dissolved, the professional committee of the association will draw up the rules of any competitions to be held and will amend the competition calendar.”
Switzerland’s governmental guidelines are lesser in number, but for some examples, are a touch more descriptive though not wrestling-specific.
“- Groups of five, two meters apart.
– If absolutely necessary for performance-based training, the group size can be increased accordingly (for team sports).
– Always train in the same pairing or group, do not mix groups or switch.
– Keep times with contact short.
– Wash hands thoroughly with soap before and after training.
– During breaks, a distance of two meters and group size up to a maximum of five people.
– If a positive test occurs in a training group, there is a risk that the doctor enforces a 10-day quarantine for the entire group.”
Switzerland did not have an athlete place in the top-6 at the 2019 World Championships, and will have to wait until the European Olympic Games Qualifier next springs for their next opportunity to secure spots in Tokyo. As noted previously, the top-ranked Lorincz brothers — multi-time medalist Viktor Lorincz (87 kg, world #1) and reigning World champ Tamas Lorincz (77 kg, world #1) are currently the only two Hungarian wrestlers to have qualified their weight classes for 2021.
Ota Shares Workout Ideas
2019 World Champion/’16 Olympic silver Shinobu Ota (JPN, world #1) posted a series of short training videos on Instagram recently. For those perhaps in need of additional ideas, or just curious to see how Ota is living life, two samples can be viewed below.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Following his impressive march to the World title in September, Ota jumped up to 67 kilograms in an effort to make Japan’s Olympic Team, due to Kenichiro Fumita‘s ownership of 60 kilos and the fact that 63, Ota’s weight at the Worlds, is not an Olympic category. Things didn’t go as planned. Ota was bounced in the second round of Japan’s Emperor’s Cup by Takayuki Inoguchi in December, and the spot later went to multi-time World Team member Shogo Takahashi.
Note on NMU at Olympic Trials 2021
Yesterday, we released a quick synopsis of what Sammy Jones (60 kg, NYAC/NTS) and ’19 Junior World bronze Alston Nutter (67 kg, Sunkist/NTS) have been up to over the past couple of months in wake of the season shutting down prematurely.
In order to correct potential misconceptions, Jones and Nutter are not the only two wrestlers from NMU’s National Training Site currently qualified for the 2021 Olympic Trials. Barrett Stanghill (87 kg, Minnesota Storm/NTS) rammed his way into the argument at the December Nationals by placing fifth — and Stanghill will be featured on this platform again sometime soon.
All told, seven entrants at the 2021 Olympic Trials qualified while representing the NTS. Along with Jones, Nutter, and Stanghill (were):
Dalton Roberts (60 kg, NYAC) — ’18 World Team
Spenser Woods (77 kg, NYAC) — ’19 Bill Farrell Memorial silver
Carter Nielsen (87 kg, MN Storm) — US Nationals 3rd
Khymba Johnson (97 kg, NYAC) — US Nationals 5th