USA Wrestling World Championships ...

World Championships preview in women’s freestyle wrestling at 60 kg/132 lbs.

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Aug. 29, 2014, 10:59 a.m. (ET)

VIDEO: Jenna Burkert (USA) dec. Michelle Fazzari (CAN), 2013 dual in Clifton Park, N.Y.

Date of competition: Wednesday, September 10

With the creation of the 60 kg weight class as a non-Olympic division, this opens up lots of opportunities. Since it is only 2 kg above the 58 kg class, and 3 kg below the 63 kg class, the potential for wrestlers from both of those divisions to compete makes it an interesting competition.

We will find that some of the athletes who competed at 60 kg throughout the regular season have chosen to drop down or move up into an Olympic weight class. Some nations may only fund the Olympic weight classes, which is why the athletes are switching. Others are trying to make an impact at those weight classes right now, since they will need to be there eventually for the qualifications for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

So what does that leave us with? We will depend on the preliminary rosters to give us some insight into who may step forward and become the 60 kg World Champion.

There is one 2013 World champion in this field, Marianna Sastin of Hungary, who won her title at 59 kg last year. Sastin is a four-time World medalist, also getting 2005 and 2011 World silver medals and a 2009 World bronze medal. She has competed in three weight classes since last year’s Worlds. Her only medal at 60 kg was a bronze at the Dave Schultz Memorial in February. Sastin’s experience and past success make her one of the favorites here.

The highest FILA ranked wrestler on the preliminary rosters is No. 2 Michell Fazzari of Canada, who will be competing in her second World meet. She placed ninth at the 2012 World Championships at 59 kg. Fazzari won the Pan American Championships and took a silver at the respected Klippan Lady Open, both at 60 kg. This could be a great situation for an experienced wrestler getting new opportunity because of the new weight class.

Coming in as a World silver medalist the last two years is Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria, who won her 2012 World silver at 63 kg and her 2013 World silver at 59 kg. Yusein was third in the 2014 European Championships at 60 kg, and won a silver medal at the Poland Open at the weight class. A 2011 Junior World champion, Yusein has a habit of winning medals at the major competitions.

Japan’s hopes lie with Katsuki Sakagami, ranked No. 3 by FILA, who was second at th FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals and fifth at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia this season. Like some of the others, this is her first Senior World Championships, an opportunity to make a name for herself.

One of the talented veterans at this weight class is Johanna Mattsson of Sweden, the 2014 European champion at 60 kg. Mattsson also won the Grand Prix of Spain and took a bronze at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals at this weight class this season. Mattsson was a 2010 Senior World bronze medal at 59 kg, and boasts four career Junior World medals.

2013 Junior World champion Sukhee Tserenchimed of Mongolia was third in the 2014 Asian Championships at 60 kg, but will be competing in her first Senior World meet. Sukhee won the Poland Open at 60 kg in her most recent competition.

Russia is counting on Svetlana Lipatova to bring home a medal. Last year, she competed at the World Championships at 59 kg but did not medal. She has been very active at 60 kg this year, winning the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia, taking second at the Grand Prix of Spain and third at the Poland Open. Also a past Junior World champion, her fifth place at the European Championships is an indication that she should be in thick of things.

Irina Netreba will represent Azerbaijan at 60 kg, after dropping from 63 kg last year, where she competed on the World Team and won a bronze at the World University Games. She was a European silver medalist down at 58 kg, but that spot on Team Azerbaijan is being held by past World champion Yulia Ratkevich. Netreba’s silver medal at the Medved International is her best effort at 60 kg this year.

Ukraine is going with a young star, 2014 European Junior silver medalist Oksana Herhel. She was ninth at the European Senior Championships and won a bronze at the Medved International in Belarus on the Senior level this season.

Jenna Burkert will compete in her first Senior World Championships for the United States. Her age-group experience is extensive, including three Junior World Championships and the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. She boasts a win over FILA No. 2 Michelle Fazzari of Canada in a dual meet earlier this season. U.S. Open champion Jennifer Page had a strong season going before she was injured and could not try out for the World Team. Burkert is running with this opportunity, and based on past efforts, will be competitive with anybody in this field.

Sakshi Malik of India has been impressive in recent competitions, winning the Dave Schultz Memorial at 60 kg and claiming a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games down at 58 kg. A member of the 2012 India Senior World Team, she also boasts a 2010 Junior World bronze medal.

Petra Olli of Finland is a young talent to watch. She was third in the European Championships at 58 kg, and was a Junior World bronze medalist at 59 kg the last three seasons. She took a bronze medal at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals at 60 kg, where she is entered at the World Championships.

Juliya Satymbekova of Kazakhstan has had some good international showings, including a silver medal at the 2013 Grand Prix of Italy and a fifth place at this year’s Poland Open. Her best effort at the World level was eighth at the 2010 Junior World Championships. Host Uzbekistan has an experience entry, Salomat Kuchimova, who was fifth in the Asian Championships way back in 2007 and has competed in three previous Senior World Championships.

Opportunity is the key word here. Since only one of the athletes on the preliminary rosters has won a previous World title, Hungary’s Marianna Sastin, there are a lot of chances for first-time Senior medalists. Athletes who do well here could end up being top contenders in an Olympic weight for 2016, so we need to pay attention to the performances at this division.

1. Yulia Ratkevich (AZE); 2. Michelle Fazzari (CAN); 3. Katsuki Sakagami (JPN); 4. Zhang Lan (CHN); 5. Johanna Mattsson (SWE); 6. Anastassia Huchok (BLR); 7. Taybe Yusein (BUL); 8. Zhargalma Tsyrenova (RUS); 9. Aisuluu Tynybekova (KGZ); 10. Sukhee Tserenchimed (MGL); 11. Svetlana Lipatova (RUS); 12. Justine Bouchard (CAN); 13. Olga Butkevich (GBR); 14. Munkhtuya Tungalag (MGL); 15. Hafize Sahin (TUR); 16. Oksana Herhel (UKR); 17. Ramona Galambos (HUN); 18. Tatyana Lavrenchuk (UKR); 19. Jennifer Page (USA); 20. Yaquelin Stornell (CUB)

This is a new international weight class. Please refer to 58 kg and 63 kg previews for past results.