| Two-time World bronze medalist Andy Bisek of the United States.
Photo: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.
Of the 19 wrestlers competing at 75 kg/165 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the 2016 Olympic Games, two are Olympic champions, six are World champions and 10 own at least one World medal.
The fully loaded 75 kg category is perhaps more up for grabs than any other Olympic bracket. However, there is a consensus front-runner for gold in two-time World champion, 2012 Olympic and World No. 1 Roman Vlasov of Russia.
Since 2011, Vlasov has found a place on the medal stand on in four of the five World Championships and Olympic Games in which he has competed. He won World gold in 2015 and 2011, Olympic gold in 2012 and World silver in 2013. His only losses at a World or Olympic competition have come the hands of 2012 Olympic champion Hyeon-Woo Kim of Korea and two-time World bronze medalist Andy Bisek of the United States.
At the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. Vlasov destroyed the 75 kg field, going unscored upon throughout the tournament. He defeated past World champions Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia and Peter Basci of Hungary just to make the finals. In the gold medal match Vlasov picked up a 6-0 decision over five-time World medalist Mark Madsen of Denmark to cap off an all-timer of a performance.
A 2014 World champion, Julfalakyan has four World medals and an Olympic silver medal to his name entering the competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was unable to capture a medal at the World Championships last year after falling to Vlasov in the first round.
Vlasov and Julfalakyan met in the finals of the 2012 Olympic Games with Vlasov emerging victorious.
After winning the Olympic gold at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. in London, Korea’s Kim moved up in weight and took down Vlasov in a battle of Olympic champions in the 2013 World Championship finals. The stout Korean has been unable to medal at the World Championships since 2013.
World No. 8 Basci, another victim in Vlasov’s historic 2015 World run, was a 2014 World champion and two-time Olympian for Hungary. Basci won his World title at 71 kg/156.5 lbs. and has since moved up to compete at 75 kg.
Three-time World champion Selcuk Cebi of Turkey has made the move down to 75 kg for the Olympic year after winning Worlds at 80 kg/176 lbs. in 2015. In total, Cebi owns five World medals: three gold, one silver and one bronze. He competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London but failed to make the podium.
Rounding out the list of World champions competing at 75 kg in Brazil is 2011 World champion Saeid Morad Abdvali of Iran. Abdvali finished in fifth place at the World Championships last year. He was also an Olympian in 2012.
Not to be outdone at 75 kg is Denmark’s Madsen who claims five World medals and three Olympic berths. Madsen has finished in second place at the World Championships four times throughout his illustrious career, but the gold has remained ever-elusive. After a five-year dry spell from 2009-14, Madsen regained a podium position by making the World finals in Las Vegas last September.
U.S. fan favorite Andy Bisek has won a bronze medal at the last two World Championships and appears poised to make a medal run in Rio.
Currently ranked fifth in the World, Bisek has been on every U.S. World Team since 2011, save the 2012 Olympic Games. At the 2015 World Championships Bisek fell to Madsen in the quarterfinals, but wrestled back for the bronze medal by defeating two past World Champions, Yavor Yanakiev of Bulgaria and Abdvali of Iran.
The stached American’s only two losses since the World quarterfinals have come to Madsen, yet again, at the Golden Grand Prix Finals in Baku, Azerbaijan and Kim at the Beat the Streets event in Times Square, New York City.
Kazakhstan’s Doszhan Kartikov won the bronze medal opposite of Bisek at the World’s last year. He defeated 2014 World bronze medalist Elvin Mursaliyev of Azerbaijan in the bronze medal bout.
Zurabi Datunashvili of Georgia and Zied Ait Ouagram of Morocco round out the list of nine past Olympians that will compete at 75 kg this time around in Rio.
In total, the 75 kg Greco-Roman field stakes claim to two Olympic gold medals, nine World gold medals and 28 combined Olympic and World medals making this one of the deepest Olympic brackets of all-time.
