Ranking Series

Nine Reigning World Champs Remain No. 1 in Latest World Rankings

By Eric Olanowski

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (May 6) -- United World Wrestling has released the lastest women’s wrestling rankings after the conclusion of the Continental Championships, and nine gold medalists from last year’s Budapest World Championships sit atop of their respective weight classes. Asia has four top-ranked wrestlers, while Europe and Pan-American countries each have three. 

Japan has three of the four top-ranked Asian wrestlers. Their trio of No.1’s are Yui SUSAKI (JPN) (50kg), Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) (55kg), and Risako KAWAI (JPN) (59kg). The fourth Asian wrestler who owns a top ranking is China’s Ningning RONG (CHN)(57kg). 

Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) (62kg), Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) (65kg), and Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) (68kg) are the three European No.1-ranked wrestlers. 

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) (86 points), Justina DI STASIO (CAN) (72kg), and Adeline GRAY (USA) (76kg), who are all from Pan-American nations, round out the first-ranked wrestlers in this month’s rankings. 

Of the ten wrestlers sitting atop of the rankings, the lone non-returning world champion that owns a No.1-ranking is the United States’ Sarah Hildebrandt. She started the season with 40 points from her world silver medal, then earned 20 points for her Pan-American gold, 14 points for her Ivan Yariguin title, and 12 points for her third-place finish at the Dan Kolov. 

Susaki’s Spot in Jeopardy at 50kg 
Japan’s reigning two-time world champion Yui Susaki sits atop of the world ranking at 50kg with 60 points - but her starting spot for the Nur-Sultan World Championships is in jeopardy. Susaki was forced to pull out of December’s All-Japan Championships after dislocating her elbow at the national team training camp in November, resulting in her missing the Continental Championships. 

Japan’s 50kg replacement was Yuki IRIE. Irie went to the Asian Championships in Xi’an, China, and won the Asian title, earning her a No. 12-ranking with 20 points. 

For Susaki to regain her spot before September’s Nur-Sultan World Championships and defend her world title, she’d have to win the title at the All-Japan Invitational Championships, also known as the Meiji Cup, next spring, then defeat the winner of the Emperor’s Cup in a playoff.

Say Irie, or any Japanese wrestler at that, happens to stop Susaki from making the world team, Ukraine’s second-ranked Oksana LIVACH (45 points) will move up to the No. 1-seeded wrestler at the World Championships. Livach, the 2018 world bronze medalist, won the European title, capping off her continental title run with a 6-4 win over Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) and added 20 Ranking Series points to her previous total of 25 points. 

China’s world and Olympic bronze medalist SUN Yanan (43 points) fell short to Irie in the Asian finals, but still collected 18 points, which is good enough for the third ranking. Azerbaijan’s eight-time world and Olympic medalist Mariya STADNIK (40 points) rounds out the top-four at 50kg with 40 points. 

Belarus’ Kseniya STANKEVICH (34 points) will be the beneficiary of a Susaki fallout. Stankevich, who’s in the fifth slot, will move into a top-four seed in Nur-Sultan. 

Potential 50kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Yui SUSAKI (JPN) vs. No. 4 Mariya STADNIK (AZE)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Oksana LIVACH (UKR) vs. No. 3 Yanan SUN (CHN) 

Hildebrandt Lone No. 1 Non-Returning World Champion
The United States’ Sarah Hildebrandt (86 points) holds a 26 point advantage over Japan’s defending world champion Haruna OKUNO (60 points) and garners the No. 1-ranking at 53kg. 

Hildebrandt, whose world silver in Budapest was worth 40 points, finished on the podium at the first two Ranking Series events and the Continental Championships. The American earned 20 points for her Pan-American gold, 14 points for her Ivan Yariguin title, and 12 points for her third-place finish at the Dan Kolov. 

The second-ranked wrestler at 53kg is world champion Haruna Okuno. Okuno lost her starting spot, at least for the Continental Championships, to the reigning world champion up at 55kg, Mayu MUKAIDA. 

