By William May
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (February 4) – The FILA World Wrestling Rankings kick off their second year with a new system of weights for each style and an expanded list of the top wrestlers in each category.
The Greco-Roman rankings for January, the first compiled for 2014, were based on the results of the Herman Kare tourney in Kouvola (FIN), the Ivan Poddubny in Tyumen (RUS) and the Yadegar Imam Cup in Tehran.
A total of 20 wrestlers were listed in each of the eight new weight categories, or 160 wrestlers ranked in each style – compared to the top 105 wrestlers in seven categories (15 per weight) in 2013.
Some challenges have emerged as wrestlers and coaches try to determine which of the new categories will be the best fit for a wrestler – a process that is likely going to take a few months to sort itself out.
For the new rankings, consultants avoided any speculation about which category a wrestler might wrestle in and filled out the categories with only the wrestlers who have competed there.
For this reason, Greco-Roman’s non-Olympic weight categories, 71kg and 80kg, are largely populated with wrestlers from Ivan Poddubny and the Yadegar Imam Cup. It will likely take a couple more months to get a more accurate understanding of new weight categories.
But, despite the new weights, new rules, and new rankings challenges, on the mat it is wrestling as usual as world champions YUN Won-Chol (PRK) and Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS) fell in kick-off events along Olympic gold medalists Islambek ALBIEV (RUS) and Roman VLASOV (RUS).
None of the toppled champions were adversely affected by their setbacks in January as their list of successes in 2013 have given them a bit of wiggle room – at least, until the continental championships this spring.
Meanwhile, former world champions Saeid Mouran ABDVALI (IRI), Balasz KISS (HUN) and Olympic gold medalist Alexej MISHIN (RUS) received a boost in the rankings with big wins in January.
Also, world silver medalist at 60kg Ivan KUYLAKOV (RUS) made the drop to 59kg and won at Ivan Poddubny, claiming the No.3 ranking at Greco-Roman’s new lightest weight for January.
London 2012 silver medalist Tamas LORINCZ (HUN), top-ranked all of last summer at 66kg, won the Yadegar Imam crown at 71kg while Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS) came down from 74kg to win Ivan Poddubny for the top two spots in one of Greco-Roman’s “in-between” categories.
In the rankings for January, the wrestlers are listed by name, country code, their most significant result in January or 2013, and their position in the previous rankings.
59kg – World silver medalist at 60kg Ivan KUYLAKOV (RUS) won his third Ivan Poddubny title in five years to break into the 59kg rankings at No.3 behind 55kg world finalists YUN Won-Chol (PRK) and CHOI Gyu-Jin (KOR).
Mohsen HAJIPOUR (IRI), meanwhile, raced out to a five-point lead in the final of the Yadegar Imam Cup in Tehran and held on for a 6-3 win over world champion YUN to earn the No.8 ranking in Greco-Roman’s lightest weight category.
66kg – Poddubny defending champion Adam KURAK (RUS) defeated Beijing 2008 gold medalist Islambek ALBIEV (RUS), 7-0, for his second triumph in Tyumen and the No.7 slot in the first rankings of 2014.
Asad ALIEV (AZE), runner-up in last year’s Yadegar Imam Cup, rolled to a 13-0 technical fall win over Marad ABULADZE (GEO) in Tehran for his first-ever international title and a No.13 ranking.
71kg – London 2012 silver medalist at 66kg Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) topped the 2013 rankings last summer before stumbling at the world championships in Budapest. LORINCZ regains the top spot — this time in the newly created 71kg category – after a four decisive wins in Tehran.
Two-time former junior world champion Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS), only 26th last year at 74kg, has found a new home at 71kg and comes in at No.2 in the rankings after a win over last summer’s junior world kingpin Abuyazit MATSIGOV (RUS) at Ivan Poddubny
75kg – Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) scored an early force-out and made it stand for a 1-0 triumph over London 2012 gold medalist Roman VLASOV (RUS) in the final of the Ivan Poddubny tourney. CHEKHIRKIN’s first win in the Greco-Roman winter classic lifted him to No.5 in the rankings.
