2018 World silver medalist Adam Coon going for a body lock. Photo by Larry Slater.
Dates of competition: Monday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 17
Russia’s Sergey Semenov is back to defend his 2018 World Title. Last year was Semenov’s first Senior World Championship, but he has extensive age-group experience. Semenov is a 2017 U23 World champion and has Junior World titles at 120 kg from 2013 and 2014 and a Junior World silver from 2015. This year, Semenov took bronze at the European Championships and the European Games.
The United States will send Adam Coon for the second-straight year. At his first Senior World Championships, Coon pinned his way to the finals and took home a silver medals. In 2019, Coon won the Pan American Championships, placed eighth at the Pan Am Games and earned the World Team spot in two-straight matches at Final X: Lincoln. Coon is a 2014 Junior World bronze medalist at 120 kg in both men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. He also is a 2011 men’s freestyle Cadet World champion at 100 kg.
The most intriguing aspect of this weight class is which wrestler Cuba will send to the World Championships. They have two listed on their roster, last year’s bronze medalist Oscar Pino Hinds and all-time wrestling legend Mijain Lopez Nunez. While Pino Hinds is no slouch (he also owns a bronze medal from the 2017 World Championships), Lopez Nunez is one of the most dominant wrestlers of the 21st century. The 37 year-old took gold at the past three Olympic Games and has five World Championship titles and three World silver medals. Lopez Nunez has only competed twice since his 2016 Olympic gold, winning the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games and the 2019 Pan American Games.
While it seems that Lopez Nunez will definitely compete in the 2020 Olympics, Pino Hinds might still be the representative for the 2019 World Championships. Pino Hinds won the Takhti Cup in Iran and the Cerro Pelado International in Cuba. He also placed second at the Pan American Games and third at the Pan American Championships competing in freestyle. It seems like Cuba’s plan is to try to transition Hinds to make a run in freestyle for the 2020 Olympics.
A monster lurking in the bracket is Riza Kayaalp of Turkey. Kayaalp is a three-time Senior World Champion, taking gold in 2011, 2015 and 2017. He is a two-time Olympic medalist, taking silver in 2016 and bronze in 2012. Additionally, he has a slew of Senior World medals including silvers in 2013 and 2014 and bronzes in 2009 and 2010. Kayaalp also won Junior World titles in 2008 and 2009 and finished as a runner-up in 2007.
Kayaalp had an uncharacteristic 15th-place finish at last year’s World Championships, but he should be expected to contend for a gold medal. This year he won the European Championships.
Another veteran competitor who should contend for a medal is 2018 fifth-place finisher Heiki Nabi of Estonia. Nabi is a two-time World champion, bringing home titles in 2006 at 96 kg and 2013 at 120 kg. Additionally, he is a 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist, a 2017 World silver medalist, and a 2014 World bronze medalist. Nabi owns two University World bronze medals from 2015 and 2016 at 96 kg. In 2019, Nabi has won the Grand Prix of Hungary, placed fifth at the European Championships and eighth at the Grand Prix of Germany.
Min-Seok Kim, the other 2018 bronze medalist, will be South Korea’s representative again this year. Last year was Kim’s first Senior World medal. He also took bronze at the 2013 Junior World Championships. Kim has had an up-and-down 2019, placing third at the Oleg Karavaev in Belarus and the City of Sassari Tournament in Italy, fifth at the Asian Championships, 14th at the Grand Prix of Zagreb in Croatia and 20th at the Grand Prix of Hungary.
2019 Asian champion, Amir Mohammadali Ghasemi Monjazi of Iran will be competing in his first Senior World Championships. Ghasemi Monjazi is a two-time World University Championships medalist, taking silver in 2010 and bronze in 2016. This year, he won the Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Tournament in Turkey and placed third at the Takhti Cup.
Another wrestler to watch is Yasmani Acosta Fernandez, a former Cuban now wrestling for Chile. Acosta Fernandez finished eighth last year, and brought home a bronze medal in 2017. This year he won the Henri Deglane Challenge in France, finished third at the Pan American Games and the Grand Prix of Zagreb, eighth at the Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria and 15th at the Grand Prix of Hungary.
