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|2012 Olympic Games preview at 74 kg/163 lbs. in Greco-Roman
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Date of competition: Sunday, August 5
At the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, hometown favorite and two-time World champion Selcuk Cebi of Turkey faced Roman Vlasov of Russia for the gold medal. Vlasov disappointed the crowd with a victory over Cebi to win his first World title, and goes into the Olympics with great momentum.
Vlasov has been on a roll since late 2011, winning seven international events in a row, including the 2012 European Championships, the 2012 Podubbny Tournament in Russia and two straight Pytlasinski Cups in Poland. He was a 2010 Junior World champion as well, and at 22 years old, has amazing upside to improve.
With three consecutive appearances in the World finals, Cebi is a proven talent and gold-medal contender. In addition, he has won two World University titles and a Cadet World title on his resume.
There are a number of top contenders with multiple World medals in their trophy case. \
Mark Madsen of Denmark won World silver medals in 2007 and 2009 and was a 2006 World bronze medalist. He was second at the European Olympic Qualifier to earn his trip to London
Arsen Jufalakyan of Armenia won a 2011 World bronze medal and a 2010 World silver medal. A 2007 Junior World champion, 2009 European champion and 2010 World Cup champion, Jufalakyan has had considerable success. He was 10th at the 2008 Olympics.
2008 Olympic bronze medalist Christophe Guenot of France was the last entry for the field in London, placing second at the last Final Olympic Qualifier in Finland. He was also a World bronze medalist in 2007. Guenot has not medaled since the Beijing Games, with eighth and 10th place finishes at the World level in this quadrennium.
Other past World medalists in the field include 2011 World bronze medalist Neven Zugaj of Croatia, 2010 World bronze medalist Daniar Kobonov of Kyrgyzstan and 2009 World bronze medalist Aliaksandr Kikiniov of Belarus.
The U.S. entry is young Ben Provisor, who made a number of Junior World Teams before quickly developing on the Senior level. Provisor beat 2008 Olympic champion Manuchar Kvirkelia of Georgia in Curby Cup weeks after the Olympic Trials, a good win to give him confidence heading into the Olympics.
Peter Bacsi of Hungary was fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games, and has two other top 10 finishes at the World Championships. Placing fifth at the 2011 World Championships were Robert Rosengren of Sweden and Ashkat Dilmukhamedov of Kazakhstan, both who had their best World performance in Istanbul.
The European Olympic Qualifier champion was Zurabi Datunashvili of Georgia, who beat Madsen in the finals and has replaced Kvirkelia on the Georgian team. He was a 2011 Junior World silver medalist.
The Asian Olympic Qualifier champion was Jin-Hyeok Kim of Korea, a 2009 Junior World bronze medalist. The Pan American Olympic Qualifier champion was Cuba’s Jorgisbel Alvarez Hernandez, a 2011 Pan American Games champion. Winning the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier champion was Zied Ayt Okrame of Tunisia, who has won the last three African Championships at this weight.
The champions at the two Final Olympic Qualifiers were Emin Ahmadov of Azerbaijan in China, and Aleksandr Kazakevich of Lithuania. Kazakevich competed in the 2008 Olympics and has won bronze medals at the European Championships and the Junior World Championships.
World champions Roman Vlasov of Russia and Selcuk Cebi of Turkey come in as favorites at 74 kg for the Olympic Games. This weight class has a lot of depth and experience, with numerous past World medalists seeking an Olympic title.
Expected Olympic entries at 74 kg/163 lbs.- Greco-Roman
1st at 2011 World Championships – Roman Vlasov (Russia)
2nd at 2011 World Championships – Selcuk Cebi (Turkey)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Neven Zugaj (Croatia)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Robert Patrik Rosengren (Sweden)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Ashkat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan)
2012 European Olympic qualifier champion – Zurabi Datunashvili (Georgia)
2012 European Olympic qualifier runner-up – Mark Madsen (Denmark)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier champion – Jin-Hyeok Kim (Korea)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier runner-up –Daniar Kobonov (Kyrgyzstan)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier champion – Jorgisbel Alvarez Hernandez (Cuba)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier runner-up – Ben Provisor (United States)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier champion – Zied Ayt Okrame (Tunisia)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier runner-up – Islam Mohamed Tolba (Egypt)
Olympic Qualifier #1 champion – Emin Ahmadov (Azerbaijan)
Olympic Qualifier #1 runner-up – Alexander Kikinov (Belarus)
Olympic Qualifier #1 bronze medalist – Peter Bacsi (Hungary)
Olympic Qualifier #2 champion – Aleksandr Kazakevich (Lithuania)
Olympic Qualifier #2 runner-up – Christophe Guenot (France)
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2011 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Roman Vlasov (Russia); Silver - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Bronze - Neven Zugaj (Croatia); Bronze - Arsen Jufalakyan (Armenia); 5th - Robert Rosengren (Sweden); 5th - Askhat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Jure Kuhar (Slovenia); 8th - Péter Bacsi (Hungary); 9th - Farshad Alizadeh Kalehkeshi (Iran); 10th - Ionel Puscasu (Romania)
2010 World Championships
74kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Silver – Arsen Julfalkayan (Armenia); Bronze – Daniar Kobonov (Kyrgystan); Bronze – Emil Sharafedinov (Russia); 5th – Rafik Husenyov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Takehiro Kanakubo (Japan); 7th- Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 8th – Nevan Zugaj (Croatia); 9th – Jure Kuhar (Slovenia); 10th – Christophe Guenot (France)
2009 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Silver - Mark O. Madsen (Denmark); Bronze - Aliaksandr Kikiniov (Belarus); Bronze - Farshad Alizadeh Kelehkeshi (Iran); 5th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 5th - Rafiq Huseynov (Azerbaijan); 7th - Henri Valimaki (Finland); 8th - Christophe Guenot (France); 9th - Jakhongir Muminov (Uzbekistan); 10th - Evgeny Popov (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Manuchar Kvirkelia (Georgia); Silver - Yongxiang Chang (China); Bronze - Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgaria); Bronze - Christophe Guenot (France); 5th - Aleh Mikhalovich (Belarus); 5th - Peter Basci (Hungary); 7th - Varteres Samourgashev (Russia); 8th - Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 9th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 10th - Arsen Jufalakyan (Armenia)
2007 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold – Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgaria); Silver – Mark Madsen (Denmark); Bronze – Christophe Guenot (France); Bronze – Valdemaras Venckaitis (Lithuania); 5th – Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 5th – Julian Kwit (Poland); 7th – Peter Bacsi (Hungary); 8th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 9th – Odelis Herrero (Cuba); 10th - Tae-Kyun Jung (Korea)
2006 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Volodym Shatskym (Ukraine); Silver - Marko Yli-Hannuksela (Finland); Bronze - Manuchar Krirkvelia (Georgia); Bronze - Mark Madsen (Denmark); 5th - T.C. Dantzler (United States); 5th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 7th - Ilya Shafran (Israel); 8th - Neven Zugaj (Croatia); 9th - Daniar Kobonov (Krygyzstan); 10th - Davod Abedinzadeh (Iran)
2005 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Varteres Samurgachev (Russia); Silver - Mark Madsen (Denmark); Bronze - Marko Yli-Hannuksela (Finland); Bronze - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 5th - Reto Bucher (Switzerland); 5th - Mohammad Babulfath (Sweden); 7th - Aleksandr Dokturishvili (Uzbekistan); 8th - Ilgar Abdulov (Azerbaijan); 9th - Mahmut Altaly (Turkey); 10th - Manuchar Kvirkvelia (Georgia)
2004 Olympic Games
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Alexandr Dokturishvili (Uzbekistan); Silver - Marko Yli-Hannuksela (Finland); Bronze - Varteres Samourachev (Russia); 4th - Reto Bucher (Switzerland); 5th - Danil Khalimov (Kazakhstan); 6th -Filiberto Azcuy (Cuba); 7th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 8th - Tamas Berzicza (Hungary); 9th - Alberto Jose Recuero (Spain); 10th - Duk Hoon Choi (Korea)