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irani

coverage of US qualification tournament in Iranian media

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Russia tries to split the difference (RusNats decides the team unless there are predetermined and announced exceptions) but Lebedev at the 2016 RusNats shows how much politics matter. Lebedev should have lost to Musukaev (from Dagestan) at quarters of RusNats but the refs (allegedly) made sure Lebedev won because he was from Yakutia and Alrosa is the main sponsor of the Russian Wrestling Federation and Alrosa is also the company that owns the worlds largest diamond mine that happens to be in Yakutia and (supposedly) Lebedev is connected to Alrosa big wigs by marriage. 

Lebedev was a two-time world champ and a 2015 world bronze medalist but DNPd at Rio and then retired. He's a wrestling legend regardless of what happened at 2016 RusNats but the Russian process has undeniably tarnished his legacy no matter what you believe. 

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3 hours ago, wrestfan said:

that was funny and correct. lol

I believe if it was a two-man trial like what we had this year they would let him wrestle but if it was an extended trial (I mean a tournament like Takhti Cup) they wouldn't let him wrestle but they would make him wrestle the winner later at another date lol

but it's not like they have "nobody to answer to" that Hadi-Ghasemi 2016 story even went to the parliament, they brought in the sport ministry since technically they couldn't touch Khadem (as IAWF president) , there were street protests in Hadi's hometown. that didn't change anything at the end but it's not like they don't have to consider anything else when they pick up a team.

let's say if wrestler A beats wrestler B in the trials it will be really hard for them to pick wrestler B unless they meet again and the B guy makes up for that first defeat. yes there were some rare exceptions in the past (Ebrahimi beat Karimi twice, yet Karimi went to the worlds) but they usually set up everything to help the B wrestler "not losing" the trials. sometimes avoiding a direct match. as you said yourself this is what they are doing between Zare and Taheri this time. but if they wrestle and Taheri wins it won't be easy to simply send Zare to the Olympics.

I think Goudarzi - Goleij in 2018 was the worst one.

Goudarzi beat him twice extremly easily in the trials, they both went to a tournament after and got destroyed. Then Goleij gets sent to worlds and gets destroyed again by the same guy he lost to in that tournament, lol. Not that Goudarzi is something great either.

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:43 PM, Jim L said:

Thanks for the link.  Some humorous translations:

the defeat of Jordan Burroughs to Kyle Duck, the elimination and failure of the black American giant to reach the Tokyo Olympics

Also:

 issue that happened to "Jayden Cox", the world champion and opponent of Alireza Karimi in the 92 kg final of the 2019 World Championships, and this muscular figure did not reach the weightlifting ceremony

I was about to paste that in there but figured someone else would have already. I think Kyle Duck is going to stick. Black American giant, well, let's just blame the translator.

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:43 PM, irani said:

OK, you roped me into this, so let me give you my assessment

The US system is very rigid, but at the same time very fair, no exceptions.

The Iranian system attempts to be flexible, and make the decision based on what the leadership thinks gives Iran the best chances of success.  That results in lots of accusation of favoritism and unfairness by those who are not selected.

Now give you an extreme example of when the Iranian system would have worked perfectly.

in 1992, Dan O'brien was the defending decathlon world champion, and the hands down favorite for Olympic gold.  He had an off day in the qualification, failed his pole vault attempts, and therefore did not make the team.  Under the very fair US system, he did not make the team.

Under the Iranian system, someone would have said "are you nuts?" and put O'brien on the team.  That would have been unfair to the guy who took third in the qualifications, but would gained US an almost certain gold in Decathalon.

Which system is better? Not a black and white answer.  

