With the shadow of Caricoa 2 looming over the beach wrestling circle at Olympic Park in Barra de Tijuca, world silver medalist Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA) and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Dato MARSAGISHVILI (GEO) are preparing to compete in the second stop of United World Wrestling's Beach Wrestling World Series (BWWS).
Silva, a local hero since parlaying her 2014 silver medal in freestyle wrestling into a number of charitable acts in her home country, comes into the tournament hopeful she can earn enough points to qualify for the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games in San Diego this October.
'I want to represent my country. well," said Silva. 'This is going to be a lot of fun!"
For Marsagishvili the aim seems to be even simpler: to have fun wrestling. One of the world's best 86kg wrestlers, Marsagishvili travels to Rio on the heels of winning the BWWS first top in Chaves, Portugal. The quick-smiling Georgian not only took home the 1000 CHF prize for winning his weight category, but another 1000 CHF for winning the event's Move of the Tournament.
"The environment is so enjoyable at beach wrestling," Marsagishvili said at the time. "I look forward to these competitions and wrestling my best."
Marsagishvili will have a tougher tournament in Rio than he did in Chaves, facing off against two-time defending beach wrestling world champion Muhammed INAM of Pakistan. Inam won last year's world championships in deciding fashion and is looking to make it a three-peat later this year in Zagreb, Croatia at the world championships.
Also joining the field is Reece Humphrey, a celebrated former member of the USA National Team in freestyle. His upperbody techniques and high-energy are sure to play well with tomorrow's crowds.
Wrestling action start at 2pm local time with coverage on United World Wrestling and FloWrestling.org.