World Championships preview in Greco-Roman wrestling at 74 kg/163 lbs.

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Richard Immel (USA Wrestling)

Date of Competition: Sunday, September 22

The 74 kg/163 lbs. weight class at the 2013 Greco-Roman World Championships is one of the more top-heavy weights that will be wrestled in Budapest, Hungary later this month. 

The odds on favorite to take home the gold medal is world No. 1 Roman Vlasov of Russia. Vlasov is the defending Olympic Champion at this weight in addition to winning the 2011 World Championships. Since striking gold in London, Vlasov has secured titles at the World University Games, European Championships and Ivan Poddubny Tournament.

The top challenger to Vlasov will be another 2012 Olympic Champion, 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Olympic gold medalist Kim Hyeon-Woo of Korea. Kim has bumped up to 74 kg/163 lbs. since competing at the Olympics, winning a gold medal at the Asian Championships in April. 

The possibility of two defending Olympic Champions battling it out for World gold makes the 74 kg/163 lbs. weight class one of the most intriguing of the entire World Championships. 

Currently ranked No. 2 in the world by FILA, Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia will be competing in his seventh straight World or Olympic Championship and is coming off a silver medal at last year’s Olympic games. 

2012 Olympic bronze medalists Aleksandr Kazekavic of Lithuania and Emin Ahmadov of Azerbaijan will once again be medal threats in Budapest. 

Kazekavic has competed at 84 kg/185 lbs. since competing at the 2012 Olympics, placing in multiple international tournaments. He will drop down to 74 kg/163 lbs. at the World Championships.

Azerbaijani Emin Ahmadov has posted only one international result since winning the bronze in London, earning eighth place at the Grand Prix of Spain up a weight at 84 kg/185 lbs. This will be Ahmadov’s first World Championship appearance.

Iranian Hadi Alizedah Pournia has posted excellent results this year earning the silver medal at the World University Games and Asian Championships. This will be the Iranian’s first senior level World Championship. 

Representing the United States at 74 kg/163 lbs. is Andy Bisek. Competing in his second World Championships, Bisek will look to break through and earn his first World medal in Budapest. 

Bisek defeated 2012 U.S. Olympian Ben Provisor in the semifinals of the U.S. World Team Trials and earned his spot on the World Team by defeating the relentless Jon Anderson in the finals of The Trials. 

1. Roman VLASOV (Russia) 2. Arsen JULFALAKYAN (Armenia) 3. KIM Hyeon-Woo (Korea) 4. Emrah KUS (Turkey) 5. Seref TUFENK (Turkey) 6. Hadi ALIZEDAH POURNIA (Iran) 7. Neven ZUGAJ (Croatia) 8. Yavor YANAKIEV (Bulgaria) 9. Mark MADSEN (Denmark) 10. Steeve GUENOT (France) 11. Ilian GEORIGIEV (Bulgaria) 12. Pascal EISELE (Germany) 13. Robert ROSENGREN (Sweden) 14. Piotr PRZEPIORKA (Poland) 15. Nikolai DARAGAN (Ukraine)


2012 Olympic Games
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Roman Vlasov (Russia); Silver - Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia); Bronze - Aleksandr Kazekevic (Lithuania); Bronze - Emin Ahmadov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Mark Madsen (Denmark); 5th - Aliaksandr Kikiniou (Belarus); 7th - Zurabi Datunishvili (Georgia); 8th - Christophe Guenot (France); 9th - Robert Rosengren (Sweden); 10th - Neven Zugaj (Croatia)

2011 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Roman Vlasov (Russia); Silver - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Bronze - Neven Zugaj (Croatia); Bronze - Arsen Jufalakyan (Armenia); 5th - Robert Rosengren (Sweden); 5th - Askhat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Jure Kuhar (Slovenia); 8th - Péter Bacsi (Hungary); 9th - Farshad Alizadeh Kalehkeshi (Iran); 10th - Ionel Puscasu (Romania)

2010 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Silver – Arsen Julfalkayan (Armenia); Bronze – Daniar Kobonov (Kyrgyzstan); Bronze – Emil Sharafedinov (Russia); 5th – Rafik Husenyov (Azerbaijan); 5th – Takehiro Kanakubo (Japan); 7th- Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 8th – Nevan Zugaj (Croatia); 9th – Jure Kuhar (Slovenia); 10th – Christophe Guenot (France)

2009 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey); Silver - Mark O. Madsen (Denmark); Bronze - Aliaksandr Kikiniov (Belarus); Bronze - Farshad Alizadeh Kelehkeshi (Iran); 5th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 5th - Rafiq Huseynov (Azerbaijan); 7th - Henri Valimaki (Finland); 8th - Christophe Guenot (France); 9th - Jakhongir Muminov (Uzbekistan); 10th - Evgeny Popov (Russia)

2008 Olympic Games
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Manuchar Kvirkelia (Georgia); Silver - Yongxiang Chang (China); Bronze - Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgaria); Bronze - Christophe Guenot (France); 5th - Aleh Mikhalovich (Belarus); 5th - Peter Basci (Hungary); 7th - Varteres Samourgashev (Russia); 8th - Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 9th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 10th - Arsen Jufalakyan (Armenia)

2007 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold – Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgaria); Silver – Mark Madsen (Denmark); Bronze – Christophe Guenot (France); Bronze – Valdemaras Venckaitis (Lithuania); 5th – Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan); 5th – Julian Kwit (Poland); 7th – Peter Bacsi (Hungary); 8th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 9th – Odelis Herrero (Cuba); 10th - Tae-Kyun Jung (Korea)

2006 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold - Volodym Shatskym (Ukraine); Silver - Marko Yli-Hannuksela (Finland); Bronze - Manuchar Krirkvelia (Georgia); Bronze - Mark Madsen (Denmark); 5th - T.C. Dantzler (United States); 5th - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 7th - Ilya Shafran (Israel); 8th - Neven Zugaj (Croatia); 9th - Daniar Kobonov (Kyrgyzstan); 10th - Davod Abedinzadeh (Iran)

2005 World Championships 
74 kg/163 lbs. - Gold - Varteres Samurgachev (Russia); Silver - Mark Madsen (Denmark); Bronze - Marko Yli-Hannuksela (Finland); Bronze - Konstantin Schneider (Germany); 5th - Reto Bucher (Switzerland); 5th - Mohammad Babulfath (Sweden); 7th - Aleksandr Dokturishvili (Uzbekistan); 8th - Ilgar Abdulov (Azerbaijan); 9th - Mahmut Altaly (Turkey); 10th - Manuchar Kvirkvelia (Georgia)