 

The problem all along has been people insisting on fairness in the first place. Who ever thought Olympic team selection ought to be fair? Olympic team selection should not be viewed as a competition on par with the NCAAs, the US Open or the Olympics for that matter. The Olympic team trials should be viewed as a method of selecting the US Olympic team and in my objectively humble opinion the method's purpose should be to put together the team that has the greatest chance of winning the most medals. Now the obvious question that always arises is "oh but who should do the deciding?" Now people start wringing their hands and pleading fairness. Yes we have to entrust the selection process to someone or some group of people. This makes some people nervous but guess what, rules are the product of people putting together the rules and rules always have built in biases that favor some and hurt others. Those rules sometimes masquerade as being fair, but this is only if the rules themselves are not subject to change. But since you can always put a rule in to favor someone or some group, you can always modify it when that no longer works for you. With that out of the way, I think the best system, if you can afford it, is to have the trials as the first step in a process. The trials are viewed by a selected panel of coaches -- could be three or one or two --- who then invite a certain number of people to a camp for the final selection. The coaches very well may say "Snyder is the odds on favorite at this point" so as to not get anyone's hopes too high. The coaches can invite as few as two people or as many as five or even six. Depends on the depth of the field. You bring them to the camp and you have them wrestler each other and you observe them. You watch their work ethic, how well they manage all positions. You take into consideration the likely competition. Then after careful consideration you either choose who goes to the Olympics or you choose to have a wrestle-off if you can't decide. If we did this I guarantee we'd increase our medal count significantly. Would we also have some very unhappy wrestlers every cycle? You betcha. 

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Maybe base the olympic spot on past results and have lots of opportunities for past results.  For instance, WCs and then head to head competitions throughout the year so everyone is wrestling everyone.  I think the top guy would come out and be very apparent. 

mspart

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58 minutes ago, BigTimeFan said:

The problem all along has been people insisting on fairness in the first place. Who ever thought Olympic team selection ought to be fair? Olympic team selection should not be viewed as a competition on par with the NCAAs, the US Open or the Olympics for that matter. The Olympic team trials should be viewed as a method of selecting the US Olympic team and in my objectively humble opinion the method's purpose should be to put together the team that has the greatest chance of winning the most medals. Now the obvious question that always arises is "oh but who should do the deciding?" Now people start wringing their hands and pleading fairness. Yes we have to entrust the selection process to someone or some group of people. This makes some people nervous but guess what, rules are the product of people putting together the rules and rules always have built in biases that favor some and hurt others. Those rules sometimes masquerade as being fair, but this is only if the rules themselves are not subject to change. But since you can always put a rule in to favor someone or some group, you can always modify it when that no longer works for you. With that out of the way, I think the best system, if you can afford it, is to have the trials as the first step in a process. The trials are viewed by a selected panel of coaches -- could be three or one or two --- who then invite a certain number of people to a camp for the final selection. The coaches very well may say "Snyder is the odds on favorite at this point" so as to not get anyone's hopes too high. The coaches can invite as few as two people or as many as five or even six. Depends on the depth of the field. You bring them to the camp and you have them wrestler each other and you observe them. You watch their work ethic, how well they manage all positions. You take into consideration the likely competition. Then after careful consideration you either choose who goes to the Olympics or you choose to have a wrestle-off if you can't decide. If we did this I guarantee we'd increase our medal count significantly. Would we also have some very unhappy wrestlers every cycle? You betcha. 

Hard to imagine any top level coaches who are completely unbiased.  Human nature dictates that they will favor the guy the are closest to if the decision is subjective

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On 4/6/2021 at 1:18 PM, shieldofpistis said:

I'm torn by how US teams are selected.  I mean it is the American system to open it up to all and see who wins.  

But even though upsets are exciting,  I think Yianni had best shot for medal.  I am not sure if it is in best interest of US Olympics to have JO defeat Yianni on last second shot and win in such manner.  

Maybe open door up for underdog at same time making it apparent that an underdog has to significantly defeat favorite.  Maybe tie breaking criteria should go to favorite.  

Of course decisions need to be made in advance...not due to hindsight.  I think there needs to be some flexibility built into system when one favorite like Surriano got sick.  I mean what would have happened had Taylor and Snyder got Covid?   Our team would be really week. 

If the trials were moved back would Lee even be able to participate?  I'm not sure how long he is out.  

I get rules are rules. Not fighting that.  Just  thinking about possible rule changes for next time to add some flexibility.  For instance if a guy misses weight by 15 minutes maybe you should make his road tougher but not eliminate him....such as giving all his opponents the tie breaking criteria.  

 

You think JO is an underdog who should have to significantly defeat Yianni to make the team?  I am guessing this is exactly why we follow rules so closely.  It's the least bad of all the terrible ways to pick a team.

