Jimmy Kennedy won the U.S. Open and Phase II World Team Trials this year. USAW file photo.
Date of competition: Tuesday, Sept. 9
Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliev looks like the favorite to win the World freestyle title at the new weight class of 61 kg/134 lbs.
Aliev is coming off a superb showing in the Golden Grand Prix in his home country. Aliev rolled past 2013 World silver medalist Vladimir Dubov of Bulgaria 10-0 in the Grand Prix finals.
Aliev beat 2013 World champion Bekhan Goygereev of Russia 12-5 in the European Championships final in April. Aliev is ranked No. 1 in the World by international governing body FILA.
The World Championships are set for Sept. 8-14 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Iran’s Masoud Esmailpoorjouybari, a returning World bronze medalist, is ranked No. 2 in the World this year. He won the Asian Championships and looked very strong in the World Cup.
Russian Nationals champion Alexander Bogomoev has climbed to No. 4 in the World rankings. He won a tough class at that event that included third-place finisher Goygereev.
Mongolia’s Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan, fifth in the World last year, is another top competitor in this division.
Canada’s David Tremblay opened some eyes by earning a 13-2 technical fall over World bronze medalist Bajrang Bajrang of India in the finals of the Commonwealth Games.
American Jimmy Kennedy has wrestled very well internationally and he has a chance to do very well at his first World Championships.
Kennedy won the Yasar Dogu International in Turkey and has placed in a number of overseas events the past two years. He also turned in a strong performance at the 2014 World Cup.
Kennedy is an athletic wrestler who is a very skilled and slick on his feet. He beat 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott to make the American team.
FILA WORLD RANKINGS
61 kg/134 lbs. – 1. Haji Aliev (Azerbaijan); 2. Masoud Esmailpoorjouybari (Iran); 3. Murshid Murtalimov (Russia); 4. Alexander Bogomoev (Russia); 5. Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria); 6. Vasyl Shuptar (Ukraine); 7. Daulet Niyazbekov (Kazakhstan); 8. Behnam Ehsanpour (Iran); 9. Krzysztof Bienkowski (Poland); 10. Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia); 11. Bekhan Goygereev (Russia); 12. David Tremblay (Canada); 13. Bajrang Bajrang (India); 14. Andrei Perpelita (Moldova); 15. Jimmy Kennedy (USA); 16. Tuvshintulga (Mongolia); 17. B.J. Futrell (USA); 18. Bazar Bazarguruev (Kyrgyzstan); 19. Vasyl Fedoryshin (Ukraine); 20. Noriyuki Takatsuka (Japan).
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2013 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Bekhan Goigereev (Russia); Silver – Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria); Bronze – Bajrang Bajrang (India); Bronze – Masoud Esmailpoorjouybari (Iran); 5th – Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia); 5th – Artur Arakelyan (Armenia); 7th – Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico); 8th – Reece Humphrey (USA); 9th – Ivan Guidea (Romania); 10th – Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia)
2012 Olympic Games
60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan); Silver – Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Bronze – Coleman Scott (USA); Bronze – Yogeshwar Dutt (India); 5th – Kenichi Yumoto (Japan); 5th – Ri Jong Myong (North Korea); 7th – Masoud Esmailpourjouybari (Iran); 8th – Hassan Ibrahim Madani (Egypt); 9th – Malkhaz Zarkua (Georgia); 10th – Tim Schleicher (Germany)
2011 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Silver – Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico); Bronze – Kenichi Yumoto (Japan); Bronze – Dauren Zhumagazyyev (Kazakhstan); 5th – Didier Pais (France); 5th – Malkhaz Zarkua (Georgia); 7th – Alejandro Valdez Tobier (Cuba); 8th – Zalimkhan Huseynov (Azerbaijan); 9th – Reece Humphrey (USA); 10th – Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus)
2010 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold - Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Silver – Vasyl Fedoryshin (Ukraine); Bronze – Sayed Morad Mohammadi (Iran); Bronze – Zalimhkan Huseynov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Ulan Nadyrbek Uulu (Mongolia); 5th – Ersin Cetin (Turkey); 7th – Alejandro Valdes (Cuba); 8th – Seung-Chul Lee (Korea); 9th – Malkhaz Kurdiani (Georgia); 10th – Artur Arakelyan (Armenia)
2009 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Silver – Zalimkhan Huseynov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); Bronze – Vasyl Fedoryshin (Ukraine); 5th – Shogo Maeda (Japan); 5th – Sayed Mohammadi (Iran); 7th – Artur Arakelyan (Armenia); 8th – Maikel Perez Gonzales (Cuba); 9th – Bazar Bazarguruev (Kyrgyzstan); 10th – Anatolie Guidea (Bulgaria)