Pretty pumped for the FILA 2014 World Championships. Kind of a bummer that they’re being held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, half a world a way from Stately Jaroslav Manor, meaning most of the preliminary rounds will take place during the wee hours of the morning. But freestyle finals should go down at 10am and 9am, next Monday and Tuesday, respectively, which I should be able to stream while at work.
A lot of quality previews are out there from the various wrestling media outlets. Personally I’m a big fan of Coach Mike RIordan’s coverage over at Bloody Elbow. Check em out! (hit the ‘posts’ link under ‘recent activity on the bottom left and scroll through the articles in the adjacent panel)
Everything out there is far more thorough and illuminating then the luke warm take I am about to present, but I put in a modicum of effort so I figured I’d share anyway.
I compiled a list of top competitors for each weight class, using FILA’s fairly wack rankings, and all star forum poster armspin’s totally dope rankings, to come up with a short list, and then removed the wrestlers not entering the tournament for various reasons.
First number is armspin’s ranking, followed by FILA’s. I highlighted the ‘Mericans in blue (OK USA!) and the consensus favorites in green.
The first thing that one notices is how many top competitors won’t be on the mat. That is lamentable and a huge problem for the marketability of the sport. But that’s a topic for another time.
I don’t really have much to add on any of the other wrestlers or weight classes (I warned you it would be a tepid take!). I am totally stoked to see how this American squad does. The US has a legit shot at a medal at every weight except 57 and 86, in which we enter ‘rookies’ having just graduated from college, who are wild cards and just may pull of a medal themselves. Plus the champ is back and healthy and I would absolutely love to see him demolish everyone in his path.
But I’m also a fan of all wrestlers no matter the country of origin, so I wanted to pick a favorite in each weight class, all from different countries for the sake of adding spice to my life. So here are Jaroslav’s clueless 2014 WC picks just for fun and whatever!
57: Kinchegashvili – GEO
61: Aliev – AZE
65: Ganzorig – MGL
70: Grigoryan – ARM
74: Kurbanov – UZB
86: Salas – CUB
97: Gadisov – RUS
125: Agkul – TUR
GO TEAM USA AND ALSO THESE OTHER GUYS!