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9 minutes ago, Jim L said:

Hard to imagine any top level coaches who are completely unbiased.  Human nature dictates that they will favor the guy the are closest to if the decision is subjective

Yep.  All of our top coaches are inextricably tied to regional universities and the biases and rooting interests that go along with that.  I have zero confidence a room of coaches could pick a better team than the trials picked.  I've seen the room of coaches seed guys for NCAAs.  I've seen the room of coaches fight over National duals according to what their team looked like that year.  I like that our system gives an advantage to returning team members, and I like that it comes down to the matches on the mat.  I don't like it because it's fair, I like it because I think it does a better job than a room of coaches would do.  

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8 minutes ago, boconnell said:

You think JO is an underdog who should have to significantly defeat Yianni to make the team?  I am guessing this is exactly why we follow rules so closely.  It's the least bad of all the terrible ways to pick a team.

Perhaps

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3 minutes ago, shieldofpistis said:

Perhaps

And to be clear, I don't mean your opinion was objectively wrong.  I mean it was subjectively wrong when compared to my subjective opinion.  And even if you got 5 guys who were much smarter and more knowledgeable than us, you'd get 5 additional opinions about what gap (if any) there is between Oliver and Yianni.  I just can't see how letting those 5 guys (who know the competitors personally and will absolutely be influenced by that) argue it out works better. 

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1 hour ago, BigTimeFan said:

The problem all along has been people insisting on fairness in the first place. Who ever thought Olympic team selection ought to be fair? Olympic team selection should not be viewed as a competition on par with the NCAAs, the US Open or the Olympics for that matter. The Olympic team trials should be viewed as a method of selecting the US Olympic team and in my objectively humble opinion the method's purpose should be to put together the team that has the greatest chance of winning the most medals. Now the obvious question that always arises is "oh but who should do the deciding?" Now people start wringing their hands and pleading fairness. Yes we have to entrust the selection process to someone or some group of people. This makes some people nervous but guess what, rules are the product of people putting together the rules and rules always have built in biases that favor some and hurt others. Those rules sometimes masquerade as being fair, but this is only if the rules themselves are not subject to change. But since you can always put a rule in to favor someone or some group, you can always modify it when that no longer works for you. With that out of the way, I think the best system, if you can afford it, is to have the trials as the first step in a process. The trials are viewed by a selected panel of coaches -- could be three or one or two --- who then invite a certain number of people to a camp for the final selection. The coaches very well may say "Snyder is the odds on favorite at this point" so as to not get anyone's hopes too high. The coaches can invite as few as two people or as many as five or even six. Depends on the depth of the field. You bring them to the camp and you have them wrestler each other and you observe them. You watch their work ethic, how well they manage all positions. You take into consideration the likely competition. Then after careful consideration you either choose who goes to the Olympics or you choose to have a wrestle-off if you can't decide. If we did this I guarantee we'd increase our medal count significantly. Would we also have some very unhappy wrestlers every cycle? You betcha. 

UWW should do what the IJF does with judo.  The top-32 ranked competitors in every weight for that quad go to the Olympics; one rep per nation at each weight.   

For example, if there are three Russians in the top-32, the Russian federation gets to pick their rep and then the other Olympic berths go to the 34th and 35th ranked guys.  This way you have a field of the best 32 competitors from different nations at each weight division for that quad.  The only way the NGB's get involved are if they have multiple top-32 guys.   

It's not like in wrestling where a particular weight for a nation gets qualified.  The competitor qualifies him/herself.  

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Just now, BigTimeFan said:

That a lot of appeal but the ranking system must be a nightmare to deal with given how high the stakes are. Anyhow I think this system along with how a country picks its reps can be combined. 

The IFJ rankings are not subjective, but are best on results on the world judo tour. It is a good way to promote the sport by having meaningful tournaments all over the world, but makes it an expensive sport for the national teams

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2 hours ago, boconnell said:

And to be clear, I don't mean your opinion was objectively wrong.  I mean it was subjectively wrong when compared to my subjective opinion.  And even if you got 5 guys who were much smarter and more knowledgeable than us, you'd get 5 additional opinions about what gap (if any) there is between Oliver and Yianni.  I just can't see how letting those 5 guys (who know the competitors personally and will absolutely be influenced by that) argue it out works better. 

