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Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event postponed, 2022 United World Wrestling calendar finalized

by United World Wrestling

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 20) – The United World Wrestling postponed the Matteo Pellicone and announced Almaty and Tunis as the host sites for the remaining pair of '22 Ranking Series events Thursday.

Despite the efforts of the Italian Wrestling Federation to host Rome's Matteo Pellicone on the previously scheduled dates of February 4-7, the latest restrictions due to the Omicron variant proved to be a roadblock in hosting the event.

The tournament will now be held June 22-25 in Rome, Italy preceding the U20 European Championships, which begin June 27 at the Pala Pellicone.

In the same meeting, the Bureau finalized the '22 Ranking Series calendar. In their continued efforts to spread the Ranking Series events worldwide, United World Wrestling selected Africa and Asia as host continents for the remaining pair of 2022 events.

Apart from the season opener Ranking event – the Yasar Dogu – in Istanbul, Turkey (February 24-27), the second event will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan (June 2-5). The Matteo Pellicone will be the third event (June 22-25), with Tunis, Tunisia being the final Ranking Series stop of the season (July 14-17).

Matteo PelliconeThe Matteo Pellicone Ranking event will now be held on June 22-25 in Rome, Italy. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Ranking Series Calendar 2022:

1st Ranking Series: February 24-27, Istanbul (TUR)

2nd Ranking Series: June 2-5, Almaty (KAZ)

3rd Ranking Series: June 22-25, Rome (ITA)

4th Ranking Series: July 14-17, Tunis (TUN)

"We really think that these adjustments will benefit the sport and for the competitions organized every year," UWW President Nenad LALOVIC said while announcing the changes. "Points will be allocated to the wrestlers, depending on their rank at these events. At the end of the year, the athletes who will have the highest number of points will become the best wrestlers of the year."

Updated Ranking System

Throughout '21, UWW has worked tirelessly to find improvements in the competition system. As a result, the Technical Commission and Bureau Members analyzed the current system and several other topics.

One of the most significant changes made by the Bureau was the approval of the updates to the current competition's ranking and seeding system.

UWW decided to add the XIX Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria (June 27-30) as a trial event to award ranking points to wrestlers participating in the Games. Other Regional Games could potentially be added to the Ranking system on a case-by-case basis. However, the final ranking points will only be awarded based on results in four out of the five events for the athletes who compete in Regional Games. The Olympics, Senior World and Continental Championships points remain unaffected.

The following competitions will determine the ranking of a wrestler:

Ranking Series (international tournaments selected by UWW)

Senior Continental Championships

Senior World Championships or Olympic Games

XIX Mediterranean Games (eligible wrestlers)

"We encourage all your athletes to compete during these events," Lalovic said. "The [ranking] points will serve them when we establish the seeds for the Senior Continental and World Championships."

The new rankings have been updated on, with wrestlers holding points from the Tokyo Olympic Games and Oslo World Championships.

Another significant decision was changing the number of seeds at different competitions. As a result, the Bureau approved to have eight seeds for the Senior World Championships and the Olympic Games instead of the previous four.

Similarly, the number of seeded wrestlers at the '22 Senior Continental Championships will now be four instead of two. The seeds will be determined by the Ranking Series events organized before the aforementioned competitions but also by taking into account the points earned at the 2021 Senior World Championships and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

USA, Azerbaijan to host '22 World Cups

In a first, UWW will host a combined Freestyle and Women's Wrestling World Cup in Iowa, USA.

Iowa will host the combined World Cup for two consecutive years – 2022 and 2023 – marking a new beginning in the wrestling calendar. This will also be the second time Iowa has hosted the Freestyle World Cup. The legendary Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa hosted the '18 World Cup.

After a four-year absence, wrestling will return to Baku, as the Bureau provisionally approved the Azerbaijan capital to host the Greco-Roman World Cup pending a venue inspection visit. The tournament will be held on November 5-6.

Rounding off the calendar was the selection of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, as the host city for the Senior Asian Championships (April 19 to 24).

FULL RELEASE: USA, Azerbaijan Announced as Hosts for World Cups

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 20) – In a historic step, United World Wrestling and USA Wrestling will host a combined Men's and Women's World Cups in Iowa, USA.

UWW announced the host of the three World Cups after a Bureau meeting held at its headquarters in Switzerland. The Bureau approved the combined World Cup for '22 and '23 in the USA, while the 2022 Greco-Roman World Cup was provisionally awarded to Baku, Azerbaijan pending a venue inspection visit.

UWW President Nenad LALOVIC said that the organization continues to progress with a dynamic host city process and the 2022 calendar is something the fans can look forward to.

“We are pleased to finalize the 2022 calendar and looking forward to high-level events with elite competition,” Lalovic said. "We continue to progress the sport with a dynamic host city process which works with organizers in a partnership approach.

"The 4 ranking Series events, Continental Championships, a World Championships in Belgrade, and an updated World Cup format will certainly be moments to look forward to in 2022.”

The '22 World Cup in Iowa is scheduled for December 10-11, while the '23 competition will take place December 9-10. The Greco-Roman World Cup in Baku is slated for November 5-6.

"USA Wrestling is excited to once again bring one of the most important wrestling competitions on the planet to the Coralville/Iowa City community, which is truly an international wrestling hotbed," Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director, said. "We are extremely pleased that we will be able to showcase the world's best men's and women's freestyle wrestlers in the same location. The atmosphere will be electric and fans will not want to miss this action."

The '22 World Cups, and moving forward, will be held in an updated format from earlier editions. The top five teams from the World Championships earn an invitation to the tournament. In addition, United World Wrestling will comprise the sixth team with the remaining wrestlers who participated in the World Championships.

USA Wrestling has hosted the men's freestyle World Cup 30 times in the past -- the most for any nation. Coralville, Iowa, will become the 10th USA city to host the tournament.

The other US cities which have hosted the World Cup include Toledo, Ohio (17 times); Los Angeles, California (three times); Chattanooga, Tenn. (twice); Spokane, Washington (twice); Stillwater, Oklahoma (twice); Baltimore, Maryland.; Fairfax, Va., Boise, Idaho and Iowa City, Iowa.

The Bureau provisionally approved Baku, Azerbaijan as the Greco-Roman World Cup host pending a venue inspection visit. The tournament will be held on November 5-6.

If approved, the Greco-Roman World Cup will return to UWW's calendar after five years, when Abadan City, Iran, hosted the competition in 2017.

Furthermore, Baku will return to the UWW's event calendar after a long absence. Apart from the Golden Grand Prix final, Baku last hosted a UWW event back in 2012 – the Cadet World Championships.

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