2024 Olympic Games Watch Party

2024 Olympic Wrestling Seeds - Men's Freestyle

2024 Olympic Wrestling Seeds - Men's Freestyle

The projected seeds for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the men's freestyle wrestling division.

Jun 7, 2024 by Jon Kozak
2024 Olympic Wrestling Seeds - Men's Freestyle

The final Ranking Series tournament is in the books and that means the seeds are set for the 2024 Olympic Games in the men's freestyle division. Check out the below article for a brief explanation of how the seeds were determined and a breakdown of the biggest storylines for Team USA in each bracket.

How Are Olympic Wrestling Seeds Determined?

It's important to understand how these seeds were set because they differ largely from how seeds are determined in the American wrestling system. Rather than seeding by head-to-head matchups and results (like in America), United World Wrestling uses ranking points earned annually by individual wrestlers to determine the top 8 Olympic seeds. Wrestlers can earn these rankings (or seeding) points at the World Championships, Continental Championships, or two different Ranking Series events. Wrestlers at the Olympics are then seeded by their points. This system encourages the best wrestlers to participate in the events UWW puts on throughout the year. Finally, any of the below seeds can change only if a seeded wrestler does not attend the Olympic Games.

57 Kilograms

  1. Stevan Micic, SRB
  2. Rei Higuchi, JPN
  3. Arsen Harutyunyan, ARM
  4. Zelimkhan Abakarov, ALB
  5. Aman Sherawat, IND
  6. Zaur Uguev, AIN (RUS)
  7. Wanhao Zou, CHN
  8. Gulomjon Abdullaev, UZB

Unseeded 57 kg Wrestlers Listed In Order Of Rankings Points:

  • Gamal Mohamed, EGY
  • Diamantino Iuna Fafe, GBS
  • Aliabbas Rzazade, AZE
  • Spencer Lee, USA
  • Aryan Tsiutryn, AIN (BLR)
  • Darian Cruz, PUR
  • Roman Bravo-Young, MEX
  • Bekzat Almaz Uulu, KGZ

You'll notice Spencer Lee did not accumulate enough points to be seeded in the top 8 - that means he'll be randomly drawn into the 57 kg bracket. Almost all of the top wrestlers at 57 kg are seeded in the top 8 but the bottom side is slightly tougher than the top side. 2023 world silver medalist Rei Higuchi, three-time world bronze Arsen Harutyunyan, Olympic champ and two-time world champ Zaur Uguev, and Wanhoa Zou (who gave Lee his toughest match of the year) are all on the bottom side of the bracket. 

While I believe the bottom side is tougher, the top side isn't a cakewalk either. The past two world champions Micic ('23 world champ) and Abakarov ('22 world champ) are on the top side and both are capable of winning gold in Paris. Regardless of where Spencer Lee gets drawn in, he'll likely have to defeat two past world champs on his way to the finals.

65 Kilograms

  1. Vazgen Tevanyan, ARM
  2. Rahman Amouzad, IRI
  3. Ismail Musukaev, HUN
  4. Sebastian Rivera, PUR
  5. Shamil Mamedov,  AIN (RUS)
  6. Haji Aliyev, AZE
  7. Islam Dudaev, ALB
  8. Tulga Tumur-Ochir, MGL

Unseeded 65 kg Wrestlers Listed In Order Of Rankings Points:

  • Georgy Okorokov, AUS
  • Goderdzi Dzebisashvili, GEO
  • Alejandro Valdes, CUB
  • Kotaro Kiyooka, JPN
  • Gaku Akazawa, SAM
  • Austin Gomez, MEX
  • Ernazar Akmataliev, KGZ
  • Zain Retherford, USA

Like Spencer Lee at 57 kg, Zain Retherford is unseeded and will be randomly drawn into the 65 kg Olympic bracket. Most of the best guys are seeded but two-time world medalist Ernazar Akmataliev (KGZ) and Kotaro Kiyooka are two contenders who will be randomly drawn into the bracket with Retherford. Kiyooka notably defeated Musukaev at the recent Budapest Rankings Series tournament and also defeated Tokyo Olympic champion Takuto Otoguro at Japan's Olympic trials. 

