European Nations Own Nine of Ten Top Spots in Greco-Roman
Monday, May 13, 2019 - 14:18 By Eric Olanowski
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (May 1) – United World Wrestling has released their latest point-based Greco-Roman world rankings, and European nations own nine of the ten top spots heading into the final pair of Ranking Series events before the Nur-Sultan World Championships.
Even more impressive, the Russian Federation owns five of Europe’s nine top spots. The five No. 1-ranked Russian wrestlers are Sergey EMELIN (60kg), Stepan MARYANYAN (63kg), Artem SURKOV (67kg), Musa EVLOEV (97kg), and Sergey SEMENOV (130kg).
In addition to the Russian-five, Azerbaijan’s Eldaniz AZIZLI (55kg), Germany’s Frank STAEBLER (72kg), Turkey’s Emrah KUS (82kg), and Ukraine’s Zhan BELENIUK (87kg) also hold the top spot int their respective weight classes.
The lone non-European top-ranked wrestler is Korea’s Olympic champion Hyeonwoo KIM who is ranked No. 1 at 77kg.
Azizli Lock up Top-Two Seed at 55kg
Azerbaijan’s reigning world champion Eldaniz Azizli (76 points) fell in the semifinals of the European Championships but held onto the No. 1 ranking after collecting 16 Ranking Series points with his 8-0 win over Turkey’s Serif KILIC in the bronze-medal bout in Bucharest.
Azizli, who has 76 points, has locked up a top-two seed at the World Championships.
The only wrestler that has a chance to pass Azizli for the top spot at 55kg is Uzbekistan’s Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (46 points). If the Asian champion wins the final two Ranking Series events (in brackets with 20+ entries) and Azizli sits out, Bakhromov will have a six-point advantage over the Azeri with 82 points.
Kyrgyzstan's 2018 world runner-up Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV sits in third with 40 points. Sharshenbekov will receive 36 points if he were to win the final two Ranking Series events, tieing him with Azizli, but the Azeri would hold the first criteria - which is the highest placement at the World Championships, where Azizli defeated Sharshenbekov to win the gold medal last October.
Turkey’s Budapest bronze medalist Ekrem OZTURK is the fourth-ranked wrestler with 37 points.
55kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) vs. No. 4 Ekrem OZTURK (TUR)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) vs. No. 3 Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ)
Emelin Remains No. 1 at 60kg Despite Falling in European Finals
Russia's Sergey Eemlin, the reigning 60kg world champion, holds the top-seed despite falling in the European finals. Emelin, with his 78 points, has an 18 and 36 point advantage over No. 2 Victor CIOBANU (MDA) and No. 3 Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO), respectively, and has locked up at least a top-two seed.
The second-ranked wrestler, Ciobanu, avenged his loss from the world finals by dethroning Emelin at the European Championships and became Moldova’s first-ever European champion. The Moldovan will overthrow the Russian for the top seed if he makes it on the podium at the final two Ranking Series events.
The third-ranked wrestler at 60kg is Croatia’s Ivan Lizatovic. The Croatian currently has 42 points and will be tied with Emelin for the No. 1 seed if he wins out in brackets with 20+ wrestlers, but the Russian holds the criteria because of his world-title performance in Budapest.
China’s WALIHAN Sailike sits in the fourth slot with 39 points after his world bronze-medal finish that was worth 25 points and a fifth-place finish at the Asian Championships that was worth 14 points.
60kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Sergey EMELIN (RUS) vs. No. 4 WALIHAN Sailike (CHN)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Victor CIOBANU (MDA) vs. No. 3 Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO)
Maryanyan Follows up 63kg World Gold With European Title
The second straight top-ranked Russian comes at 63kg where reigning world and European champion Stepan Maryanyan sits atop of the world rankings.
