Greco News

Monday Roundup: Results from THREE Euro Nationals; Pytlasinski

heiki nabi, estonia nationals
Heiki Nabi -- Photo: 5PM

It has been a busy week in Europe for Senior Greco-Roman athletes, with three countries holding their respective open national tournaments — Belarus, Estonia, and Hungary.

At the event in Grodno (which the US visited back in the fall of 2017), ’15 World silver/’18 bronze Viktor Sasunovski prevailed in his familiar non-Olympic category of 82 kilograms. Sasunovski, 32, was already a multi-time champ entering the event at 80/82, but some might question why he did not swoop into the 77-kilo field that was won by Timur Berdyev.

Belarus has three main options at 77: ’17 European Championships silver Pavel Liakh, who placed 9th at the ’19 Worlds and was BLR’s guy for the ’20 Euros this past winter; Berdyev, who is seen more as a prospect for the next quad; and Sasunovski — whose only Senior appearance at 77 came last January at the Grand Prix of Paris where he finished third. Sasunovski dropped for that tournament in anticipation of acclimating for a potential run at the European Olympic Qualifer, though that event wound up becoming postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, Belarus has only qualified 87 kg for the Tokyo Olympics, which was accomplished by Nikolai Stadub when he placed 5th at the ’19 World Championships.

2020 Belarus Open Nationals

55 kg: Maxim Zisman
60 kg: Gleb Makarenko
63 kg: Yegor Belyak
67 kg: Alexander Leonchik
72 kg: Yuri Konkov
77 kg: Timur Berdyev
82 kg: Viktor Sasunovsky
87 kg: Kiril Maskevich
97 kg: Aleksander Hrabovik
130 kg: Pavel Rudakov

EST

The Virtuse Sports Hall in Jõgeva served as the site for Estonia’s Senior Championships last weekend. No one will be surprised to learn that two-time World Champion/mult-time medalist Heiki Nabi (world #7) earned yet another title in his home country. At 35 years of age, Nabi is as formidable as ever, and a more-than suitable candidate to earn his second Olympic medal (silver in ’12). Last season, Nabi placed fifth at the Worlds to lock up Estonia’s heavyweight license for Tokyo.

Neither 55 or 63 kilograms were contested in Jõgeva, but Estonia’s most significant lightweight, Helary Mägisalu, won at 60. Their program also thinks there might be something to see in Denis Bolunov. The 67-kilo champ was competing in Senior events while still an age-grouper, and although he has yet to fully assert himself against elite quality, Bolunov has garnered a lot of experience over the past three seasons.

2020 Estonia Senior Championships

60 kg: Helary Mägisalu
67 kg: Denis Bolunov
72 kg: Randel Uibo
77 kg: Uku Leitham
82 kg: Ranet Kaljola
87 kg: Erik Int
97 kg: Richard Karelson
130 kg: Heiki Nabi

HUN

The absence of several top stars put a little damper on Hungary’s Senior tournament.  Zotlan Levai (77 kg, world #4) was a no-show; so was multi-time medalist Viktor Lorincz (87 kg, world #1), and ’09 World Champ Balazs Kiss (97)…well, we know what he has been up to. But without the larger Lorincz brother in the fray, it provided an opportunity for ’19 U23 Junior Euro silver David Losonczi and ’19 Junior World champ Istvan Takacs to take center-stage. As expected, both advanced to the final with Losonczi emerging victorious via criteria (2-2).

Reigning World champ Tamas Lorincz was involved, just not at 77. For the first time in his career, the 33-year-old tried out 82 kilos. It went well for him. Lorincz picked up gold in what was a round-robin bracket. As we have been tracking the movement at 97 for HungaryErik Szilvassy came away the winner in a weight class that did not include Kiss, Zsolt Toeroek, or Alex Szoeke.

Hungary qualified 77 and 87 kg thanks to the Lorincz brothers at the ’19 World Championships (Tamas, gold at 77; Viktor, silver at 87).

2020 Hungarian Senior Championships

55 kg: Rich Krisztian
60 kg: Tamas Torok
63 kg: Krisztian Kecskemeti
67 kg: Mate Krasznai
72 kg: Robert Fritsch
77 kg: Otto Losonczi
82 kg: Tamas Lorincz
87 kg: David Losonczi
97 kg: Erik Szilvassy
130 kg: Armin Mózes Majoros

Pytlasinski Is Back IN

The annual Waldyslaw Pytlasinski Memorial, the Greco portion of Poland’s annual three-style summer tournament, was a United World Wrestling “Ranking Series” event in ’18 (when G’Angelo Hancock dominated both Artur Aleksanyan and Nikolai Bayrakov back-to-back en-route to gold), and will be once again in ’21. The global sanctioning body announced on Saturday Pytlasinski’s inclusion (along with the Poland Open and Ziolkowski Cup) in the series, though an event date is not yet available. Poland is also scheduled to host the Senior European Championships from April 19-25 in Katowice.

The Pytlasinski Memorial Cup is classified as a “Tier 1” event for United States athletes in 5PM’s official rankings.

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