United World Wrestling 'optimistic' over 2020 World Championships in Belgrade

Some intense online exchanges between athletes have paved the way for a big event in Serbia, but it isn't such good news for the juniors.

By Olympic Channel ·

Good news wrestling fans: the 2020 World Championships are set to go ahead as planned from 12-20 December in Belgrade, Serbia.

As with many other sports, the coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of most wrestling events this year. With many parts of Europe now experiencing a second wave of the virus, many feared the world champs would suffer the same fate.

But with the proper precautions in place, the sport’s governing body sees no reason to cancel the event for elite male and female wrestlers.

“We are cautiously optimistic about wrestling’s return in December,” United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic said in a statement on the UWW website.

“The safety of our athletes, coaches, and staff is our top priority and we will be taking every measure to ensure that happens in Belgrade.”

The committee made the decision after receiving commitments from more than 70 percent of wrestling’s National Federations.

There will be a meeting on November 6th to discuss any changes to the event due to the ongoing pandemic. As such, it is still undecided whether a crowd will be allowed to attend.

Bad news for Juniors

Unfortunately, it wasn’t such good news for the Junior World Championships.

Originally scheduled to take place a week prior to the seniors, the event has now been cancelled after feedback from national federations who were concerned about the number of athletes they would be able to send.

Wrestling’s online beef

Several top male wrestlers have seemingly taken to twitter to channel their frustrations, given the lack of top-flight wrestling this year.

In July, a one-off event in Texas saw Kyle Dake edge Frank Chamizo in a battle of men's world champions, before 2018 world champion at 86kg (190 lb) David Taylor thrashed Myles Martin.

The run-up to the successful exhibition event was marked by polite trash-talking, and bragging rights on social media were the reward afterwards.

But the beef didn’t end there.

London 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs has recently been trading barbs with ‘Magic Man’ Taylor.

As if the 2020 Wrestling World Championships needed any more spice, Dake will likely go head-to-head with Burroughs for a place on USA’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics team at 74kg (163lb) . So we may get plenty more digital decrying before then.

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