I get what you are saying and I shouldn't imply JO doesn't deserve it. He beat Yianni then he controlled for 2 matches the guy who beat Zain. 

I know this is wishful thinking but I wish every round was 2 out of 3.  Just wishful thinking not reality.

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Keep in mind for all those that don’t want our selection process, can’t also scream our returning Olympic medalist deserves a chance to wrestle off even though he didn’t make weight. 
 

If not for our selection process, the 9 seed doesn’t go to Rio and win a medal. 

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If we are looking at this as a “wrestle off”, I think it is fair to point out that the majority of successful college programs do not use strict wrestle off as the only tool to determine the starting. The vast majority are now (or at least precovid) going by results in open tournaments where they enter both wrestlers and see how they do against the other competition. The reason is that it’s more important how they do against the competition than it is how they do against each other. This seems to work pretty well to get the best wrestler. This would be more difficult to implement for an entire country though. College programs rarely have more than 2 legit contenders at each weight. I like that our current system gives everyone a chance.

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I very much prefer our current approach over back room selection decisions.  Prove it on the mat.  The ideal of fairness and showing our youth that they can, in large part, own the outcome by putting in the work and getting their hand raised, is much more important than the US winning an extra medal or two.

(Note, I don’t know that back room decision making would result in more medals either.  Just making the point that even if it did, I prefer giving all a shot and being clear with rules and the application of the rules)

 

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On 4/7/2021 at 12:47 AM, Jaroslav Hasek said:

Russia tries to split the difference (RusNats decides the team unless there are predetermined and announced exceptions) but Lebedev at the 2016 RusNats shows how much politics matter. Lebedev should have lost to Musukaev (from Dagestan) at quarters of RusNats but the refs (allegedly) made sure Lebedev won because he was from Yakutia and Alrosa is the main sponsor of the Russian Wrestling Federation and Alrosa is also the company that owns the worlds largest diamond mine that happens to be in Yakutia and (supposedly) Lebedev is connected to Alrosa big wigs by marriage. 

Lebedev was a two-time world champ and a 2015 world bronze medalist but DNPd at Rio and then retired. He's a wrestling legend regardless of what happened at 2016 RusNats but the Russian process has undeniably tarnished his legacy no matter what you believe. 

As an athlete that dedicated my life to a sport to become a world champion and represent that specific country, the LAST thing I would want is some bureaucrat, oligarch, or "religious leader" determining my fate.  Period.

Establish rules up front, no matter how rigid they may be. 

Adhere to said rules.

Define exceptions and appeals processes.

Execute against said rules.

In a world that demands fairness, this is by far the most fair when the subjectivity is removed. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, nom said:

I very much prefer our current approach over back room selection decisions.  Prove it on the mat.  The ideal of fairness and showing our youth that they can, in large part, own the outcome by putting in the work and getting their hand raised, is much more important than the US winning an extra medal or two.

(Note, I don’t know that back room decision making would result in more medals either.  Just making the point that even if it did, I prefer giving all a shot and being clear with rules and the application of the rules)

 

Having athletes attend an event and wrestle in front of the coaches for many weeks IS proving it on the mat. And it’s a lot more useful than a single competition that among other things doesn’t take into consideration a wrestler’s performance in international competition (also an on the mat evaluation). 

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Then how know when someone is coming on and has the fire lit?  Is feeling healthy vs others hiding their injuries.
 

You conjecture that your way is better at selecting a team.  I can’t prove you wrong.
 

But I can be confident that your way would lead to deeper factions, playing of the system, corruption, and tantrums. 

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49 minutes ago, BigTimeFan said:

Having athletes attend an event and wrestle in front of the coaches for many weeks IS proving it on the mat. And it’s a lot more useful than a single competition that among other things doesn’t take into consideration a wrestler’s performance in international competition (also an on the mat evaluation). 

It absolutely does consider international competition. Athletes get placed in certain spots in the bracket based on world medals. Other athletes get seeded based in part on their own international results. International results are strongly considered in the mechanism of who goes where in the bracket and who has to go through whom to get there. Once those considerations are made and the brackets are set, the athletes COMPETE for the chance to win the spot. 

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