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FILA releases men's freestyle World rankings for May 2013



OLYMPIC CHAMP BURROUGHS STRETCHES WIN STREAK TO 52

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (May 9) - London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist Jordan BURROUGHS (United States) triumphed at the Alexander Medved Prizes tourney in early March and notched five more wins at the World Cup meet to earn the top spot at 74kg in FILA's inaugural rankings of men's freestyle wrestling.

BURROUGHS, also the 2011 world champion at 74kg, won the recent U.S. Open tournament, putting him on track for a chance to defend his world title in Budapest in September.

Along with BURROUGHS, gold medalist Jake VARNER (United States) earned a No.2 ranking at 96kg after a second-place performance at the Dan Kolov tournament in Bulgaria in February.

Other Olympic medalists in the rankings include, YANG Kyong-Il (DPR Korea), Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (Georgia), Sadegh GOUDARZI (Iran), Gabor HATOS (Hungary), Dato MARSAGISHVILI (Georgia) on top of the 84kg rankings, Ehsan LASHGIRI (Iran), Khetag GAZYMOV (Azerbaijan), David MODZMANASHVILI (Georgia) and Komeil GHASEMI (Iran).

As always, in the first year after an Olympic Games, a number of top wrestlers retire or decide to take a break from competition, while others, looking ahead to Rio de Janiero in 2016, start laying the foundations for Olympic qualification.

The international rankings for men's freestyle wrestling, April 2013:

55kg - Amit KUMAR (India), who turns 20 in December, stormed past Olympic Games bronze medalist and former world champion YANG Kyong-Il (DPR Korea) in the final of the Asian championships to claim his first senior continental crown.

The wrestlers in Europe, meanwhile, took turns winning the events on the continent, with Giori EDISHERASHVILI (Georgia) taking the European championships crown and Sezer AKGUL (Turkey) winning individual honors at the men's freestyle World Cup.

1. Amit KUMAR, India (Asia No.1)
2. YANG Kyong-Il, DPR Korea (Asia No.2, Dan Kolov No.1)
3. Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI, Georgia (Europe No.1, Yasar Dogu No.3)
4. Vladislav ANDREEV, Belarus (Europe No.2, Alexander Medved Prizes No.1)
5. Sezer AKGUL,Turkey (Europe No.3, Yasar Dogu No.2)
6. Yasher ALIEV, Azerbaijan (Europe No.3, Yasar Dogu No.3)
7. Artyom GEBEKOV, Russia (Ivan Yarygin GP No.1, Europe No.5)
8. Hassan RAHIMI, Iran (World Cup No.2)
9. Fumitaka MORISHITA, Japan (Yarygin No. 3, World Cup No. 3)
10. Rasul KALIEV, Kazakhstan (Asia No. 3)

60kg - Opan SAT (Russia) rolled past Olympic Games silver medalist Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (Georgia) in the semifinals and stopped Vladimir DUBOV (Bulgaria) in the final for his third European championships crown.

DUBOV stopped HWANG Ryong-Hak (DPR Korea) in the finals of the Dan Kolov tournament in Bulgaria, but HWANG rebounded for the Asian crown in New Delhi, outscoring opponents 35-18 in four bouts.

1. Opan SAT, Russia (Europe No.1, Yarygin No.1)
2. Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI, Georgia (Europe No.3, Yasar Dogu No.1)
3. Vladimir DUBOV, Bulgaria (Europe No.2, Dan Kolov No.1)
4. HWANG Ryong-Hak, DPR Korea (Asia No.1, Dan Kolov No.2)
5. Masoud ESMAILPOURJYOUBARI, Iran (World Cup No.1)
6. Aleksander BOGOMOEV, Russia (Yarygin No.2, World Cup No.4)
7. YANG Jae-Hoon, Korea (Asia No.2)
8. Daulet NIYAZBEKOV, Kazakhstan (Asia No.3, Yarygin No.3)
9. Alejandro VALDES TOBIER, Cuba (Pan America No.1)
10. Tim SCHLEICHER, Germany (Europe No.3)

66kg - London 2012 Olympian David SAFARYAN (Armenia) edged World Cup winner Yakup GOR (Turkey), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0) for the European championship and the top spot in the rankings.

GOR won the Yasar Dogu tournament in Ankara in February and was the top individual at the World Cup meet in February.

Also, making their first appearances of 2013 at the World Cup were defending world champion Mehdi TAGHAVI KERMANI (Iran) and 2010 world runner-up Alan GOGAEV (Russia). In the team final, won 6-1 by Iran, GOGAEV defeated TAGHAVI KERMANI in their head-to-head.

1. David SAFARYAN, Armenia (Europe No.1, International Ukrainian No.2)
2. Yakup GOR, Turkey (Europe No.2, Yasar Dogu No.1)
3. Ilyas BEKBULATOV, Russia (Europe No.3, Yarygin No.1)
4. Amit Dhankar KUMAR, India (Asia No.1)
5. Mandakhnaran GANZORIG, Mongolia (A2, former AG champ)
6. Alan GOGAEV, Russia (World Cup No.5)
7. Mehdi TAGHAVI KERMANI, Iran (World Cup. No.4)
8. Alexander KONTOEV, Belarus (Europe No.3)
9. Franklin MAREN CASTILLO, Cuba (Pan America No.1)
10. Brent METCALF, United States (Yarygin No. 2, World Cup No.2)

74kg - Olympic and world champion Jordan BURROUGHS (United States) showed wrestling fans in Minsk and Tehran why he is the gold standard at 74kg with victories at the Medved tourney and the World Cup.

BURROUGHS stretched his current winning streak to 52 at the senior level with a triumph at the U.S. Open in mid-April.

