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Olympic preview in freestyle wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs.



Date of competition: Friday, Aug. 10

The U.S. has enjoyed great success in this weight class at the Olympics, with American Henry Cejudo striking gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Cejudo lost in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympic Team Trials with veteran Sam Hazewinkel stepping up to make the U.S. freestyle team in this class.

Hazewinkel has now competed extensively overseas in freestyle after excelling in freestyle, and he has gained momentum heading into London with a strong season.

Hazewinkel beat Nick Simmons, fifth in the World last year, in the finals of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to earn a trip to London for the 2012 Olympics. Simmons knocked off Cejudo in the semifinals of the Trials.

Russia’s Viktor Lebedev won World titles the past two years, but lost to Jamar Otarsultanov in the finals of the Russian Nationals.

Lebedev beat past World champion Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria in the World finals last year. Velikov won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008 after losing to Cejudo in the first round.

Kazakstan’s Daulet Niyabekov and Iran’s Hassan Rahimi won World bronze medals in 2011. Armenia’s Armenia’s Mihran Jaburyan, fifth in the World last year, is another top wrestler to watch in this division.

2009 World champion Kyong-Il Yang of North Korea could be a big factor in this weight class.

European Olympic qualifier champion Vladimir Khinchegashvili of Georgia and Asian Olympic qualifier champion Amit Kumar of India also are hitting their peak entering the Olympics.

EXPECTED OLYMPIC ENTRIES
55 kg/121 lbs.
1st at 2011 World Championships – Viktor Lebedev (Russia)
2nd at 2011 World Championships – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Daulet Niyazbekov (Kazakhstan)
3rd at 2011 World Championships – Hassan Rahimi (Iran)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Mihan Jaburyan (Armenia)
5th at 2011 World Championships – Sam Hazewinkel (United States)
2012 European Olympic qualifier champion – Vladimir Khinchegashvili (Georgia)
2012 European Olympic qualifier runner-up – Ahmet Peker (Turkey)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier champion – Amit Kumar (India)
2012 Asian Olympic qualifier runner-up – Shinichi Yumoto (Japan)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier champion – David Tremblay (Canada)
2012 Pan American Olympic qualifier runner-up – Brandon Jesus Escobar Amador (Honduras)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier champion – Ibrahim Farag Abdelhakim (Egypt)
2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifier runner-up – Naatele Sem Shilimela (Namibia)
Olympic Qualifier #1 champion – Kyong-Il Yang (North Korea)
Olympic Qualifier #1 runner-up – Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan)
Olympic Qualifier #1 bronze medalist – Jin-Cheol Kim (Korea)
Olympic Qualifier #2 champion – Naranbaatar Bayaraa (Mongolia)
Olympic Qualifier #2 runner-up – Nikolai Noev (Tajikistan)

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2011 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Viktor Lebedev (Russia); Silver – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Bronze – Daulet Niyabekov (Kazakhstan); Bronze – Hassan Rahimi (Iran); 5th – Mihran Jaburyan (Armenia); 5th – Nick Simmons (USA); 7th – Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia); 8th – Shinichi Yumoto (Japan); 9th – Nurlan Makenaliev (Kyrgyzstan); 10th – Bayaraa Naranbaatar (Mongolia)

2010 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Victor Lebedev (Russia); Silver – Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Frank Chamizo (Cuba); Bronze – Yasuhiro Inaba (Japan); 5th – Hyo-Sub Kim (Korea); 5th – Naranbaatar Bayaraa (Mongolia); 7th – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); 8th – Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 9th – Obe Blanc (USA); 10th – Hassan Rahimi (Iran)

2009 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Kyong-Il Yang (North Korea); Silver – Sezar Akgul (Turkey); Bronze - Victor Lebedev (Russia); Bronze - Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 5th – Krasimir Krastanov (Great Britain); 5th – Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan); 7th – Mykola Aivazian (Ukraine); 8th – Mihan Jaburyan (Armenia); 9th – Hyo-Sub Kim (Korea); 10th – Hassan Rahimi (Iran)

2008 Olympic Games
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Henry Cejudo (USA); Silver – Tomohiro Matsunaga (Japan); Bronze – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Bronze – Besik Kudukhov (Russia); 5th – Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); 7th – Rizvan Gadzhiev (Belarus); 8th – Besarion Gochishvili (Georgia); 9th – Kim Hyo-Sub (Korea); 10th – Abbas Dabbaghi (Iran)

2007 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Silver - Naranbaatar Bayaraa (Mongolia); Bronze – Andy Moreno (Cuba); Bronze - Rizvan Gadshiev (Belarus); 5th - Sezer Akguel (Turkey); 5th - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); 7th - Freddy Serrano (Colombia); 8th - Zhassulan Mukhtabekuly (Kazakhstan); 9th - Anil Kumar (India); 10th - Firas Alrifaei (Syria)

2006 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold – Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Silver – Besik Kudukhov (Russia); Bronze – Namig Abdullayev (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Sammie Henson (USA); 5th – Sub Kim-Hyo (Korea); 5th – Adkham Achilov (Uzbekistan); 7th – Vinod Kumar (India); 7th – Vinod Kumar (India); 8th – Taghi Dadashi (Iran); 9th – O Son Nam (North Korea); 10th – Amiran Kartanov (Greece)

2005 World Championships
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan); Silver - Radoslav Velikov (Bulgaria); Bronze - Hyon Guk Jon (North Korea); Bronze - Bayaraa Naranbaatar (Mongolia); 5th - Namig Abdullayev (Azerbaijan); 5th - Tomohiro Matsunaga (Japan); 7th - Jae-Hoon Jan (Korea); 8th - Gevork Markaryan (Ukraine); 9th - Zalimkhan Kutseev (Russia); 10th - Ghenadie Tulbea (Moldova)

2004 Olympic Games
55 kg/121 lbs. – Gold - Mavlet Batirov (Russia); Silver - Stephen Abas (USA); Bronze - Chikara Tanabe (Japan); 4th - Amiran Karntanov (Greece); 5th - Li Zhengu (China); 6th - Kim Hyo Sub (Korea); 7th - Oleksandr Zakharuk (Ukraine); 8th - O Song Nam (P.R. of Korea); 9th - Velikov Radislav (Bulgaria); 10th - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan)
Untitled Document
   
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