There’s no other name for it. “Budapest Week” fits the bill too nicely, too compact and appropriately. Because it is in Budapest, Hungary this week where international Greco Roman wrestling will have wrapped up its 2016 calendar of competition.
It all begins Thursday with the dawning of the World Wrestling Clubs Cup. We went over this earlier, but it’s a pretty unique situation (specifically for Greco, considering this is the event’s first year for the style). Athletes from around the world will not be representing their nations but rather, the clubs/organizations they are affiliated with. But there is a slight catch involved and you will notice it with the US roster, which is competing under the banner of the New York Athletic Club.
Of course, only half of the US athletes in Budapest actually rep NYAC (Sammy Jones, 59 kg; Austin Morrow, 66 kg; Cheney Haight, 80 kg; and G’Angelo Hancock, 98 kg). The rest of the guys who are normally wearing singlets on domestic soil honoring their usual clubs will be, in essence, NYAC athletes for a couple of days, as well. So that is sort of weird, kind of cool, and altogether, fairly insignificant in the context of the actual event. Because whatever you want to say about the Clubs Cup, it is going to be all about what happens on the mat and that has very little to do with the laundry situation.
The Clubs Cup leads into the 2016 (and first ever) Non-Olympic Weight World Championships on Saturday (December 10th). Chris Gonzalez (71 kg, Army/WCAP) and Patrick Martinez (80 kg, NYAC, world no. 15) are the two Americans lacing them up. Gonzalez, who had been a stout contender at 66 kg (and also 71 on occasion) could have been seen as an athlete on the brink before he opened everyone’s eyes at the World Team Trials a few weeks ago. While Gonzalez’s win might have surprised some, there was also this feeling that a breakthrough performance like that had been building.
On the other hand there is Martinez, a wrestler who has done little else but demonstrate remarkable improvement in nearly every major event he has been in over the last two years. This is the third World Team Martinez has made (including this year’s University squad that did not compete at the World Championships in Corum, Turkey) and as such, Budapest will see him walk onto a World Championships mat for the second time in as many years.
Both athletes are assured of being forced to scratch and claw through predictably deep brackets and the draw for each is likely to be questionable. But you throw all that out. None of it will matter Saturday morning, as it shouldn’t. The time for backstories and hypotheticals has passed. There is an opportunity here for two US wrestlers who may very well represent the coming era of Greco Roman wrestling in this country to make a lasting statement and that cannot be understated, especially given the distinctive nature this event offers.
Technique videos now open for business. Except they are free. Which might be kind of communistic.
We have begun rolling out the new “Greco Roman Technique Videos” section last week and started with two of US National Team head coach Matt Lindland’s videos that he produced specifically for this project. The base concept is to provide “open source” instructionals for both coaches and athletes, and Five Point Move has been designated as the centralized location for this content. And while we are endeavoring to showcase videos produced just for here, we will also be adding videos from other coaches/athletes deemed credible.
Eventually, this will become a vast library of Greco technique videos and each one put up live here is going to include accompanying content. For now, 5PM is very much in favor of YouTube videos because hosting native videos lessens their reach (presumably) and also, slightly diminishes the “open source” ethos. As this project progresses, however, we will be moving to a native approach, though that is not expected to be the case until sometime next year.
The Golden Grand Prix did have some (very) good things
Despite the fact that scoring was down at the 2016 Golden Grand Prix and also, that the officiating was (to put it kindly) rather confounding, there were some neat highlights. We went out and chose a few that hopefully, will remind you how terrific the sport of Greco Roman wrestling can really be.
The year-end festivities to look forward to
Following the US Nationals in two weeks, we will be unveiling a stream of superlatives to acknowledge the 2016 year of competition. This includes some surprises that we’re going to keep “under wraps” (ugh) for now. You will know what we mean when you see it. In fact, a big announcement will be made quite soon in regards to all of this and that should help punctuate our effort even more.
What’s coming up here
- An interview with Ryan Hope (85 kg, Cliff Keen Wrestling Club). Hope recently earned a bronze medal at the Vantaa Cup in Finland and is a tough, cerebral competitor who broke convention by leaving the Olympic Training Center. More importantly, he is a viable contender at 85 and although he already qualified for the World Team Trials, Hope will be wrestling at the Nationals just so he has another mechanism to serve notice to everybody in his weight class.
- There will be a Coach Lindland’s Report — Time differences, training schedules, and whatever else always impedes on these things, but it’s going to happen. Soon.
- Full previews of the Clubs Cup and Non-Olympic Weight Worlds.
- The big announcement alluded to earlier.