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Can Yianni Diakomihalis break onto the podium at worlds?

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Yianni Diakomihalis after what seems like an insanely long time has finally just made his first world team. To most people it seems like it’s a guaranteed medal however the 65kg field could not be more deep. Even with Russian and Olympic Bronze Medalists Gadzhimurad Rashidov and Bajrang Punia out those are only two people out of his way. Let’s see who Yianni needs to beat in order to get on the podium.

2021 Olympic Champion Takuto Otoguro (PC: Kyodo News)

The first guy, and this goes without saying has to be Takututo Otoguro of Japan. He has always been a staple at the 65kg weight class but finally just made the breakthrough to the top avenging a huge loss from Rashidov and claimed Gold on his home turf. On the way to this gold medal he also defeated 3x World Champion Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

3x World Champion Haji Aliyev (PC: Sports Keeda)

Next up is Olympic Silver Medalist and 3x World Champion Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan. He has been a staple at 61kg but had yet to make super big waves at the 65kg weight class until he dominated Bajrang Punia in the Olympic semifinals and fell just a single point short in the Olympic Finals to the aforementioned Otoguro.

Olympic Bronze Medalists Gadzhimurad Rashidov and Bajrang Punia (PC: Unknown)

The biggest news in the 65kg field and maybe just the news that Yianni needs is Gadzhimurad Rashidov and Bajrang Punia pulling out of worlds. This theoretically will clear up 2 more spots. That being said there are more guys who fell just short in Tokyo that are out for blood. Let’s talk about them.

Hungarian 65kg rep Ismail Musukaev (PC: Youtube)

Ismail Musukaev is an interesting case in this tournament. He was a single match away from claiming an Olympic Bronze but fell short falling to only Russian Rashidov who is out for Oslo. He competes for Hungary official but is a transfer out of Russia. He is 1-1 against Yianni Diakomihalis all time but the most recent meeting was won by Musukaev.

Armenian 65kg rep Vazgen Tevanyan (PC: UWW)

Vazgen Tevanyan of Armenia is 100% someone who should not be overlooked in this bracket. He did not place in Tokyo, however that being said the blind draw was probably the worst it could’ve been. He pulled Rashidov round 1 and ended up dropping that match. Then once Otoguro upset Rashidov in the semis that put Tevanyan out of medal contention. He will definitely be looking to make his way back onto a podium in Oslo.

*All projections based off of prior results and accolades*

Projections For Oslo: Takuto Otoguro JAP (Gold), Haji Aliyev AZE (Silver), Vazgen Tevanyan ARM (Bronze), Ismail Musukaev HUN (Bronze).

Overall thoughts Yianni is close to medaling just needs a good tournament. Otoguro and Aliyev maybe too far out of his reach this year, that being said Musukaev and Tevanyan are within his reach.

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