USA to face Georgia, Iran and Mongolia in World Cup pool action this weekend

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | March 14, 2019, 3:02 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Two-time Olympic medalist Komeil Ghasemi of Iran. Photo by Tony Rotundo,

United World Wrestling has released rosters from the seven other countries competing in this weekend’s men’s freestyle World Cup in Yakutsk, Russia.

Team USA, which took second at the 2018 World Championships, will compete in Group B in pool play, taking on third-place Georgia, sixth-place Iran and seventh-place Mongolia.

The United States is the defending Freestyle World Cup team champions, after claiming the title at the 2018 Freestyle World Cup in Iowa City, Iowa. It was the 13th time in history, and the first time since 2003, that the United States was the Freestyle World Cup champions.

USA will kick off its tournament against Georgia on Saturday, March 16, at 11 a.m. local time (10 p.m. Friday ET).

Leading Georgia is 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Dato Marsagishvili at 92 kg. In addition to his Olympic medal, Marsagishvili owns three other World medals, including a 2011 Senior World bronze, a 2011 Junior World gold and a 2009 Junior World bronze.

There are five other World medal winners competing for Georgia, including 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Tornike Katamadze at 61 kg, 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Mirza Skhulukhia at 70 kg, 2015 Junior World bronze medalist Tarzan Maisuradze at 86 kg, 2011 Junior World silver medalist Mamuka Kordzaia at 97 kg and 2018 U23 World bronze medalist Rolandi Andriadze at 125 kg.

Rounding out Georgia’s lineup is Lasha Lomtadze at 57 kg, Amiran Vakhtangashvili at 65 kg, Zurabi Erbotsonashvili at 74 kg and Dvit Khutsishvili at 79 kg.

In round two, the Red, White and Blue will go head-to-head with Iran on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. Saturday ET).

Iran will be led by two-time Olympic medalist Komeil Ghasemi at 125 kg. Ghasemi claimed 2012 Olympic bronze before improving to Olympic silver in 2016. He also owns a World silver medal from the 2014 Senior World Championships, as well as a pair of Junior World bronzes from 2007 and 2008.

Iran has submitted two potential wrestlers at three different weights—92 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg.

Also set to compete at 125 kg is Amin Taheri, who is a 2017 and 2018 U23 World bronze winner, a 2017 World Military bronze medalist and a two-time Junior World silver medalist.

The two wrestlers set to go at 92 kg are 2016 Junior World champion and 2018 U23 World bronze medalist Hossein Shahbazigazvar as well as 2012 Junior World champion and 2016 University World champion Mohammad Ebrahimizivlaei, while the two competing at 97 kg include 2018 U23 World bronze medalist Ali Shabanibengar and Alireza Goodarzi.

Other World medalists for Iran include two-time Junior World champion Iman Sadegikoukandeh at 61 kg, two-time University World champion Reza Afzalipaemami at 74 kg and 2015 Cadet World bronze medalist Mojtaba Asghari Osmavandani at 79 kg.

The final match of pool play will take place on Sunday at 11 a.m. local time (10 p.m. Saturday ET), where the USA will face Mongolia.

Mongolia boasts six past World medalists on its roster, including four Olympians—Mandakhnaran Ganzorig at 70 kg, Unurbat Purevjav at 79 kg, Uitumen Orgodol at 86 kg and Khuderbulga Dorjkhand at 125 kg.

Ganzorig was fifth at the 2016 Olympics and has bronze medals from the 2013 and 2014 Senior World Championships.

A two-time Olympian, Purevjav was a 2015 Senior World silver medalist and 2008 Junior World bronze medal.

Also making two trips to the Olympics was Orgodol, who was the 2014 World Military champion and 2015 World Military bronze medalist.

Prior to his appearance at the 2016 Olympics, Dorjkhand won a silver medal at the 2015 World Military Games.

Other World medalists from Mongolia include 2018 Senior World bronze medalist and 2014 University World champion Tuvshintulga Tumenbileg at 57 kg and 2014 University World and Military World bronze winner Batmagnai Batchuluun at 65 kg.

Depending on how the U.S. does in pool play will determine its fourth and final matchup. Looming in the other pool is 2018 World team champion Russia, fourth-place Cuba, fifth-place Japan and eighth-place Turkey.

Yakutsk is 13 hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone. The event will be streamed live in the United States by Trackwrestling. There will also be a television show produced from the event by NBC. Specific broadcast times will be announced when available.

at Yakutsk, Russia, March 16-17

U.S. roster
57 kg: Zach Sanders, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
57 kg: Zane Richards, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
61 kg: Nico Megaludis, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Pittsburgh WC)
65 kg: Zain Retherford, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
70 kg: Jason Chamberlain, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC)
74 kg: Isaiah Martinez, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
79 kg: Tommy Gantt, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC)
86 kg: Sammy Brooks, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Hawkeye WC)
92 kg: Hayden Zillmer, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
97 kg: Kyven Gadson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids/Cyclone RTC)
125 kg: Tony Nelson, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)

Georgia roster
57 kg: Lasha LOMTADZE
61 kg: Tornike KATAMADZE
70 kg: Mirza SKHULUKHIA
86 kg: Tarzan MAISURADZE
97 kg: Mamuka KORDZAIA
125 kg: Rolandi ANDRIADZE

Iran roster
57 kg: Alireza SARLAK
65 kg: Morteza GHIASI CHEKA
70 kg: Meisam NASIRI
86 kg: Mersad MARGHZARI
92 kg: Mohammadjavad EBRAHIMIZIVLAEI
97 kg: Alireza GOODARZI
125 kg: Komeil GHASEMI
125 kg: Amin TAHERI

Mongolia roster
57 kg: Tuvshintulga TUMENBILEG
61 kg: Otgonbaatar GANSUKH
65 kg: Batmagnai BATCHULUUN
70 kg: Mandakhnaran GANZORIG
74 kg: Byambadorj BAT ERDENE
79 kg: Unurbat PUREVJAV
86 kg: Uitumen ORGODOL
92 kg: Ulziisaikhan BAASANTSOGT
97 kg: Batzul ULZIISAIKHAN
125 kg: Khuderbulga DORJKHAND