2010 World Championships preview at 59 kg 130 lbs in women s freestyle wrestling
Winning the World title in 2009 was Yulia Ratkevich of Azerbaijan, who started her career with Belarus but has been with her new nation since 2007. Ratkevich has not competed very much this year. Azerbaijan could also enter 2010 European champion Sonia Ahmadli, who was fifth at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals. Ahmadli also won a gold at the Poland Open, a key pre-Worlds tuneup event.
Japan brings back one of their top competitors, four-time World champion Ayako Shoda. Her World titles were in 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2008. Shoda won a World Cup gold medal this year and should be very difficult to beat. Last year, Japan's entry Kei Yamana did not place at this weight class.
The World silver medalist last year was Agata Pietrzyk of Poland, who had also claimed a World bronze medal in 2008. She was third at the European Championships this season, but competing down at 55 kg. If Pietrzyk stays down at 55 kg, Poland probably does not have a contender here.
Veteran Marianna Sastin of Hungary claimed a World bronze medal last year. She was also a 2005 World bronze medalist and placed fifth at the 2006 World Championships. Sastin won a gold medal at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals this year, and was a bronze medalist at the European Championships this year.
Ganna Vasylenko of Ukraine was the other World bronze medalist in 2009. She has been a medal contender this year, placing third in the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals and fifth at the European Championships.
The United States will have a new challenger this year in Kelsey Campbell, who made her first World Team. Campbell has battled Deanna Rix for the U.S. team spot in recent seasons, and Rix has been fifth at the World Championships the last two years. Campbell won a gold medal at the respected Yarygin Memorial in Russia this year.
Katherine Patroch of Canada was fifth at the World Championships last year. An option for Canada at this weight class is two-time Olympic medalist Tonya Verbeek, who has been competing at this division during the 2010 season.
Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria won the silver medal at the European Championships this year on the Senior level, then came back to win a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships up at 63 kg. Meryem Selloum of France has been a European bronze medalist for the last two seasons.
Fengming Liu of China won the 2010 Asian Championships. Mei Jia competed for China at the World Championships last year and did not place. China might send 2010 Junior World champion Lan Zhang, who was a 2009 World Cup champion on the Senior level.
2009 European champion Johanna Mattsson of Sweden is a strong challenger. She placed second at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals, and was also second at the Poland Open tuneup event. Mattsson was a past Junior World champion, and is sister to 51 kg World champion Sofia Mattsson.
Ludmilla Cristea of Moldova placed fifth at the 2006 World Championships and eighth at the 2009 World Championships. Olga Kalinina of Kazakhstan was seventh in the World Championships last year.
It is hard to predict who Russia will bring to the event this year. Olga Kiosova placed 10th in the World last year. Natalia Smirnova was fifth at the 2010 European Championships. Margarita Fatkulina and Ekatarina Melnikova have also competed for Russia at Senior events this year.
Alka Tomar of India, a 2006 World bronze medalist, remains a challenger after taking third at the Asian Championships this season. The 2010 Asian silver medalist was Soronzonbold Battsetseg of Mongolia.
Others to watch include Aurora Fajardo of Spain, Joice Silva of Brazil, Gudrun Hoie of Norway and Natascha Ballas of Germany.RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS2009 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold - Yulia Ratkevich (Azerbaijan); Silver - Agata Pietrzyk (Poland); Bronze - Marianna Sastin (Hungary); Bronze - Ganna Vasylenko (Ukraine); 5th - Deanna Rix (USA); 5th - Katherine Patroch (Canada); 7th - Olga Kalinina (Kazakhstan); 8th - Ludmila Cristea (Moldova); 9th - Aurora Fajardo (Spain); 10th - Olga Kiosova (Russia)2008 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold - Ayako Shoda (Japan); Silver - Natalia Golts (Russia); Bronze - Elvira Mursalova (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Agata Pietrzyk (Poland); 5th - Deanna Rix (USA); 5th - Sabrina Esposito (Italy); 7th - Katie Patroch (Canada); 8th - Leyla Metin (Turkey); 9th - Marianna Sastin (Hungary); 10th - Alla Cherkasova (Ukraine)2007 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold - Audrey Prieto-Bokhashvili (France); Silver - Stephanie Gross (Germany); Bronze - Natalya Synyshyn (Ukraine); Bronze - Dorj Narmandakh (Mongolia); 5th - Brittanee Laverdure (Canada); 5th - Sandra Roa (Colombia); 7th - Ayako Shoda (Japan); 8th - Larissa Kanaeva (Russia); 9th - Miruyert Dynbaeva (Kazakhstan); 10th - Agata Pietrzyk (Poland)2006 World Championships results
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold - Ayako Shoda (Japan); Silver - Su Liu Hui (China); Bronze - Alka Tomar (India); Bronze - Nataliya Sinishin (Ukraine); 5th - Ludmila Cristea (Moldova); 5th - Marianna Sastin (Hungary); 7th - Erin Tomeo (United States); 8th - Stefanie Stuber (Germany); 9th - Jackeline Renteria (Colombia); 10th - Gudrun Hoie (Norway)2005 World Championships results
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold - Ayako Shoda (Japan); Silver - Marianna Sastin (Hungary); Bronze - Sally Roberts (USA); Bronze - Lene Aanes (Norway); 5th - Anna Zwirydowska (Poland); 5th - Ida Theres-Karlsson (Sweden); 7th - Yuliya Ratkevich (Belarus); 8th - Michelle Richardson (Canada); 9th - Olena Komarova (Ukraine); 10th - Alka Tomar Singh (India)