Ranking Series

Punia and Atli Ascend to Top of Freestyle World Rankings After Continental Title Runs

By Eric Olanowski

Hypothetically speaking, with only two Ranking Series events left, it’s only possible for a wrestler to receive 36 Ranking Series points before the World Championships. The most points a wrestler could receive is 18 points per tournament if they were to win gold medals in a bracket with 20+ entries.

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (May 1) -- The five Continental Championships are in our rear view mirror, and six European wrestlers own a No. 1-ranking in the latest set of United World Wrestling’s point-based world rankings. Pan-American countries boast a trio of wrestlers who are ranked No. 1, while Asia has the remaining wrestler sitting atop of the world rankings heading into the final set of freestyle Ranking Series events.

The most significant changes atop this month’s rankings came at 57kg and 65kg where Suleyman ATLI (TUR) and Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) respectively gained control of the world No. 1 ranking with their continental title-winning performances.

Atli Ascends to No. 1 at 57kg 
Turkey’s 24-year-old reigning world bronze medalist Suleyman Atli surged to the 57kg European title and jumped Russia’s 2018 world champion Zavur UGUEV for the No. 1 spot in May’s rankings. Atli heads into the final pair of Ranking Series events with 61 Ranking Series points, giving him a one-point advantage over Uguev, who has 60 points.

Atli and Uguev have built such commanding leads over their nearest competition, they’ll only have to medal at one of the final two Ranking Series events to seal up a top two seed at the World Championships. It’s not clear whether Uguev will make the trip to the Sassari or the Yasar Dogu (the two remaining Ranking Series events), but Atli has confirmed that he’ll compete at July's Yasar Dogu in Istanbul, Turkey. 

The other pair of top-four ranked wrestlers at 57kg are Japan’s Yuki TAKAHASHI and Kazakhstan’s Nurislam (Artas) SANAYEV (SANAA).

Takahashi, the Asian third-place finisher, hopped over 2018 world runner-up Nurislam Sanayev and is ranked third with 41 Ranking Series points.

Although he’s ranked fourth at 57kg, Nurislam Sanayev hasn’t competed at this weight since his run to the Budapest world finals back in October. If Sanayev elects to stay up at the non-Olympic weight of 61kg where he’s been all season, Cuba’s Reineri ANDREU ORTEGA, who is ranked fifth with 36 Ranking Series points, will replace him in the fourth spot.

Potential 57kg Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Suleyman ATLI (TUR) vs. No. 4 Nurislam (Artas) SANAYEV (SANAA)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Zavur UGUEV (RUS) vs. No. 3 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN)

Bajrang Bags Top Spot After Winning 65kg Asian Title
India’s Bajrang PUNIA was the second wrestler that leveraged his continental championship points to bump into the top spot in this month’s world rankings. Bajrang intercepted the top spot at 65kg from Japan’s defending world champion Takuto OTOGURO after winning his fourth Asian title (two Asain Championships and two Asian Games) with a 12-7 win over Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek OKASSOV last week in Xi’an, China.

Punia, the highest ranked freestyle Asian wrestler in the world, holds 78 Ranking Series points. He has an 18 point advantage over the Otoguro, the man who defeated him in last year’s world finals. Interestingly, Punia has done so well this season and has so much breathing room over the rest of the competition at 65kg that he’s guaranteed himself at least the second seed at the World Championships.

Russia’s two-time world bronze medalist Akhmed CHAKAEV (41 points) and Turkey’s European silver medalist Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (32 points) are the third and fourth-ranked wrestlers at 65kg, respectively.

Potential 65kg Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 1 Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) vs. No. 4 Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR)
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 Takuto OTOGURO (JPN) vs. No. 3 Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS)

Taylor and Yazdani Round Three Brewing at 86kg 
Perhaps the most intriguing weight class that everyone has their eyes on is 86kg.

