USA Wrestling 2019 World Champions...

2019 World Championships preview at 87 kg/191 lbs. in Greco-Roman

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | Sept. 04, 2019, 3:54 p.m. (ET)

Photo of Joe Rau by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers are Warriors


Competition Dates: Sunday September, 15 and Monday September, 16


World champion at 85 kg and 2018 World champion at 87 kg, Metehan Basar of Turkey will be trying to bring home his third-straight title. Baser has looked uninspiring this year, finishing 12th at the European Championships and 13th at the European Games. He also placed 5th at the Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria competing at 97 kg. Despite his 2019 results, Basar has shown that he is a wrestler that knows how to peak. In 2018, he placed 14th at the European Championships and still went on to win World gold.


Returning World silver medalist Zhan Beleniuk of Ukraine has competed twice in 2019, winning the European Games and the European Championships. Beleniuk is currently ranked No.1 in the World, while Basar is No. 2. Beleniuk will be looking to win his second World title. He won gold in 2015 at 85 kg. Additionally at 85 kg, he finished as a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games and took bronze at the 2014 World Championships. Beleniuk is a 2011 Junior World silver medalist and 2010 Junior World bronze medalist at 84 kg.


Armenia’s returning World bronze medalist Artur Shahinyan will be representing them once again at the World Championships. Last year was Shahinyan’s first senior level medal. However, he is a 2007 Junior World silver medalist and a 2005 Junior World bronze medalist at 84 kg. In 2019, Shahinyan has won the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup in Poland, placed third at the Jenri Deglane Challenge in France and fifth at the Nikola Petrov Tournament. He also placed 13th wrestling at 97 kg at the European Championships.


Roberti Kobliashvili, the other bronze medalist from 2018, will not be competing. Instead, Georgia will be sending up-and-comer Gurami Khetsuriani. This will be Khetsuriani’s first Senior World Championships. He finished seventh at the 2018 U23 World Championships and fifth at the 2017 U23 World Championships. He also represented Georgia in the 2016 Junior World Championships and the 2014 Cadet World Championships. In 2019, Khetsuriani won the U23 European Championships, finished runner-up at the International Ukranian Tournament and the Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial in Romania and 14th at the Grand Prix of Zagreb in Croatia.


Another rising star competing in his first Senior World Championships is Aleksander Komarov of Russia. Komarov checks all the boxes indicating that he will be an elite Senior talent. He won two Junior World titles at 82 kg and 84 kg in 2018 and 2017. Before that, he won two Cadet World titles at 76 kg and 69 kg in 2016 and 2015. In 2019, Komarov has competed primarily at 82 kg, taking first at the Russian Championships and the Nikola Petrov Tournament and finishing third at the European Championships. His only result at 87 kg is a gold medal performance at the Grand Prix of Germany.


Last year’s fifth place finisher Islam Abbasov of Azerbaijan will be looking to get on to the senior podium for the first time in his career. Abbasov finished fifth in 2017 as well but has numerous medals from age-group level World Championships. He is a 2017 U23 World bronze medalist at 85 kg, a 2014 Junior World champion and 2015 Junior World runner-up at 84 kg, and a 2012 and 2013 Cadet World champion at 76 kg. In 2019 he finished runner-up at the European Games and the European Championships and placed tenth at the Grand Prix of Hungary.


In a surprising move, 2019 Asian Champion and 2017 World bronze medalist Hossein Ahmad Nouri will not represent Iran. Instead, they will send Ramin Taherisartang. A 2011 Cadet World champion at 54 kg and two-time Junior World medalist, placing second at 60 kg in 2012 and third at 66 kg in 2013, this will be Taherosartang’s first Senior World Championships. He is a three-time Senior Asian champion, winning in 2015 at 71 kg and at 80 kg in 2016 and 2017. This year, he won the Tbilisi Tournament in Georgia, placed third at the Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Tournament in Turkey and fifth at the Takhti Cup in Iran.


