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2018 World Championships preview at 86 kg/189 lbs. in men’s freestyle

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 07, 2018, 3:44 p.m. (ET)

David Taylor wins the 2018 Yasar Dogu International in Turkey. UWW photo.

Dates of competition: Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21

As an Olympic weight class, the men’s freestyle 86 kg field in Budapest does not have as many past World or Olympic medalists as some other weight classes. There should be some outstanding competition, however, as the quality of those making an impact in the weight class is at a high level.

The top star in this field is 2016 Olympic champion and 2017 World champion Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran, who won his Olympic title at 74 kg and his World title at 86 kg. He quickly established himself on the Senior level at the 2015 World Championships, when he won a silver medal at 70 kg. Yazdani also claimed a 2014 Junior World gold medal, beating U.S. star Aaron Pico in the finals. This year, Yazdani won both of his major events, the Asian Championships and the Asian Games, but because of a lack of UWW Ranking events on his schedule, he will not be seeded.

Although he is competing in his first Senior Worlds in Budapest, David Taylor of the United States is a big-time gold medal contender, based upon his success at major international events at 86 kg over the last two years. He has secured the No. 2 seed for Budapest.

Taylor has been especially successful at the World Cup both seasons. At the 2017 World Cup in Iran, Taylor pinned Yazdani, scored a technical fall over Olympic and World champion Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan and got another technical fall over 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Dato Marsagashvili of Georgia. At the 2018 World Cup, he tore off four technical fall wins over athletes who are all world-class opponents. This year, Taylor has swept golds in all of his international events, including the rugged Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia, the Pan American Championships and the Yasar Dogu in Turkey. He is not new to World events, with a 2013 World University Games bronze and an appearance in the 2007 Junior Worlds. Taylor has been in deep weight classes in the USA in freestyle since his memorable career at Penn State, and is ready to cash in at the World level.

The returning 2017 World silver medalist at 86 kg, Boris Makoev of Slovakia, is back in this weight class for Budapest. Makoev competed for Russia through the 2016 season, before transferring to Team Slovakia. His World silver medal was clearly his best achievement, in his first Senior World appearance. So far in 2018, Makoev has won bronze medals at the Yasar Dogu in Turkey and the Medved International in Belarus, but did not reach the medal rounds at the European Championships.

Earning the No. 1 seed at the World Championships is Turkey’s Fatih Erdin, who has four medals at 86 kg this year, including a gold at the Kartozia and Balavadze International in Georgia, a silver at the Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia, as well as bronze medals at the Yasar Dogu in Turkey and the Medved International in Belarus. He was fifth at the 2018 European Championships. This will be his first Senior World Championships, although he did compete in three Junior World meets.

2018 Russian national champion Dauren Kurugliev enters his first Senior World Championships with high expectations. A 2017 European champion, Kurugliev has won 21 international medals in his career before getting this first World Championships nod. He has won golds in 10 of his last 11 tournaments. Included was a gold medal at the 2017 Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia. In spite of all the medals, he will still have to establish himself at the World level in Budapest.

There are a pair of past World bronze medalists in the expected field, 2015 World bronze medalist Sandro Aminashvili of Georgia and 2013 World bronze medalist Istvan Vereb of host Hungary.

Aminashvili won a bronze medal at the 2018 European Championships, his only medal performance at 86 kg this year in six international events. A 2016 Olympian, Aminashvili has not been consistent over the years. He was a 2015 European Games bronze medalist, one of his other top achievements.

Vereb has a similar career of some strong efforts, while not consistently being in medal rounds. He competed in four international events in 2018, with his best effort being a fifth place at the Ion Corneanu Memorial in Romania. A 2008 and 2016 Olympian, Vereb won his World bronze medal in 2013, competing on the home mats in Budapest. His highest placements at the European Championships were bronze medals in 2014 and 2017.

Placing fifth at 86 kg at the 2016 Olympics was Pedro Francisco Ceballos Fuentes of Venezuela, who was also 10th in the World Championships in 2014 and 2015. Ceballos was third at the 2018 Pan American Championships and won the South American Games this year.

Qualifying for a medal match at the 2013 World Championships was Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva of Spain, who placed fifth the last time Budapest hosted the Worlds. A 2016 Olympian, Friev has won three medals at 86 kg this year, a gold at the Grand Prix of Spain, a silver at the Dan Kolov in Bulgaria and a bronze at the Mediterranean Games. Friev started his career with Russia, but has been with Spain since the 2013 season.

Cuba’s Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta placed eighth in the 2017 World Championships, and won Pan American Champoionships titles in 2015 and 2017. He was beaten in the 2018 Pan American Championships finals by Taylor and went 3-1 at the 2018 World Cup in Iowa City.

