| Tony Ramos at 2015 World Cup in Los Angeles.
Photo: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
Date of competition: Saturday, Sept. 12
The No. 1 spot in the lightest men’s freestyle weight class – which is 57 kg/125.5 lbs. for the second straight year – has changed hands several times in recent years.
There will be a number of top young studs and proven veterans gunning for World gold medals at the 2015 World Championships, set for Sept. 7-12 in Las Vegas.
United World Wrestling changed the smallest freestyle weight class from 55 kg/121 lbs. to 57 kilos in 2014.
North Korea’s Kyong Il Yang returned to the top step of the podium after striking gold at the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He also won a World title in 2009. Yang is ranked No. 1 in the World.
2013 World champion Hassan Rahimi of Iran continues to wrestle well. He was third at the 2014 Worlds and is ranked No. 4 at 57 kg.
2010 and 2011 World champion Viktor Lebedev of Russia is ranked No. 2 in the World now after winning the European Games this summer. Lebedev was ninth in the World last year.
Cuba’s Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez is fully capable of making a run at a gold medal in this division. He was third in the 2014 Worlds at 61 kg/134 lbs. before dropping down to 57 kilos this year.
Bonne Rodriguez is a dangerous and explosive wrestler who destroyed the field in winning the Pan American Games this year. He also was very dominant at the World Cup and Beat the Streets events in the U.S. this year.
2012 Olympic silver medalist Vladimir Khinchagashvili of Georgia placed second at the 2014 Worlds. He is ranked eighth this year.
Uladzislau Andreyeu of Belarus was a World bronze medalist last year. Veteran Sezer Akgul of Turkey is ranked ninth. He won a World bronze medal in 2013.
The U.S. has traditionally enjoyed great success in this weight class at the Olympics, but has not won a medal at the World or Olympic level in the lightest division since Henry Cejudo struck gold at the 2008 Olympics.
American Tony Ramos has landed the U.S. spot in this weight class for the second straight year.
Ramos fell to eventual fifth-place finisher Bekhbayar Erdenebat of Mongolia in his first match at the 2014 Worlds.
Ramos is a young, hungry and confident wrestler who has medal aspirations. He wrestled well in a loss to Rahimi in the World Cup this year, losing a match that ended 5-5 on criteria. He is ranked 17th in the World.
Ramos, who placed fifth at the 2009 Junior World Championships, has gained considerable international experience in the past year. He won the Grand Prix of Paris this season.
Ramos is a tough, hard-nosed wrestler who is going to battle hard for six minutes.
UWW WORLD RANKINGS
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1. Kyong-Il Yang (North Korea)
2. Viktor Lebedev (Russia)
3. Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba)
4. Hassan Rahimi (Iran)
5. Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia)
6. Hak-Jin Jong (North Korea)
7. Ismail Musukaev (Russia)
8. Vladimir Khinchegashvili (Georgia)
9. Sezar Akgul (Turkey)
10. Samat Nadyyrbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)
11. Artas Sanaa (Kazakhstan)
12. Yuki Takahashi (Japan)
13. Fumitaka Morishita (Japan)
14. Marcel Ewald (Germany)
15. Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria)
16. Vladislav Andreev (Belarus)
17. Tony Ramos (USA)
18. Zoheir El Ouarraqe (France)
19. Sung-Gwon Kim (Korea)
20. Alexandru Chirtoaca (Moldova)
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2014 World Championships
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Gold – Kyong Il Yang (North Korea); Silver – Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia); Bronze – Uladzislau Andreyeu (Belarus); Bronze – Hassan Rahimi (Iran); 5th – Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia); 5th – Yuki Takahashi (Japan); 7th – Axmedmabi Guezzatilov (Azerbaijan); 8th – Mehmed Feraim (Bulgaria); 9th – Viktor Lebedev (Russia); 10th – Qi Mude (China)
2013 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Hassan Rahimi (Iran); Silver – Amit Kumar (India); Bronze – Sezar Akgul (Turkey); Bronze – Nariman Israpilov (Russia); 5th – Angel Escobedo (USA); 5th – Rasul Kaliyev (Kazakhstan); 7th – Zoheir El Ouarraqe (France); 8th – Altynbek Alymbaev (Kyrgyzstan); 9th – Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia); 10th – Giorgi Edisherashvili (Georgia)
2012 Olympic Games
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Dzhamel Otarsulatnov (Russia); Silver – Vladimir Khinchegashvili (Georgia); Bronze – Kyong-Il Yang (North Korea); Bronze – Shinichi Yumoto (Japan); 5th – Daulet Niyazbekov (Kazakhstan); 5th – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); 7th – Mihran Jaburyan (Armenia); 8th – Hassan Rahimi (Iran); 9th – Ahmet Peker (Turkey); 10th – Amit Kumar (India)
2011 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Viktor Lebedev (Russia); Silver – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Bronze – Daulet Niyabekov (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Hassan Rahimi (Iran); 5th – Mihran Jaburyan (Armenia); 5th – Nick Simmons (USA); 7th – Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia); 8th – Shinichi Yumoto (Japan); 9th –
Nurlan Makenaliev (Kyrgyzstan); 10th – Bayaraa Naranbaatar (Mongolia)
2010 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Viktor Lebedev (Russia); Silver – Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Frank Chamizo (Cuba); Bronze – Yasuhiro Inaba (Japan); 5th – Hyo-Sub Kim (Korea); 5th – Naranbaatar Bayaraa (Mongolia); 7th – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); 8th – Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 9th – Obe Blanc (USA); 10th – Hassan Rahimi (Iran)
2009 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Kyong-Il Yang (North Korea); Silver – Sezar Akgul (Turkey); Bronze – Viktor Lebedev (Russia); Bronze – Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 5th – Krasimir Krastanov (Great Britain); 5th – Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan); 7th – Mykola Aivazian (Ukraine); 8th – Mihan Jaburyan (Armenia); 9th – Hyo-Sub Kim (Korea); 10th – Hassan Rahimi (Iran)