Increasing from 4 to 5 events, the Beach Wrestling World Series continues to gather popularity with its incredible athleticism, non-stop action, easy to understand points system and rules, as well as recognition from the world of sports.
Already the fastest growing style on the United Word Wrestling (UWW) calendar, the wrestlers will be hitting the beaches on the May 28 and 29 as the beach giants get the season underway in Ortaca, Turkey on Sarigerme Beach.
Next the series will head to Sanxenxo, Spain where the sands of Silgar Beach will be flying on June 18 and 19.
The third stop sees the series move to the sensational sands of Saint Laurent du Var and Cousteau Beach in France on the July 1 and 2.
The penultimate event on Paralia Beach in Katerini, Greece, on July 9 and 10 will provide a glimpse of who will be the kings and queens of the sands, before the finale, and also World Championship on September 3 and 4. Following a pulsating 2021 finale, the Beach Wrestling World Champions will once again be crowned on magical Mamaia Beach in Constanta, Romania.
As well as the winners of the World Championships, and with four times the ranking points on offer it could see a dark horse emerge to take home world champion honors.
Last season's +90KG men’s World Series runner up and head coach of the Azerbaijani Beach Wrestling Oyan Nazariani is looking to go one better this year and reclaim the title he won in 2019. Having lost out last year by a small margin, the 28-year-old athlete has high hopes both for his own chances, but also for his team who have spent the off season working hard in Baku.
A very popular athlete on the tour, the ‘Big Gun’ said: “Beach Wrestling, for me, is a great way for people who are new to wrestling to come along and watch, it is really easy to understand with simple rules although for the athletes it is a lot tougher than it looks, as trust me it’s not easy to wrestle in the sand”. He continues, “I have been working hard alongside my team-mates over the winter and I’m coming to reclaim the Series gold medal. It would also be a dream for me for my team to be the best overall country in the series and take home the world championship!”
In the women’s, Francesca Indelicato is the current -60kg queen of the sand, having become the first Italian Beach Wrestling world champion, winning the event in Constanta last season, which, along with silver medals in France and Italy was enough for her to pip Ukrainian Anastasiya Kravchenko to the title. She hopes to lock horns with her again this series. “I hope this war can end as soon as possible and that the people affected by it have the right to go back to doing what they love.”
The 27-year-old university graduate is also determined to get as many ranking points as possible this series to keep her dream alive of taking the Beach Games by storm, and of course retain her title: “I will strive to keep my ranking scores high as I want to give all of myself to make sure I have the best chance of keeping my title and give me the opportunity to win at the next edition of the World Beach Games in 2023.”
The Beach Wrestling World Series is popular with fans and athletes alike with its festival atmosphere as the sun shines down on the sand stars, the music playing and the ooohs and ahhhs of the crowd as the sands fly alongside the wrestlers as they go for gold.
The adrenaline filled action helps feed the vibe and it’s easy to see why the crowds sandside continue to grow with each event. With Beach Wrestling being named one of ANOC’s Beach Games core disciplines for 2023 and 2025 the popularity of the sport is sure to continue to grow at the rapid rate it has so far.
There are four different weight categories for both the men and women in beach wrestling, with the men competing in -70kg, -80kg, -90kg and +90kg, with the women competing in -50kg, -60kg, -70kg and +70kg, each bout lasting three frantic minutes, or first to 3 points.
The UWW have put prize money of 1000CHF for the gold medalists, 500CHF for silver medalists and 250CHF for the bronze medalists as well as the ‘Top Technique’ award for the best move over the weekend, voted for by the fans, which sees the winners take home 1000CHF for each gender.
Who will take home the gold this series? Will the Glorious Georgians go on another Gold Run? Will anyone be able to match Romania’s 50kg ‘heavyweight’ Princeputu? Can Team USA make an impression on this year’s event? It’s anyone’s guess as we head towards the start of the series with competitors from all over the world gearing up for the biggest Beach Wrestling World Series to date.
Tune in to see how the drama unfolds and who will be the sand kings and queens come September in Constanta.
Dates & Locations, Beach Wrestling World Series 2022
28-29 May – Ortaca (TUR) | Sarigerme Beach
18-19 June – Sanxenxo (ESP) | Silgar Beach
01-02 July - Saint Laurent du Var (FRA) | Cousteau Beach
09-10 July - Katerini (GRE) | Paralia Beach
03-04 September - Constanta (ROU) | Mamaia Beach