Budapest world bronze medalists PANG Qianyu (CHN) (55 points) and Canada’s Diana WEICKER (CAN) (41 points) are third and fourth-ranked wrestlers respectively in this month’s standings. If Mukaida holds onto Japan’s starting spot at 53kg and knocks out Okuno, Pang and Weicker would both move up one spot, bringing up Ecuador’s Luisa VALVERDE MELENDRES (36 points) into the fourth seed. 

Potential 53kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1  Sarah Ann HILDEBRANDT vs. No. 4 Diana WEICKER (CAN) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Haruna OKUNO (JPN) No. 3 PANG Qianyu (CHN) 

Sidakova to Move into Top Spot if Mukaida Stays Down 
Though she’s ranked No. 1 at 55kg, reigning world champion Mayu Mukaida has dropped down to 53kg, and will ultimately forfeit her top-ranking to Belarus’ world runner-up Zalina SIDAKOVA (60 points). 

Marina SEDNEVA (KAZ) and Myong Suk JONG (PRK) are the other two wrestlers ranked inside the top-four at 55kg. Sedneva, the third-ranked wrestler, has 28 points, which comes from an Asian Championships third-place finish and a Dan Kolov finals appearance.

Fourth-ranked Jong (25 points), the 55kg world bronze medalist, has also changed weights since the World Championships. Jong bumped up to 57kg at Asian Championships where she knocked off four-time Olympic champion Kaori ICHO (JPN) before falling in the finals, settling for the silver medal. 

With the departure of Mukaida, Jong, and three others in the top-eight wrestlers at this weight, Turkey’s European bronze-medal finisher Bediha GUN (22 points) and China’s XIE Mengyu (20 points), who are ranked sixth and ninth respectively, will move into a top-four seed in Nur-Sultan.

Potential 55kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) vs. No. 4 Myong Suk JONG (PRK) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR)  vs. No. 3 Marina SEDNEVA (KAZ) 

Rong One of Two Wrestlers with Nearly 100 Ranking Series Points 
China’s 2018 world champion Rong Ningning leads arguably the most loaded weight class in the world, 57kg. With her 96 points, Rong joins 62kg world champion Taybe Yusein with the most Ranking Series points in the world across all styles.  

Bulgaria’s European champion and world silver medalist Bilyana DUDOVA owns the second-ranking at 57kg with 62 points. Dudova, the European champion at 59kg, is the only wrestler at this weight that could catch Rong and take over that No. 1 spot. For her to do so, she’d have to win the Sassari and the Yasar Dogu, and have Rong sit out of both tournaments. 

Norway’s U23 world champion and Budapest fifth-place finisher Grace BULLEN is ranked third with 58 points. Bullen, who had a disappointing European Championships, finishing in seventh place, took second at the Dan Kolov and third at the Yariguin. Her pair of podium finishes at the first two Ranking Series events earned her 26 combined points. 

The fourth-ranked wrestler is five-time African champion and Dan Kolov bronze medalist Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NRG) (46 points). 

Potential 57kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 RONG Ningning (CHN) vs. No. 4 Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) vs. No. 3 Grace BULLEN (NOR) 

Kawai Moves Down to 57kg, Yesilirmak to Take Top Spot at 59kg
This weight’s reigning world champion and current No. 1-ranked wrestler Risako Kawai dropped down to 57kg with hopes of defending her Rio Olympic title but lost her spot to four-time Olympic champion Kaori Icho in the process. It’s not clear if Kawai will return to 59kg for the 2019 World Championships, but if she does, she’ll be the top-seeded wrestler with 60 points. 

If Kawai doesn’t come back up to 59kg, Turkey’s Elif YESILIRMAK (56 points) will move to the top of the bracket, moving Japan’s second top-five ranked wrestler Yuzuka INAGAKI into the top-four. 

Yesilirmak, last year’s 59kg world runner-up, just finished in third place at the European Championships behind Russia's European runner-up Svetlana LIPATOVA (RUS), who sits in a close third, six points behind the Turkish wrestler with 50 points. 

