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World Championship preview in Greco-Roman wrestling at 59 kg/130 lbs.

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | Aug. 16, 2014, 12:39 p.m. (ET)

 Spenser Mango in the bronze medal match of the
2014 World Championships. Tony Rotundo Photo.
Video: 59 kg World Team Trials Finals, Spenser Mango (Army WCAP) vs. Sam Hazewinkel (Minnesota Storm)

Date of Competition: Sunday, September 14

In 2014 FILA, wrestling’s international governing body, shook things up by changing the weight categories that will be contested at this year’s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

One of the more widely publicized critiques of the new weight categories is the four-kilogram increase in the lowest weight class of the Greco-Roman division from 55 kg/121 lbs. to 59 kg/130 lbs.

This means a couple things for athletes, coaches and wrestling fans around the globe. Essentially, the bottom two weight classes from last year have now become one, meaning reaching the pinnacle of World gold will be as tough as ever. For the fans, hold on to your seats, because 59 kg/130 lbs. will be one of the toughest and most exciting tournaments to date in World Championship competition.

Four World Champions will headline this astoundingly deep weight class in Tashkent.

After taking the post-Olympic year off, Iranian hammer Hamid Soryan is back in action. Soryan has accumulated five gold medals at the World Championships with his first coming back in 2005. Throw in an Olympic gold medal in 2012 to top off his impressive resume.

Since returning to competition in 2014 Soryan has won gold at both the Golden Grand Prix and World Cup and is the favorite to take it all in Tashkent.

2013 World Champion at 60 kg/132 lbs., Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria, will be a force in this weight class. Angelov won the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup last month over Russian Ivan Kuylakov in a rematch of the World finals from one year ago, proving he is again in top form in 2014. He also boasts a bronze medal from the 2011 World Championships held in Istanbul.

Another highly credentialed athlete returning to the World stage after taking the post-Olympic year off is Rovshan Bayramov of Azerbaijan. Bayramov will be in search of his second World Championship in Tashkent, after winning it all at 55 kg/121 lbs. in 2011.

Bayramov won his first World medal in 2006, earning silver. Since then, he has accumulated two Olympic silver medals, the first in 2008 and followed by silver in 2012, a World bronze medal in 2009 and the aforementioned World title in 2011.

World Champion number four to enter the fold at 59 kg/130 lbs. is Won-Chol Yun of North Korea. Yun won an all-Korean battle in the finals of the 2013 World Championships, defeating Gyujin Choi of Korea 4-3 for gold at 55 kg/121 lbs.

Russian Mingiyan Semenov is another to watch out for as a gold medal threat in Tashkent. In 2012 Semenov won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London. He beat out 2013 World Silver medalist Ivan Kuylakov and 2013 University World Champion and fifth place finisher at last year’s Worlds Ivan Tatarinov to make the starting squad for Russia.

Three-Time World medalist and Olympic bronze medalist Roman Amoyan of Armenia will be in the discussion after earning a bronze medal in 2013. Amoyan defeated U.S. star Spenser Mango 5-4 in the bronze medal match last year.

Hungarian Peter Modos has won back-to-back bronze medals, making the podium at the Olympic Games in 2012 and the World Championships last year. He will be tough competition for all in the field.

For the seventh consecutive year Spenser Mango will don the stars and stripes at the lowest Greco-Roman weight class in World or Olympic competition.

Mango is coming off of his best World Championship performance to date, finishing fifth in Budapest, Hungary in 2013.

Since then, Mango has been an animal in domestic competition winning the U.S. Open over Two-Time World Team member Joe Betterman and the World Team Trials over 2012 Olympian in freestyle Sam Hazewinkel.

Mango finished with a bronze medal at the Pan American Championships last month in Mexico City, Mexico.

In order for Mango to reach the ultimate goal of a World Championship he will have to navigate, without a doubt, his stiffest bracket yet at the Worlds.