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2018 World Championships
130 kg/286 lbs. – Gold – Sergey Semenov (Russia); Silver – Adam Coon (United States); Bronze – Oscar Pino Hinds (Cuba); Bronze - Minseok Kim (South Korea); 5th – Heiki Nabi (Estonia); 5th – Eduard Popp (Germany); 7th - Lingzhe Meng (China); 8th - Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile); 9th - Oleksandr Chernetskyy (Ukraine); 10th - Oskar Marvik (Norway)
2017 World Championships
130 kg/286 lbs. - Gold – Riza Kayaalp (Turkey); Silver - Heiki Nabi (Estonia); Bronze – Oscar Pino Hinds (Cuba); Bronze – Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile); 5th - Kiril Grishchenko (Belarus); 5th - Nikolai Kuchmiy (Ukraine); 7th - Levan Arabuli (Georgia); 8th - Shahab Morteza Ghourehjili (Iran); 9th - Eduard Popp (Germany); 10th - Robby Smith (USA)
2016 Olympic Games
130 kg/286 lbs. – Gold – Mijain Lopez Nunez (Cuba); Silver – Riza Kayaalp (Turkey); Bronze – Sabah Shariati (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Sergey Semenov (Russia); Fifth – Eduard Popp (Germany); Fifth – Heiki Nabi (Estonia); Seventh – Iakobi Kajaia (Geogia); Eighth – Jahan Euren (Sweden); Ninth – Oleksandr Chernetskyy (Ukraine); Tenth – Bashir Babajanzadeh Darzi (Iran)
2015 World Championships
130 kg/286 lbs. – Gold – Riza Kayaalp (Turkey); Silver – Mijain Lopez (Cuba); Bronze – Oleksandr Chernetski (Ukraine); Bronze – Bilyal Makhov (Russia); 5th – Sabahi Shariati (Azerbaijan); 5th – Robby Smith (United States); 7th – Murat Ramonov (Kyrgyzstan); 8th – Heiki Nabi (Estonia); 9th – Erwin Caraballo Cabrera (Venezuela); 10th – Yongmin Kim (Korea)
2014 World Championships
130 kg/286 lbs. – Gold – Mijian Lopez (Cuba); Silver – Riza Kayaalp (Turkey); Bronze – Bilyal Makhov (Russia); Bronze – Heiki Nabi (Estonia); 5th – Eduard Popp (Germany); 5th – Lyubomir Dimitrov (Bulgaria); 7th – Johan Euren (Sweden); 8th – Behram Mehdizadeh (Iran); 9th – Nurmakhan Tinaliyev (Kazakhstan); 10th – Iakovi Kajaia (Georgia)
2013 World Championships
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Gold - Heiki Nabi (Estonia); Silver - Riza Kayaalp (Turkey); Bronze – Nurmakhan Tinalyev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Johan Euren (Sweden); 5th - Mihaly Deak-Bardos (Hungary); 5th - Robby Smith (USA); 7th - Eduard Popp (Germany); 8th - Radhouane Chebbi (Tunisia); 9th – Ramon Garcia (Dominican Republic); 10th - Sergei Andrusik (Russia)
2012 Olympic Games
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Gold - Mijian Lopez (Cuba); Silver - Heiki Nabi (Estonia); Bronze - Riza Kayaalp (Turkey); Bronze - Johan Euren (Sweden); 5th - Guram Pherselidze (Georgia); 5th - Iosif Chugoshvili (Belarus); 7th - Darzi Babanjanzadeh (Iran); 8th - Yuri Patrikeev (Armenia); 9th - Dremiel Byers (USA); 10th - Lukasz Banak (Poland)
Current UWW Ranking Series standings (for seeding)
1 Sergey Semenov (Russia)
2 Adam Coon (United States)
3 Minseok Kim (South Korea)
4 Heiki Nabi (Estonia)
5 Osman Yildirim (Turkey)
6 Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed (Egypt)
7 Muminjon Abeullaev (Uzbekistan)
8 Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile)
9 Oskar Marvik (Norway)
10 Alin Alexuc Ciurariu (Romania)