3 of Russia’s best wrestlers will not be competing in the 2021 World Championships. This includes 2 Olympic Champs Zavur Uguev and Zaurbek Sidakov along with a World Champ and Olympic Bronze Medalist Gadzhimurad Rashidov.
Now What does this mean for our guys or even for the entire world in general? Let’s start off with the 57kg weight class where defending Olympic Champion Zavur Uguev will not be competing to retain his #1 spot. Who is next up at 57kg? That would either be Olympic Silver Medalist Ravi Kumar, or Olympic Bronze Medalist Thomas Gilman. Now this being said Thomas Gilman did wrestle Zavur Uguev to a much closer margin that Ravi Kumar did even though he has a higher resume and has placed higher at tournaments historically. A huge dark horse that nobody is really talking about is Yuki Takahashi from Japan. He claimed the 57kg spot after he beat Rio Silver Medalist Rei Higuchi. He was upset off a controversial call and the guys who beat him was leading 9-2 in the semis and got pinned so Takahashi did not get a chance to wrestle back.
Things start to get decently interesting when we talk about 65kg. Gadzhimurad Rashidov, he was the defending World Champion at 65kg heading into the Tokyo Olympics and he was a 2x world finalist in 2017, and 2018 down at 61kg. He was the favorite heading into the competition however Takuto Otoguro a guy who he has had a very close battle with before pulled the upset on his home turf and ended up taking home the entire thing. Rashidov being out along with Bajrang Punia of India who along with Rashidov took the other Bronze Medal. What does this mean for everyone else in the world? It really just means that there are 2 more spots on the podium to be taken and there are guys lined up right there to try and claim them, and one of them happens to be Yianni Diakomihalis. Whether Yianni can break into this top 4 at worlds is going to be completely indicative of whether he performs at his peak and can sneak past the buffer guys who I would say are Musukaev and Tevanyan.
74kg seemingly is one of the most interesting weight classes this worlds with the defending World and Olympic Champion out in Zaurbek Sidakov. That being sad there are two 2x World Champions in the field, Frank Chamizo who won twice down at 70kg and Kyle Dake who has won twice up at 79kg. Dake took bronze in Tokyo while Chamizo unfortunately did not medal being he was on the same side as Dake in the wrestle backs. Now where this story really starts to develop is in Belarus possibly being out for the world championships. However for the time being we do not know. Now who is the favorite at this weight class? It would have to be Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov of Belarus assuming he is competing. However that being said if he is not competing the Kyle Dake is the clear favorite at this weight class, but Frank Chamizo has done it before so he is definitely not a man to count out in Oslo.