1. Hamid SORYAN (IRI)
3. Aleksandar KOSTADINOV (BUL)
5. Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS)
6. Roman AMOYAN (ARM)
9. Rahman BILICI (TUR)
10. Kristijan FRIS (SRB)
11. Stig Andre BERGE (NOR)
12. Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE)
13. Saman ABDVALI (IRI)
14. Kamran MAMMADOV (AZE)
15. Shinobu OTA (JPN)
16. Karen ASLANYAN (ARM)
18. Victor CIOBANU (MDA)
19. Soslan DAUROV (BLR)
20. YUN Won-Chol (PRK)


2013 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold - Won Chol Yun (North Korea); Silver - Gyujin Choi (Korea); Bronze - Bronze – Peter Modos (Hungary); Bronze - Bronze – Roman Amoyan (Armenia); 5th - Ivan Tatarinov (Russia); 5th - 5th – Spenser Mango (USA); 7th - Kanbek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan); 8th - Orkhan Ahmadov (Azerbaijan); 9th – Nursultan Kalmurzayev (Kazakhstan); 10th - 10th – Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

2012 Olympic Games
55kg/121 lbs. – Gold - Hamid Soryan (Iran); Silver - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Peter Modos (Hungary); Bronze - Mingyan Semenov (Russia); 5th - Hakan Nyblom (Denmark); 5th - Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea); 7th - Shujin Li (China); 8th - Gustavo Balart (Cuba); 9th - Spenser Mango (USA); 10th - Kohei Hasegawa (Japan)

2011 World Championships
55kg/121 lbs. – Gold - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); Silver - Elbek Tazhyiev (Belarus); Bronze - Shujin Li (China); Bronze - Bekkhan Mankiev (Russia); 5th - Péter Modos (Hungary); 5th - Won Chol Yun (North Korea); 7th - Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea); 8th - Kohei Hasegawa (Japan); 9th - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); 10th - Vyugar Ragymov (Ukraine)

2010 World Championships
55kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Hamid Sorian Reihanpour (Iran); Silver – Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea); Bronze – Roman Amoyan (Armenia); Bronze – Nazir Mankiev (Russia); 5th – Venelin Venkov (Bulgaria), 5th – Peter Modos (Hungary), 7th – Jani Haapamaeki (Finland); 8th – David Erestic (Poland), 9th – Elchin Aliev (Azerbaijan), 10th – Gustavo Balart Marin (Cuba).

2009 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. - Gold - Hamid Sorian Reihanpour (Iran); Silver - Roman Amoyan (Armenia); Bronze - Hakan Nyblom (Denmark); Bronze - Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Erhan Karakus (Turkey); 5th - Virgil Munteanu (Romania); 7th - Gyu-Jim Choi (Korea); 8th - Jani Haapamaki (Finland); 9th - Spenser Mango (USA); 10th - Vyugar Ragymov (Ukraine)


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)

2011 World Championships
60kg/132 lbs. – Gold - Omid Haji Noroozi (Iran); Silver - Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Zaur Kuramagomedov (Russia); Bronze - Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 5th - Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea); 5th - Luis Liendo (Venezuela); 7th - Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan); 8th - Vahan Juharyan (Armenia); 9th - Tonimir Sokol (Croatia); 10th - Manuel Lopez Salcero (Mexico)

2010 World Championships
60kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan); Silver – Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); Bronze – Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Ji-Huyn Jung (Korea); 5th – Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia); 5th – Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 7th – Ruslan Tyumenbaev (Kyrgyzstan); 8th – Lenur Temirov (Ukraine); 9th – Omid Noroozi (Iran); 10th – Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan)

2009 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. - Gold - Islam-Beka Albiev (Russia); Silver - Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan); Bronze - Nurbakyt Tengysbaev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Vitaliy Rahimov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Davor Stefanek (Serbia); 5th - Soner Sucu (Turkey); 7th - Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia); 8th - Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); 9th - Stig Andre Berge (Norway) ; 10th - Omid Noroozi (Iran)