Maryanyan, who has 80 points, is coming off a continental title-winning performance after bulldozing the competition in Budapest to reach the top of the European Championship podium for the first time in his career. Because Maryanyan has a 52 point lead over the fourth-ranked wrestler, he could sit out of the final two Ranking Series events and still earn a top-three seed in Nur-Sultan.
The second-ranked wrestler at 63kg is world and Asian runner-up Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB). Tasmuradov, who has 56 points after the Asian Championships, had to pull out of the Asian finals in Xi’an, China, after suffering a lower-body injury.
TUO Erbatu (CHN) and Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM) round out the top-four respectively at 63kg.
Tuo, the Asian champion and world fifth-place finisher is ranked third with 50 points, and European fifth-place finisher Slavik Galstyan is ranked fourth with 28 points.
63kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) vs. No. 4 Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) vs. No. 3 TUO Erbatu (CHN)
Surkov the Third Russian No.1-Ranked Wrestler
Artem Surkov, the third top-ranked Russian sits atop the 67kg rankings with 78 Ranking Series points. Surkov, the reigning world champion at 67kg, fell to eventual champion Atakan YUKSEL (TUR) in the European finals and fought back to win the bronze medal - which was worth 18 Ranking Series points. This gives the Russian a 38 point lead over fourth-ranked Davor STEFANEK (SRB), meaning Surkov has locked up at least a third seed heading into Nur-Sultan.
World bronze medalists Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) and Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) leaped over Budapest world runner-up Davor Stefanek and owns the second and third spots respectively.
Entering the European Championships, Gevorg Sahakyan had 25 points and earned 20 points by making it to the finals. Though he fell to Turkey’s Atakan Yuksel, Sahakyan was able to leap to the second spot with his 45 points.
The third-ranked wrestler Meiirzhan Shermakhanbet also fell in the continental finals but still jumped Stefanek. Shermakhanbet dropped his Asian finals bout to Korea’s Hansu RYU and was awarded 18 points, catapulting him to the third spot with 43 points.
Davor Stefanek is ranked fourth at 67kg but hasn’t competed this season.
67kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Artem SURKOV (RUS) vs. No. 4 Davor STEFANEK (SRB)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) vs. No. 3 Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ)
Staebler Ranked First at 72kg But Moving Down to 67kg
Germany’s three-time world champion Frank Staebler (60 points) holds the top-ranking at 72kg but will forfeit his top seed at the World Championships to European bronze medalist Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) (55 points) because of his decision to move down to the Olympic weight of 67kg.
With Mnatsakanian moving up to the one seed, that’ll also bump up Balint KORPASI (HUN) (40 points), Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) (40 points), and Tarek BENAISSA (ALG) (38 points) to the second through fourth spots respectively.
72kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Frank STAEBLER (GER) vs. No. 4 Abuiazid MANTSIGOV
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Aik MNATSAKANIAN vs. No. 3 Balint KORPASI
Kim Wins Asian Title, Skyrockets to Top Spot at 77kg
Korea’s Olympic champion KIM Hyeonwoo has been one of the most active and consistent wrestlers in the world since his bronze-medal finish at the World Championships. Kim has wrestled in the first two Ranking Series events and the Continental Championships. The Korean wrestler won the Asian Championships, and finished with bronze medals at the Zagreb Open and the Hungarian Grand Prix, giving him the No.1 ranking with 71 Ranking Series points.
Serbia’s world and European bronze medalist Viktor NEMES won the first Greco-Roman Ranking Series event, the Zagreb Open and gained the one-point advantage in the latest rankings over reigning world champion Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (60 points) with his 61 points.
Budapest world bronze medalist Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) slid down to the fourth spot with his 40 points.
77kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) vs. No. 4 Tamas LORINCZ (HUN)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Viktor NEMES (SRB) vs. No. 3 Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (RUS)
Bacsi Reties, Kus Moves into Top Spot at 82kg
Turkey’s world runner-up Emrah KUS, with help from his bronze-medal finish at the European Championships, overthrew Hungary’s reigning world champion Peter BACSI for the No.1 ranking at 82kg.