PROJECTED OLYMPIC GAMES FIELD
Armenia – Arsen Julfalakyan (World No. 9)
Azerbaijan - Elvin Mursaliyev (World No. 12)
Bulgaria - Daniel Aleksandrov (World No. 8 at 80 kg)
China - Yang Bin (World No. 11)
Colombia - Carlos Andres Munoz
Cuba - Yurisandy Hernandez
Denmark – Mark Madsen (World No. 3)
Egypt - Mahmoud Sebie
Georgia - Zurabi Datunashvili (World No. 6)
Hungary - Peter Bacsi (World No. 8)
Iran - Saeid Morad Abdvali (World No. 10)
Kazakhstan - Doszhan Kartikov (World No. 2)
Korea – Hyeon-Woo Kim (World No. 4)
Morocco - Zied Ait Ouagram (World No. 18)
Russia - Roman Vlasov (World No. 1)
Serbia – Viktor Nemes (World No. 7)
Turkey - Selcuk Cebi (World No. 1 at 80 kg)
United States - Andrew Bisek (World No. 5)
Uzbekistan - Dilshodjon Turdiev
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2015 World Championships
75 kg/165 lbs. – Gold – Roman Vlasov (Russia); Silver – Mark Madsen (Denmark); Bronze – Andy Bisek (United States); Bronze – Doszhan Kartikov (Kazakhstan); 5th – Saeid Morad Abdvali (Iran); 5th – Elvin Mursaliyev (Azerbaijan); 7th – Bozo Starcevic (Croatia); 8th – Peter Basci (Hungary); 9th – Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia); 10th – Hyeon-Woo Kim (Korea)
2014 World Championships
75 kg/165 lbs. – Gold – Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia); Silver – Neven Zugaj (Croatia); Bronze – Andy Bisek (USA); Bronze – Elvin Mursaliyev (Azerbaijan); 5th – Hiroyuki Shimizu (Japan); 5th – Zurabi Datunashvili (Georgia); 7th – Gurpreet Singh (India); 8th – Juan Escobar (Mexico); 9th – Dmytro Pyshkov (Ukraine); 10th – Yavor Yankiev (Bulgaria)
2013 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold –Hyeon-Woo Kim (Korea); Silver - Roman Vlasov (Russia); Bronze –Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia); Bronze - Emrah Kus (Turkey); 5th - Mark Madsen (Denmark); 5th - Veili-Karri Suominen (Finland); 7th - Mykola Daragan (Ukraine); 8th - Bin Yang (China); 9th – Esengeldi Kozhobek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan); 10th - Rafik Huseynov (Azerbaijan)
2012 Olympic Games
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Roman Vlasov (Russia); Silver - Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia); Bronze - Aleksandr Kazekevic (Lithuania); Bronze - Emin Ahmadov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Mark Madsen (Denmark); 5th - Aliaksandr Kikiniou (Belarus); 7th - Zurabi Datunishvili (Georgia); 8th - Christophe Guenot (France); 9th - Robert Rosengren (Sweden); 10th - Neven Zugaj (Croatia)
2011 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Roman Vlasov (Russia); Silver - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Bronze - Neven Zugaj (Croatia); Bronze - Arsen Jufalakyan (Armenia); 5th - Robert Rosengren (Sweden); 5th - Askhat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Jure Kuhar (Slovenia); 8th - Péter Bacsi (Hungary); 9th - Farshad Alizadeh Kalehkeshi (Iran); 10th - Ionel Puscasu (Romania)
2010 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Silver – Arsen Julfalkayan (Armenia); Bronze – Daniar Kobonov (Kyrgyzstan); Bronze – Emil Sharafedinov (Russia); 5th – Rafik Husenyov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Takehiro Kanakubo (Japan); 7th- Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 8th – Nevan Zugaj (Croatia); 9th – Jure Kuhar (Slovenia); 10th – Christophe Guenot (France)
2009 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Silver - Mark Madsen (Denmark); Bronze - Aliaksandr Kikiniov (Belarus); Bronze - Farshad Alizadeh Kelehkeshi (Iran); 5th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 5th - Rafik Huseynov (Azerbaijan); 7th - Henri Valimaki (Finland); 8th - Christophe Guenot (France); 9th - Jakhongir Muminov (Uzbekistan); 10th - Evgeny Popov (Russia)