World Championships preview in men’s freestyle at 57 kg/125.5 lbs.

BY RICHARD IMMEL, USA WRESTLING

Photo: U.S. World Team member Thomas Gilman in action at the U.S. World Team Trials held in Lincoln, Neb. Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.

Video: Thomas Gilman at World Team Training camp

Date of competition: Friday, August 25

We begin our analysis of the men’s freestyle World Championships with the 57 kg/125.5 lbs. weight class, and all the evidence points to fresh blood taking over the medal stand come Paris.

The lightweights across the world will take the mats inside AccorHotels Arena with at minimum three of the four Olympic medalists from Rio de Janeiro expected to be absent.

Olympic champion Vladimer Khinchegashvili of Georgia, Olympic silver medalist Rei Higuchi of Japan and Olympic bronze medalist and past World champion Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan have all made the move up to 61 kg/134 lbs. The last medalist standing at 57 kg is Iran’s longtime superstar Hassan Rahimi.

Currently ranked No. 1 in the UWW World Rankings, Rahimi has medaled at the World Championships and Olympic Games each of the last five years. In 2013, Rahimi topped the World in Budapest, Hungary, to capture his first and only World title. He finished with World silver in 2015 and World bronze in 2011 and 2014. His only international competition this year was the Freestyle World Cup, where he posted a 3-0 record.

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