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Teen stars set to shine at Cadet World Championships in Serbia this week



CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (August 19) – The top teenage wrestlers in the world travel to the Serbian city of Zrenjanin next week to test their young skills at the cadet wrestling world championships, August 20-26.

The championships at the Kristalna Dvorana sports hall kick off August 20 with competition in five weight categories in boys’ freestyle, followed by the remaining five categories on August 21.

The girls’ freestyle events take over for the next two days, August 22-23, and the boys’ Greco-Roman wrestling will bring the championships to its conclusion.

The championships are often an introduction to full-blown international competition for many of the competitors, 16 and 17 years old – 15 years old with special permission. The meet is also chance for coaches to assess their training strategies and the development of their pupils.

The first cadet championships were held in 1975 and then only sporadically throughout the 1980s. The championships gained traction and became an annual event in the 1989.

With a crowded calendar of events, however, FILA did away with the cadet world championships in 1999, reasoning that for this age group, competition was better organized at the regional and continental level.

Many coaches around the world argued about the importance of having a world meet for young wrestlers. They pointed to Hamza YERLIKAYA (TUR) who won the cadet title at 76kg in 1992 at the age of 16 and then shocked the wrestling world by winning the senior title at 84kg one year later.

They could have also pointed to Saori YOSHIDA (JPN), who won cadet titles in 1998 and 1999. She won two junior world crowns before beginning her run of senior world-level titles which now include 10 world championships and three gold medals from the Olympic Games.

The cadet world championships for the Olympic styles were resumed in 2011 and it may be too early to say if a win at this level is an indicator of success at the junior or senior events.

On the horizon, however, is 2011 cadet world champion Yu MIYAHARA (JPN). A 2010 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist, MIYAHARA won the junior world title last week in Sofia and will represent Japan at the senior world championships this year in Budapest.

As for this year’s candidates for future glory, at least in Zrenjanin, include Greco-Roman wrestlers who start of the tournament. Six wrestlers from host Azerbaijan win gold medals in 2012. Two of Azerbaijan’s champions last year – Mikhail RAKHMANOV (AZE) and Islam ABBASOV (AZE) – both finished second in the European championships in June, but will seek to defend their world titles in Zrenjanin.

Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) won the Asian title at 50kg in July after being runner-up a year ago and Evgeni GENCHEV (BUL) was third a year ago in the European championships and won this year at 120kg in Montenegro.

When the girls arrive on the mats, two-time defending champion Masako FURUICHI (JPN) will seek her third title at 65kg and will be joined by returning champions Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) at 52kg and Kika KAGATA (JPN), up one category at 49kg.

From Europe, Nadeshda SOKOLOVA (RUS) will also be seeking a third world medal after a gold in 2011 and a silver last year. SOKOLOVA comes into world meet as the newly crowned European cadet champion at 43kg.

The championships concludes with freestyle, in which Bogdan LAZAREV (UKR) and Andrey YATSENKO (UKR) both won European titles in June in boys’ freestyle after taking bronze medals in last year’s cadet worlds in Baku.

Ali MOJERLOO (UZB) improved from bronze medal winner a year ago to Asian cadet champion at 76kg last month in Ulan Baatar, while KIM Han-Song (PRK) won his second silver medal in July at 50kg.

In the on-again, off-again history of the cadet world championships, there have been great future champions like YERLIKAYA and YOSHIDA, but the young stars of 2011 and 2012 are still waiting to shine. Or, will the next wrestling star rise over Zrenjanin?

Event Schedule,Local time in Zrenjanin, Serbia

Tuesday, August 20

Weight classes contested: Greco Roman, -50, -54, -58, -63, -100 kg
2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Qualification rounds, semifinals and repechage
7:00 – 7:30 p.m. – Opening ceremonies
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Finals, categories -50, -54, -58, -63, -100 kg

Wednesday, August 21
Weight classes contested: Greco Roman, -42, -46, -69, -76, -85 kg
14h00 – 19h00 – Manches de qualifications, demi-finales et repêchage.
19h30 – 21h30 – Finales, catégories -42, -46, -69, -76, -85 kg

Thursday, August 22
Weight classes contested: Girls’ freestyle 38, 43, 49, 56, 65kg
2:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Qualification rounds, semifinals, repechage
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Finals, categories 38, 43, 49, 56, 65kg

Friday, August 23
Weight classes contested: Girls’ freestyle 40, 46, 52, 60, 70kg
2:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Qualification rounds, semifinals, repechage
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Finals, categories 40, 46, 52, 60, 70kg

Saturday, August 24
Weight classes contested: Boys’ freestyle -42, -50, -58, -69, -85kg
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Qualification rounds, semifinals, repechage
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Finals, categories -42, -50, -58, -69, -85kg

Sunday, August 25
Weight classes contested:Boys’ freestyle -46, -54, -63, -76, 100kg
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Qualification rounds, semifinals, repechage

4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Finals, categories -46, -54, -63, -76, 100kg
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