Top News Stories...
USA Wrestling and CPOW are releasing a new set of PSA's to support keeping wrestling in the Olympics beginning with Actor Mark Ruffalo...
USA Wrestling and CPOW have launched a new website to support the effort to save Olympic wrestling....
Oklahoma City University wrestlers Brittney Roberts and Kristi Garr and coach Link Davis prepare for the 2013 World Team Trials in Stillwater, Okla....
Reigning World Champion at 63 kg Elena Pirozhkova will attempt to defend her title at the 2013 World Team Trials...
|OLYMPIC NEWS SERVICE: Greco-Roman preview for 55 kg, 74 kg for 5 August
Olympic News Service
Men's Greco-Roman 55 kg: SORYAN (IRI) well set but BAYRAMOV (AZE) faces SEMENOV (RUS) in tough start
LONDON, 4 August - Five-time world champion Hamid Mohammad SORYAN REIHANPOUR (IRI) begins his bid for a gold medal in the men's Greco-Roman 55kg final as the Olympic wrestling competition gets under way on Sunday at ExCeL.
In the draw, made after the weigh-in on Saturday, SORYAN looks likely to face either the Asian Games champion Kohei HASEGAWA (JPN) or the 2011 world runner-up Elbek TAZHYIEU (BLR) in the semifinals.
In the lower half of the draw, world champion Rovshan BAYRAMOV (AZE) faces Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS) in a first-round bout that could easily have been one of the medal finals. SEMENOV will seek to follow in the footsteps of his personal idol Nazir MANKIEV (RUS), who won the gold medal at Beijing 2008.
Also in the lower half, 2010 world runner-up CHOI Gyujin (KOR) is paired with world No.5 YUN Won-Chol (PRK) in an all-Korea encounter in the second round.
SORYAN has won five world championship titles but missed in his bid for a gold medal at Beijing 2008. One of the most exciting wrestlers in Greco-Roman, SORYAN reportedly has difficulties making the weight which appears to affect his performance. Two months after winning the world title in 2010, SORYAN fell to fifth place at the Asian Games.
BAYRAMOV is the world champion, a two-time European champion (2007, 2008) and the silver medallist in Beijing. But he lost to SORYAN in the 2006 world championships, the only time they have met in a major championships.
HASEGAWA can boast two wins over SORYAN - in the semifinals of the 2010 Asian Games and at the Asian Olympic qualifier in March - but has never finished higher than eighth in the world championships. Japan are seeking their first Olympic Games gold medal in wrestling since 1988 and their first in Greco-Roman since 1984.
CHOI was world runner-up in 2010 after defeating Beijing 2008 gold medallist MANKIEV in the semifinals. He fought SORYAN for three periods in the 2010 championship final.
SEMENOV, a relative unknown internationally, seems to be peaking at the right time. The 22-year-old physical education student from State Siberian University defeated Beijing 2008 champion MANKIEV in the Russian national championships and was named the outstanding wrestler of the meeting.
TAZHYIEU was runner-up at the 2011 world championships and a bronze medal winner at the European championships. He has been less than stellar in 2012 with a ninth-place finish at the European championships and a third place in Poland's Pytlasinski international in June.
Peter MODOS (HUN) qualified for Beijing 2008, but missed the Games because of blood poisoning.
Men's Greco-Roman 74 kg: World finals rematch likely in semis, JULFALAKYAN (ARM) targets gold
LONDON, 4 August - World champion Roman VLASOV (RUS) and the two-time world champion Selcuk CEBI (TUR), appear headed for a rematch in the semifinals of the men's Greco-Roman 74kg bracket, drawn at ExCeL on Saturday. Wrestling at the London 2012 Olympic Games gets under way Sunday.
VLASOV (RUS) opens with Mark MADSEN (DEN), a three-time world runner-up, in the second round. CEBI will likely have to get by 2008 European champion Peter BACSI (HUN) in the quarterfinals to get a rematch with VLASOV.
In the lower half of the bracket, Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) appears to have a shot at becoming one-half of the first father-son gold medallists in Olympic Games wrestling. His father, Levon JULFALAKYAN won the gold medal at 68kg at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.
If JULFALAKYAN makes it to the semifinals, he could meet world bronze medal winner Neven ZUGAJ (CRO), seeking to become Croatia's first medallist at the Olympic Games in wrestling.
Roman VLASOV (RUS) won the senior world championships crown in 2011, a year after winning the junior world title. VLASOV defeated two-time defending champion Selcuk CEBI (TUR) for the title in Istanbul. VLASOV hails from Novosibirsk, Siberia, home of Greco-Roman legend Aleksandr KARELIN (RUS).
Selcuk CEBI (TUR) has been the world champion in four different age groups - cadet, junior, university and senior. CEBI helped Turkey win the world team title in 2009 when he defeated hometown favourite Mark MADSEN (DEN) in Herning, Denmark.
Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) has been a busy collector of silver and bronze this Olympic cycle, only claiming the gold medal at the 2009 European championships. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father and coach Levon JULFALAKYAN (ARM), who won the gold medal at 68kg for the Soviet Union at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.
Peter BACSI (HUN) won the European championship crown in 2008 and added bronze and silver medals in 2010 and 2011. BACSI was eighth in the world in 2011 but defeated VLASOV in the semifinals of the 2011 European meet and defeated CEBI to win the Hungary Grand Prix in February.
Mark MADSEN (DEN) has finished as runner-up three times in the world championships (2005, 2007, 2009), but has never reached the top of the medals podium in a major international championships.
Christophe GUENOT (FRA) won a bronze medal in Beijing, but only stepped onto the medals podium at the 2011 European championships this only Olympic Games cycle.