Joe Rau will represent the U.S. at the World Championships for the second time in his career. He placed 23rd at 85 kg in 2014. He also placed 10th at the 2014 University Championships. This year, Rau won the U.S. Open and swept his Final X series two matches to none. He also placed third at the Dave Schultz Memorial International and fifth at the Pan-American Games.




2018 World Championships

87 kg/191 lbs. – Gold – Metehan Basar (Turkey); Silver – Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine); Bronze – Roberti Kobliashvili (Georgia); Bronze – Artur Shahinyan (Armenia); 5th - Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Bekhan Ozdoev (Russia); 7th – Radzik Kuliyeu (Belarus); 8th – Adem Boudjemline (Alegeria); 9th – Hossein Ahmad Nouri (Iran); 10th -


2017 World Championships

85 kg/187.5 lbs. - Gold - Metehan Basar (Turkey); Silver - Denis Kudla (Germany); Bronze - Hossein Ahmad Nouri (Iran) ; Bronze - Roberti Kobliashvili (Georgia); 5th - Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan), 4-0; 5th - Davit Chakvetadze (Russia); 7th - Daniel Hechevarria (Cuba); 8th - Viktor Lorincz (Hungary); 9th - Nikolay Bayryakov (Bulgaria) ; 10th - Azamat Kustabayev (Kazakhstan)


2016 Olympic Games

85 kg/187 lbs. – Gold – David Chakvetadze (Russia); Silver – Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine); Bronze – Javid Gamzatov (Belarus); Bronze – Denis Kudla (Germany); Fifth – Nikolay Bayryakov (Bulgaria); Fifth – Viktor Lorincz (Hungary); Seventh – Habibollah Akhlaghi (Iran); Eighth – Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan); Ninth – Roberti Kobliashvili (Georgia); Tenth – Amer Hrustanovic (Austria)


2015 World Championships

85 kg/187 lbs. – Gold – Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine); Silver – Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan); Bronze – Habibollah Akhlaghi (Iran); Bronze – Saman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan); 5th – Rami Hietaniemi (Finland); 5th – Viktor Loerincz (Hungary); 7th – Damian Janikowski (Poland); 8th – Nenad Zugaj (Croatia); 9th – Ramsin Azizsir (Germany); 10th – David Chakvetadze (Russia)


2014 World Championships

85 kg/187 lbs. – Gold – Melonin Noumonvi (France); Silver – Saman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Viktor Loerincz (Hungary); Bronze – Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine); 5th – Kristofer Johansson (Sweden); 5th – Ramsin Azizsir (Germany); 7th – Javid Gamzatov (Belarus); 8th – Masayuki Amano (Japan); 9th – Ahmed Ibrahim (Egypt); 10th – Vladimer Gegeshidze (Georgia)


2013 World Championships

84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold - Taleb Nematpour (Iran); Silver - Saman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Javid Gamzatov (Belarus); Bronze - Viktor Loerincz (Hungary); 5th - Damian Janikowski (Poland); 5th - Rami Hietaniemi (Finland); 7th - Nenad Zugaj (Croatia); 8th - Maksim Manukyan (Armenia); 9th – Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan); 10th - Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan)


2012 Olympic Games

84 kg/185 lbs. – Gold - Alan Khugaev (Russia); Silver - Karam Gaber (Egypt); Bronze - Danjel Gajiyev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Damian Janikowski (Poland); 5th - Vladimer Gegeshidze (Georgia); 5th - Melonin Noumonvi (France); 7th - Pablo Shorey (Cuba); 8th - Vasil Rachyba (Ukraine); 9th - Chas Betts (USA); 10th - Amer Hrustanovic (Austria)


UWW Rankings Series standings (for seeding)

1 Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine)

2 Metehan Basar (Turkey)

3 Erik Szilvassy (Hungary)

4 Viktor Lorincz (Hungary)

5 Radzik Kuliyeu (Belarus)

6 Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan)

7 Hossein Ahmad Nouri (Iran)

8 Bachir Sid Azara (Algeria)

9 Dogan Goktas (Turkey)

10 Mikalai Stadub (Belarus)