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Russia vs. USA: weight by weight discussion

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The team race has been extremely close. Its great team USA has made so much progress. Lets take a look at the weights one by one also with the future in mind (2019, 2010):

57kg: Uguev vs. Gilman: after disappointing 2017 worlds, Uguev has come back stronger. He didn't really have close matches except the final. Gilman also did quite well till he met Sana in the 1/2 final, in the process dispatching the always boring but solid AZE.  This is a weight where Russia seems to have the lead over the USA. It is possible we see some new names from the US here though.  1:0 Russia

61kg: Rashidov vs Colon/Garrett: Rashidov managed to find a way to lose the final and he has shown to have mental lapses. He will likely be Russia's top rep though at this weight. Colon did surprising well, but also a great draw. I suspect in next 2 years, Russia will be stronger here than US. Idrisov is also very strong. 2:0 Russia.

65kg: Chakaev vs. Stieber: well, Stieber just does not look himself lately. Chakaev has been around for a while, but I don't think he will be Russia's long-term representative here. If Bekbulatov comes back, Russia will be likely stronger here, if not, I expect the US to send someone that will do better than Stieber. Overall, I'd say slight nod to Russia, but remains unclear. Both Chakaev and Stieber are not guaranteed to be in the 2019 teams by any means. 3:0 Russia.

70kg: Gazimagomedov vs. Green: Green has somewhat disappointed in my mind. I always thought at some point he will transition to JB-level greatness, but he has not. Gazimagomedov is good, but not great. I expect US to send someone else here. Nod to Russia for now. 4:0 Russia.

74kg: Sidakov vs. JB: their match was super close, so I expect this to continue. 50/50 here. I hope Sidakov stays, he is good, better than Tsabolov IMO. 0:0 here.

79kg: Gadjimagomedov vs. Dake: now that was unexpected. Gadji beat Dake handily at Yarygin but got destroyed at worlds. Dake was unstoppable. As is, I give the nod to US here, now, and in next 2 years. 4:1 Russia.

86kg: Taylor vs. Kurugliev/Naifonov: Russia is surprisingly weak at this weight since the departure of Sadulaev. Kurugliev has been around for a long time, he is solid, but not great. Taylor has been incredible. Strong nod to USA here now and in next 2 years. Russia will have to think hard how to stop the magicman, cause that dude is on fire! 4:2 Russia.

92kg: Cox vs. Tsakulov: Cox has a bunch of international world level medals. Tsakulov has none at that level. Tsakulov really did not impress and I doubt he stays as the representative. Like at 86kg, Russia will need to think what to do here. So, nod to US. 4:3 Russia.

97kg: Snyder vs. Sadulaev: this can go either way, its 50/50 and those two will likely stay at that weight for few more years. I have the feeling here however that Alborov may have something to say soon about who wins Gold. So, 50/50 here. 0:0 here.

125kg: Khirziev vs. Gwiz: Khirziev is probably the worst wrestler on the Russian team. Russia is just weak at HW and they don't know how to fix this. Gwiz has been improving consistently and I think he is better than Khirziev.  4:4.

So overall, if these 2 teams are to meet in a dual, I think we'd see it decided by the 97kg and 74kg matches, which are likely to be split 1:1. I don't see this changing any time soon, so we should expect lots of great team races in the future. Olympics is another story and too realistic IMO -- cutting out 4 weight classes is just retarded.









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Very nice and well written analysis, awesome!

Few thoughts from my side

* 74kg - I would probably give the nod to Russia here. I think Sidakov would be the rep for few years, I am expecting him to see in 2020 Olympics. If Kyle Dake cuts down to 74kg as a preparation/qualification (??? not sure) for 2020 Olympics, then my vote would be to Dake. I am in no way qualified to talk about JB one way or the other, JB is a living legend, period!

* 92kg - Tsakulov,  was horrible, highly disappointing. He probably will not be the rep, may be Urishev or zhabrailov. 

*97kg - I think the equations will change after tomorrow's match, will wait until tomorrow to further comment

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I think JB from 2 years ago beats Sidakov, but JB has lost a bit of a step. 92kg is weak for Russia, but I am not sure they care so much about non-olympic weights, I read some comments about it and they always mention that its the Olympics that really matter. Urishev is also old...he won't do anything at 92kg internationally. They are weak at 92kg.

Tedeev was commenting how if it was his choice for the team's best interest he'd put Sadulaev at 92kg and Baytsaev at 97kg, but that Sadulaev again acted out of his own interest. And that Sadulaev finally returned to earth and started training like a regular team member. Some tension there for sure! So who knows what happens at 92kg for Russia.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, Sad/Snyder will always be considered a very close match. 

Edited by wfan24

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