2019 World Championships preview at 60 kg/132 lbs. in Greco-Roman

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | Aug. 18, 2019, 9:13 a.m. (ET)
Ildar Hafizov of the United States competing in the 2017 World Championships. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

Dates of competition: Monday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 17

Returning World champion Sergey Emelin of Russia seems most likely be their representative again this year. We say most likely because, in late Jun,e Stepan Maryanyan dropped from 63 kg to 60 kg and won the European Games. Maryanyan is the 2018 63 kg World Champion. He also placed third at 59 kg in 2017 and won a Junior World title at 55 kg in 2010. Maryanyan won the Dan Kolov and Nikola Petrov Tournament and the European Championships competing at 63 kg this year. With 60 kg being the Olympic weight class, Maryanyan might be looking to make the move down this year to better prepare himself for 2020.

Bumping off Emelin will be a tall order. He has looked solid this year, taking gold at the Dan Kolov and Nikola Petrov Tournament and finishing runner-up at the European Championships to last year’s World silver medalist Victor Ciobanu of Moldova. However, Maryanyan defeated Ciobanu at the European Games. Emelin took silver at the 2017 U23 World Championships and third at the 2014 Junior World Championships. Whichever wrestler Russia sends will be a gold medal contender.

Ciobanu had a rocky start to his 2019 campaign, taking 15th at the Dan Kolov and Nikola Petrov International, but has since rounded into form by winning the European Championships and finishing third at the European Games. Ciobanu is a 2016 World University Championship bronze medalist, a 2013 World University Games silver medalist and a 2012 Junior World silver medalist.

The 2017 Senior World champion at 59 kg, Kenchiro Fumita of Japan, is back in action after not competing at the 2018 Senior World Championships. However, Fumita did take gold at the 2018 U23 World Championships. He followed it up by winning the Japan Championship and placing third at the Asian Championships. His most recent result was a poor showing at the Oleg Karavaev Memorial several weeks ago where he finished 15th.

Another past World champion likely to be in the bracket is Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria. Angelov won Senior gold in 2013 and also claimed bronze in 2011. This year he placed eighth at the European Games and won the Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial.

2018 World bronze medalist Sailike Walihan of China has been extremely active in 2019, competing in five tournaments. Competing at the Grand Prix of Hungary and the Oleg Karavaev Memorial, Walihan placed third at 63 kg. His most recent result, coming on August 2, was a runner-up finish at the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup at 60 kg. He also placed fifth at the Asian Championships and second at the Dan Kolov and Nikola Petrov Tournament at 60 kg.

Last year’s other World bronze medalist, Aidos Sultangali of Kazakhstan, has only competed in one tournament this year, the Oleg Karavaev in Belarus where he placed 13th at 63 kg. Sultangali is a 2017 U23 World bronze medalist. Reading the tea leaves, it seems that Kazakhstan could send Meirambek Ainagulov, a 2017 World silver medalist at 59 kg. Ainagulov placed third at the Asian Games, ninth at the Asian Championships and third at the Oleg Karavaev Memorial, where he wrestled up a weight class at 63 kg. Ainagulov is a 2018 World Military Championship bronze medalist at 63 kg and a 2011 Cadet World champion at 50 kg.

Kristian Fris of Serbia, who finished fifth last year, has not competed at all this year. The other fifth place finisher, Se Ung Ri of North Korea only wrestled at the Asian Championships, where he placed second. Ri was a 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion at 42 kg.

The 2019 Asian Championships gold medalist at 60 kg is Islomjon Bakhramov of Uzbekistan. Bakhramov placed fifth at the 2018 U23 World Championships and fifth at the Asian Games. This year he won the Grand Prix of Zagreb and finished runner-up at the Oleg Karavaev Memorial, competing at 63 kg for both tournaments. He also finished 12th at the Grand Prix of Hungary at 60 kg. Bakhramov was a 2015 Junior World bronze medalist at 55 kg.

2017 World bronze medalist Seung Hak Kim of Korea is currently the No. 2 in the UWW rankings. Although he did not compete at the Asian Championships, Kim won the Grand Prix of Hungary, the City of Sassari Tournament, and the Oleg Karavaev Memorial. He also placed ninth at the Asian Games and fifth at the Grand Prix of Zagreb. Kim will look to redeem himself after a disappointing 28th place finish at the 2018 World Championships.

An up and comer to look out for is Kerim Kamal of Turkey. Kamal placed second at the 2015 and 2016 Cadet World Championships at 46 and 54 kg and won the 2017 and 2018 Junior World Championships at 55 and 60 kg. In 2018 he also won the U23 World Championship and placed 19th at the Senior World Championship. This year, he won the Grand Prix of Zagreb and the U23 European Championship. He also finished runner-up at the Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Tournament, third at the Senior European Championships, and seventh at the European Games.

The United States will be represented by Ildar Hafizov, in his second time representing Team USA. He finished 19th at the 2017 World Championship. He was a three-time World Team member and an Olympian for his former country, Uzbekistan. This year, Hafizov won the Dave Schultz Memorial International, placed third at the Pan American Games and eighth at the Grand Prix of Zagreb. Hafizov finished fifth at the 2017 World Military Championships. He is excited to visit with family, who will come out to support him from the nation next door to Kazakhstan.

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2018 World Championships
59 kg/130 lbs. - Gold- Sergey Emelin (Russia); Silver – Victor Ciobanu (Moldova); Bronze – Aidos Sultangali (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Sailike Walihan (China); 5th – Kristian Fris (Serbia); 5th- Se Ung RI (North Korea); 7th – Kaly Sulaimnov (Kyrgyzstan); 8th – Etienne Kinsinger (Germany); 9th - Shinobu Ota (Japan); 10th - Firuz Tukhtaev

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 Sergey Emelin (Russia)
2 Seunghak Kim (South Korea)
3 Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)
4 Ivan Lizatovic (Croatia)
5 Sailike Walihan (China)
6 Se Ung Ri (North Korea)
7 Kerem Kamal (Turkey)
8 Firuz Tukhtaev (Uzbekistan)
9 Gyanender Gyanender (India)
10 Ahmet Uyar (Turkey)