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fullnelson

Russia's presence in the Worlds

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Of the 8 wrestlers posted to wrestler place matches beginning at noon today, every single one person had Soviet (Russia and all Republics prior to break up) names. Makes for a tougher tournament. Many imply this is a weak tourney, but with all the imports, including some former World champs, think again.

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This is what makes the JB/Smith debate such an interesting one.  Smith has the 6 straight on his side, but damn it is so much harder to win one these days with all the russians out there between the soviet break up, and this new age of free agency.  Every single world championships, 60% or more of the medalists wouldn't have even been at the tournament in Smith's days.

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1 hour ago, Lurker said:

This is what makes the JB/Smith debate such an interesting one.  Smith has the 6 straight on his side, but damn it is so much harder to win one these days with all the russians out there between the soviet break up, and this new age of free agency.  Every single world championships, 60% or more of the medalists wouldn't have even been at the tournament in Smith's days.

IMO you can’t fairly compare Smith’s record to JB’s.  Smith wrestled in the Soviet era (as you note) and at time when there were ten weight classes.

JB wrestled in the era after the Soviet breakup, and during increased migration of wrestlers to other countries.  He also competed from 2011 to 2017 when there were only seven or eight weight classes, and he competed exclusively in an era of six Olympic weight classes.

They are just both legends from different eras as far as I’m concerned. 

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Definitely both legends, but how can anyone say that JB’s path wasn’t much much more difficult?  Middle weight, no Soviet Union, 6-7 weights as opposed to 10. This tournament that people are calling weak was more difficult than any worlds that Smith competed in. 

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3 hours ago, Katie said:

IMO you can’t fairly compare Smith’s record to JB’s.  Smith wrestled in the Soviet era (as you note) and at time when there were ten weight classes.

JB wrestled in the era after the Soviet breakup, and during increased migration of wrestlers to other countries.  He also competed from 2011 to 2017 when there were only seven or eight weight classes, and he competed exclusively in an era of six Olympic weight classes.

They are just both legends from different eras as far as I’m concerned. 

JB also got two chances at a title in the same year in 2021.  Smith never got 2 tries to win in the same year.  I also don't think Smith got byes to the US trials finals throughout his whole career like JB did.  They are different eras with different challenges and different advantages as you noted.  I just wanted to point out that not all the advantages tilt one way as you made it seem.  

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29 minutes ago, boconnell said:

JB also got two chances at a title in the same year in 2021.  Smith never got 2 tries to win in the same year.  I also don't think Smith got byes to the US trials finals throughout his whole career like JB did.  They are different eras with different challenges and different advantages as you noted.  I just wanted to point out that not all the advantages tilt one way as you made it seem.  

Well, there were zero opportunities for a medal in 2020, and then two opportunities for an medal in 2021 for Olympic weight classes only (and only one opportunity in 2021 for non-Olympic weight classes). Of course, there wasn’t even a challenge tournament for the 74kg world team spot.

If there had been a 79kg world championship in 2020, JB may very well be a 7x world-level champ right now. But that was wiped out.

As for challenges with WTTs and OTTs, I don’t know what they were like for Smith. It very well may have been an advantage for JB.

Another advantage JB may have had is more opportunities to earn income from wrestling. 

Edited by Katie

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I get your point but Russia still dominates the rankings and there were definitely some "weak" weights. For instance 57Kg only had 2 of the top 10 ranked wrestlers (#3 and #7) at that weight including Gilman at #3. Part of that is due to Russia having 3 in the top 10 though. That might seem like a lot but 70kg is crazy as Russia has 6 in the top 10 and 7 of the top 11 and there are 3 weights that Russia has 6 of the top 10 and only 1 weight where they have only 2 of the top 10. Overall Russia has on average 4 of the top 10 in every weight. Russia still dominates the rankings in almost every weight at least the top 10...

Edited by DocBZ

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52 minutes ago, boconnell said:

JB also got two chances at a title in the same year in 2021.  Smith never got 2 tries to win in the same year.  I also don't think Smith got byes to the US trials finals throughout his whole career like JB did.  They are different eras with different challenges and different advantages as you noted.  I just wanted to point out that not all the advantages tilt one way as you made it seem.  

Bye to the finals?  Who cares, Burroughs had to beat Taylor and Dake to make teams. Multiple time world champs. Waaaayyyy more challenging.  
 

Also Burroughs got 2 tries in the same year because he lost a year!  There are no advantages for smith in this argument. 

Edited by AnklePicker

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6 hours ago, Katie said:

IMO you can’t fairly compare Smith’s record to JB’s.  Smith wrestled in the Soviet era (as you note) and at time when there were ten weight classes.

JB wrestled in the era after the Soviet breakup, and during increased migration of wrestlers to other countries.  He also competed from 2011 to 2017 when there were only seven or eight weight classes, and he competed exclusively in an era of six Olympic weight classes.

They are just both legends from different eras as far as I’m concerned. 

Probably the best way to look at it 

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5 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

Bye to the finals?  Who cares, Burroughs had to beat Taylor and Dake to make teams. Multiple time world champs. Waaaayyyy more challenging.  
 

Also Burroughs got 2 tries in the same year because he lost a year!  There are no advantages for smith in this argument. 

You seriously don't think it's an advantage to not have to wrestle the whole trials each year?  You think facing Dake in the finals while JB is fresh and Dake just wrestled a tournament isn't an advantage?  That's what you're going with?  

I agree that Burroughs competed in a harder overall atmosphere.  I am simply pointing out that while many things were harder on JB, some were unquestionably easier.  Our trials system being catered to returning medalists is an advantage guys didn't have in the past.

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5 hours ago, Katie said:

Well, there were zero opportunities for a medal in 2020, and then two opportunities for an medal in 2021 for Olympic weight classes only (and only one opportunity in 2021 for non-Olympic weight classes). Of course, there wasn’t even a challenge tournament for the 74kg world team spot.

If there had been a 79kg world championship in 2020, JB may very well be a 7x world-level champ right now. But that was wiped out.

As for challenges with WTTs and OTTs, I don’t know what they were like for Smith. It very well may have been an advantage for JB.

Another advantage JB may have had is more opportunities to earn income from wrestling. 

Great point about 2020 being wiped out.  That does nullify 2021 doubling up.  I failed to consider that.

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23 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

Bye to the finals?  Who cares, Burroughs had to beat Taylor and Dake to make teams. Multiple time world champs. Waaaayyyy more challenging.  
 

Also Burroughs got 2 tries in the same year because he lost a year!  There are no advantages for smith in this argument. 

I am pretty sure Tom Brands was in some of the later trials JS won to make the teams circa 90 to 92.  TB was a WC in 93 and Olympic Champ in 96.

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