Currently, Turkey’s world runner-up Fatih ERDIN  (84 points) owns the top spot and sits four points in front of defending world champion David TAYLOR (USA) (80 points). More importantly, Erdin and Taylor both have nearly double the number of points as everyone else at 86kg, meaning the pair can flip flop for the No. 1 seed; but they've both locked up at least a second seed at the World Championships.

If Taylor holds onto the No. 2 ranking until September’s World Championships, the defending world champion will square off against Iran’s world and Olympic champion and third-ranked Hassan YAZDANICHARATI (43 points) in the semifinals.

When the two meet in Nur-Sultan, Taylor will own the upper hand over Yazdani, because the American has come out on top of the pair’s previous two meetings. Taylor stuck Yazdani at the World Cup back in 2016, then clinched an 11-6 come-from-behind victory over “The Greatest” in the opening round of last year’s World Championship.

While we’re on the topic of 86kg, it’s worth noting that Erdin has entered his name into the third Ranking Series event, the Sassari, which takes place later this month in Sardinia, Italy. If he reaches the top of the podium (and there are 20+ entries), Erdin will lock up the No. 1 seed at 86kg and could sit out of the final freestyle Ranking Series event, the Yasar Dogu.

Potential 86kg Semifinals
SEMIFINAL – No. 2 David TAYLOR (USA) vs. No. 3 Hassan YAZDANI (IRI)

Big Move Bonne Remains the Top-Ranked Wrestler at 61kg 
“Big Move Bonne” fell short in the Pan-American Championships and settled for 16 Ranking Series points after collecting a silver medal, but remained the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the world at 61kg. The man who won the Pan-American title at 61kg, Joe COLON (USA), comes in as the No. 2 wrestler in the world with 53 Ranking Series points.

Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS), who is currently ranked No. 3 at 61kg with 40 Ranking Series points, has moved up to 65kg.

Rashidov's departure frees up the third slot, meaning Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), who has 38 Ranking Series points, will command the third place spot. Romania’s Nikolai OKHLOPKOV (ROU), who has 28 Ranking Series point will move into the fourth slot.

Potential 61kg Semifinals
SEMIFINALS – No. 2 Joseph Daniel COLON vs. No. 3 Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS)

Gazimagomedov Gets Bronze at Europeans, Still No. 1 
At 70kg, Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV locked up the No. 1 seed at the 2019 World Championships after amassing 92 Ranking Series points, which is 52 points more than Bahrain’s second-ranked Adam BATIROV, who has since moved up to 74kg.

With Batirov competing up at 74kg, the rush for the No. 2 seed becomes the focus at this weight. Right now, Ukraine’s Andriy KVYATKOVSKYY (30 points) will move up to the No. 2 spot, with Devid SAFARYAN (ARM) (26 points) and Zurabi IAKOBISHVILI (GEO) (25 points) falling into the third and fourth spots respectively.

Potential 70kg Semifinals
SEMIFINALS – No. 1 Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) vs. No. 4 Devid SAFARYAN (ARM)

Sidakov Sits out of Europeans, Remains No.1 at 74kg
Although Russia’s reigning 74kg world champion Zaurbek SIDAKOV missed the European Championships, he remains the world’s top-ranked wrestler at 74kg. Sidakov has earned 76 Ranking Series points, 60 of which came from winning the Budapest World Championship points and 16 came from his gold-medal performance at the Ivan Yariguin.

America’s world bronze medalist Jordan BURROUGHS is the second-ranked wrestler in the world at this weight. Burroughs, who is coming off winning his fifth Pan-American title, has accumulated 63 Ranking Series points.

The third and fourth-ranked wrestlers at 74kg are Georgia’s world runner-up Avtandil KENTCHADZE (58 points) and Italian superstar Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ  (56 points), who won the 74kg European title in Bucharest. 

If the rankings stay the same until the World Championships, Sidakov and Chamizo will wrestle in semifinals on the top side of the bracket, and Burroughs and Kentchadze will scrap it out for a spot in the finals on the bottom side of the bracket.

Potential 74kg Semifinals

Dake and Hasanov Tied After Continental Championships 
Even though he didn’t compete at the Pan-American Championships, world champion Kyle DAKE (USA) retained his No. 1 ranking at 79kg with 60 Ranking Series points.

