February action shakes up FILA World rankings in Greco-Roman

By William May FILA | March 11, 2014, 5:56 p.m. (ET)
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (March 12) – The winter wrestling months proved tough for many of Greco-Roman’s most established competitors. After a busy month of tournaments more than six-dozen new wrestlers have wrestled their way into the international top twenty, knocking down veterans and young talent alike.

A total of 79 new names appeared in the rankings for March with medalists from major events such as VehbiEmre in Istanbul, the Paris Golden Grand Prix, and Nikola Petrov in Sofia leading the way.

Among the wrestlers listed in the rankings for the first time this year are four London 2012 Olympic Games medal winners, including 120kg gold medalist Mijain LOPEZ NUNEZ (CUB). Lopez also has four world titles and a second Olympic Games gold medal from Beijing 2008.

Lopez Nunez won the Granma Cup in Havana over a limited field to earn a No.8 in the rankings at 130kg while signaling a possible return to international competition with an eye on the world championships this autumn in Tashkent.

The other London 2012 medalists to join the 2014 rankings are 55kg bronze medalist Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS), 60kg silver medalist Revaz LASHKHI (GEO) and 66kg bronze medal winner Manuchar TSKHADAIA (GEO).

Meanwhile, London 2012 bronze medalist Riza KAYAALP (TUR), who defeated Lopez Nunez for the 2011 world title, moved to the top of the 130 kg rankings with a triumph at the VehbiEmre tournament in Istanbul.

Kayaalp had topped the rankings in 2013 with wins at VehbiEmre, the European championships, and the World University Games before suffering a loss in the semifinals of world championships in Budapest.

World champions from last September top the five remaining Olympic weight categories, while a pair of Hungarians, Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) at 71kg and Peter BACSI (HUN) at 80kg – both Yadegar Imam Cup winners, head the two non-Olympic weights.

In the rankings for March, wrestlers are listed by name, country code, their most notable or most recent result, and their position in the previous rankings.

59kg
– London 2012 bronze medalist Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS) won the VehbiEmre tourney to break into the rankings at No.4 and Ivan Poddubny bronze medal winner Aleksandar KOSTADINOV (BUL) bagged his second medal in a month, taking the Nikola Petrov crown in Sofia to climb to No.8.

Other winners new to the rankings include Edward BARSEGJAN (POL) at the inaugural Paris Gold Grand Prix event, 2009 European champion Jani HAAPAMAKI (FIN) at Thor Masters, and 2011 Mediterranean winner Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO) at the Zagreb Open.

1. YUN, Won-Chol (PRK) – World No.1 (1)
2. CHOI, Gyu-Jin (KOR) – World No.2 (2)
3. Ivan KUYLAKOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (3)
4. Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS) – VehbiEmre No.1 (not ranked)
5. Soslan DAUROV (BLR) – VehbiEmre No.2 (nr)
6. Rahman BILICI (TUR) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
7. Mohsen HAJIPOUR (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (8)
8. Aleksandar KOSTADINOV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (16)
9. Peter MODOS (HUN) – World No.3 (3)
10. Roman AMOYAN (ARM) – World No.3 (4)
11. Sanal SEMENOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.2 (17)
12. Edward BARSEGJAN (POL) – Paris GGP No.1 (nr)
13. Joseph BETTERMAN (USA) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
14. Spenser MANGO (USA) – Schultz Memorial No.2 (7)
15. Dmitri TSYMBALIYUK (UKR) – VehbiEmre No.3 (nr)
16. Karen ASLANYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
17. Radoslav VASILEV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
18. Jani HAAPAMAEKI (FIN) – Thor Masters No.1 (nr)
19. Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO) – Zagreb Open No.1 (nr)
20. Yasin OZAY (FRA) – Paris GGP No.2 (nr)

66kg – Revaz LASHKHI (GEO), the 60kg silver medalist in London, reached the medals podium for the first time in a year with a triumph in Paris and breaks into the rankings at No.7, while fellow Olympian Atakan YUKSEL (TUR) won the VehbiEmre tourney in Istanbul to edge up two spots to No.8.

