2010 World Championships preview at 66 kg 145 5 lbs in Greco Roman wrestlingDate of competition: Monday September 6
One of the top stars in international Greco-Roman is 2004 Olympic champion Farid Mansurov of Azerbaijan, who added World titles in both 2007 and 2009. Mansurov placed ninth in the European Championships this year. Azerbaijan could consider a 2009 World bronze medalist at 60 kg, Vitaly Rahimov, who moved up to 66 kg and won the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals this year.
The 2009 World silver medalist was Manuchar Tskhadaia of Georgia, who has not had a strong season, without winning any international medals this year. He was a European silver medalist in 2009.
Ambako Vachade of Russia was a 2009 World bronze medalist, and captured the European Championships this year, his second European title in a row. The other World bronze medalist last year, Pedro Isaac Mulen of Cuba, won the Pan American Championships this year.
One of the world's top competitors in recent years has been Steeve Guenot of France, who won the 2008 Olympic gold medal and 2007 World silver medal. Guenot was third at the European Championships this year.
Claiming the European silver medal this year was Ionut Panait of Romania. He won a European silver medal back in 2008, but has yet to earn a medal at the World Championships. A European bronze medalist this year was Tamas Lorincz of Hungary, who was fifth in the 2009 World Championships. Lorincz was eighth at the 2008 Olympic Games.
2008 Olympic bronze medalist Armen Vardanyan of Ukraine continues to compete. He was third at the Pytlasinski International in Poland, a major tune-up event prior to the Worlds. The other 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Mikhail Semenov of Belarus, placed third at the 2010 FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals.
The 2010 Asian champion was Kim Hyeon-Woo of Korea, whose last major international medal came with a Junior World silver medal back in 2006. Aibek Yensekhanov of Kazakhstan was the Asian Championships silver medalist this year. Kazakhstan could be represented by Darkhan Bayakhmetov, who was fifth in the 2008 Olympics. Bayakhmetov was 10th in the World Championships last year and won a bronze medal at the 2010 FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals.
Iran has announced that it will be represented by 2009 Junior World champion Saeid Abdavali, who is entering his first Senior World Championships. Adbavali won a gold medal at the 2010 World Cup.
The U.S. will be represented for the second straight year by veteran Faruk Sahin, a Turkish immigrant who has competed for many years within the United States. Sahin has been competitive on international tours in the past, and is looking to break through into medal contention this year.
Sasun Ghambaryan of Armenia was fifth in the World Championships last year, but has not competed much this year. Antoni Mamageishvili of Georgia was fifth at the European Championships this year, and placed seventh at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals. Tsutomu Fujimura of Japan, who was eighth in the World last season, will compete at the World Championships again this year.
Other athletes to watch include Emil Milev of Bulgaria, Danijel Janecic of Croatia, Marius Thommesen of Norway and Olexander Khvoshch of Ukraine.
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2009 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Gold - Farid Mansurov (Azerbaijan); Silver - Manuchar Tskhadaia (Georgia); Bronze - Ambako Vachadze (Russia); Bronze - Pedro Isaac Mulen (Cuba); 5th - Tamas Lorincz (Hungary); 5th - Sasun Ghambaryan (Armenia); 7th - Afshin Byabangard (Iran); 8th - Tsutomu Fujimura (Japan); 9th - Emil Milev (Bulgaria); 10th - Darkhan Bayakhmetov (Kazakhstan)
2008 Olympic Games
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Gold - Steeve Guenot (France); Silver - Kanatbek Begaliev (Kyrgyzstan); Bronze - Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine); Bronze - Mikhali Siamionau (Belarus); 5th - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); 5th - Darkhan Bayakhmetov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Sergey Kovalenko (Russia); 8th - Tamas Loerincz (Hungary); 9th - Alain Milian (Cuba); 10th - Li Yanyan (China)
2007 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs.- Gold - Farid Mansurov (Azerbaijan); Silver - Steeve Guenot (France); Bronze - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); Bronze - Harry Lester (United States); 5th - Arman Adikyan (Armenia); 5th - TamÃ¡s Lorincz (Hungary); 7th - Darkhan Bayakhmetov (Kazakhstan); 8th - Olexander Khvoshch (Ukraine); 9th - Ionel Puscasu (Romania); 10th - Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden)
2006 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Gold - Li Yanyan (China); Silver - Kamatbek Begaliev (Kirghizistan); Bronze - Sergey Kovalenko (Russia); Bronze - Harry Lester (USA); 5th - Oleksey Khvosch (Ukraine); 5th - Seref Eroglu (Turkey); 7th - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); 8th - A. Kazakeviv (Lithuania); 9th - Ion Painit (Romania); 10th - Tamas Lorincz (Hungary)
2005 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs.- Gold - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); Silver - Kim Min-Chul (Korea); Bronze - Alain Milan (Cuba); Bronze - Kim Kum-Chol (North Korea ); 5th - Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine); 7th - Li Yanyan (China); 8th - Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden); 9th - Mukhran Matchutadze (Georgia); 10th - Levente Furedy (Hungary)