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2019 World Championships: 60kg Greco-Roman Preview

Hafizov, Ildar

photo courtesy of Richard Immel

Greco-Roman 60 kg Preview

Days of competition: Preliminaries-Semifinals: Monday, September 16th; Finals: Tuesday, September 17th

Seeds: #1 Sergey Emelin (Russia), #2 Seunghak Kim (South Korea), #3 Victor Ciobanu (Moldova), #4 Ivan Lizatovic (Croatia)

US Entry: Ildar Hafizov

After missing out on making the 2018 World Team, Ildar Hafizov is on his second team in three years. In total, counting his time spent Uzbekistan’s national team, Hafizov is making his fifth appearance at a Senior World Championships, along with competing at the 2008 Olympic Games. After moving to the United States in 2016, Ildar has joined the Army’s WCAP program and is one of four of their team members on the 2019 squad. Hafizov had to go through a tough road just to make the team as he lost to another teammate Leslie Fuenffinger, 6-4, in the finals of the US Open. That made Ildar have to go through the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina a few weeks later where he clinched a place in Final X after cruising by Randon Miranda 7-0 and 6-1. Hafizov turned the tables on Fuenffinger in their Final X Lincoln rematch, by taking the series in two straight matches 7-5 and 9-0. Ildar started his 2019 run off with a title at the Dave Schultz Memorial and then logged an eighth-place finish at the Grand Prix of Zagreb. Most recently, he represented the US at the Pan-American Games where he left with a bronze medal. Hafizov has had a long, successful career on the Greco circuit, but is missing that elusive world hardware. With so many returning world medalists at this weight, if he were to break through and get onto the podium, it will be well-earned, as this bracket will feature no easy draws. 

Favorites:

Emelin – 2019 European silver medalist, 2019 Dan Kolov Champion, 2018 World Champion, 2018 European Champion, 2017 U23 World silver medalist, 2014 Junior World bronze medalist

Kim – 2019 City of Sassari Champion, 2019 Grand Prix of Hungary Champion, 2017 World bronze medalist

Ciobanu – 2019 European Games bronze medalist, 2019 European Champion, 2018 World silver medalist

Lizatovic – Three-time European bronze medalist

NR Kenichiro Fumita (Japan) – 2019 Asian bronze medalist, 2018 U23 World champion, 2017 World Champion, 2017 Asian Champion, 2011 Cadet World bronze medalist

NR Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan) – 2019 Asian silver medalist, 2018 World silver medalist, Four-time Asian Champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2014 World bronze medalist, 2013 World bronze medalist, 2011 Junior World bronze medalist

Medal Contenders:

NR Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan) – 2019 European bronze medalist, 2018 International Ukrainian Champion

NR Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria) – 2017 European silver medalist, 2013 World Champion, 2011 World bronze medalist, Seven-time Dan Kolov Champion

#5 Sailike Walihan (China) – 2019 Asian fifth-place, 2019 Dan Kolov silver medalist, 2018 World bronze medalist

NR Dato Chkhartishvili (Georgia) – 2019 European Games bronze medalist, Two-time European U23 bronze medalist, 2018 European bronze medalist, 2016 Junior World Champion

NR Erik Torba (Hungary) – 2019 European Games silver medalist, 2019 City of Sassari silver medalist, 2019 European U23 bronze medalist, 2015 Junior World bronze medalist, 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist

#12 Aidos Sultangali (Kazakhstan) – 2018 World bronze medalist, 2017 U23 World bronze medalist

NR Kanybek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan) – 2018 Asian Games silver medalist, 2017 World fifth-place, 2016 Asian Champion, 2009 Junior World bronze medalist, 2008 Junior World Champion

#6 Se Ung Ri (North Korea) – 2019 Asian silver medalist, 2018 World fifth-place, 2018 Asian silver medalist, 2014 Youth Olympic Games Champion

NR Stig-Andre Berge (Norway) – 2019 European silver medalist, 2019 Thor Masters Champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Three-time Olympian

#7 Kerem Kamal (Turkey) – 2019 European bronze medalist, Three-time Junior World Champion, 2018 U23 World bronze medalist, 2018 U23 European Champion

NR Lenur Temirov (Ukraine) – 2019 European bronze medalist, 2019 Thor Masters silver medalist, 2018 World bronze medalist, 2012 Olympian, 2010 Junior World bronze medalist

2018 Medalists

Gold: Sergey Emelin (Russia)

Silver: Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

Bronze: Aidos Sultangali 

Bronze: Sailike Walihan (China)

2019 Medal Predictions:

Gold: Sergey Emelin (Russia)

Silver: Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan)

Bronze: Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

Bronze: Kerem Kamal (Turkey)

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