Greco News

Monday Roundup: US Seniors In Action; “Negative Wrestling” Poll; Lopez Returning

ryan mango competing at the dan kolov-nikola petrov tournament
Ryan Mango -- Photo: Richard Immel

The 56th annual Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament begins this Thursday in Sofia, Bulgaria. As you likely know by now, a delegation of US Seniors, comprised of athletes from the Army and Marine Corps, have already been in-country for a couple of weeks participating in a training camp.

The US Seniors who will competing rank among the nation’s best. 2008 Olympian Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP), multi-time National Team member Ryan Mango (63 kg, Army/WCAP), 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman (67 kg, Army/WCAP), 2017 US National Teamer John Stefanowicz (82 kg, Marines), and stout overseas performer Daniel Miller (97 kg, Marines) are all lacing them up at the event, which will be run in the new two-day format stretching from Thursday to Sunday (the full schedule can be found below).

While the purpose of the American presence in Bulgaria is primarily for training (as is the case for virtually every other trip sans the Worlds and Pan Ams), the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament brings about its own significance. It is traditionally one of the most “stacked” tournaments each year in Eastern Europe, and 2018’s running is no different. The Bulgarian Wrestling Federation is listing a verifiable who’s who of international Greco stars scheduled to appear, including: 2016 Olympic runner-up Shinobu Ota (60 kg, JPN) and his domestic rival, 2017 World Champion Kenichiro Fumita (60 kg); 2017 World Champion Viktor Nemes (77 kg, SRB); 2014 World silver Evgeni Saleev (RUS, who is all the way up at 87 kg); 2015 World Champion/2016 Olympic bronze Rasul “Dance Boy” Chunayev (72 kg, AZE); and hometowner/two-time Euro bronze medalist Alexandar Alexandrov (82 kg).

We are currently awaiting word from Bulgaria regarding live stream information. When that news becomes available we will bring it to you.

2018 Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov Tournament

Competition Schedule
all times local (+6 hours EST)

Thursday, March 22nd
10:00 am (elimination rounds): 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg
4:30 pm (semifinals): 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg

Friday, March 23rd
10:00 am (elimination rounds): 87 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg; (repechage): 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg
4:00 pm (semifinals): 87 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg
5:00 pm (finals): 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg

Saturday, March 24th
10:00 am (elimination rounds): 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg; (repechage): 87 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg
4:00 pm (semifinals): 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg
5:00 pm (finals): 87 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg

Sunday, March 25th
10:00 am (repechage): 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg
3:00 pm (finals): 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg

So, about that rule update

If you haven’t heard, United World Wrestling is bringing the hammer down on what it calls “negative wrestling” in a major way beginning next month. To get all caught up, run over here for a quick refresher.

UWW/USAW official Zach Errett, who does a standout job presenting these rule changes via his videos, outlined various examples of negative wrestling which starting April 2nd will become punishable with two-point cautions (yes, they’re back). Needless to say, this has all caused a fair amount of speculative chatter as to what this is all going to look like, especially when the Pan Ams and the Worlds come flying around the corner.

If you have an opinion, we want to know about it. If you want to add even more insights, either leave them in the comments section below or hit us directly: [email protected].

Lopez Back This Week Before Hibernating Again

Per UWW, three-time Olympic gold medalist/five-time World Champion Mijain Lopez (130 kg, CUB) will be competing this week at the Central American and Caribbean Championships at home in Havana, Cuba. According to the blurb, Lopez is only returning to wrestle at this one event and then he’ll be taking the rest of the season off until the Senior Worlds in October. The 35-year-old has not stepped on a competitive mat since clinching his third Olympic gold in Rio 19 months ago.

Coming Up Shortly

  • Episode 14 of The Five Point Move Podcast with special guest Dalton Roberts (60 kg, NYAC/OTS).
  • A special mega piece/oral history detailing the first two years of G’Angelo Hancock‘s (Sunkist) full-time career.
  • More on Bulgaria.
  • The first athlete interview of 2018!

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