India’s Sarita SARITA (30 points) is the fifth-ranked wrestler at 59kg and will earn a top-four seeded wrestler when the World Championships roll around. The reason being, there are two Japanese wrestlers ranked inside the top-four, and only one wrestler per nation can be entered into the World Championships. This will knock out either No.1 Kawai or No. 4 Inagaki, and move Sarita into the fourth seed. 

Potential 59kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Risako KAWAI (JPN) vs. No. 5 Sarita SARITA (IND) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Elif YESILIRMAK (TUR) vs. No. 3 Svetlana LIPATOVA (RUS) 

Yusein Wins Back-to-Back European Titles, Seals No. 1 Seed 62kg
Bulgaria’s reigning 62kg world champion Taybe Yusein, who has 96 Ranking Series points, has locked up the No.1 seed at the World Championships with her 38 point lead over second-ranked Yukako KAWAI (JPN) (58 points). As previously mentioned, Yusein, along with China’s Rong Ninging, are tied for having the most Ranking Series points in the world across all styles with their 96 points.

Mallory VELTE (USA) and Yuliia TKACH OSTAPCHUK (UKR) both have 43 points and placed third at least year’s World Championships, but Tkach Ostapchuk’s European absences and Velte’s participation in the Pan-American Championships gives the American the No. 3 spot. (Highest number of participation in the ranking events*)

Potential 62kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Yukako KAWAI (JPN) vs. No. 3 Mallory VELTE (USA) 

Olli Locks up Top Spot at 65kg 
Finland’s first-ever women’s wrestling world champion Petra Olli (88 points) has over twice as many points as second-ranked Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS ) (41 points) and had sealed the No. 1 seed at the World Championships. 

Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN) and Forrest Ann MOLINARI (USA) both have 40 Ranking Series points, but the Canadian wrestler gets the nod for the third spot because of her runner-up finish at the World Championships. (Rank in the last Senior World Championships or Olympic Games)

Potential 65kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) vs. No. 4 Forrest MOLINARI (USA) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS) vs. No. 4 Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN) 

Cherkasova Being Chased my Mensah for No. 1 Seed at 68kg
Though she’s locked up at least a top-two seed at the World Championships, No. 1 ranked Alla Cherkasova hasn’t cemented the top ranking just yet. Tamyra MENSAH (USA), who has 59 Ranking Series points, could still catch the reigning Ukrainian world champion if she wins the final two Ranking Series events, and Cherkasova sits out both tournaments. This would give the American 95 Ranking Series points, which would be three ahead of the Ukranian. 

Mongolia’s SORONZONBOLD Battsetseg (44 points) and China’s Feng ZHOU (41 points) round out the top four in the 68kg rankings. 

Potential 68kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Tamyra MENSAH (USA) vs. No. 3 SORONZONBOLD Battsetseg 

Di Stasio Set to Make Return After Ankle Surgery 
Canadian world champion Justina Di Stasio hasn’t competed since winning gold in Budapest, but still remains the top-ranked wrestler in the world at 69kg. Di Stasio is expected to make her return to the mat over the next two weeks after undergoing surgery to fix a chipped bone in her ankle. If she stays down at the non-Olympic weight of 72kg, she’ll be the No. 1 seed at the World Championships. 

Turkey’s world bronze medalist Buse TOSUN (TUR) (49 points) jumped Mongolia’s OCHIRBAT Nasanburmaa (48 points) for the second spot, but only holds a one-point advantage over the Budapest world silver medalist. 

The fourth-ranked wrestler at 72kg is Egypt’s African champion Samar HAMZA, who has 43 points heading into the final two Ranking Series events.

Potential 72kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Justina DI STASIO (CAN) vs. No. 4 Samar HAMZA (EGY) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Buse TOSUN (TUR) vs. No. 3 OCHIRBAT Nasanburmaa (MGL) 

Gray Leads Adar by Two Points 
America’s Adeline Gray (78 points) sits atop a weight class flooded with a depth of talent, 76kg. Gray stands two points in front of the woman she defeated to win her fourth world title last year in Budapest, Yasemin ADAR (TUR) (76 points). 

Gray and Adar both won their continentals championships. 

