2018 World Championships preview at 60 kg/132 lbs. in Greco-Roman

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 20, 2018, 5:56 p.m. (ET)
Dalton Roberts, battling for gold at the 2018 U.S. Open, enters his first Senior Worlds with strong recent international results. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

Dates of competition: Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27

With the change of UWW World Championship weight classes to 10 this season, and the return to a 60 kg weight class in Greco-Roman, you would think there would be a ton of wrestlers competing at this weight class at the World Championships with long international resumes. Heck, for the last four seasons, 59 kg was the lightest weight class and many of those athletes are still on the scene.

Think again. A large number of wrestlers from this group of athletes have moved up in weight to either 63 kg or even 67 kg. There really aren’t a lot of past World and Olympic medalists expected at 60 kg in Budapest. This most probably means we will see some new medalists emerge at this Olympic weight class.

The 2017 World champion at 59 kg was Kenchiro Fumita of Japan, but he is not Japan’s expected entry. 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shinobu Ota will represent Japan, after a stong year. He won both the Asian Championships and the Asian Games in 2018. On the age-group level, he was also a 2012 Junior World bronze medalist.

There seems to be only one World champion in the projected list of entries for Budapest, Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria, who claimed the 60 kg title back in 2013. His season has included a silver medal at the European Championships and a gold medal at the Dan Kolov International in his home nation. Angelov also boasts a World bronze medal at 60 kg back in 2009.

The only medalist from the 2017 field at 59 kg expected in Budapest is Kim Seung-Hak of Korea, who won a bronze medal in Paris. He has not had a strong season, missing the medals in both the Asian Games and the Asian Championships, but he did win a title at the Dave Schultz Memorial International last fall.

From that point on, it makes sense to look at the non-medalists who have the potential to rally this year and come home with hardware. Always tough Russia will bring 2018 European champion Sergey Emelin, who was a U23 World silver medalist in 2017. In addition to his European gold, he added titles at the respected Ivan Poddubny Tournament in Russia and the Kristjan Palusalu Memorial in Estonia. Emelin’s pedigree includes a Junior World bronze medal in 2014.

Holding a No. 1 spot in the UWW Ranking Series standings is Kanybek Zholchubekov of Kyrgyzstan, who was a solid fifth place at the 2017 World Championships. His Asian Games silver medal, Asian Championships bronze medal, plus gold medals at the Takhti Cup in Iran and the Grand Prix of Hungary shows great consistency this season.

Another athlete who qualified for a World medal match in the past was Soslan Daurov of Belarus, who was fifth in the 2015 World Championships at 59 kg. Daurov competed in the 2016 Olympic Games, was a 2016 World University silver medalist and won a European bronze medal in 2017. Add to that Dmytry Tsymbaliyuk of Ukraine, fifth in the 2017 World Championships and a 2016 European bronze medalist.

The 2018 Pan American champion is Luis Orta Sanchez of Cuba, who enters his first Senior World meet. He competed in the 2017 U23 Worlds without reaching the medal rounds. He has two other gold medals in 2018, competing in Central American and Caribbean events.

Abdenour Laouni of Algeria was the 2018 African Champion, and placed fifth at the 2018 World Military Championships.

Some of the major tune-up events prior to the Worlds indicate some other challengers. China’s Erbatu Tuo won the Pytlasinski Memorial in Poland in early September. The Grand Prix of Germany in August featured 60 kg champion Erik Torba of Hungary.

Dalton Roberts of the United States, who has been on multiple age-group World teams, won a silver medal at the Grand Prix of Germany and has shown improved international finishes in recent years. Roberts has taken pride throughout his life beating opponents who were supposedly “better” than him, and Budapest gives him a chance to once again reach for new heights.

Kristijan Fris of Serbia won a 2017 European gold medal, and competed in the 2016 Olympic Games. North Korea’s Ri Se-Ung was second in the 2018 Asian Championships and is a past Youth Olympic Games champion. Dato Chkhartishvili of Georgia was third in the 2018 European Championships and was a 2016 Junior World champion.

There is a whole lot of opportunity for some people to step up and make a big run in Budapest. Who will it be?

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

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2017 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold – Kenichiro Fumita (Japan); Silver - Mirambek Ainagulov (Kazakhstan); Bronze –Stepan Maryanyan (Russia); Bronze – Seung-Hak Kim (Korea) ; 5th - Kanybek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan); 5th - Dmitriy Tsymbaliyuk (Ukraine); 7th - Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan); 8th - Mehrdad Abdmohammad Mardani (Iran); 9th - Gyanender (India); 10th - Erik Torba (Hungary)

2016 Olympic Games
59 kg/130 lbs. – Gold – Ismael Borrero Molina (Cuba); Silver – Shinobu Ota (Japan); Bronze – Stig-Andre Berge (Norway); Bronze - Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan); 5th – Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Arsen Eraliev (Kyrgyzstan); 7th – Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); 8th – Wang Lumin (China); 9th – Jesse Thielke (United States); 10th – Won Chol Yun (North Korea)

2015 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. – Gold – Ismael Borrero Molina (Cuba); Silver – Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Won Chol Yun (North Korea); Bronze – Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); 5th – Arsen Eraliev (Kyrgyzstan); 5th – Soslan Daurov (Belarus); 7th – Seung-Hak Kim (Korea); 8th – Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 9th – Mate Krasznai (Hungary); 10th – Stig-Andre Berge (Norway)

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
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
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)

Current UWW Ranking Series standings (used for seeding)
1 Kanybek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan)
2 Luis Alberto Orta Sanchez (Cuba)
3 Aidos Sultangali (Kazakhstan)
4 Sergey Emelin (Russia)
5 Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
6 Sakit Guliyev (Azerbaijan)
7 Shinobu Ota (Japan)
8 Dato Chkhartsishvili (Georgia)
9 Jacopo Sandron (Italy)
10 Se Ung Ri (North Korea)