But, since Bacsi’s won his world title on home soil in Budapest, the Hungarian has retired. With Bacsi going out on a high note, this leaves the second spot open, moving up the third through fifth-ranked wrestlers.
Come Nur-Sultan, Kus will remain in the first spot, but Saeid ABDVALI (IRI) (38 points), Viktar SASUNOUSKI (BLR) (37 points), and Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) (34 points) each receive a bump from Bacsi’s retirement and will be the second through fourth-ranked wrestlers respectively at 82kg.
82kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Emrah KUS (TUR) vs. No. 4 Viktar SASUNOUSKI (BLR)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Peter BACSI (HUN) vs. No. 3 Saeid ABDVALI (IRI)
Beleniuk Bumps out Basar for First Ranking at 87kg
After two-time reigning world champion Metehan BASAR fell to a twelfth-place finish at the European championships and failed to collect any Ranking Series points, Ukraine’s world runner-up Zhan BELENIUK jumped over the Turkish wrestler for the No. 1 spot at 87kg with his European-title performance in Bucharest.
Hungary’s U23 world champion Erik SZILVASSY finished in third place at the European championships and is ranked No. 3 in the world with 44 points. But, Hungary has a difficult decision to make heading into the World Championships because fifth-ranked Viktor LORINCZ has a pair of wins over Szilvassy and has won the first two Ranking Series events.
Azerbaijan’s European runner-up Islam ABBASOV finds himself sandwiched between both of the Hungarian wrestlers in the fourth spot. Abbasov would benefit from Lorincz getting the starting spot, as he’ll move up to the third seed, with Lorincz coming into the fourth seed.
87kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) vs. No. 4 Islam ABBASOV (AZE)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Metehan BASAR (TUR) vs. No. 3 Erik SZILVASSY (HUN)
Evloev Remains No. 1 at 97kg After Adding European Title to Resume
Russia’s Musa Evloev kept his top-ranking after adding a European title to his resume with a win over Kiril MILOV in the European finals. Evloev has come out on the winning end of the world and European gold-medal bouts against Milov and owns the eight-point lead over the Bulgarian wrestler. Evloev has 82 points and Milov has 74 points heading into the final pair of Ranking Series events.
America’s Tracy HANCOCK and Iran’s Mahdi ALIYARIFEIZABADI are ranked third and fourth respectively.
Hancock, the Pan-American runner-up, has a pair of Ranking Series medals on his resume from this year and has 48 points. The American won the Hungarian Grand Prix and finished with a bronze medal at the Zagreb Open and owns a nine-point lead over fourth-ranked Mahdi Aliyarifeizabadi.
Aliyarifeizabadi, the world and Asian bronze medal finisher, has 39 points heading into the final pair of Ranking Series events.
97kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Musa EVLOEV (RUS) vs. No. 4 Mahdi ALIYARIFEIZABADI (IRI)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Kiril MILOV (BUL) vs. No. 3 Tracy HANCOCK (USA)
Semenov Sits Atop of Rankings At 130kg
Russia’s reigning world champion Sergey SEMENOV fell in the European semifinals to Georgia’s Iakobi KAJAIA and battled back for a bronze medal – but holds the top ranking with 76 points after the conclusion of the Continental Championships.
Semenov has a 39 point lead over Korea’s fourth-seeded KIM Minseok (37 points) and has locked up at least a top-four seed in Nur-Sultan.
The second-ranked wrestler at 130kg is American Adam COON, who added to his 40-point world silver medal with a Pan-American gold medal. Coon sits 16 points behind Semenov with 60 points.
Estonia’ Heiki NABI and Korea’s Kim Minseok round of the top four of the 130kg ranking with 52 and 37 points respectively.
130kg Potential Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) vs. No. 4 Minseok KIM (KOR)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Adam COON (USA) vs. No. 3 Heiki NABI (EST)