Aram JULFALAKYAN (ARM) repeated as Nikola Petrov titlist in Sofia for the 11th spot in the rankings and Davor STEFANEK (SRB) earned a No.13 ranking with a win in Zagreb.

1. RYU Han-Su (KOR) – World No.1 (1)
2. Islambek ALBIEV (RUS) – World No.2 (2)
3. Adam KURAK (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (7)
4. Frank STAEBLER (GER) – World No.3 (3)
5. Sandeep YADAV (IND) – World No.3 (4)
6. Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) – Europe No. 3 (5)
7. Revaz LASHKHI (GEO) – Paris GGP No.1 (nr)
8. Atakan YUKSEL (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.1 (10)
9. Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) – Paris GGP No.2 (18)
10. Asker ORSHOKDUGOV (RUS) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
11. Aram JULFALAKYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (nr)
12. Abdusamelt GUNAL (TUR) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
13. Davor STEFANEK (SRB) – Zagreb Open No.1 (nr)
14. Dominik ETLINGER (CRO) – GGP Final No.3 (12)
15. Asad ALIEV (AZE) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (13)
16. Marad ABULADZE (GEO) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (14)
17. YAN Pengfei (CHN) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
18. Gregorz WANKE (POL) – Paris GGP No.2 (nr)
19. David KARECINSKI (POL) – Paris GGP No.3 (nr)
20. Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN) – Thor Masters No.1 (nr)

71kg – Junior world champion Abuyazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) edged veteran Armen VARDANYAN (UKR) in the Nikola Petrov final to climb to No.2, while the 2010 world silver medalist breaks into the rankings at No.13 after his first competition in nearly two years.

Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) took his second VehbiEmre crown for the fourth spot at 71kg, while Franck HASSLI (MON) won his first major title at the Paris Golden Grand Prix after 10 years of representing France and Monaco in international competition.

1. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (1)
2. Abuyazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (3)
3. Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (2)
4. Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) – VehbiEmre No.1 (8@66)
5. Bromand ASLANGHAREDAGHI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (4)
6. Mindia TSULUKIDZE (GEO) – VehbiEmre No.2 (nr)
7. Yunus OZEL (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.3 (nr)
8. Rustam ALIEV (AZE) – VehbiEmre No.3 (nr)
9. Adel SADYKOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.3 (6)
10. Sergey ZACHARIKOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.3 (7)
11. Mohammad KARIMI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (8)
12. Vahid BABAEIJAFARI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (12)
13. Armen VARDANYAN (UKR) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
14. Mathias MAASCH (GER) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
15. Ionel PUCASU (ROU) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
16. Alexi BELL CABALLERO (CUB) – Granma Cup No.1 (nr)
17. Franck HASSLI (MON) – Paris GGP No.1 (nr)
18. Demev SHADRAEV (KAZ) – Paris GGP No.2 (nr)
19. Kendrik SANDERS (USA) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
20. Marius THOMMESEN (NOR) – Thor Masters No.2 (nr)

75kg – World bronze medalists Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) and Emrah KUS (TUR) won titles in February -- at Nikola Petrov and VehbiEmre, respectively -- to strengthen their claims to their positions in the rankings.

Zurabi DATUNAZSHVILI (GEO) edged London 2012 teammate Manuchar TSKHADAIA (GEO), a bronze medal winner at 66kg, in the semifinals of the Paris Golden Grand Prix, lifting both into the rankings.

1. KIM Hyeon-Woo (KOR) - World No.1 (1)
2. Roman VLASOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.2 (2)
3. Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (3)
4. Emrah KUS (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.1 (4)
5. Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (nr)
6. Mark MADSEN (DEN) – GGP Final No.2 (5)
7. SaeidMourad ABDVALI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (nr)
8. Nikolai DARAGAN (UKR) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (9)
9. Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE) – GGP Final No.1 (11)
10. Robert ROSENGREN (SWE) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (12)
11. Ilian GEORGIEV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
12. Karapet CHALYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
13. Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (GEO) – Paris GGP No.1 (nr)
14. Mateusz WOLNY (POL) – Paris GGP No.2 (nr)
15. Manukhar TSKHADAIA (GEO) – Paris GGP No.3 (nr)
16. Piotr PRZEPIORKA (POL) – Paris GGP No.3 (nr)
17. Andrew BISEK (USA) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
18. Rashid KOCHIEV (KAZ) – VehbiEmre No.2 (nr)
19. Damian HARTMANN (GER) – Thor Masters No.1 (nr)
20. Jure KUHAR (SLO) – Zagreb Open No.1 (nr)

