World Championships preview in Greco-Roman at 80 kg/176 lbs.

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Aug. 06, 2017, 8:35 a.m. (ET)

Date of competition: Tuesday, Aug. 22

The 80 kg/176 lbs. Greco-Roman weight class at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, France, will be packed with talent and several World title contenders.

2016 Olympic champion Roman Vlasov of Russia and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Mark Madsen of Denmark are expected to make the move up to 80 kg to represent their nations.

Vlasov will be the one to beat. A two-time Olympic champion, two-time World champion, 2013 University World Games champion and 2013 World silver medalist, Vlasov is the most credentialed wrestler in the field. Since winning his second Olympic gold at the Rio Games in Brazil, Vlasov competed in and won Russia Nationals in June.

At the 2016 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Russia sent Ramazan Abacharaev, who won gold.

Madsen competed in his third Olympics last summer and wrapped up the tournament with an Olympic silver, falling to Vlasov in the 75 kg finals. Over his career, Madsen has collected five medals in nine World Championships appearances, including four silver and one bronze. At the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, he matched up with Vlasov in the finals and finished second.

Madsen also owns a silver medal from the 2005 World Military Championships.

2014 World Champion Peter Bacsi will wrestle for Hungary for the seventh time at Worlds. A three-time Olympian, Bacsi made it to the bronze-medal match in the 2008 and 2016 Olympics, falling just short to finish fifth.

Since Rio, Bacsi won the Grand Prix of Hungary and the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov Tournament. At the European Championships, he was 11th.

Hungary’s representative for the 2016 World Championships was Laszlo Szabo, who turned in a bronze-medal performance.

The other 2016 World bronze medalist was Uzbekistan’s Jonibek Otabekov. He is expected to make back-to-back trips to the World Championships. Since winning his first World medal, Otabekov has registered seventh-place finishes at the Asian Championships and Islamic Solidarity Games. He’ll be the No. 3 seed in Paris.

2016 World Championships silver medalist Aslan Atem of Turkey enters Paris as the No. 1 seed at 80 kg. He won the 2014 University World Championships and finished second at the tournament in 2016. Most recently, Atem claimed bronze at the 2017 European Championships.

Azerbaijan’s Elvin Mursaliev has been impressive since his seventh-place finish at the Olympic Games, winning the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in May and taking second at the Golden Grand Prix in November. Mursaliev is a 2014 World bronze medalist and a 2008 Junior World champion. In 2015, Mursaliev took fifth in the World.

The 80 kg rep for the Red, White and Blue is two-time World Team member Cheney Haight. A product of Orem, Utah, Haight has several championships to his name, including 2016 and 2017 Pan-American golds, four Sunkist Kids International championships and two New York AC International titles.

The championships in Paris will be Haight’s first World tournament since 2011.

Also look out for No. 2 seed Edgar Babayan of Poland and 2017 European champion Zurabi Datunashvili of Georgia.

1. Ramazan ABACHARAEV (RUS) – World No.1 (1)
2. Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (GEO) – Europe No.1 (2)

3. Aslan ATEM (TUR) – Europe No.3 (4)
4. Ramin TAHERISARTANG (IRI) – Asia No.1 (5)
5. Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE) – GGP Final No.1 (6)
6. Adlan AKIEV (RUS) – Europe No.3 (7)
7. Radik KULIEV (BLR) – Europe No.2 (8)
8. Peter BACSI (HUN) – Polyak Memorial No.1 (3)
9. Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL) – Nikola Petrov No.1 (9)
10. Alexandros KESSIDIS (SWE) – Nordic C’ships No.1 (14)
11. Laszlo SZABO (HUN) – Nikola Petrov No.2 (10)
12. Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) – Zagreb GP No.1 (11)
13. Nikolozi KELASOV (GEO) – Tbilisi GP No.1 (16)
14. Geordan SPEILLER (USA) – Polyak Memorial No.2 (12)
15. Viktor SASUNOVSKI (BLR) – Polyak Memorial No.3 (13)
16. Edgar BABAYAN (POL) – Europe No.5 (15)
17. Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) – Vehbi Emre No.1 (17)
18. Danyal GAJIEV (KAZ) – Tbilisi GP No.3 (nr)
19. Harpreet SINGH (IND) – Asia No.3 (19)
20. Yousef GHADERIAN (IRI) – World Cup No.1 (20)

1. Aslan Atem (Turkey)
2. Edgar Babayan (Poland)
3. Jonibek Otabekov (Uzbekistan)
Ramazan Abacharaev (Russia)


2016 World Championships
80 kg/176 lbs. – Gold – Ramazan Abacharaev (Russia); Silver – Aslan Atem (Turkey); Bronze – Jonibek Otabekov (Uzbekistan); Bronze – Laszlo Szabo (Hungary); Fifth – Nikoloz Kelasov (Georgia); Fifth – Askhat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan); Seventh – Pascal Eisele (Germany); Eighth – Edgar Babayan (Poland); Ninth – Soh Sakabe (Japan); Tenth – Rafig Huseynov (Azerbaijan)

2015 World Championships
80 kg/176 lbs. – Gold – Seluck Cebi (Turkey); Silver – Viktar Sasunouski (Belarus); Bronze – Yousef Ghaderian (Iran); Bronze – Lasha Gobadze (Georgia); Fifth – Askhat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan); Fifth – Samat Shirdakov (Kyrgyzstan); Seventh – Laszlo Szabo (Hungary); Eighth – Evgeny Saleev (Russia); Ninth – Jinhyeok Kim (Korea); Tenth – Pavel Powada (Czech Republic)

2014 World Championships
80 kg/176 lbs. – Gold – Peter Bacsi (Hungary); Silver – Saleev (Russia); Bronze – Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Bronze – Jim Pettersson (Sweden); Fifth – Bozo Starcevic (Croatia); Fifth – Tadeusz Michalik (Poland); Seventh – Habibollah Akhlaghi (Iran); Eighth – Pascal Eisele (Germany); Ninth – Jonas Bossert (Switzerland); Tenth – Aleksandr Kazakevic (Lithuania)