Andiar GEDUEV (Russia), meanwhile, topped the field at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and then outscored five opponents, 37-1, on the way to his first European championship. In the final, GEDUEV edged Olympic bronze medalist Gabor HATOS (Hungary).

1. Jordan BURROUGHS, U.S. (World Cup No.1)
2. Andiar GEDUEV, Russia (Europe No.1, Yarygin No.1)
3. Gabor HATOS, Hungary (Europe No.2)
4. Sadegh GOUDARZI, Iran (World Cup No.3)
5. Rashid KURBANOV, Uzbekistan (Asia No.1, Yasar Dogu No.3)
6. Gia CYKHLANDZE, Ukraine (Europe No.3, Int'l Ukrainian No.3)
7. Leonid BAZAN, Bulgaria (Europe No.3, Dan Kolov No.3)
8. Yunieski BLANCO MORA, Cuba (Pan America No.1)
9. ZHANG Chongyao, China (Asia No.2)
10. David KHUTISHVILI, Georgia (Europe No.7)

84kg - London 2012 bronze medalist Dato MARSAGISHVILI (Georgia) won the Yasar Dogu crown and repeated as European champion, and appears now, at age 22, poised to take control of the 84kg weight category.

Anzor URISHEV (Russia) is the last wrestler to defeat the young Georgian at the European championships -- in the 2011 finals -- and comes in second in the rankings after winning the Yarygin Grand Prix crown and finishing third in Europe. UIRSHEV lost to MARSAGISHVILI in the Tbilisi semifinals.

1. Dato MARSAGISHVILI, Georgia (Europe No.1, Yasar Dogu No.1)
2. Anzor URISHEV, Russia (Europe No.3, Yarygin No.1)
3. Musa MURTAZALIEV, Armenia (Europe No.2, Int'l Ukrainian No.1)
4. Ibragim ALDATOV, Ukraine (Europe No.3, Int'l Ukraine No.3)
5. Hakki CEYLAN, Turkey (Yasar Dogu No.2, World Cup No.2)
6. Ehsan LASHGARI, Iran (World Cup No.5)
7. Umidyon ISMANOV, Uzbekistan (Asia No.1)
8. Aibek USUPOV, Kyrgyzstan (Asia No. 2)
9. Ehsan AMINI, Iran (Asia No.3)
10. Murad GAIDAROV (Europe No.7, Medved No.1)

96kg - A topsy-turvy, upside-down weight category with no clear-cut favorites ready to emerge. Only Vladislav BAITSAEV (Russia) has shown some consistency with a win at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in January and then a bronze medal at the European championships.

The wrestler in control a year ago, London 2012 gold medalist Jake Varner (United States), took a second at the Dan Kolov tournament in February. Meanwhile, two lower-ranked wrestlers from the Dan Kolov tourney, Kamil SKASKIEWICZ (Poland) and Lyuben ILIEV (Bulgaria) took home the silver and bronze medals from the European championships.

1. Vladislav BAITSAEV, Russia (Europe No.3, Ivan Yarygin GP No.1)
2. Jake VARNER, United States (Dan Kolov, No.2)
3. Pavlo OLEYNIK, Ukraine (Europe No.1)
4. Kamil SKASKIEWICZ, Poland (Europe No.2)
5. Lyuben ILIEV, Bulgaria (Europe No. 3)
6. Elizbar ODIKADZE, Georgia (Yasar Dogu No.1)
7. Khetag GAZYMOV, Azerbaijan (Yasar Dogu No.2)
8. Ivan YANKOUSKI, Belarus (Alexander Medved, No.1)
9. Javier CORTINA LACERRA, Cuba (Pan America No.1)
10. KIM Jae-Gang, Korea (Asia No.1)

120kg - Taha AKGUL (Turkey) began the year with a triumph before hometown fans, taking the Yasar Dogu crown in Ankara. He followed with five wins at the World Cup meet, where Turkey took fifth place, and then claimed the European championships crown in March.

Alen ZASEEV (Ukraine), formerly at 96kg, defeated Olympian Aleksander KHOTSIANIVSKI (Ukraine) in the International Ukrainian Tournament, both finishing ahead of London 2012 silver medalist David MODZMANASHVILI (Georgia).

1. Taha AKGUL, Turkey (Europe No.1, Yasar Dogu No.1)
2. Alen ZASEEV, Ukraine (Europe No.2, Int'l Ukrainian No.1)
3. Jamalladin MAGOMEDOV, Azerbaijan (Europe No.3, Yasar Dogu No.3)
4. Geno PETRIASHVILI, Georgia (Europe No.3)
5. Magomedgazhi NURASULOV, Russia (Yarygin No.1)
6. David MODZMANASHVILI, Georgia (Int'l Ukrainian No.3)
7. Komeil GHASEMI, Iran (World Cup No.4)
8. Tervel DLAGNEV, United States (World Cup No.2, Medved No.1)
9. Kurban KURBANOV, Uzbekistan (Yasar Dogu No.2)
10. Dom BRADLEY, United States (U.S. Open No.1)

William May has been active in wrestling across three continents for more than 40 years as a competitor, coach, referee and journalist. William wrestled with the Minnesota Wrestling Club (USA) in the early 1970s and went to Japan as an English teacher and later a sportswriter for 16 years with the Kyodo News Service in Tokyo. In Japan, William continued to wrestle and coach at Kokushikan University in Tokyo. He also collaborated with the magazine, Japanese Wrestling Monthly, and later the website of the Japan Wrestling Federation. In 2002, William moved to Czech Republic where he teaches English, writes for the JWF website, and coaches at a local wrestling club in Kladno. In 2008 and 2012, 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, wmay52@hotmail.com.
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