Uzbekistan is the first nation to submit its athlete roster for the 2003 World Championships of Free

By Gary Abbott | June 12, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
The wrestling federation from Uzbekistan was the first nation to submit its roster of athletes who are expected to compete in the 2003 World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling in New York City, 12-14 September. The tournament will feature the world's best men and women freestyle wrestlers, competing in the world's most famous sports arena, Madison Square Garden. The World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling is also a qualifying event for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Women's wrestling will be contested in the Olympics for the first time ever in Athens. Uzbekistan will bring a full team of seven men's freestyle wrestlers, as well as three women's freestyle wrestlers. Many of the Uzbekistan competitors have distinguished themselves in major international competitions. Leading the Uzbekistan team will be 2000 Olympic silver medalist Artur Taymazov, who competes at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. in men's freestyle wrestling. Taymazov was also a silver medalist at the 2001 World Championships. He was an Asian Games champion in 2002, and won the Asian Championships in 2000. Damir Zakhartdinov, who placed fourth at the 2000 Olympic Games, will compete at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Zakhartdinov was second at the 2000 and 2001 Asian Championships. He was also third at the 1999 World Championships and eighth at the 1996 Olympic Games. Adkhamjon Achilov, a 1999 World Championships silver medalist, will compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. Achilov was seventh at the 1996 Olympic Games and eighth at the 2000 Olympic Games. Also tentatively competing in men's freestyle will be 2000 Junior World Champion Dilshod Aripov at 55 kg/121 lbs., 2002 Asian Junior champion Magomedali Gadshilalov at 74 kg/163 lbs., 1999 Asian Championships champion Aslan Sanakoev at 84 kg/185 lbs. and 2001 Junior World silver medalist Magomed Ibragimov at 96 kg/211.25 lbs. The women wrestlers will be led by Dinara Mirzaeva at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., who placed seventh at the 1999 Asian Championships. The other women athletes on the roster include Aynura Igamberdieva at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Angelika Manukyan at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. "Uzbekistan has one of the top freestyle wrestling teams in the world," said Mitch Hull, USA Wrestling Director of National Teams. "The athletes from Uzbekistan have tremendous skill and experience. The quality of the athletes on their roster is an indication of the outstanding field that we expect at the World Championships in New York City." A total of 32 nations have sent in their preliminary registration materials to USA Wrestling, indicating their plans to attend the competition. Many more nations are expected to indicate their desire to participate in the upcoming weeks. The nations who have confirmed participation at this time are: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Phillippines, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan. Tickets are on sale now for the 2003 World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling. Organizers are expecting a sellout for the Saturday and Sunday sessions. To get the good seats now, call 1-877-NYC2003. UZBEKISTAN ROSTER to compete in World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in New York, N.Y., USA, 12-14 September Men's freestyle team 55 kg/121 lbs. - Dilshod Aripov 60 kg/132 lbs. - Adkhamjon Achilov 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Damir Zakhartdinov 74 kg/163 lbs. - Magomedali Gadjilavov 84 kg/185 lbs. - Aslan Sanakoev 96 kg/211.25 lbs. - Magomed Ibragimov 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Artur Taymazov Women's freestyle team 51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Dinara Mirzaeva 55 kg/121 lbs. - Aynura Igamberdieva 72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Angelika Manukyan Coaches Mamurjan Ruziev Vladimir Orlov Furkhat Atakhanov Delegation Team Leader - Salim Abduvaliyev Team Leader - Akhroldjan Ruziev Referee - Konstantin Mihayilov Medical - Leonid Ayratpetyants Delegate - Hoosniddin Nazzirov Delegate - Shamurod Shafayziev Delegate - Djamilya Ruzieva Delegate - Akhmadyon Ruziev Delegate - Bobir Ruziev