Gray won the Pan-American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a fall over No. 15 Genesis REASCO VALDEZ (ECU) in the gold-medal match. Her continental title win guaranteed her at least a top-four seed at 76kg. 

Adar, the 2017 world champion, won the European title, defeating No. 14 Martina KUENZ (AUT), 6-2. This was Adar’s fourth consecutive gold medal at the European Championships. 

Third-ranked Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN), who had 25 bronze-medal points from the world championships, added 16 points from her Asian runner-up finish and an addition 16 gold-medal points from the Ivan Yariguin, bringing her overall point total to 57 points. 

European bronze-medal finisher Aline FOCKEN (GER) rounds out the top-four with 56 points.

Potential 76kg Semifinals 
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) No. 4 Aline FOCKEN (GER) 
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Yasemin ADAR (TUR) vs. No. 3 Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN) 

Ranking Series

Nine European Wrestlers Garner Greco-Roman Top Seed Heading into Nur-Sultan

By Eric Olanowski

*These seeds are based off the current unofficial entries United World Wrestling has received as of August 21. These seeds are subject to change.

VEVEY, Switzerland (August 23) --- Nine European wrestlers and Asia's KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) own a Greco-Roman top seed heading into the 2019 World Championships (September 14-22) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

Here Are the No. 1 Seeds at Each Weight:
55kg - Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE)
60kg - Sergey EMELIN (RUS)
63kg - Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) 
67kg - Artem SURKOV (RUS)
77kg - Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR)
82kg - Emrah KUS (TUR)
87kg - Zhan BELENIUK (UKR)
97kg - Musa EVLOEV (RUS)
130kg - Sergey SEMENOV (RUS)

Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) will look to defend his 55kg world title in Nur-Sultan. He's the No. 1 seed at 55kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Azizli Atop 55kg Seeds

Expected 55kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE)
2. Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) 
4. Abdelkarim FERGAT (ALG) 

Returning world champ Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) sits atop the seeds at 55kg at the World Championships. Nur-Sultan will be Azizli’s second competition of the year at the weight where he claimed his first career world title. His first competition at 55kg this season was in Bucharest, Romania, at the European Championships. The reigning world champion fell short of reaching the top of the podium but fought his way back to a bronze-medal finish. 

Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) is the second-seeded wrestler at 55kg. The 2019 Asian champion will make his second appearance at a senior-level World Championship. He'll try to improve on his ninth-place finish from last year's World Championships. 

Returning world medalists Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) and Ekrem OZTURK (TUR), who are ranked third and fourth, respectively, won’t make the trip to Nur-Sultan. They'll vacate their seed to Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO). 

The reigning U23 world and European champion will be making his first showing at the World Championships as the third-seeded wrestler. This season, Tsurtsumia finished in eighth place at the European Championships but won gold at the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup – which was the last time he's competed this season.

Algeria’s African champion Abdelkarim FERGAT (ALG) closes out the top-four seeded wrestlers at 55kg. 

Sergey EMELIN (RUS) enters the World Championships as the No. 1 seed at 60kg. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

Emelin Enters Worlds As Top Seed at 60kg

Expected 60kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Sergey EMELIN (RUS) 
2. Seunghak KIM (KOR) 
3. Victor CIOBANU (MDA) 

Sergey EMELIN (RUS) started the season as the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the world at 60kg – and that’s exactly how he heads into Nur-Sultan. The Russian is the top-seeded guy at 60kg after winning a world title last season and finishing this year’s European Championships in second place. He also finished in first place at this season’s Dan Kolov. 

Arguably the most surprising run to a top-four seed came from Korea’s KIM Seunghak. He’ll be seeded second at 60kg. After a disappointing 28th-place finish in Budapest, Kim not only competed but earned points at every Ranking Series event this season. The Korean fell in the bronze-medal bout of the Grand Prix of Zagreb but tallied a trio of gold medals at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the City of Sassari Tournament and the Oleg Karavaev. 

Returning world runner-up Victor CIOBANU (MDA) is seeded third at 60kg. The Moldovan fell to Emelin in the world finals last year, but exacted revenge and became his nations first-ever European champion with a win over the Russian in Bucharest earlier this year. 

