U S Beach Nationals World Trials to set U S team for Beach Worlds in Bulgaria

By Gary Abbott | June 18, 2009, 2:42 p.m. (ET)
Neil Cook (USA) battles Fatih Atli (TUR) in Beach wrestling at the 2008 World Wrestling Games in Albania

For the first time, the international wrestling federation FILA will host a World Beach Wrestling Championships on its own. The 2009 Beach World Wrestling Championships are set for Obzor, Bulgaria, August 28-30.

In past years, the World Beach tournament was held as part of the World Wrestling Games, which featured a number of developing wrestling styles at one event.

The U.S. team for the 2009 Beach World Championships will be set at the U.S. Beach National Championships and World Team Trials, set for Rochester, N.Y., July 17-19.

All athletes who wish to try out for the U.S. team must first wrestle in the U.S. Beach Nationals on Saturday, July 18. There are no set weight classes for the U.S. Beach Nationals, which will be determined after the weighins. There will be competition for men's wrestling and women's wrestling on the Senior level.

The top three placewinners in each weight class at the Senior division earn the right to advance to the U.S. Beach World Team Trials on Sunday, July 19. The athletes will be split into the two FILA Beach weight classes in each division. For men, the international weight classes are Below 85 kg (187.25 lbs) and Above 85 kg (Over 187.25 lbs.). For women, there are two new weight classes: Below 60 kg (132 lbs.) and Above 60 kg (Over 132 lbs.).

The top three athletes in each division at the U.S. Beach World Team Trials earn the right to attend the Beach World Championships. This is a self-funded tour, in which each athlete must pay for their transportation, housing and event expenses. If any athlete in the top three declines the opportunity to compete at the World Championships, the spots will come available based upon final placement at the U.S. Beach World Team Trials.

Obzor is a beach resort city on Bulgaria's Black Sea Coast. Obzor has a population of slightly over 2,000 people. It is situated 65 km south of Varna or 73km north of Bourgas. It lies in the skirts of the eastern part of the Stara Planina Mountain with the mountain ridge raising to the west of the city and the Dvoynitsa River bounding it to the north.

Weighins for the Senior division for men and women at the Beach World Championships is Saturday, August 29. Competition for the Senior division for men and women will be held on Sunday, August 30.

Because the Beach World Championships are just six weeks after the U.S. World Team Trials, those athletes who intend on competing in Bulgaria should be prepared to provide payment for their trip by mid-to-late July.

Any athlete who would like to attend the Beach World Championships should immediately contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-659-9637 or via e-mail at gabbott@usawrestling.org. He can discuss travel options and expected event-related costs for participating in the tournament for Team USA.

The U.S. Beach National Championships also have divisions for athletes on the age-group levels including Schoolboy, Cadet, Junior and Veterans divisions. There will be no U.S. World Teams at these age levels.

All wrestlers who have questions about the U.S. Beach Nationals and World Team Trials should visit the official website at: