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|2012 Olympic Games preview at 60 kg/132 lbs. in Greco-Roman
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Date of competition: Monday, August 6
The 60 kg division in Greco-Roman has been a bit unsettled in recent years, which could make it among the most entertaining in London. The reigning World champion is Iran’s Omid Noroozi, who had his best season ever last year. Noroozi has been Iran’s man this quadrennium, also placing ninth and 10th at the other two World Championships. A World Cup and Asian Games champion, he coming in competing at the top of his game.
The 2010 World champion was Hasan Aliyev of Azerbaijan, who was also seventh in the 2011 World meet. However, it was Kamran Mammadov who qualified the nation for London by winning the European Olympic Qualifier. He was also fifth at the European Championships. In either case, Azerbaijan should be a contender at this weight.
Winning medals the last two World Championships was Almat Kebispayev of Kazakhstan, who was second in 2011 and third in 2010. He also boasts an Asian Championships and a University World title on his resume.
Russia could be represented by 2011 World bronze medalist Zaur Kuramagomedov, who has been on their last two World Teams. An intriguing idea might be considering 2008 Olympic champion and 2009 World champion Islam-Beka Albiev, who has been up at 66 kg since 2010. Russia did not qualify at 66 kg, so would they consider a move down for Albiev for a chance to defend his Olympic crown? Russia does not usually drop athletes in weight.
Regardless of Russia’s choice, there is an Olympic champion in this field, 2004 Olympic champion Ji-Hyun Jung of Korea. He has reached medal matches the last two World Championships, winning a bronze in 2010 and fifth in 2011. Jung was also ninth in the 2008 Olympic Games.
Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria was a 2011 World bronze medalist, as well as fifth at the 2010 World Championships. A silver medalist at the last two European Championships, he is considered a gold-medal contender.
The United States is excited with the prospects for two-time Junior World bronze medalist Ellis Coleman, who made his first Senior-level U.S. team after dropping to 60 kg this season. Coleman is known worldwide for his internet video sensation, the Flying Squirrel technique at the 2011 Junior World Championships. Young and talented, he is not tested much internationally at this weight class.
Beating Coleman in the finals at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier was Cuba’s Hanzel Meoque Lugonez, who did not medal at his only Senior World Championships in 2009.
Perhaps the top Pan American wrestler in the last few seasons has been Luis Liendo of Venezuela, who placed fifth at the 2011 World Championships and was also the 2011 Pan American Games champion, where Cuba’s Meoque placed third. Liendo has paid his dues on the Senior level since 2002, but this will be his first Olympic appearance.
The Asian Olympic Qualifier champion was Jiang Sheng of China, who was fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games. Placing second at the Asian Olympic Qualifier was Ryutaro Matsumoto of Japan, who was the 2010 World silver medalist and added an eighth place at the 2009 World Championships.
Winning the last two Final Olympic Qualifiers were Lenur Temirov of Ukraine in China, and Revaz Lashkhi of Georgia, both who have had top 10 finishes in recent World Championships. Lashkhi placed fifth in the 2010 Worlds and seventh in the 2009 Worlds. Temirov knotched an eighth place at the 2010 World Championships. Lashkhi was a 2010 European champion, while Temirov was a 2010 Junior World bronze medalist.
The rest of the field features a number of veteran competitors who had to compete well under pressure to earn a spot in the London field.
Is there a favorite at this weight class? Can reigning World champion Omid Noroozi of Iran win it for a second straight year? Will 2004 Olympic champion Ji-Hyun Jung of Korea find the top of the Olympic podium for a second time? Will one of the recent World medalists break through with a title run? Or will this weight find a rising young talent emerge when it counts most? We can expect some intense action here right from the opening round.
