2008 Olympic Games preview at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman wrestling
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
07/25/2008

Farid Mansurov of Azerbaijan, the 2004 Olympic champion, won the 2007 World Championships in his home nation when the event was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Mansurov has not entered many other events during the last four years, but will be expected to challenge to defend his Olympic title.

2005 World Champion Nikolay Gergov of Bulgaria won a bronze medal at the 2008 World Championships and will be among the favorites. The 2006 World champion was China?s Li Yanyan, who did not qualify for the Olympics, but may be one of the seven wildcards that FILA gave to China to enter the Games.

Steeve Guenot of France had his best performance ever by winning a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships. Kamatbek Begaliev of Kyrgyzstan was a World silver medalist in 2006. Kim Min-Chul of Korea won the World silver medal in 2005. At the 2008 Asian Championships, Kim won the gold and Begaliev won the silver medal.

The 2008 European champion was Armen Vardanyan of Ukraine, who was also fifth at the 2005 World Championships. The 2008 Pan American Championships winner was Alain Milian of Cuba.

The United States will be represented by 18-year-old Jake Deitchler, who shocked the world by making the team with wins over two-time World bronze medalist Harry Lester and veteran Faruk Sahin in the Olympic Trials. Deitchler was a member of the 2007 Junior World Team, and will not be known well by any of the competitors at the Olympics.

Earning a spot in the Olympic Games for their country by placing in the top eight at the 2007 World Championships were Arman Adikyan of Armenia, Tam?s Lorincz of Hungary, Darkhan Bayakhmetov of Kazakhstan and Olexander Khvoshch of Ukraine.

Seref Eroglu of Turkey, who won a silver at the 2004 Olympic Games and was a World champion in 1997, qualified for Beijing by winning one of the Olympic qualifiers. Eroglu was fifth at the 2006 World Championships.

Qualified nations at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. ? Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States

RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS

2007 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs.- Gold - Farid Mansurov (Azerbaijan); Silver - Steeve Guenot (France); Bronze - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); Bronze - Harry Lester (United States); 5th - Arman Adikyan (Armenia); 5th - Tam?s Lorincz (Hungary); 7th - Darkhan Bayakhmetov (Kazakhstan); 8th - Olexander Khvoshch (Ukraine); 9th - Ionel Puscasu (Romania); 10th - Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden)

2006 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. ? Gold ? Li Yanyan (China); Silver ? Kamatbek Begaliev (Kirghizistan); Bronze ? Sergey Kovalenko (Russia); Bronze ? Harry Lester (USA); 5th ? Oleksey Khvosch (Ukraine); 5th ? Seref Eroglu (Turkey); 7th ? Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); 8th ? A. Kazakeviv (Lithuania); 9th ? Ion Painit (Romania); 10th ? Tamas Lorincz (Hungary)

2005 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs.- Gold - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); Silver - Kim Min-Chul (Korea); Bronze - Alain Milan (Cuba); Bronze - Kim Kum-Chol (North Korea ); 5th - Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine); 7th - Li Yanyan (China); 8th - Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden); 9th - Mukhran Matchutadze (Georgia); 10th - Levente Furedy (Hungary)

2004 Olympic Games
66 kg/145.5 lbs.- Gold ? Farid Mansurov (Azerbaijan); Silver ? Seref Eroglu (Turkey); Bronze ?Mkkhitar Manukyan (Kazakhstan); 4th ? Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden); 5th ? Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine) ; 6th ? Konstantinos Arkoudeas (Greece); 7th ? Jannis Zamanduridis (Germany); 8th ? Vaghinak Galustyan (Armenia); 9th ? Maxim Semenov (Russia); 10th ? Luis Ferrnando Izquierdo (Colombia)

2003 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. ? Gold ? Manuchar Kvirkelia (Georgia) dec. Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine), 5-2; Bronze ? Levente Furedi (Hungary) dec. Vaghinak Galvstyan (Armenia), 3-2; 5th ? Seref Eroglu (Turkey); 6th - Kim In-Sub (Korea); 7th - Jannis Zamandouridis (Germany); 8th - Ferik Masurov (Azerbaijan); 9th - Luis Fernando Izquierdo (Colombia); 10th - Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden)

2002 World Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Gold - Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden) dec. Farid Mansurov (Azerbaijan), 3-0; Bronze - Manuchar Kvirkvelia (Georgia) dec. Maksim Semenov (Russia), 4-2; 5th - Bakhadyr Kurbanov (Uzbekistan); 6th - Mehdi Hodaei (Iran); 7th - Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria); 8th - Juan Maren (Cuba); 9th - Vaghinak Galustyan (Armenia); 10th - Jerzy Szeibinger (Poland)