Olympic preview in freestyle wrestling at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.


Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
07/19/2012

Date of competition: Sunday, Aug. 12

Iran’s Reza Yazdani beat home crowd favorite Serhat Balci of Turkey to win a freestyle gold medal at the 2011 Worlds in Istanbul.

Yazdani placed third in the World in 2006 and 2007 at 84 kilos, before finishing 11th at the 2008 Olympics. He then returned to the World stage at 96 kilos last year and came through to win a title.

Russia’s Abdusalam Gadisov is another wrestler who has thrived in this weight class after bumping up a division. He won the European Championships and the Russian Nationals this year at 96 kilos. He was fifth in the 2009 Worlds at 84 kilos.

American Jake Varner enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2011 after winning a bronze medal at the World Championships.

Varner has made a big progression in this Olympic cycle, which started with him making the 2009 World Team. He is considered a serious medal threat.

Ruslan Sheikhau of Belarus won the other bronze medal in this division at the 2011 Worlds.

Khetag Gazyumov of Azerbaijan is another top contender. He won a World title in 2010 and was second in the World in 2009.

EXPECTED OLYMPIC ENTRIES
96 kg/211.5 lbs.

1st at 2011 World Championships – Reza Yazdani (Iran)
2nd at 2011 World Championships – Serhat Balci (Turkey)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Rouslan Sheikov (Belarus)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Jake Varner (United States)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Sinivie Boltic (Nigeria)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Taimuraz Tigieve (Kazakhstan)
2012 European Olympic qualifier champion – Abdusalam Gadisov (Russia)
2012 European Olympic qualifier runner-up – Georgi Gogshelidze (Georgia)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier champion – Kurban Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier runner-up – Rustam Iskandari (Tajikistan)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier champion – Javier Cortina Lacerra (Cuba)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier runner-up – Khetag Pliev (Canada)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier champion – Farahat Mostafa (Egypt)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier runner-up – Carl Floor (American Samoa)
Olympic Qualifier #1 champion – Khetag Gazumov (Azerbaijan)
Olympic Qualifier #1 runner-up – Magomed Musaev (Kyrgyzstan)
Olympic Qualifier #1 bronze medalist – Valeri Andriitsev (Ukraine)
Olympic Qualifier #2 champion – Nicolai Ceban (Moldova)
Olympic Qualifier #2 runner-up – Takao Isokawa (Japan)

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2011 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold – Reza Yazdani (Iran); Silver – Serhat Balci (Turkey); Bronze – Ruslan Sheikhau (Belarus); Bronze – Jake Varner (USA); 5th – Sinivie Boltic (Nigeria); 5th – Taimuraz Tigiyev (Kazakhstan); 7th – Rustam Iskandari (Tajikistan); 8th – Gergely Sandor Kiss (Hungary); 9th – Jozef Jaloviar (Slovakia); 10th – Kurban Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)

2010 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold – Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan); Silver – Khadshimourad Gatsalov (Russia); Bronze – Alexey Krupnyakov (Kyrgyzstan); Bronze – George Gogshelidze (Georgia); 5th – Ruslan Sheikhau (Belarus); 5th – Arfan Amiri (Iran); 7th – Khetag Pliev (Canada); 8th – Michel Batista (Cuba); 9th – Serhat Balci (Turkey); 10th – J.D. Bergman (USA)

2009 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold – Khadshimourad Gatsalov (Russia); Silver – Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Serhat Balci (Turkey); Bronze – George Gogchelidze (Georgia); 5th – Ruslan Sheikhau (Belarus); 5th – Saeed Abrahimi (Iran); 7th – Oldrick Wagner (Germany); 8th – Saleh Moustafa Emara (Egypt); 9th – Jake Varner (USA); 10th – Edgar Yenokyan (Armenia)

2008 Olympic Games
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Shirvani Muradov (Russia); Silver – Taimuraz Tigiyev (Kazakhstan); Bronze – George Gogschelidze (Georgia); Bronze – Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Michel Batista (Cuba); 5th – Georgii Tibilov (Ukraine); 7th - Kurban Kurbanov (Uzbekistan); 8th – Gergely Kiss (Hungary); 9th –Hakan Koc (Turkey); 10th – Saeid Abrahimi (Iran)

2007 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Khadshimourad Gatsalov (Russia); Silver - Saeed Abrahimi (Iran); Bronze - Kurban Kurbanov (Uzbekistan); Bronze - Daniel Cormier (United States); 5th - Hakan Koc (Turkey); 5th - Alexej Krupniakov (Kyrgyzstan); 7th - Vasili Tismenetzki (Ukraine); 8th - Stefan Kehrer (Germany); 9th - Khetag Gazumov (Azerbaijan); 10th - Georgi Gogchelidze (Georgia)

2006 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Khadshimourad Gatsalov (Russia); Silver – George Gogsehelidze (Georgia); Bronze – Michel Batista (Cuba); Bronze – Ruslan Sheyikhov (Belarus); 5th – David Zilberman (Canada); 5th – Ali Reza Heidari (Iran); 7th – Aleksei Kruphyakov (Kirghizistan); 8th – Vasil Tesmynetskyy (Ukraine); 9th – Stepan Kehrer (Germany); 10th – Patal Rohit (India)

2005 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Khadshimourad Gatsalov (Russia); Silver - Luka Kurtanidze (Georgia); Bronze - Aleksei Krupnykov (Krygyzstan); Bronze - Vasyl Tesmeyneckyy (Ukraine); 5th - Tae-Hyun Koo (Korea); 5th - Siarhei Pernikau (Belarus); 7th - Amir Ganji (Iran); 8th - Bartolomie Bartnicki (Poland); 9th - Nurzhan Katayev (Kazakhstan); 10th - Gergely Kiss (Hungary)

2004 Olympic Games
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Khajimurad Gatsalov (Russia); Silver - Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan); Bronze -Ali Reza Heidari (Iran); 4th - Daniel Cormier (USA); 5th -Rustem Aghayev (Azerbaijan); 6th -Wan Yuanyan (China); 7th - Aleksandr Shemarov (Belarus); 8th - Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia); 9th - Fatih Cakiroglu (Turkey); 10th - Islam Bairamukov (Kazakhstan)