Uitumen Orgodol of Mongolia placed eighth in the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas. He has three international bronze medals this year, with an Asian Games bronze, along with third places at two Russian tournaments, the Dmitri Korkin and the Buryatia President’s Cup. A 2016 Olympian, Orgodol was a 2014 World Military champion and snagged a silver medal at the 2015 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix.

Adilet Davlumbaev of Kazakhstan was a 2018 Asian Championships silver medalist and a 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist. He also tacked on a silver medal at the World Military Championships this season. He was a University World bronze medalist in 2016, and has four World Military medals in his career. He did not reach medal rounds in his only previous Senior Worlds in 2015.

2016 Olympian Zbigniew Baranowski of Poland has been competitive in recent years. He was ninth at the 2017 World Championships, and is fresh off a gold medal at the Ziolkowski Memorial in Poland, a key tune-up event for the Worlds.

Murad Suleymanov of Azerbaijan enters his first Senior Worlds with some recent success, including a silver medal at the Yasar Dogu in Turkey at 86 kg this year. He was second in the 2017 European Championships at 74 kg in 2017, and also was fifth at the 2016 Junior World Championships at that weight.

Others to watch include 2018 Asian bronze medalist Li Zushen of China, 2012 Junior World silver medalist Ahmed Dudarov of Germany, 2013 Commonwealth champion Pawan Kumar of India, 2016 Olympian Asnage Castelly of Haiti, Rasul Tsikhayeu of Belarus and Denis Balaur of Moldova.

Note: will be posting daily weight class previews for the 2018 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, October 20-28


2017 World Championships
86 kg/189 lbs. - Gold - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran); Silver - Boris Makoev (Slovakia); Bronze –Vladislav Valiev (Russia) ; Bronze – J’den Cox (United States); 5th - Aleksander Gostiev (Azerbaijan); 5th - Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria); 7th - Selim Yasar (Turkey); 8th - Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba); 9th - Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland); 10th - Piotr Ianulov (Moldova)

2016 Olympic Games
86 kg/189 lbs. – Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia); Silver – Selim Yasar (Turkey); Bronze – Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – J’den Cox (United States); 5th – Pedro Ceballos Fuentes (Venezuela); 5th – Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba); 7th – Alireza Mohammad Karimimachiani (Iran); 8th – Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria); 9th – Amarhajy Mahamedau (Belarus); 10th – Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)

2015 World Championships
86 kg/189 lbs. – Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia); Silver – Selim Yasar (Turkey); Bronze – Sandro Aminashvili (Georgia); Bronze – Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran); 5th – Magomedgadzhi Khatiyev (Azerbaijan); 5th – Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria); 7th – Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine); 8th – Uitumen Orgodol (Mongolia); 9th – Armands Zvirbulis (Latvia); 10th – Pedro Francisco Ceballos Fuentes (Venezuela)

2014 World Championships
86 kg/189 lbs. – Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia); Silver – Reineris Salas (Cuba); Bronze – Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Iran); Bronze – Selim Yasar (Turkey); 5th – Gamzat Osmanov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Aslan Kakhidze (Kazakhstan); 7th – Naresh Kumar (India); 8th – Michail Ganev (Bulgaria); 9th – Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia); 10th – Pedro Ceballas Fuentes (Venezuela)

2013 World Championships
84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold – Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine); Silver – Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba); Bronze – Istvan Vereb (Hungary); Bronze – Ehsan Lashgari (Iran); 5th – Murad Gaidarov (Belarus); 5th – Talmuraz Naskidaeva (Spain); 7th - Georg Seregelyi (Germany); 8th - Uitumen Orgodol (Mongolia); 9th - Serdar Boke (Turkey); 10th - Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia)

2012 Olympics
84 kg/185 lbs. - Gold – Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan); Silver – Jaime Espinal (Puerto Rico); Bronze – Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia); Bronze – Ehsan Lashgari (Iran); 5th – Soslan Gattsiev (Belarus); 5th – Ibrahim Bolukbasi (Turkey); 7th – Jake Herbert (USA); 8th – Anzor Urishev (Russia); 9th – Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine); 10th – Armands Zvirbulis (Latvia)

UWW Ranking Series standings (for seeding)
1 Fatih Erdin (Turkey)
2 David Taylor (USA)
3 Artur Naifonov (Russia)
4 Sandro Aminashvili (Georgia)
5 Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba)
6 Deepak Punia (India)
7 Vladislav Valiev (Russia)
8 Pool Edinson Ambrocio Greifo (Peru)
9 Murad Suleymanov (Azerbaijan)
10 Aleksandr Gostiyev (Azerbaijan)