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World Championships preview in Greco-Roman at 59 kg/130 lbs.

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | Aug. 14, 2015, 10:13 a.m. (ET)

 Spencer Mango at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Photo: Tony Rotundo,
VIDEO: No. 13 Spencer Mango (USA) dec. No. 2 Ivo Angelov (BUL) 3-2 at 2015 Jack Pinto Cup

Date of Competition: Tuesday, September 8

Now in its second year of existence, the 59kg/130 lbs. weight class has proven itself to be one of the deepest and most competitive weights in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Six-time World champion and Olympic champion Hamid Soryan of Iran will look to back up his World title from last year in Tashkent against a stingy field that has posed problems for him since September.

Soryan has competed internationally at the Dan Kolov – Nikola Petrov Tournament and Wladyslaw Pytlanski Cup this season, but failed to reach a medal match at either competition. As a result, he has fallen to No. 12 in the United World Wrestling World rankings.

It is rumored that Soryan is battling injury and could potentially be replaced by Mohsen Haji Pour should he be deemed not healthy enough to compete.

Bulgaria has two top 10 wrestlers in the World at 59 kg with 2013 World Champion Ivo Angelov ranked No. 2 and 2008 Olympian Aleksander Kostadinov ranked No. 10. Expect Angelov to get the nod in Las Vegas due to his recent track record of success.

Angelov has made the finals of every international tournament he has competed in this year, including earning gold at the Dave Schultz Memorial International and the Dan Kolov – Nikola Petrov Tournament. His only two international losses in 2015 have come at the hands of last year’s World silver medalist Mingiyan Semenov of Russia and Spenser Mango of the United States.

Semenov is the top ranked wrestler in the world heading into the World Championships and has not posted an international loss since losing to Soryan in the World finals one year ago. He also boasts a bronze medal from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Regardless of the recent success of Semenov, do not be surprised if European Games champion and World No. 4 Stepan Maryanyan is the Russian entrant in Las Vegas. Either wrestler will pose a huge threat for the gold medal.

2013 World Champion and World No. 6 Won-Chol Yun of North Korea is primed for another run at a World title after a solid showing at the Asian Championships in May. Yun finished in second place at the Asian’s behind current World No. 3 Elmurat Tasmuradov of Uzbekistan.

Tazmuradov won the bronze medal at the World Championships in his home country last year, in addition to picking up his third gold medal at the Asian Championships this season.

There are questions marks pertaining to Tazmuradov as he has posted two fifth place finishes and a 16th place finish during international competition this season, albeit up a weight class at 66 kg.

Another country bound to make some noise at 59 kg is Azerbaijan who will undoubtedly send a gold medal contender to Las Vegas, however, there are still some uncertainties as to which Azerbaijani will get the final nod for the Worlds.

Option number one for Azerbaijan is 2014 Junior World Champion Elman Mukhtarov who is currently ranked No. 5 in the World after securing a bronze medal at the European Games in June.

The alternative for Azerbaijan would be to favor experience over youth and send 2011 World champion Royshan Bayramov to Las Vegas.

Bayramov won his first World medal in 2006, earning silver. Since then, he has accumulated silver medals at the last two Olympic Games, a World bronze medal in 2009 and the aforementioned World title in 2011.

World No. 14 Andres Montano stormed to the gold medal at the Pan American Games last month in Toronto placing ahead many quality opponents including Mango and Ismael Borrero of Cuba, both of whom placed fifth in the World in 2014.

For the eighth consecutive year Mango will don the stars and stripes at the lowest Greco-Roman weight class in World or Olympic competition.

Currently ranked No. 13 in the World, Mango is coming off of back-to-back fifth place finishes in World Championship competition.

Mango finished with a bronze medal at the Pan American Games last month in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and owns a silver medal from the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this season.

In order for Mango to reach the ultimate goal of a World Championship he will have to navigate through his toughest World Championships bracket to date.

1. Mingiyan Semenov (Russia)
2. Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria)
3. Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan)
4. Stepan Maryanyan (Russia)
5. Elman Mukhtarov (Azerbaijan)
6. Won-Chol Yun (North Korea)
7. Soslan Daurov (Belarus)
8. Tarik Belmadani (France)
9. Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)
10. Aleksandar Kostadinov (Bulgaria)
11. Stig Andre Berge (Norway)
12. Hamid Soryan (Iran)
13. Spenser Mango (United States of America)
14. Andres Montano (Ecuador)
15. Ali Soto Macias (Mexico)
16. Shinobu Ota (Japan)
17. Hammet Rustem (Turkey)
18. Virgil Munteanu (Romania)
19. Fatih Ucuncu (Turkey)
20. Maikel Anache Lamoth (Cuba)


2014 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. – Gold – Hamid Soryan (Iran); Silver – Mingiyan Semenov (Russia); Bronze – Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan); Bronze – Stig-Andre Berge (Norway); 5th – Ismael Borrero (Cuba); 5th – Spenser Mango (USA); 7th – Haithem Ahmed Fahmy (Egypt); 8th – Wang Lumin (China); 9th – Lee Jung-Baik (Korea); 10th – Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan)

2013 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold - Won Chol Yun (North Korea); Silver - Gyujin Choi (Korea); Bronze - Bronze – Peter Modos (Hungary); Bronze - Bronze – Roman Amoyan (Armenia); 5th - Ivan Tatarinov (Russia); 5th - 5th – Spenser Mango (USA); 7th - Kanbek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan); 8th - Orkhan Ahmadov (Azerbaijan); 9th – Nursultan Kalmurzayev (Kazakhstan); 10th - 10th – Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold - Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); Silver - Ivan Kuylakov (Russia); Bronze - Seung-Jae Woo (Korea); Bronze - Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan); 5th - Edward Barsegjan (Poland); 5th - Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); 7th - Kazuma Kuramoto (Japan); 8th - Jesse Thielke (USA); 9th - Kristijan Fris (Serbia); 10th - Tarik Belmandi (France)

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)

60kg/132 lbs. – Gold - Omid Noroozi (Iran); Silver - Revaz Lashki (Georgia); Bronze - Zaur Kuramagomedov (Russia); Bronze - Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); 5th - Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan); 5th - Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); 7th - Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 8th - Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea); 9th - Tarik Belmadani (France); 10th - Jiang Sheng (China)

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)

60kg/132 lbs. – Gold - Omid Haji Noroozi (Iran); Silver - Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Zaur Kuramagomedov (Russia); Bronze - Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 5th - Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea); 5th - Luis Liendo (Venezuela); 7th - Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan); 8th - Vahan Juharyan (Armenia); 9th - Tonimir Sokol (Croatia); 10th - Manuel Lopez Salcero (Mexico)

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)

60kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan); Silver – Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); Bronze – Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Ji-Huyn Jung (Korea); 5th – Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia); 5th – Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 7th – Ruslan Tyumenbaev (Kyrgyzstan); 8th – Lenur Temirov (Ukraine); 9th – Omid Noroozi (Iran); 10th – Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan)

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)

60 kg/132 lbs. - Gold - Islam-Beka Albiev (Russia); Silver - Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan); Bronze - Nurbakyt Tengysbaev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Vitaliy Rahimov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Davor Stefanek (Serbia); 5th - Soner Sucu (Turkey); 7th - Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia); 8th - Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); 9th - Stig Andre Berge (Norway) ; 10th - Omid Noroozi (Iran)