Wrestling officials implement significant rules changes at Moscow meeting

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FILA, wrestling’s governing body, is spending the weekend in Moscow cleaning house before an upcoming IOC vote will determine if they end up on the 2020 Olympics schedule. And apparently the meeting has been productive.

On Saturday, acting president Nenad Lalovic, who took over after the forced resignation of president Raphael Martinetti, was officially elected to the position by an extraordinary congress. The FILA bureau also discussed many rules changes that will make the sport more attractive to the IOC.

Significant shifts by FILA Saturday include changing the round format from three two-minute periods to two three-minute periods, and changing to a cumulative scoring system rather than a system where a wrestler has to outscore their opponent in two-out-of-three rounds.

“Cumulative score incentivizes the wrestlers to score more often and consistently…” FILA vice president Stan Dziedzic told the Associated Press Saturday.

“The total score is easier for the spectators to understand. It’s difficult for a spectator, not to mention the athletes, when one wrestler wins the first period 5-0, loses the next two periods 1-0 and loses the match.

“The common view was that two minutes was not sufficient time to execute the requisite tactics and strategies to provide an exciting match. What’s more, it deprives the viewing audience of witnessing the will of the wrestler.”

Another rule penalizes passive wrestlers who may be avoiding contact when they’re in the lead, first with a warning, and then, on second offense, with the mandate they score a point within thirty seconds. Otherwise their opponent is awarded a point. Dziedzic said this is a way to incentivize wrestlers to take more risks in the ring, which will likely make wrestling more entertaining to novice fans.

Many wondered if such significant changes could be adapted immediately. But FILA seems to be open to expediting the process if it means strengthening their position before the IOC executive board chooses which three candidate sports will be voted on by the full membership this September.

No word on FILA giving women a stronger voice in the organization, but those changes are also expected to happen before the IOC votes later this month.

Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocates shoulder in Poland (video)

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Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder during the semifinals of a beach volleyball tournament in Poland and forfeited the bronze medal match.

Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh were tied in the third set of their match against Canada on Saturday when Walsh Jennings dove for the ball with her right arm and twisted her hand in the sand. After a four-minute delay, Canada went on to win the third set 16-14 and advance to the gold medal match.

“I just went for a short dig and the surface in Europe is so shallow and so hard and there’s no give for our bodies,” Walsh Jennings explained after the match in an interview with her shoulder wrapped in ice.

Walsh Jennings had surgery on the same shoulder during the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she and April Ross won the bronze medal. Walsh Jennings won three gold medals with Misty May Treanor.

Walsh Jennings said she is looking forward to returning to the FIVB World Tour in Vienna in one week.

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MORE: Kerri Walsh Jennings’ first choice for new partner said no

Tom Daley wins 10m platform gold at Worlds on final dive

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After missing out on the men’s 10m platform finals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Great Britain’s Tom Daley won gold at the 2017 FINA Diving World Championships. Daley, who won bronze in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics won his last world championship 10m platform gold back in 2009 when he was just 15 years old.

Daley was awarded four 10’s on his final dive in Budapest, Hungary, beating China’s Chen Aisen – the reining 2016 Olympic champion in men’s 10m platform. The two divers tied on their last dive, both earning 106.20 points, but Daley, who had been in command after each of his dives on Saturday, beat Chen out for the top spot by 5.7 points.

Daley’s struggles in Rio were inexplicable. In the preliminary round, he scored 571.85 points, a personal best, and a score which would have won him gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games. However, in semifinal dives, Daley could not execute, finishing 18th in an event where only the top 12 advance to the finals.

Earlier in the day in Budapest, Daley, along with teammate Grace Reid, won silver in the mixed 3m springboard event. On Monday, in the men’s synchronized 10m platform, Daley and teammate Danie Goodfellow finished fourth.

The sole U.S. diver in the men’s 10m platform event in Budapest, David Dinsmore, finished sixth. Dinsmore who narrowly missed out on making his first Olympic team at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials, won bronze in Budapest with teammate Krysta Palmer in the mixed team event.

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MORE: U.S. men look to fill Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte void at swim worlds