World Championships preview in Greco-Roman wrestling at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

<< Back to Articles
Richard Immel (USA Wrestling)

Date of Competition: Saturday, September 21

One year ago in London, Iranian Ghasem Rezaei turned in a golden performance winning the 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Olympics. Rezaei will not be competing at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary leaving the door open for new blood to take over the top spot in the World.

The highest returning placer from the 2012 Olympic games who will be competing in Budapest is Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia. Aleksanyan won a bronze medal in London and is currently ranked No. 2 in the world by FILA. 

Since competing at the Olympics Aleksanyan was crowned 2013 European Champion, but stumbled against and up and coming Russian in the finals of the World University Games.

The Russian in question is World No. 1 Nikita Melnikov who will be competing in his first World Championship this year. In addition to winning gold at the World University Games for the second time, Melnikov won a grueling Ivan Poddubny Tournament earlier this year. 

2011 World bronze medalist from Turkey, Cenk Ildem, will most certainly play a factor in the medal race at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Ildem had a subpar performance at the 2012 Olympics, but since then was able to win a bronze medal at the 2013 European Championships. 

Ukranian Dimitri Timchenko won gold medals this year at the Grand Prix of Germany and Azovmash Cup. 

World No. 7 Marthin Nielsen of Norway recently won the Grand Prix of Spain and wrestled his way to bronze at the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup in Poland. 

2009 World Champion Balasz Kiss of Hungary is primed to make a return to the medal stand after winning the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup in Poland last month, finishing ahead of multiple ranked athletes including 2012 Olympic silver medalist Rustam Totrov. 

American Caylor Williams will be competing in his first World Championships after an impressive performance at the U.S. World Team Trials.  Williams won bronze at the 2013 Pan American Championships.


1. Nikita Melnikov (Russia) 2. Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia) 3. Cenk Ildem (Turkey) 4. Dimitri Timchenko (Ukraine) 5. Mikhail Kajaia (Georgia) 6. Villius Laurinaitis (Lithuania) 7. Marthin Nielsen (Norway) 8. Mahdi Aliyari Feyzabadi (Iran) 9. Fredrik Schoen (Sweden) 10. Yerulan Iskakov (Kazakhstan) 11. Vladislav Metodiev (Bulgaria) 12. Melonin Noumonvi (France) 13. Rustam Totrov (Russia) 14. Balasz Kiss (Hungary) 15. Timo Kallio (Finland)


2012 Olympic Games
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Ghasem Rezaei (Iran); Silver - Rustam Totrov (Russia); Bronze - Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia); Bronze - Jimmy Lidberg (Sweden); 5th - Yunior Estrada Falcon (Cuba); 5th - Tsimafei Dzeinichenka (Belarus); 7th - Elis Guri (Bulgaria); 8th - Ardo Arusaar (Estonia); 9th - Hassine Ayari (Tunisia); 10th - Shalva Gadabadze (Azerbaijan)

2011 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Elis Guri (Bulgaria); Silver - Jimmy Lidberg (Sweden); Bronze - Rustam Totrov (Russia); Bronze - Cenk Idem (Turkey); 5th - Mohammed Abdelfatah (Egypt); 5th - Tsimafei Dzeinicheka (Belarus); 7th - Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia); 8th - Mirko Englich (Germany); 9th - Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu (Romania); 10th - Shalva Gadabadze (Azerbaijan) 

2010 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold – Amir Ali Akbari (Iran); Silver – Timofej Dzeynichenko (Belarus); Bronze – Aslanbek Khushtov (Russia); Bronze – Jimmy Lidberg (Sweden); 5th – Justin Ruiz (United States); 5th – David Saldadze (Uzbekistan); 7th – Yunior Falcon Estrada (Cuba); 8th – Daigoro Timoncini (Italy); 9th – Robert Papp (Romania); 10th – Kaloyan Dinchev (Bulgaria)

2009 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Gold - Balazs Kiss (Hungary); Silver - Jimmy Lidberg (Sweden); Bronze - Amir Ali Akbari (Iran); Bronze - Aslanbek Khushtov (Russia); 5th - David Saldadze (Uzbekistan); 5th - Sergiy Yeroshkin (Ukraine); 7th - Serkan Ozden (Turkey); 8th - Chang-Gun An (Korea) ; 9th - Alin Alexuc (Romania); 10th - Oliver Hassler (Germany)

2008 Olympic Games
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Gold - Aslanbek Khushtov (Russia); Silver - Mirko Englich (Germany); Bronze - Adam Wheeler (USA); Bronze - Asset Mambetov (Kazakhstan); 5th - Han Tae-Young (Korea); 5th - Marek Svec (Czech Republic); 7th - Mindaugus Ezerskis (Lithuania); 8th - Elis Guri (Albania); 9th - Jiang Huachen (China); 10th - Mehmet Ozal (Turkey)

2007 World Championship
96 kg/211.5 lbs.- Gold – Ramaz Nozadze (Georgia); Silver – Mindaugas Ezerskis (Lithuania); Bronze – Marek Svec (Czech Republic); Bronze – Ghasem Rezaei (Iran); 5th – Kenzo Kato (Japan); 5th – Diagoro Timoncini (Italy); 7th - Elis Guri (Albania); 8th - Serkan Ozden (Turkey); 9th - Aset Membetov (Kazakhstan); 10th - Rami Hietaniemi (Finland)

2006 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Gold - Heiki Nabi (Estonia); Silver - Marek Svec (Czech Republic); Bronze - Kaloyan Dinchev (Bulgaria); Bronze - Hamza Yerlikaya (Turkey); 5th - Andrei Batura (Belarus); 5th - Ramaz Nozadze (Georgia); 7th - Jimmy Lidberg (Sweden); 8th - Lajos Virag (Hungary); 9th - Theodoros Tounoysidis (Greece); 10th - Young Han-Tae (Korea)

2005 World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Gold - Hamza Yerlikaya (Turkey); Silver - Lajos Virag (Hungary); Bronze - Vasilliy Tepoulkhov (Russia); Bronze - Justin Ruiz (USA); 5th - Mirko Englich (Germany); 5th - Margulan Assembekov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Mikhaylo Nikolaev (Ukraine); 8th - Vladislav Metodiev (Bulgaria); 9th - Shata Narmaniya (Belarus); 10th - Marek Svec (Czech Republic)