2019 World Championships: Greco-Roman 60kg preview




photo courtesy of Richard Immel

Greco-Roman 60 kg

Competition days: Qualifiers-Semi-finals: Monday September 16; Finals: Tuesday, September 17

Seeds: #1 Sergey Emelin (Russia), #2 Seunghak Kim (South Korea), #3 Victor Ciobanu (Moldova), #4 Ivan Lizatovic (Croatia)

US Entry: Ildar Hafizov

After missing out on the 2018 World Team, Ildar Hafizov is on his second team in three years. In total, counting the time he spent in the Uzbekistan national team, Hafizov made his fifth appearance at the Senior World Championships, in addition to participating in the 2008 Olympics. After moving to the United States in 2016, Ildar joined the Army WCAP program and is one of the four team members of the 2019 team. Hafizov had to go through a tough road just to be part of the team as he lost to fellow teammate Leslie Fuenffinger, 6-4, in the US Open final. This required Ildar to go through the World Team Trials Challenge tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina a few weeks later, where he clinched a spot in Final X after defeating Randon Miranda 7-0, 6-1. Hafizov turned the tables on Fuenffinger in their Final X Lincoln rematch, winning the series in straight 7-5, 9-0. Ildar started his second round in 2019 with a title at the Dave Schultz Memorial, then grabbed an eighth-place finish at the Zagreb Grand Prix. Most recently, he represented the United States at the Pan American Games where he came away with a bronze medal. Hafizov has had a long and successful career on the Greco Tour, but lacks that elusive world material. With so many world medalists returning at this weight, if he were to break through and step onto the podium, it would be well deserved, as this group will not feature any easy draws.

Favorites:

Emelin – 2019 European Silver Medalist, 2019 Dan Kolov Champion, 2018 World Champion, 2018 European Champion, 2017 World U23 Silver Medalist, 2014 World Junior Bronze Medalist

Kim – 2019 Sassari City Champion, 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix Champion, 2017 World Bronze Medalist

Ciobanu – 2019 European Games bronze medalist, 2019 European champion, 2018 World silver medalist

Lizatovic – three-time European bronze medalist

NR Kenichiro Fumita (Japan) – 2019 Asian Bronze Medalist, 2018 U23 World Champion, 2017 World Champion, 2017 Asian Champion, 2011 Cadet World Bronze Medalist

NR Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan) – 2019 Asian silver medalist, 2018 world silver medalist, four-time Asian champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2014 world bronze medalist, 2013 world bronze medalist, 2011 world junior bronze medalist

Medal candidates:

NR Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan) – 2019 European bronze medalist, 2018 Ukrainian international champion

NR Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria) – 2017 European silver medalist, 2013 world champion, 2011 world bronze medalist, seven-time Dan Kolov champion

#5 Sailike Walihan (China) – 2019 Asian 5th Place, 2019 Dan Kolov Silver Medalist, 2018 World Bronze Medalist

NR Dato Chkhartishvili (Georgia) – 2019 European Games bronze medalist, double U23 European bronze medalist, 2018 European bronze medalist, 2016 world junior champion

NR Erik Torba (Hungary) – 2019 European Games Silver Medalist, 2019 Sassari City Silver Medalist, 2019 U23 European Bronze Medalist, 2015 World Junior Bronze Medalist, 2013 World Cadet Bronze Medalist

#12 Aidos Sultangali (Kazakhstan) – 2018 World Bronze Medalist, 2017 U23 World Bronze Medalist

NR Kanybek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan) – 2018 Asian Games silver medalist, 2017 world fifth, 2016 Asian champion, 2009 world junior bronze medalist, 2008 world junior champion

#6 Se Ung Ri (North Korea) – 2019 Asian Silver Medalist, 2018 World Fifth Place, 2018 Asian Silver Medalist, 2014 Youth Olympics Champion

NR Stig-Andre Berge (Norway) – 2019 European silver medalist, 2019 Thor Masters champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, three-time Olympian

#7 Kerem Kamal (Turkey) – 2019 European Bronze Medalist, 3-time World Junior Champion, 2018 U23 World Bronze Medalist, 2018 European U23 Champion

NR Lenur Temirov (Ukraine) – 2019 European Bronze Medalist, 2019 Thor Masters Silver Medalist, 2018 World Bronze Medalist, 2012 Olympian, 2010 World Junior Bronze Medalist

2018 medalists

Gold: Sergey Emelin (Russia)

Silver: Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

Bronze: Aidos Sultangali

Bronze: Sailike Walihan (China)

2019 Medal Predictions:

Gold: Sergey Emelin (Russia)

Silver: Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan)

Bronze: Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

Bronze: Kerem Kamal (Turkey)




Robert J. King