80kg – Jonas BOSSERT (SUI) opened the month with a win at the Dave Schultz Memorial in Colorado Springs and closed with a bronze medal at Nikola Petrov – a repeat of 2013 – to come in at No.6.

Meanwhile, Ivan Poddubny medalists Viktor SASUNOVSKI (BLR) and Imil SHARAFEDINOV (RUS) followed up their January success with wins in February. Silver medalist Sasunovski took the VehbiEmre crown while bronze medal winner Sharafedinov reached the top of the podium at Nikola Petrov.

1. Peter BACSI (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (1)
2. Bekhan OZDOEV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (2)
3. Viktor SASUNOVSKI (BLR) – VehbiEmre No.1 (3)
4. Imil SHARAFEDINOV (RUS) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (4)
5. Evgeni BOGOMOLOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.3 (5)
6. Jonas BOSSERT (SUI) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
7. Azamat KUSTUBAEV (KAZ) – Schultz Memorial No.2 (nr)
8. Pascal EISELE (GER) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
9. Aleksander SHYSHMAN (UKR) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
10. Giorgi TSIREKIDZE (GEO) – Paris GGP No.1 (11@85)
11. Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL) – Paris GGP No.2 (6)
12. Tornike DZAMASHVILI (GEO) – VehbiEmre No.2 (nr)
13. Selcuk CEBI (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.3 (13@85)
14. Dragutin DUKIC (SRB) – Paris GGP No.3 (nr)
15. Michael WAGNER (AUT) – Paris GGP No.3 (nr)
16. Mehdi KHODAEI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (8)
17. Yousef GHADERIAN (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (10)
18. Neven ZUGAJ (CRO) – Zagreb Open No.1 (nr)
19. Zakarias BERG (SWE) – Thor Masters No.2 (nr)
20. Alan VERA (CUB) – Granma Cup No.1 (nr)

85kg – World University Games bronze medalist Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) grabbed his second senior-level crown in a row, adding the Nikola Petrov title to the President Cup of Kazakhstan he won in December. The 2011 junior world runner-up breaks into the rankings at No.8.

Junior world bronze medalist Samba DIONG (FRA) won his first senior-level championship at the Paris Golden Grand Prix for No.16 in the rankings, while Artur OMAROV (CZE) became the first wrestler for the Czech Republic to earn a place on the FILA World Rankings with a triumph at the Zagreb Open.

1. TalebNariman NEMATPOUR (IRI) – World No.1 (1)
2. Hassan Saman TAHMASEBI (AZE) – VehbiEmre No.3 (2)
3. Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) – VehbiEmre No.1 (4)
4. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (3)
5. Alexej MISHIN (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (5)
6. Asamat BIKBAEV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.2 (6)
7. Damian JANIKOWSKI (POL) – Ivan Poddubny No.3 (7)
8. Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (nr)
9. Rami HIETANIEMI (FIN) – Thor Masters No.1 (8)
10. Mojtaba KARIMFAR (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (10)
11. Shariar MAMMADOV (AZE) – VehbiEmre No.2 (nr)
12. Ahmet YILDIRIM (TUR) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
13. Nikolai BAYRIAKOV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
14. Maksim MANUKYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (16)
15. Laimutis ADMAITIS (LTU) – Paris GGP No.2 (18)
16. Samba DIONG (FRA) – Paris GGP No.1 (nr)
17. Jordan HOLM (USA) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
18. Jan FISCHER (GER) – Thor Masters No.2 (nr)
19. Jim PETTERSSON (SWE) – Thor Masters No.3 (nr)
20. Artur OMAROV (CZE) – Zagreb Open No.1 (nr)

98kg – Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) returned the top of the medals podium after back-to-back silver medals to end 2013, winning the Nikola Petrov tourney by technical fall over Vladimir VASILEV (UKR).

