World Championships preview in Greco-Roman wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | Aug. 23, 2013, 5:32 p.m. (ET)
Date of Competition: September 20

Longtime American staple at 55kg/121 lbs. Spenser Mango will be looking to capture his first world medal when he takes to the mat in Budapest, Hungary on September 20.

Mango will be representing the United States as a World Team member for the sixth time in the upcoming World Championships including two appearances in the Olympic games. He poised to make a deep run in the tournament given his results this season.

Since finishing ninth at the 2012 Olympics in London, Mango has pulled off an impressive streak of victories domestically and internationally including an undefeated record at the Jacob Curby Cup where he defeated 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Peter Modos of Hungary.

Modos is currently ranked sixth in the FILA world rankings coming off his strong Olympic performance.

Iranian great Hamid Soryan-Reihanpour will be the favorite at this weight should he compete. He has not registered any international results since he took home the gold at the 2012 Olympics leaving some doubt as to whether or not he will wrestle in Budapest. Soryan-Reihanpour also has five World Championships to his name.

The 55kg/121 lbs. weight class could see new blood at the top with many of last year's Olympians like Soryan-Reihanpour not having competed on the world stage recently, leaving the possibility for new athletes to make a mark.

Currently ranked first in the world by FILA is Elbek Tazhyiev of Belarus. Tazhyiev won the gold at the 2013 European Championships earlier this year.

Russian Ivan Tatarinov will be a force at this weight. Tatarinov was the 55kg/121 lbs. champion at the World University Games held in Kazan, Russia last month. In the finals of the World University Games Tatarinov defeated the third ranked wrestler in the world Victor Ciobanu of Moldova.

Ciobanu was a fifth place finisher in this year's European Games and a silver medalist at the 2012 Junior World Championships.

Veteran Roman Amoyan of Armenia will be competing in his ninth World Championship, including the 2008 Olympic games where he won a bronze medal. Amoyan also won silver at the 2009 World Championships and bronze at the 2010 World Championships.

Look for Azerbaijani wrestler Royshan Bayramov to make a strong push for the championship after finishing just short of an Olympic gold a year ago, coming up with the silver for the second time in his career at the Olympics. Bayramov was the 2011 World Champion at 55kg/121lbs and also picked up world medals with silver in 2006 and bronze in 2009. He had not competed internationally until last month's Grand Prix of Spain where he came out on top.

Another competitor to watch for is Gyu-Jin Choi of Korea who finished in 5th in the London Olympics. Choi placed second in the world in 2010.

The United States will be looking for its first world medal at this weight class since Lindsey Durlacher brought home a bronze in 2006.

3. Victor CIOBANU (MDA)
4. Roman AMOYAN (ARM)
5. Elchin ALIYEV (AZE)
6. Peter MODOS (HUN)
7. Fatih UCUNCU (TUR)
9. Bekhan MANKIEV (RUS)
10. Rovshan BAYRAMOV (AZE)
11. CHOI Gyu-Jin (KOR)
13. Zhanserik SARSENBAEV (KAZ)
14. Vugar RAGIMOV (UKR)
15. Spenser MANGO (USA)


2012 Olympic Games
55kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Hamid Soryan (Iran); Silver - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Peter Modos (Hungary); Bronze - Mingyan Semenov (Russia); 5th - Hakan Nyblom (Denmark); 5th - Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea); 7th - Shujin Li (China); 8th - Gustavo Balart (Cuba); 9th - Spenser Mango (USA); 10th - Kohei Hasegawa (Japan)

2011 World Championships
55kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); Silver - Elbek Tazhyiev (Belarus); Bronze - Shujin Li (China); Bronze - Bekkhan Mankiev (Russia); 5th - Péter Modos (Hungary); 5th - Won Chol Yun (North Korea); 7th - Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea); 8th - Kohei Hasegawa (Japan); 9th - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); 10th - Vyugar Ragymov (Ukraine)

2010 World Championships
55kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Hamid Sorian Reihanpour (Iran); Silver - Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea); Bronze - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); Bronze - Nazir Mankiev (Russia); 5th - Venelin Venkov (Bulgaria), 5th - Peter Modos (Hungary), 7th - Jani Haapamaeki (Finland); 8th - David Erestic (Poland), 9th - Elchin Aliev (Azerbaijan), 10th - Gustavo Balart Marin (Cuba).

2009 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Hamid Sorian Reihanpour (Iran); Silver - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); Bronze - Hakan Nyblom (Denmark); Bronze - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Erhan Karakus (Turkey); 5th - Virgil Munteanu (Romania); 7th - Gyu-Jim Choi (Korea); 8th - Jani Haapamaki (Finland); 9th - Spenser Mango (USA); 10th - Vyugar Ragymov (Ukraine)

2008 Olympic Games
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Nazyr Mankiev (Russia); Silver - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijain); Bronze - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); Bronze - Eun-Chol Park (Korea); 5th - Yagnier Hernandez (Cuba); 5th - Hamid Soryan Reihanpour (Iran); 7th - Kristijan Fris (Serbia); 8th - Spenser Mango (USA); 9th - Lasha Goctadze (Georgia); 10th - Ildar Hafizov (Uzbekistan)

2007 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs - Gold - Hamid Sorian Reihanpour (Iran); Silver - Eun-Chol Park (Korea); Bronze - Nazyr Mankiev (Russia); Bronze - Kristijan Fris (Serbia); 5th - Ildar Hafizov (Uzbekistan); 5th - Lindsey Durlacher (United States); 7th - Virgil Munteanu (Romania); 8th - Anders Nyblom (Denmark); 9th - Yerbol Konyratov (Kazakhstan); 10th - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan)

2006 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Hamid Sorian Reihanpour (Iran); Silver - Roushan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Lindsey Durlacher (USA); Bronze - Eun-Chol Park (Korea); 5th - Velenin Venkov (Bulgaria); 5th - Tibor Olah (Hungary); 7th - Vyugar Ragymov (Ukraine); 8th - Yerbel Konyratov (Kazakhstan); 9th - Anders Nyblom (Denmark); 10th - Aliaksandr Shalesny (Belarus)

2005 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Hamid Sourian Reinhanpour (Iran); Silver - Eun-Chol Park (Korea); Bronze - Istvan Majoros (Hungary); Bronze - Yermek Kuketov (Kazakhstan); 5th - Anders Nyblom (Denmark); 5th - Lazaro Rivas (Cuba); 7th - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); 8th - Irakli Chochua (Georgia); 9th - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); 10th - Kwang Su Cha (North Korea)