Ryan Mango will represent the United States at 63 kg. Photo by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers are Warriors.
Dates of competition: Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15
Returning 63 kg World champion Stepan Maryanyan of Russia recently dropped to 60 kg at the European Games and took gold. With 60 kg being the Olympic weight class, it would make sense if Maryanyan stayed there. However it would displace another Russian World champion, Sergey Emelin. Maryanyan won the European Championships and the Nikola Petrov Tournament in Bulgaria this year at 63 kg, so it is possible he stays here for the World Championships. Regardless of his weight class, he is a gold medal contender. Maryanyan is a 2010 Junior World champion at 55 kg and a 2017 Senior World bronze medalist at 59 kg.
Last year’s World silver medalist Elmurat Tasmuradov of Uzbekistan has also competed at two different weight classes this year. Unlike Maryanyan, Tasmuradov went up to 67 kg. He won the Grand Prix of Zagreb, but finished a disappointing 15th at the Oleg Karavev Memorial in Belarus. Sandwiched between the tournaments where he competed at 67 kg was a runner-up finish at the Asian Championship at 63 kg. Tasmuradov placed third at both the 2014 World Championships at 59 kg and the 2013 World Championships at 60 kg. He also holds a Junior World bronze medal at 55 kg from 2010.
Islomjon Bakhramov is another wrestler ranked at 63 kg for Uzbekistan. Bakhramov is the Asian Champion at 60 kg, so it seems most likely that is where he will compete for the World Championships. However, he is currently No. 7 at 63 kg in the UWW rankings. He won the Grand Prix of Zagreb in Croatia and placed second at the Oleg Karavaev Memorial in Belarus at 63 kg. Bakhrahmov is a 2015 Junior World bronze medalist at 55 kg and placed fifth at the U23 World Championships at 60 kg.
Last year’s World bronze medalist Rahman Billici of Turkey has only appeared in two tournaments in 2019. He placed third at the Nikola Petrov and 10th at the European Championships. While a 10th place finish might not instill confidence, Billici placed 10th at last year’s Euros before taking bronze at the World Championships. Billici showed incredible promise as a young wrestler winning Junior World titles in 2007 and 2008, while finishing runner-up in 2009. However, last year was his first trip to the Senior World Championships.
Lenur Temirov of Ukraine, the other 2019 World bronze medalist, will be dropping down to compete at 60 kg. In 2019, Temirov had competed in both weight classes, winning the Grand Prix of Spain and finishing runner-up at the Thor Masters Tournament in Denmark at 63 kg. Ukraine’s representative at 63 kg will be Aleksander Hrushyn, an accomplished age-group level wrestler. Hrushyn is a 2018 U23 World bronze medalist, a 2017 Junior World runner-up at 60 kg and a 2015 Cadet World champion at 54 kg. This year he won the Pytlasinski Cup in Poland and the International Ukrainian Tournament. He also placed fifth at the U23 European Championships.
Current UWW No. 2 Erbatu Tuo of China was fifth at the 2018 World Championships. Like many of the other wrestlers listed, he has competed at multiple weight classes this year. While wrestling primarily at 63 kg, his most recent result was a Pytlasinski Cup title at 60 kg. At 63 kg, he won the Asian Championships, finished runner-up at Grand Prix of Hungary, third at the Nikola Petrov Tournament and fifth at the Oleg Karavaev Memorial.
Hassan Mohamed of Egypt, the other 2018 fifth place finisher, has competed exclusively at 72 kg this year. We could potentially see Haithem Mahmoud Ahmed Fahmy Mahmoud represent Egypt. Mahmoud took 15th at the 2018 World Championships wrestling at 60 kg. This year he placed seventh at the Nikola Petrov tournament also at 60 kg but bumped up to 63 kg for the African Championships, which he won.
2016 Olympic silver medalist at 59 kg, Shinobu Ota, will be representing Japan. He placed ninth at 60 kg in 2018. After finishing runner-up to 2017 59 kg World Champion Kenchiro Fumita at the Japanese Championships, Ota made the move up to 63 kg. He has fared well, winning the Grand Prix of Hungary and the Oleg Karavaev Memorial and finishing runner-up at the Nikola Petrov Tournament. Ota is a 2012 Junior World bronze medalist at 55 kg.
Norway will be sending Greco-Roman veteran Stig Andre Berge, who has represented Norway at an impressive 12 Senior World Championships, netting bronze in 2014 at 59 kg. Berge was the European Championships runner-up and won the Thor Masters Tournament in 2019.
Ryan Mango earned the 63 kg spot for the United States. Domestically, Mango won the U.S. Open and defeated Xavier Johnson in two-straight matches at Final X: Lincoln to win the spot. This is Mango’s first World Team. Internationally in 2019, Mango placed second at the Pan American Championships and took third at the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup. Mango is a 2018 Pan American champion and a 2017 World Military Championships silver medalist at 61 kg in freestyle.
RECENT WORLD RESULTS
2018 World Championships
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Gold – Stepan Maryanyan (Russia); Silver – Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan); Bronze – Lenur Temirov (Ukraine); Bronze - Rahman Bilici (Turkey); 5th - Hassan Mohamed (Egypt) 5th – Erbatu Tuo (China); 7th – Krisztian Vancza (Hungary); 8th – Donior Islamov (Moldova); 9th – Slavik Galstyan (Armenia); 10th – Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
Current UWW Ranking Series standings (used for seeding)
1 Stepan Maryanyan (Russia)
2 Erbatu Tuo (China)
3 Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan)
4 Shibobu Ota (Japan)
5 Slavik Galstyan (Armenia)
6 Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
7 Islomjon Bakhramov (Uzbekistan)
8 Stig-Andre Berge (Norway)
9 Andres Montano Arroyo (Ecuador)
10 Rahman Bilici (Turkey)