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|2006 World Championships preview at 84 kg/185 lbs. in men's freestyle wrestling|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
The returning World champion is Revaz Mindorishvili of Georgia, who upset 1998 World champion and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero of Cuba in the finals last year.
Mindorishvili has had a tough season, missing the medals at the European Championships and losing in other international meets. His World ranking has dropped down to No. 9. Romero has not been on the mats much, but will be a title hopeful if he comes to China to compete.
Many are looking to Russia as the favorite at this weight class. World and Olympic champion Adam Saitiev won the European title this year and is a fan favorite. However, 2003 World champion Sajid Sajidov reportedly has beaten Saitiev out for the Russian team spot again. Sajidov was fifth at the 2005 World meet.
The returning World bronze medalists are Magomed Kurguliev of Kazakhstan and Taras Danko of Ukraine. Danko was third at the European Championships and second at the FILA Golden Grand Prix this year.
The European runner-up was Yanaaser Gokhay of Turkey and a bronze medalist was Vadim Laliev of Armenia. There are two Lalievs in the World rankings at this weight, as 2003 World bronze medalist Gennadiy Laliev of Kazakhstan remains a medal threat.
Reza Yazdani of Iran won the FILA Golden Grand Prix finals in June. Arpad Ritter of Hungary, second in the World last year at 74 kg, is among the challengers here this year. David Bichinichvili of Germany, Dejan Bogdanov of Macedonia, Radoslaw Horbik of Poland and Thomas Bucheli of Switzerland are among the others who have medal potential.
The U.S. has a newcomer, Andy Hrovat, who pinned last year's top American Mo Lawal in the U.S. Trials. Hrovat can be dangerous, and will not be well known by many of the competitors. That could definitely play to his advantage. American newcomers traditionally have fared well in this event.
Losing Lawal was a tough blow to the American team. He was ranked No. 2 in the World after beating a number of top competitors, including Mindorishvili, this season. Don't be surprised to see an unknown like Hrovat be a factor on the international stage. He could pull off something similar to when an unknown on the international scene named Brandon Eggum won a silver medal in 2001.
Look for the Russian, whether its Sajidov or Saitiev, to be the champion in this class. Mindorishvili and Romero also are legitimate threats to strike gold.
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2005 World Championships results
84 kg/185 lbs. - Gold - Revaz Mindorishvili (Georgia); Silver - Yoel Romero (Cuba); Bronze - Magomed Kurguliev (Kazakhstan); Bronze - Taras Danko (Ukraine); 5th - Sazhid Sazhidov (Russia); 5th - Radoslaw Horbik (Poland); 7th- Mo Lawal (USA); 8th - Thomas Buchell (Switzerland); 9th - Saslan Hattsyiev (Bulgaria); 10th - Matthew White (Puerto Rico)
2004 Olympic Games results
Gold - Cael Sanderson (USA); Silver - Moon Eui Jae (Korea); Bronze - Sazhid Sazhidov (Russia); 4th - Yoel Romero (Cuba); 5th - Majid Khodaei (Iran); 6th - Lazaro Loizidis (Greece); 7th - Taras Danko (Ukraine); 8th - Shamil Aliev (Tajikistan); 9th - Nicolae Ghita (Romania); 10th - Hideakazu Yokoyama (Japan)
2003 World Championships results
84 kg/185 lbs. - Gold - Sajid Sajidov (Russia) dec. Cael Sanderson (United States), 4-3; Bronze - Revaz Mindorashvili (Georgia) dec. Siarhei Borchanka (Belarus), 6-2; 5th - Magomed Kurugliyev (Kazakhstan); 6th - Yoel Romero (Cuba); 7th - Gokhan Yavaser (Turkey); 8th - Mamed Agaev (Armenia); 9th - Nicolae Ghita (Romania); 10th - Vincent Aka Akesse (France)
2002 World Championships results
84 kg/185 lbs. - Gold - Adam Saitiev (Russia) dec. Yoel Romero (Cuba), 4-3, ot, 6:14; Bronze - Majid Khodaee (Iran) dec. Arkadiy Tzopa (Bulgaria), 7-1; 5th - Marcin Jurecki (Poland); 6th - D. Mindorashvili (Georgia); 7th - Adam Sanakoev (Uzbekistan); 8th - Andre Backhaus (Germany); 9th - Kim Jang-Soo (Korea); 10th - Robert Eggertswyler (Switzerland)
2001 World Championships results
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Gold - Khajimourad Magomedov (Russia) dec. Brandon Eggum (USA), 3-0, OT; Bronze - Yoel Romero (Cuba) dec. Betbulat Musaev (Belarus), 3-0; 5th - Rasul Katinavasov (Uzbekistan); 6th - Arkadiy Tzopa (Bulgaria); 7th - Andre Backhaus (Germany); 8th - Magomed Kurugliyev (Kazakhstan); 9th - L. Loizidis (Greece); 10th - Marcin Jurecki (Poland)