Yianni Diakomihalis has been one of the biggest names in college wrestling for as long as he has been around. The 3x National Champion has already solidified himself as one of the greatest collegiate wrestlers ever with a 94-1 career record, and he still has a year to go.
The world scene has not been the kindest for Yianni as he has taken some rough losses but also recorded some good wins such as Olympic Bronze medalist Bajrang Punia and Olympic Champion Vladamir Khinchegashvili.
Last year he was knocked off in the second round by Vazgen Tevanyan and once he was knocked off in the semifinals Yianni was eliminated from the tournament going 0-1. Tevanyan might just be the favorite to win the tournament this year as 65kg is stacked.
Yianni will be entering the tournament unseeded and will be drawn into the bracket. So a lot of how this tournament will play out will be dependent on the draw. The only draws that really come off as horrible would be Tevanyan, Musukaev, and Haji Aliyev. He has been competitive with Musukaev in the past but the way that man has been wrestling recently it would not be the best.
He has the talent to beat a lot of these guys and at 23 year old will be looking to win his first international medal in Serbia. A good amount of these guys in the weight will probably be competing again Yianni for a good portion of their career as well with Otoguro being 23, Tevanyan being 22, and Rashidov being 26.
What Does Yianni Need To Do?
An easy first round match would be possibly the biggest help for him in this tournament setting but nothing can really be guaranteed at this point. If he does want to see the podium he needs to knock off one of those four guys and possibly a second one in the bronze medal match unless he makes the finals.
The “easiest” path to victory here would be getting an 11 seed spot in theory where he would have to take on Bienkowski of Poland then see Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico should seeds hold. Should this work out he will see Bajrang Punia or either Vazgen Tevanyan in the semifinals depending on who makes it through that quarterfinal bout which will most likely be Tevanyan.
Should he win that and secure himself a spot in the finals he is set. Should he lose he will advance to the bronze medal match. Either way this is the perfect year for Yianni to grab a medal on the world stage as next year will be much harder with Otoguro back and possibly also Rashidov.