Croatia’s two-time Ranking Series bronze medalist Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO) rounds out the top-four seeds at 60kg. 

Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) is undefeated on the season and moves into the World Championships as the top seed at 63kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Maryanyan Moves into Worlds as 63kg No. 1 Seed 

Expected 63kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) 
2. Erbatu TUO (CHN) 
3. Shinobu OTA (JPN) 
4. Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM) 

The first seeded wrestler at 63kg is Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS). The Russian has been one of the most dominant wrestlers in the world over the past year. Since winning his world title, top-seeded Maryanyan has won the European Championships, European Games and the Dan Kolov. 

China’s returning world bronze medalist TUO Erbatu (CHN) is seeded second at 63kg. This season, Tuo has competed in five events and medaled at four of them. The Chinese wrestler won the Asian Championships and Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup, finished in second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and finished in third place at the Dan Kolov. The lone competition he didn’t medal at was the final Ranking Series event of the year, the Oleg Karavaev. 

Rio Olympic silver medalist Shinobu OTA (JPN) owns the third seed at the World Championships. Ota has won a pair of gold medals this season and has only lost one match. His pair of golds came at the Grand Prix of Hungary and Oleg Karavaev. He also finished in second place at the Dan Kolov, where he dropped his finals bout to top-seeded Maryanyan. 

The fourth-seeded wrestler at 63kg will be Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM). The Armenian wrestler placed fifth at the European Championships this season. That was his lone appearance in 2019. 

Artem SURKOV (RUS) sails into Nur-Sultan atop the 67kg top-four seeds. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Surkov Sails into Worlds as Top Seed at 67kg

Expected 67kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Artem SURKOV (RUS) 
2. Hansu RYU (KOR) 
3. Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) 

Reigning world champion Artem SURKOV (RUS) is the first seeded wrestlers at 67kg. Since winning his world title, he’s finished top-three at a trio of events but failed to reach the top of the podium. This season, Surkov was a runner-up at the Dan Kolov and Grand Prix of Germany, and a bronze medalist at the European Championships. 

Korea’s two-time world champion RYU Hansu (KOR) begins his quest to reach the top of the world podium for a third time as the second seed at 67kg. This season, Ryu started his season winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, and Asian Championships. Then, Ryu won back-to-back Ranking Series medals at the City of Sassari Tournament and Oleg Karavaev. 

Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) and Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) are the third and fourth-seeded wrestlers, respectively. 

Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) moved into the No. 1 seed after reinging world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER) moved down to the Olympic weight of 67kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Mnatsakanian Motors His Way to No. 1 Seed at 72kg

Expected 72kg Top-Four Seeds
2. Balint KORPASI (HUN) 
3. Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) 
4. Hujun ZHANG (CHN) 

Germany’s three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER) moved down to the Olympic weight of 67kg and will surrender his top seed to Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL). After finishing last year’s World Championships with a bronze medal, Mnatsakanian has made it to the podium at four straight senior-level events. The Bulgarian won the Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial, finished in second at the Dan Kolov, and closed out the European Championships and the Grand Prix of Zagreb with bronze medals. 

The second-seeded wrestler at 72kg is returning world runner-up Balint KORPASI (HUN). In his two appearances this season, Korpasi reached the finals. He won the German Grand Prix but fell in the finals of the City of Sassari Tournament. 

This year’s 72kg European champion Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) will be the third-seeded wrestler in Nur-Sultan, while ZHANG Hujun (CHN) rounds out the top four seeds at 72kg.

KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) is the lone non-European No. 1 seed. (Photo: Gabor Martin) 

Kim Keeps Top Seed at 77kg

Expected 77kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) 
2. Viktor NEMES (SRB) 
3. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) 
4. Pavel LIAKH (BLR) 

Olympic champion KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) is the lone non-European wrestler who owns a top seed at the World Championships. This year’s Asian champion competed in three of four Ranking Series events and medaled in each of his appearances. He won the City of Sassari Tournament and took home bronze at the Grand Prix of Zagreb and Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Serbia’s 2017 world champion Viktor NEMES is the second-seeded wrestler at 77kg. Last year’s world bronze medalist won titles this season at the Hungarian Grand Prix and G. Kartozia & V. Balavadze Price. He also closed out the European Championships in third place. 

Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) and Pavel LIAKH (BLR) will be seeded third and fourth respectively at 77kg. 

Emrah KUS (TUR) will be looking to improve his second-place finish from last year's World Championships. He comes into Nur-Sultan as the top seed at 82kg. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Kus Knots Top Seed at 82kg

Expected 82kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Emrah KUS (TUR) 
3. Saeid Morad ABDVALI (IRI) 

Turkey’s 2018 Budapest world runner-up Emrah KUS comes into Nur-Sultan as the top-seeded wrestler at 82kg. 

Viktar SASUNOUSKI (BLR) owns the second seed at 82kg. Though he finished in seventh place at the European Championships, he won 2019 titles at the Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Tournament and the Oleg Karavaev Memorial. 

The final two seeded wrestlers at 82kg will be continental champs Saeid ABDVALI (IRI) and Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN). Third-seeded Abdvali is the reigning Asian champion, while fourth-seeded Bisultanov is the reigning European champion. 

Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) is looking to win his first world title since 2015. He'll be the top seed at 87kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Beleniuk Bullies Way to Top Seed at 87kg

Expected 87kg Top-Four Seeds
2. Metehan BASAR (TUR) 
3. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) 
4. Islam ABBASOV (AZE) 

Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) and Metehan BASAR (TUR) have been battling for 87kg supremacy for the last twelve months. But, it’s the Ukrainian wrestler who owns the top seed in Nur-Sultan. 

Since dropping last year’s world finals to Basar, Beleniuk has won the European Championships and the European Games, while the Turkish wrestler has failed to medal in his four showings this season. 

Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) comes into the World Championships as the third seed. Since his 14th-place finish in Budapest last year, Lorincz has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in the world. He’s won the Grand Prix Zagreb, Hungarian Grand Prix and the City of Sassari Tournament. He also finished in third place at the European Games.

European Games and championship runner-up Islam ABBASOV (AZE) rounds out the top-four seeded wrestlers at 87kg. 

Musa EVLOEV (RUS) comes to Kazakhstan as the No. 1 seed at 97kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Evloev Enters World Championships as Top Seed at 97kg

Expected 97kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Musa EVLOEV (RUS) 
2. Kiril MILOV (BUL) 
3. Tracy HANCOCK (USA) 
4. Mihail KAJALA (SRB) 

Musa EVLOEV (RUS) hasn’t budged since winning his world title last year. He’ll be the top-seeded wrestler at 97kg – and deservedly so. This season, Evloev has won the Dan Kolov, European Championships and the Grand Prix of  Germany. 

Reigning world and European runner-up Kiril MILOV (BUL) will be seeded second at 97kg. 

Tracy HANCOCK (USA) will be seeded third at 97kg. Hancock has competed seven times during this season and finished with at least a bronze medal at every tournament. The American won the Hungarian Grand Prix and Dave Schultz Memorial and finished in second place at three competitions -- including the Pan-American Championships and Pan-American Games. He also closed out the Grand Prix of Zagreb and Thor Masters with bronze medals. 

The fourth-seeded wrestler at 97kg is returning world bronze medalist Mihail KAJALA (SRB). 

Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) soared to the top seed at 130kg after winning a world title and continental bronze medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Semenov Soars to Top Seed at 130kg

Expected 130kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) 
2. Adam COON (USA) 
3. Minseok KIM (KOR) 
4. Heiki NABI (EST) 

Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) is the fifth Russian wrestler who owns a top seed at the World Championships. Since winning his first world title at last year’s World Championships, Semenov has competed twice and finished with bronze medals at both competitions. Those pair of bronze medals came at the European Championships and European Games. 

Returning world silver medalist Adam COON (USA) is the second seed at 130kg. Though he won the Pan-American Championships, Coon finished in a disappointing eighth place at the Pan-American Games last month. 

KIM Minseok (KOR) and Heiki NABI (EST) will be seeded third and fourth, respectively, at 130kg.