The second-ranked wrestler at 79kg is European champion and 2018 world runner-up Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE). Hasanov also has 60 Ranking Series points heading into the final two Ranking Series events, but Dake placed higher in Budapest, giving him the upper hand on the Azeri in the rankings.

Hasanov recently announced that he'd be dropping down to the Olympic weight of 74kg for the 2019 World Championships, and ultimately, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which will eventually move him out of the rankings at 79kg. Benefiting the most from Hasanov's move will be Russia’s Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (57 points), who is ranked third at the moment. Gadzhimagomedov will be relocated to the second seed for the Nur-Sultan World Championships.  

Nika KENTCHADZE (GEO) (28 points) and PUREVJAV Unurbat (MGL) (26 points) will also receive a bump from Hasanov’s move and will slide into the third and fourth spots respectively.

Potential 79kg Semifinals

Cox Continues to Widen Gap, Holds 33 Point Advantage After Pan-Am Championships
At 92kg, the United States’ reigning world champion J'Den COX (USA) (78 points) retains his No. 1 ranking after winning the Pan-American Championships. With only 36 available points available for the rest of this weight class to earn, and Cox commanding the 33 point lead, he’s at least locked up a top-three seed in Nur-Sultan. 

Iran’s Alireza KARIMIMACHIANI (45 points), who won his fourth Asian title (two Asian Championships and two Asian Games), edged Russia’s Ivan Yariguin gold medalist Magomed KURBANOV (44 points) for the second spot in this month's rankings. 

The fourth-ranked wrestler at this weight is Japan's world and Asian bronze medalist Atsushi MATSUMOTO (41 points).

Potential 92kg Semifinals
SEMIFINALS – No. 1 J'Den COX vs. No. 4 Atsushi MATSUMOTO (JPN)

Sadulaev Stays No.1 at 97kg
The “Russian Tank” Abdulrashid SADULAEV (80 Ranking Series points) soared to the top of the European podium and kept his grasp on the No. 1 ranking at 97kg with a two-point advantage over “Captain America” Kyle SNYDER (USA). Snyder, who was last year’s world silver medalist, won the Pan-American Championships and the Dan Kolov and has 78 Ranking Series points.

This means that Sadulaev and Snyder have both at least locked up a top-three seed at 97kg.

Mongolia’s Asian runner-up ULZIISAIKHAN Batzul, who has 44 points, is quietly sticking around with Sadulaev and Snyder and is the only wrestler that could sneak in to gain at least the second seed. For the Mongolian wrestler to do so, he’d have to win the two remaining Ranking Series tournaments.

The fourth-ranked wrestler at 97kg is Georgia's world and European bronze medalist Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO), who has 41 points. 

Potential 97kg Semifinals
SEMIFINALS – No. 1 Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) vs. No. 4 Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO)

Despite European Finals Loss, Petriashvili Still No. 1
Despite falling in the European finals, two-time reigning world champion Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) still commands the top spot at 125kg. The Georgian big man has 88 Ranking Series points, which will guarantee him at least a top-two seed at the World Championships.

The second-ranked wrestler at 125kg is China’s 2018 world runner-up DENG Zhiwei, who has 77 Ranking Series points. Deng is coming off a second-place finish at the Asian Championships in his home country of China. 

Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS) and Taha AKGUL (TUR) each have 50 Ranking Series points, but the tiebreaker goes to the wrestler who placed higher at the 2018 World Championships. In this case, Khizriev grabs the third spot because of his fifth-place finish in Budapest compared to Akgul’s seventh-place finish a season ago.

If the rankings remain the same until the 2019 World Championships, This means that Petriashvili and Akgul will meet in the semifinals. Between the two, they have won

Potential 125kg Semifinals
SEMIFINALS – No. 2 Zhiwei DENG vs. No. 3 Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS) 

The full set of updated freestyle world rankings can be found on www.unitedworldwrestling.org 's homepage. 

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.