2010 World Championships preview at 55 kg/121 lbs. in freestyle wrestling

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Sept. 01, 2010, 10:45 a.m. (ET)
Date of competition: Friday, Sept. 10

The lightest freestyle weight class also has been one of the most unpredictable divisions in the sport.

Five different wrestlers have won World-level titles over the past five years at 55 kg/121 lbs.

There may be another new champion at this year's World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

North Korea's Kyong-Il Yang was the latest wrestler to triumph in this division. He beat Turkey's Sezar Akgul in the 2009 World finals. Yang placed third in the 2010 Asian Championships.

Russia's Victor Lebedev and Belarus' Rizvan Gadzhiev claimed the bronze medals last year. Lebedev won the Russian Nationals this season. He placed third in the 2010 European Championships.

Makhmud Magomedov of Azerbaijan won the European Championships this season.

2006 World champion Radoslav Velikov is another wrestlers who may be a factor here. Velikov, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, took second in the European Championships this year.

Returning fifth-place finishers from the 2009 Worlds are Krasimir Krastanov of Great Britain and Namig Sevdimov of Azerbaijan.

Japan's Shinichi Yomoto also could make an impact. He won the 2010 Asian title.

The United States features a first-year World Team member in Obe Blanc, who put together a strong season to earn a trip to Moscow.

2008 Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo of the U.S. recently indicated he is planning to return to the mat next season. Cejudo, 23, hasn't wrestled since capturing the gold in Beijing, China, in August of 2008.


2009 World Championships
Gold - Kyong-Il Yang (North Korea); Silver - Sezar Akgul (Turkey); Bronze - Victor Lebedev (Russia); Bronze - Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 5th - Krasimir Krastanov (Great Britain); 5th - Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan); 7th - Mykola Aivazian (Ukraine); 8th - Mihan Jaburyan (Armenia); 9th - Hyo-Sub Kim (Korea); 10th - Hassan Rahimi (Iran)

2008 Olympic Games
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Henry Cejudo (USA); Silver - Tomohiro Matsunaga (Japan); Bronze - Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Bronze - Besik Kudukhov (Russia); 5th - Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); 7th - Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 8th - Besarion Gochishvili (Georgia); 9th - Kim Hyo-Sub (Korea); 10th - Abbas Dabbaghi (Iran)

2007 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Silver - Naranbaatar Bayaraa (Mongolia); Bronze - Andy Moreno (Cuba); Bronze - Rizvan Gadshiev (Belarus); 5th - Sezer Akguel (Turkey); 5th - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); 7th - Freddy Serrano (Colombia); 8th - Zhassulan Mukhtabekuly (Kazakhstan); 9th - Anil Kumar (India); 10th - Firas Alrifaei (Syria)

2006 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Silver - Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Bronze - Namig Abdullayev (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Sammie Henson (USA); 5th - Sub Kim-Hyo (Korea); 5th - Adkham Achilov (Uzbekistan); 7th - Vinod Kumar (India); 7th - Vinod Kumar (India); 8th - Taghi Dadashi (Iran); 9th - O Son Nam (North Korea); 10th - Amiran Kartanov (Greece)

2005 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); Silver - Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Bronze - Hyon Guk Jon (North Korea); Bronze - Bayaraa Naranbaatar (Mongolia); 5th - Namig Abdullayev (Azerbaijan); 5th - Tomohiro Matsunaga (Japan); 7th - Jae-Hoon Jan (Korea); 8th - Gevork Markaryan (Ukraine); 9th - Zalimkhan Kutseev (Russia); 10th - Ghenadie Tulbea (Moldova)