Expected Olympic entries at 60 kg/132 lbs. - Greco-Roman
1st at 2011 World Championships – Omid Noroozi (Iran)
2nd at 2011 World Championships – Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Zaur Kuramagomedov (Russia)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Luis Ygnacio Liendo (Venezuela)
2012 European Olympic qualifier champion – Kamran Mammadov or Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
2012 European Olympic qualifier runner-up – Matti Kettunen (Finland)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier champion – Jiang Sheng (China)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier runner-up – Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier champion – Hanzel Meoque Lugonez (Cuba)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier runner-up – Ellis Coleman (United States)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier champion – Sayed Abdelmonem (Egypt)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier runner-up – Tarek Aziz Benaissa (Algeria)
Olympic Qualifier #1 champion – Lenur Temirov (Ukraine)
Olympic Qualifier #1 runner-up – Tarik Belmadani (France)
Olympic Qualifier #1 bronze medalist – Rahman Bilici (Turkey)
Olympic Qualifier #2 champion – Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia)
Olympic Qualifier #2 runner-up – Stig Andre Berge (Norway)
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2011 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. - Gold - Omid Haji Noroozi (Iran); Silver - Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Zaur Kuramagomedov (Russia); Bronze - Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 5th - Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea); 5th - Luis Liendo (Venezuela); 7th - Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan); 8th - Vahan Juharyan (Armenia); 9th - Tonimir Sokol (Croatia); 10th - Manuel Lopez Salcero (Mexico)
2010 World Championships
60kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Hasan Aliyev (Azerbiajan); Silver – Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); Bronze – Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Ji-Huyn Jung (Korea); 5th – Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia); 5th – Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria); 7th – Ruslan Tyumenbaev (Krygyzstan); 8th – Lenur Temirov (Ukraine); 9th – Omid Noroozi (Iran); 10th – Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan)
2009 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. - Gold - Islam-Beka Albiev (Russia); Silver - Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan); Bronze - Nurbakyt Tengysbaev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Vitaliy Rahimov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Davor Stefanek (Serbia); 5th - Soner Sucu (Turkey); 7th - Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia); 8th - Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan); 9th - Stig Andre Berge (Norway) ; 10th - Omid Noroozi (Iran)
2008 Olympic Games
60 kg/132 lbs. - Gold – Islam-beka Albiev (Russia); Silver - Vitaly Rahimov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Ruslan Tiumenbaev (Krygyzstan); Bronze - Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (Kazakhstan); 5th - Roberto Monzon (Cuba); 5th - Jiang Sheng (China); 7th - Armen Nazarian (Bulgaria); 8th - Eusebiu Diaconu (Romania); 9th - Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea); 10th - Makoto Sasamoto (Japan)
2007 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. - Gold - David Bedinadze (Georgia); Silver - Makoto Sasamoto (Japan); Bronze - Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea); Bronze - Eusebiu Diaconu (Romania); 5th - Yury Dubinin (Belarus); 5th - Jarkko Ala-Huikku (Finland); 7th - Nurbakyt Tengysbayev (Kazakhstan); 8th - Davor Stefanek (Serbia); 9th - Islam-Beka Albiev (Russia); 10th - Song Il Ho (People’s Republic of Korea)
2006 World Championships
60 kg/132 lbs. – Gold – Joe Warren (USA); Silver - David Bedinadze (Georgia); Bronze – Emin Bunyamin (Turkey); Bronze – Vyacheslav Djaste (Russia); 5th – Oleksiy Vakulenko (Ukraine); 5th – Eusebiu Diaconu (Romania); 7th – Ali Ashkani (Iran); 8th – Nurhakhyt Tengizbaev (Kazakhstan); 9th – Heinz Mamette (Germany); 10th – Roberto Monzon (Cuba)
2005 World Championships
60 kg/ 132 lbs. - Gold - Armen Nazarian (Bulgaria); Silver - Ali Askhani (Iran); Bronze - Eusebiu Diaconu (Romania); Bronze - Peter Svehla (Czech Republic); 5th - Vahan Juharyan (Armenia); 5th - Laszlo Kliment (Hungary); 7th - Oleksei Vakulenko (Ukraine); 8th - Dilshod Aripov (Uzbekistan); 9th - Joe Warren (USA); 10th - Makoto Sasamoto (Japan)
2004 Olympic Games
60 kg/ 132 lbs. - Gold - Ji Hyun Jung (Korea); Silver - Roberto Monzon (Cuba); Bronze - Armen Nazarian (Bulgaria); 4th - Alexey Shevtsov (Russia); 5th - Makato Sasamoto (Japan); 6th - Nurlan Koizhaiganov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Eusebiu Iancu Diacono (Romania); 8th - Seref Tufenk (Turkey); 9th - Akaki Chachua (Georgia); 10th - Jim Gruenwald (USA)