Marthin Hamlet NIELSEN (NOR) edged up one place to No.6 with a win at the Thor Masters while Cenk ILDEM (TUR) repeated as VehbiEmre champion and moved up to No.7.

1. Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.2 (1)
2. Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (2)
3. Balasz KISS (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (3)
4. Mahdi ALIYARI FEYZABADI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (5)
5. Musa EVLOEV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (8)
6. Marthin NIELSEN (NOR) – Thor Masters No.1 (7)
7. Cenk ILDEM (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.1 (9)
8. Alin ALEX-CIURARIU (ROU) – VehbiEmre No.2 (nr)
9. Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA) – Mediterranean Games No.1 (13)
10. Timo KALLIO (FIN) – Thor Masters No.2 (12)
11. Daigoro TIMONCINI (ITA) – Pytlasinski No.3 (nr)
12. Vladimir VASILEV (UKR) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (nr)
13. Ardo ARUSAAR (EST) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
14. Vasil IMERLISHVILI (GEO) – Paris GGP No.3 (nr)
15. Aleksander HRABOVIK (BLR) – Ivan Poddubny No.3 (17)
16. Soso JABIDZE (GEO) – VehbiEmre No.3 (nr)
17. Yasmany Daniel LUGO CABRERA (CUB) – Granma Cup No.1 (nr)
18. XIAO Di (CHN) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (nr)
19. Yerulan ISKAKOV (KAZ) – Schultz Memorial No.2 (11)
20. Daniel GASTL (AUT) – Paris GGP No.4 (nr)

130kg – Riza KAYAALP (TUR) returned to the top of the FILA World Rankings with a victory at VehbiEmre, four months after a semifinal loss at the 2013 world championships. The 2011 world champion topped the rankings from the inaugural poll in May 2013 until the post-championship poll.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympic Games gold medalist Mijain LOPEZ NUNEZ (CUB) defeated teammate Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CUB) to win the Granma Cup in Havana, signaling a possible return to the world championships in Tashkent in September.

1. Riza KAYAALP (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.1 (2)
2. Johan Magnus EUREN (SWE) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (4)
3. Heiki NABI (EST) – World No.1 (1)
4. Attila GUZEL (TUR) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (nr)
5. Robert SMITH (USA) – Schultz Memorial No.1 (6)
6. Mihaly DEAK BARDOS (HUN) – GGP Final No.3 (5)
7. Nurmakhan TINALIEV (KAZ) – Kazakhstan Cup No.1 (3)
8. Mijain LOPEZ NUNEZ (CUB) – Granma Cup No.1 (nr)
9. Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) – Paris GGP No.1 (16)
10. Miloslav METODIEV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (10)
11. Mindaugas MIZGAITIS (LTU) – Paris GGP No.2 (18)
12. Vitali ILNITSKI (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (14)
13. Kiril GRYSHCHENKO (BLR) – VehbiEmre No.3 (nr)
14. Balint LAM (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (8)
15. Saba SHARIATI (AZE) – GGP Final No.1 (nr)
16. Iosif CHUGOSHVILI (BLR) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (13)
17. Lyubomir DIMITROV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.3 (nr)
18. John CHRISTIAN (GER) – Thor Masters No.2 (nr)
19. Emin OZTURK (TUR) – VehbiEmre No.3 (nr)
20. Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)

William May conducts the World Rankings for FILA. He has been active in wrestling across three continents for more than 40 years as a competitor, coach, referee and journalist. William worked as the "Sports Information Specialist" for wrestling at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. He can be reached on his Facebook page or by email, wmay52@hotmail.com


About FILA
FILA, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, is the global governing body of the sport of wrestling. It works to promote the sport and facilitate the activities of its 177 national federations from around the world. It is based in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.

To learn more about FILA visit its official website, http://www.fila-official.com/; Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fila.official, or Twitter handle, @FILA_Official.
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