USA Wrestling World Championships ...

World Championships preview in Greco-Roman wrestling at 85 kg/187 lbs.

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | Aug. 31, 2014, 12:36 a.m. (ET)

 Jordan Holm (USA) at the 2013 World Championships.
Tony Rotundo/ Photo.
VIDEO: Jordan Holm (USA) vs. Garcia Perez (ESP) at the 2013 World Championships

Date of Competition: Friday, September 12

The 85 kg weight class will be up for grabs in 2014 as no past World or Olympic Champions are slated to compete at the World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The top ranked wrestler in the world heading into Tashkent is Zahn Belenyuk of Ukraine.

The 23 year old, Belenyuk has elevated his status on the Senior level this year, earning gold at the European Championships and Dan Kolov – Nikola Petrov Torunament. He was a bronze medalist at the World University Games in 2013.

Tashkent will mark the Ukrainian’s first trip to the Senior World Championships.

The highest returning medalist from last year’s Worlds is Saman Tahmasebi of Azerbaijan, who finished with silver in Budapest.

Tahmasebi’s credentials are rivaled by few at 85 kg. He boasts two World bronze medals in addition to his silver in 2013, and is a two-time Olympian.

Since the 2013 World Championships in Budapest, Tahmasebi has placed first at the Golden Grand Prix, second at the Golden Grand Prix Final and third at both the Vehbi Emre and World Cup.

The big blemish on his resume in this year is a 16th place finish at the European Championships, where he lost to unranked Laimutis Adomaitis of Lithuania. This result is the primary reason behind his No. 10 FILA World Ranking.

Tahmasebi transitioned countries from Iran to Azerbaijan in 2010. He won his two World bronze medals while still competing for Iran and was an Iranian Olympian in 2008.

Currently ranked second in the FILA World Rankings is European runner-up Rami Hietaniemi of Finland.

Hietaniemi finished in fifth place at the World Championships one year ago losing to Hungarian Viktor Lorincz in the bronze medal match. He won a World bronze medal in 2011 at 84 kg.

Lorincz slides into the FILA World Rankings at the No. 3 spot.

Lorincz won a bronze medal at the World Championships last year and will be looking to back up that performance in Tashkent. He has earned bronze at the two Golden Grand Prix events and Yadegar Imam Cup this year, while also finishing in 15th place at the European Championships in April.

Poland’s Damian Janikowski has been on the cusp of World gold in recent years with an Olympic bronze, World silver and World bronze to his credit.

In 2013 Janikowski lost in the bronze medal match at the World Championships to Belarusian Javid Hamzatov to finish in fifth place. He was third at both the Ivan Poddubny Tournament and European Championships in 2014.

After scoring World bronze last year, Hamzatov has earned three medals internationally, winning gold at the Vehbi Emre and bronze at both the Grand Prix of Germany and Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup. He is No. 4 in the FILA World Rankings.

Mojtaba Karimfar will get the nod for Iran in Tashkent, usurping 2013 World Champion Taleb Nematpour as the Iranian selection. Nematpour was suspended for doping violations earlier this year and is prohibited from competition.

Karimfar finished with a bronze medal at the Asian Championships in April and also won gold at the Yadegar Imam Cup earlier this year.

Nursultan Tursynov of Kazakhstan was the victor at the Asian Championships and comes in at No. 16 in the FILA World Rankings.

Asamat Bikbaev appears to be the guy for Russia at 85 kg, coming off silver medal performances at the Ivan Poddubny Tournament and World Cup in 2014. Olympic Champion Alan Khugaev is the backup on the preliminary roster for Russia and will wait in the wings for another shot at gold should Bikbaev slip up before Tashkent.

American Jordan Holm looks poised for a medal run in Tashkent, coming off an outstanding 2014 campaign.

Holm has earned international medals at the Arvo Haavisto Cup, Dave Schultz Memorial International and Granma Cup this year.

In his second trip to the World Championships, Holm has the necessary experience to succeed on the world stage and appears ready for a breakout performance.

3. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN)
8. Maksim MANUKYAN (ARM)
11. Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB)
12. Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA)
13. Mojtaba KARIMFAR (IRI)
14. Alexej MISHIN (RUS)
16. Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ)
18. Shariar MAMMADOV (AZE)
19. Asamat BIKBAEV (RUS)


2013 World Championships
84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold - Taleb Nematpour (Iran); Silver - Saman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Javid Jamzatau (Belarus); Bronze - Viktor Lorincz (Hungary); 5th - Damian Janikowski (Poland); 5th - Rami Hietaniemi (Finland); 7th - Nenad Zugaj (Croatia); 8th - Maksim Manukyan (Armenia); 9th – Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan); 10th - Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan)

2012 Olympic Games
84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold - Alan Khugaev (Russia); Silver - Karam Gaber (Egypt); Bronze - Danjel Gajiyev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Damian Janikowski (Poland); 5th - Vladimer Gegeshidze (Georgia); 5th - Melonin Noumonvi (France); 7th - Pablo Shorey (Cuba); 8th - Vasil Rachyba (Ukraine); 9th - Chas Betts (USA); 10th - Amer Hrustanovic (Austria)

2011 World Championships
84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold - Alim Selimau (Belarus); Silver - Damian Janikowski (Poland); Bronze - Nazmi Avluca (Turkey); Bronze - Rami Heitaniemi (Finland); 5th - Alan Khugaev (Russia); 5th - Saman Ahman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan); 7th - Nenad Zugaj (Croatia); 8th - Andrea Minguzzi (Italy); 9th - Se-Yeol Lee (Korea); 10th - Marian Mihalik (Slovakia)

2010 World Championships
84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold – Hristo Marinov (Bulgaria); Silver – Pablo Shorey Hernandez (Cuba); Bronze – Alexej Mishin (Russia); Bronze – Nenad Zugaj (Croatia); 5th – Nazmi Avluca (Turkey); 5th – Damian Janikowski (Poland); 7th – Alhazur Ozdiev (Kazakhstan); 8th – Vladimir Gegeshidze (Georgia); 9th – Vasil Rachyba (Ukraine); 10th – Laimutis Adomaitis (Lithuania)