United World Wrestling has announced its Wrestler of the Year Award winners for 2019.
Frank CHAMIZO of Italy in freestyle, Viktor LORINCZ of (HUN) for Greco-Roman, and women wrestler Tamyra MENSAH of the USA have been named the best of the year in their respective events.
Each of the three Wrestler of the Year Award winners claimed a purse of 30,000 CHF in prize money, while second-place finishers will be richer by 20,000 CHF. The third placed wrestlers in the list will earn 10,000 CHF.
The United World Wrestling is committed to increasing financial incentives in a manner that is sustainable and is equal to all athletes, UWW has stated while announcing the 2019 Wrestlers of the Year awards.
The awards winners were selected based on their performances in this year’s Ranking Series events, continental championships and the World Championships. Award winners did not have to be world champions, which was a change from last year.
Last year’s winners were David TAYLOR (USA) in freestyle, Peter BACSI (HUN) in Greco-Roman, and Petra OLLI (FIN) in women’s wrestling,
Chamizo, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2015 world champion, captured his third world medal with by earning silver at 74kg in Nur-Sultan. In April, Chamizo won his third European title at his third different weight class with an 8-0 victory over France’s Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA). He won medals this year at the City of Sassari Tournament (gold), Yasar Dogu (silver) and Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov Tournament (bronze).
“I’m happy, but I’m not one-hundred percent happy,” Chamizo said after being notified of the honor. “I’m eighty percent happy because I wanted to be world champion. My job is it to be world champion. “Wow, I’m so happy. I can’t believe this. Next year I want to try to make to all the Ranking Series tournaments.”
World champions J’den COX (USA) and Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) finished second and third respectively in the freestyle standings.
Lorincz, a three-time world medalist, won gold medals in three Rankings Series events this year: Grand Prix of Zagreb, Grand Prix of Hungary and City of Sassari Tournament. He went on to win a bronze medal at the European Games. At the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Lorincz reached the gold-medal match before dropping close match to Zhan BELENIUK (UKR), a multiple-time world champion and Olympic medalist. In October, Lorincz won gold at the World Military Games.
“I’m very excited to receive this award,” said Lorincz. “It means a lot to be appreciated for my wrestling.”
World champion Shinobu OTA (JPN) finished in second place with 88 points, while Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) and Musa EVLOEV (RUS) tied for third.
Mensah capped off a dominant year by winning a world title in women’s wrestling at 68kg with a convincing 8-2 win in the gold-medal match over Jenny FRANSSON (SWE). The 27-year-old American outscored her opponents in Nur-Sultan by a combined score of 44-4. Mensah-Stock, a world bronze medalist in 2018, won gold medals this year at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, Pan American Games, Pan American Championships, Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov Tournament and City of Sassari Tournament.
“That makes me feel so appreciated,” said Mensah. “Yeah, I’m doing it for certain reasons, but for me to actually get more money out of it, that’s incredible. I love doing the Rankings Series.”
Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ), who became the first Kyrgyzstan wrestler to win a senior world title, finished in second place with 94 points. Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER) was third with 87 points.
The 2020 Ranking Series, which will influence seeding for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, kicks off Jan. 15-18 with an event Rome, Italy. A second Rankings Series event will be held June 4-7 in Warsaw, Poland, one month after the final Olympic qualification tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The wrestling competition at the 2020 Olympic Games will take place Aug. 2-8 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.
UWW Wrestler of the Year Final Standings:
1. Frank CHAMIZO (ITA, 74kg), 106 points
2. J’den COX (USA, 92kg), 90 points
3. Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO, 125kg), 88 points
1. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN, 87kg), 92 points
2. Shinobu OTA (JPN, 63kg), 88 points
3. Zhan BELENIUK (UKR, 87kg)/Musa EVLOEV (RUS, 97kg), 82 points (5,000 CHF each)
1. Tamyra MENSAH (USA, 68kg), 108 points
2. Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ, 62kg), 94 points
3. Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER, 76kg), 87 points