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World Championships preview in freestyle wrestling at 65 kg

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Aug. 20, 2014, 11:39 a.m. (ET)

VIDEO: Brent Metcalf vs. Meysam Nasiri (Iran) at 2014 World Cup

American Brent Metcalf will compete in his third World Championships this year. USAW file photo.

Date of competition:
Tuesday, Sept. 9

The new freestyle weight class of 65 kg/143 lbs. appears to be fairly wide open with a number of top wrestlers vying for the gold medal.

Armenia’s David Safaryan won the 2013 World title at the old weight class of 66 kg/145.5 lbs. He is ranked No. 4 in the World this year.

The World Championships are set for Sept. 8-14 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

2012 Olympic bronze medalist Yogeshwar Dutt of India is a top contender for the title. He’s won a pair of international events this year. Dutt is ranked No. 3 in the World.

Explosive Cuban Livan Lopez is another dangerous wrestler. He was second in the World in 2013. Mongolia’s Mandakhnaran Ganzorig is a returning bronze medalist. Iran's Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi is another wrestler to watch. Mohammadi won the Asian Championships this year. He is ranked ninth.

Past World silver medalist Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico is ranked fifth, two spots ahead of Bulgaria’s Boris Novachkov. Gomez was an NCAA champion for Michigan State and trains with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club at Penn State. Novachkov wrestled for Cal Poly and placed third at the 2014 European Championships.

Canada’s Haislan Garcia, eighth in the World last year, is another wrestler to watch. Garcia has trained frequently at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

The U.S. features a legitimate medal threat in Brent Metcalf, who won the Golden Grand Prix in Azerbaijan and went unbeaten at the World Cup.

Metcalf owns a win over World No. 1 Magomed Kurbanaliev of Russia at the Beat the Streets Dual in New York City this year.

Kurbanaliev was third in the World last year, but he finished just third at the 2014 Russian Nationals. Soslan Ramonov won the Russian Nationals this year.

Metcalf is on his third World Team. He looks much stronger now with rules changes in place that feature cumulative scoring which reward his aggressive, attacking style of wrestling.
 
Metcalf is ranked 11th in the World, but he’s a guy nobody wants to face. He’s going to make opponents wrestle hard for a full six minutes. He’s having the best season of his career.

FILA WORLD RANKINGS

65 kg/143 lbs. – 1. Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia); 2. Akhmed Chakaev (Russia); 3. Yogeshwar Dutt (India); 4. David Safaryan (Armenia); 5. Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico); 6. Servet Coskun (Turkey); 7. Boris Novachkov (Bulgaria); 8. Konstantin Khabalashvili (Georgia); 9. Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi (Iran); 10. Frank Chamizo Marquez (Italy); 11. Brent Metcalf (USA): 12. Magomed Muslimov (Azerbaijan); 13. Haislan Garcia (Canada); 14. Daichi Takatani (Japan); 15. Madakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia); 16. George Bucur (Romania); 17. Batchuluun Batmagnai (Mongolia); 18. Andrey Kviatkovski (Urkaine); 19. Mustafa Kaya (Turkey); 20. Jin-Hyeok Kang (North Korea)

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2013 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – David Safaryan (Armenia); Silver – Livan Lopez (Cuba); Bronze – Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia); Bronze – Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia); 5th – Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia); 5th – Jin Hyok Kang (Korea); 7th – Saba Bolaghi (Germany); 8th – Haislan Garcia (Canada); 9th – Takahiro Inoue (Japan); 10th – Alexandr Kontoyev (Belarus)

2012 Olympic Games
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan); Silver – Sushil Kumar (India); Bronze – Akhzurek Tantarov (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Livan Lopez (Cuba); 5th – Ramazan Sahin (Turkey); 5th – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); 7th – Haislan Garcia (Canada); 8th – David Safaryan (Armenia); 9th – Ikhtiyor Nazruzov (Uzbekistan); 10th – Ali Shabanov (Belarus)

2011 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran); Silver – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan); Bronze – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba); 5th – Leonid Bazin (Bulgaria); 5th – Adam Batirov (Russia); 7th – Innokenti Innokentev (Kyrgyzstan); 8th – Jakub Kacenak (Slovakia); 9th – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine); 10th – Vladimir Gotisan (Moldova)

2010 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Sushil Kumar (India); Silver – Alan Gogaev (Russia); Bronze – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Geandry Garzon (Cuba); 5th – Batzorig Buyanjav (Mongolia); 5th – Haislan Garcia (Canada); 7th – Heinrich Barnes (South Africa); 8th – Martin Daum (Germany); 9th – Yuri Poliak (Israel); 10th – Akzhurek Tantarov (Kazakhstan)

2009 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran); Silver – Rasul Djukaev (Russia); Bronze – Leonid Spiridonov (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan); 5th – Muhammed Ilkhan (Turkey); 5th – Sushil Kumar (India); 7th – Jabrayli Hasanov (Azerbaijan); 8th – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine); 9th – Chung Song Yang (North Korea); 10th – Purevjav Unurbat (Mongolia)