Meanwhile, 2011 world champion at 66kg Saeid Mourad ABDVALI (IRI) won his third straight Yadegar Imam Cup crown at 74kg-75kg, outscoring four opponents 25-0 to earn the No.7 ranking.
80kg – Two-time Olympian Peter BACSI (HUN) tops the second special non-Olympic weight category after winning the Yadegar Imam Cup while junior world bronze medalist at 74kg Bekhan OZDOEV (RUS) comes in at No.2 with a win on criteria at Ivan Poddubny.
Vyacheslav ZVARYCH (UKR) won the Herman Kare tourney in Kouvola, Finland to kick off the 2014 Greco-Roman season and slips in at No.14 in the newly expanded rankings.
85kg – Ageless Alexej MISHIN (RUS) edged Asamat BIKBAEV (RUS) with a caution midway through the second period and held on for a 1-0 victory and his third straight and fourth overall Poddubny triumph.
Mojtaba KARIMFAR (IRI) repeated as Yadegar Imam champion with a 5-1 win over 2010 Asia junior silver medalist Saman AZIZI (IRI), who had scored a 4-0 quarterfinal win over world bronze medalist Viktor LORINCZ (HUN).
98kg – Junior world champion Musa EVLOEV (RUS) scored a bodylock takedown to defeat reigning senior world titlist Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS), 2-1, in the 98kg Poddubny final, reversing last year’s result and avenging a November loss at the Copa Brasil.
World bronze medalist Balasz KISS (HUN) won his second title since the world meet in Budapest by claiming the Yadegar Imam Cup crown. KISS also won the Golden Grand Prix Final in Baku in November to further solidify his No.3 ranking.
130kg – World and Olympic bronze medalist Johan Magnus EUREN (SWE) defeated Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI), 6-1, to win the Yadegar Imam Cup title – his ninth tourney triumph since August 2012.
Vitali ILNITSKI (RUS) broke open a scoreless bout in the 130kg final at Ivan Poddubny with a pair of go-behind takedowns on his way to a 6-0 win over surprise finalist Vitali TSUR (RUS).
|1||YUN, Won-Chol||DPR Korea||1|
|3||Ivan KUYLAKOV||Russia||2 (60kg)|
|7||Spenser MANGO||United States||6|
|18||Elmurat TASMURADOV||Uzbekistan||3 (60kg)|
|9||Pedro MULENS HERRERA||Cuba||10|
|18||WON Ri-Hak||DPR Korea||NR|
|1||Tamas LORINCZ||Hungary||7 (66kg)|
|18||Yunus Emre BASAR||Turkey||NR|
|7||Saeid Mourad ABDVALI||Iran||NR|
|13||Hadi ALIZEDAH POURNIA||Iran||11|
|16||Esengeldi KOZHOBEK ULUU||Kyrgyzstan||14|
|1||Taleb Nariman NEMATPOUR||Iran||1|
|2||Hassan Saman TAHMASEBI||Azerbaijan||2|
|5||Mahdi ALIYARI FEYZABADI||Iran||5|
|18||Ali ALIYARI FEYZABADI||Iran||NR|
|4||Johan Magnus EUREN||Sweden||4|
|5||Mihaly DEAK BARDOS||Hungary||5|
|6||Robert SMITH||United States||6|
William May conducts the World Rankings for FILA. He has been active in wrestling across three continents for more than 40 years as a competitor, coach, referee and journalist. William worked as the “Sports Information Specialist” for wrestling at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. He can be reached on his Facebook page or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
FILA, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, is the global governing body of the sport of wrestling. It works to promote the sport and facilitate the activities of its 177 national federations from around the world. It is based in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.
To learn more about FILA visit its official website, http://www.fila-official.com/; Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fila.official, or Twitter handle, @FILA_Official.
(For more information please contact FILA at 41.21 312 84 26 or Bob Condron, Press Officer, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.