Sweden has joined the list of notable countries that have decided to bypass traveling to Belgrade, Serbia next month for the 2020 United World Wrestling Individual World Cup. Thus far, the United States, China, Japan, and Kazakhstan have also declined to send delegations to Belgrade — although, those announcements were made prior to UWW altering the title and format of the event.
A statement from ’15 World bronze and Swedish federation press officer Zakarias Tallroth read, in part, “Sweden has decided not to participate due to the current situation. Right now, the travel advice to Serbia from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prevails, which was one of the factors why Sweden chose not to participate.” The release then closed with an ominous sentence: “This means that there will be no more international competitions for Sweden in 2020.” Sadly, they won’t be alone.
Fritz Is In
It was a wave of chaos between Friday and Saturday. First, we released a preview centering on ’18 World Team member Tyler Dow and his then-impending bout against two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (77 kg, NYAC/BVRTC, 5PM #3) set for tomorrow night’s Underground 1 card on Rokfin (subscription required). Approximately 14 hours later, we learned from the Wisconsin Regional Training Center that Dow would be unable to compete. Shortly thereafter, two-time U23 Trials runner-up and Ohio State grappler Fritz Schierl was announced as Dow’s replacement. The good news is that Schierl arrived to Wisconsin safe, sound, and ready to go, for he was originally listed for Underground 1 in a freestyle bout.
Rather than a conventional preview for Provisor/Schierl, we will instead be unveiling a Q&A with Schierl that includes several extremely interesting insights pertaining to the match. There is actually a sentimental twist to the affair that might not be common knowledge outside of Wisconsin’s Greco community: Schierl looked up to Provisor as a youth, not just due to the latter’s status as a high school wrestler but also because Schierl’s dad worked with Provisor on strength and conditioning.
There is also the Dennis Hall factor. Hall’s relationship with Provisor is well-known, but Schierl was coached by Hall during his Wisconsin scholastic days and still is as a member of the Ohio RTC. However, the 49-year-old (and 5’3) World champ will not be in either athlete’s corner Tuesday night.
A lot more from Schierl will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned because it gets even better.
Senior Camp Update
As reported in the previous Monday Roundup, a number of top US Seniors will begin camp on December 3 in two locations. Lightweights (60 and 67 kg) will head to Legends of Gold in South Dakota while everyone else will converge on MWC in Nebraska. In yet one more blow to the military programs so far this year, neither the Army or Marine wrestlers will be attending (or any full-time wrestler from the Navy or Air Force). Word came out today from Fort Carson that three athletes (not attached to wrestling) tested positive recently, hence the Greco athletes’ inability to receive permission to travel.