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World Championships preview in freestyle wrestling at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.



Date of competition: Monday, Sept. 16

Young Russian star Magomed Kubanaliev, a 2012 Junior World champion, has emerged as one of the favorites to win a Senior World freestyle title at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Kubanaliev fell to Junior World bronze medalist Jordan Oliver of the U.S. during May’s United 4 Wrestling dual in Los Angeles, but he rebounded to win the Russian Nationals. Kurbanaliev also won the Dave Schultz Memorial earlier this year.

Kubanaliev, who just turned 21, is now ranked No. 1 in the World by FILA after beating Armenia’s David Safaryan in the finals of the World University Games. Safaryan is ranked second in the World.

The World Championships are set for Sept. 16-22 in Budapest, Hungary.

Japan’s Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu won the Olympics last year, but he has not posted any international results this season.

Two-time World champion Mehdi Taghavi of Iran competed in the World Cup in his home country and also wrestled in the Rumble on the Rails event in New York City this year.

Taghavi downed U.S. World Team Trials champion Brent Metcalf in the World Cup and defeated U.S. Open champion Kellen Russell in New York.

European Championships runner-up Yakup Gor of Turkey is ranked third in the World and is followed by Ukraine’s Semyon Radulov and Mongolia’s Madakhnaran Ganzorig in the rankings.

Canada’s Haislan Garcia is another wrestler to keep an eye on. He was fifth in the 2010 Worlds and seventh in the 2012 Olympics. He is ranked eighth in the World.

The U.S. features a legitimate medal threat in Metcalf, who won the Sargsyan event in Armenia this summer. Metcalf beat 2010 World silver medalist Alan Gogaev of Russia in that event.

Metcalf also was a silver medalist at the World Cup and Yarygin events this year.

Metcalf is on his second World Team. He looks much stronger now with rules changes in place that feature cumulative scoring which reward his aggressive, attacking style of wrestling.

The U.S. has not won a match in this weight class at a World Championships or Olympics since Doug Schwab placed fifth at the 2007 Worlds.

FILA WORLD RANKINGS
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – 1. Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia); 2. David Safaryan (Armenia); 3. Yakup Gor (Turkey); 4. Semyon Radulov (Ukraine); 5. Madakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia); 6. Mustafa Kaya (Turkey); 7. Ilyas Bekbulatov (Russia); 8. Haislan Garcia (Canada); 9. Martin Daum (Germany); 10. Amit Kumar (India); 11. Alexander Kontoev (Belarus); 12. Brent Metcalf (USA); 13. Dauren Zhumagaziev (Kazakhstan); 14. Malkhaz Zarkua (Georgia); 15. Franklin Castillo (Cuba)

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2012 Olympic Games
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan); Silver – Sushil Kumar (India); Bronze – Akhzurek Tantarov (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Livan Lopez (Cuba); 5th – Ramazan Sahin (Turkey); 5th – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); 7th – Haislan Garcia (Canada); 8th – David Safaryan (Armenia); 9th – Ikhtiyor Nazruzov (Uzbekistan); 10th – Ali Shabanov (Belarus)

2011 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran); Silver – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan); Bronze – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba); 5th – Leonid Bazin (Bulgaria); 5th – Adam Batirov (Russia); 7th – Innokenti Innokentev (Kyrgyzstan); 8th – Jakub Kacenak (Slovakia); 9th – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine); 10th – Vladimir Gotisan (Moldova)

2010 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Sushil Kumar (India); Silver – Alan Gogaev (Russia); Bronze – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Geandry Garzon (Cuba); 5th – Batzorig Buyanjav (Mongolia); 5th – Haislan Garcia (Canada); 7th – Heinrich Barnes (South Africa); 8th – Martin Daum (Germany); 9th – Yuri Poliak (Israel); 10th – Akzhurek Tantarov (Kazakhstan)

2009 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran); Silver – Rasul Djukaev (Russia); Bronze – Leonid Spiridonov (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan); 5th – Muhammed Ilkhan (Turkey); 5th – Sushil Kumar (India); 7th – Jabrayli Hasanov (Azerbaijan); 8th – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine); 9th – Chung Song Yang (North Korea); 10th – Purevjav Unurbat (Mongolia)

2008 Olympic Games
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Ramazan Shahin (Turkey); Silver – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine); Bronze – Otar Tushishvili (Georgia); Bronze – Sushil Kumar (India); 5th – Geandry Garzon (Cuba); 5th – Leonid Spiridonov (Kazakhstan); 7th – Irbek Farniev (Russia); 8th – Batzorig Buyanjav (Mongolia); 9th – Albert Batyrov (Belarus); 10th – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran)

2007 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold - Ramazan Shahin (Turkey); Silver - Geandry Garzon (Cuba); Bronze - Irbek Farniev (Russia); Bronze - Otar Tushishvili (Georgia); 5th - Andrey Stadnik (Ukraine); 5th - Doug Schwab (United States); 7th - Sushil Kumar (India); 8th - Batzorig Buyanjav (Mongolia); 9th - Takayuki Suzuki (Japan); 10th - Arslan Khutaliev (Uzbekistan)

2006 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold – Bill Zadick (USA); Silver – Otari Tushishvili (Georgia); Bronze – Geandry Garzon (Cuba); Bronze – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine); 5th – Albert Batyrov (Belarus); 5th – Serafim Barzakov (Bulgaria); 7th – Elman Askerov (Azerbaijan); 8th – Fred Jessy (Nigeria); 9th – Makhach Murtazaliev (Russia); 10th – Leonid Spiridonov (Kazakhstan)

2005 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Gold - Mahach Murtazaliev (Russia); Silver - Serafim Barzakov (Bulgaria); Bronze - Otar Tushishvili (Georgia); Bronze - Geandry Garzon (Cuba); 5th - Leonid Spirodonov (Kazakhstan); 5th - Viktor Bilokopytyy (Ukraine); 7th - Bayunjav Batzorig (Mongolia); 8th - Evan MacDonald (Canada); 9th - Omer Cubukci (Turkey); 10th - Masoud Vahedi (Iran)

2004 Olympic Games
66 kg/ 145.5 lbs. – Gold - Elbrus Tedeyev (Ukraine); Silver – Jamill Kelly (USA); Bronze – Makhach Murtazaliev (Russia); 4th – Leonid Spirdonov (Kazakhstan); 5th – Kazuhiko Ikematu (Japan); 6th – Apostolos Taskoudis (Greece); 7th – Omer Cubucki (Turkey); 8th – Serafim Barzakov (Bulgaria); 9th – Serguei Rondon (Cuba); 10th – Kumar Na Ramesh (India)
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