The top and bottom sides of 65 kg are equally balanced and there won't be an easy draw for Retherford in Paris. The bottom side might be slightly more challenging with the past two world champs Musuakev and Amouzad down there but Mamedov, Tumur-Ochir, and Tevanyan are all past world medalists and gold medal contenders.

74 Kilograms

  1. Kyle Dake, USA
  2. Zaubek Sidakov, AIN (RUS)
  3. Turan Bayramov, AZE
  4. Georgios Kougioumtsidis, GRE
  5. Dachi Takatani, JPN
  6. Khetik Tsabolov, SRB
  7. Tajmuraz Salkazanov, SVK
  8. Bacar Ndum, GBS

Unseeded 74 kg Wrestlers Listed In Order Of Rankings Points:

  • Younes Emami, IRI
  • Anthony Montero, VEN
  • Viktor Rassadin, TJK
  • Razambek Zhamalov, UZB
  • Geandry Garzon, CUB
  • Iman Mahdavi, EOR
  • Cherman Valiev, ALB
  • Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov, AIN (BLR)
  • Amr Reda Hussen, EGY

Dake and Sidakov are on opposite sides of the bracket and will be the favorites to meet in the finals. Most American fans will remember their 2023 world finals match where Sidakov narrowly defeated Dake - 10-7. While Dake is the favorite to reach the finals, he won't have an easy road with world medalist Younes Emami sitting at the 8 seed and Kougioumtsidis and Takatani at the 4 and 5. Dake beat both at the 2023 Takatani 6-4 and Kougioumtsidis 4-1. Again, Dake will be the favorite in these matches but it won't be an easy road.

What adds to the intrigue of the 74 kg bracket even more are the unseeded wrestlers. Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov, Razambek Zhamalov, Cherman Valiev, and Viktor Rassadin are all Russians representing other countries and will be randomly drawn into the 74 kg bracket. Kadimagomedov and Zhamalov are the class of this field. American fans should remember Kadimagomedov from the Tokyo Olympics when he shocked the world by teching Kyle Dake and winning a silver medal. Razambek Zhamalov might be slightly lesser known but he has past wins over Frank Chamizo, Tajmuraz Salkazanov, and Khetik Tsabolov. Beyond that, Zhamalov also won Russian Nationals in 2020 in a tournament where Sidakov won bronze. Both Kadimagomedov and Zhamalov are capable of keeping Dake and Sidakov from meeting in the Olympic finals.

86 Kilograms

  1. Azamat Dauletbekov, KAZ
  2. Hassan Yazdani, IRI
  3. Myles Amine, SMR
  4. Javrail Shapiev, UZB
  5. Magomed Ramazanov, BUL
  6. Byambasurengiin Bat-Erdene, MGL
  7. Dauren Kurugliev, GRE
  8. Hayato Ishiguro, JPN

Unseeded 86 kg Wrestlers Listed In Order Of Rankings Points:

  • Fateh Benferdjallah, ALG
  • Jayden Lawrence, AUG
  • Vladimeri Gamkrelidze, EGO
  • Ethan Ramos, PUR
  • Osman Nurmagomedov, AZE
  • Alex Moore, CAN
  • Aaron Brooks, USA
  • Artur Naifonov, AIN (RUS)

86 kg is one of the most unbalanced brackets of the Olympics with world and Olympic champion Hassan Yadani on the same side of the bracket as Myles Amine and Dauren Kurugliev. Amine is a world and Olympic bronze medalist and Kurugliev is a Russian transfer who has past wins over Amine and narrowly lost to David Taylor at the 2018 World Championships.

Aaron Brooks will be unseeded, and because the bottom side is already so stacked with talent, it'd be best for Brooks to be drawn into the top side of the bracket - opposite Hassan Yazdani. However, Brooks isn't the only wrestler who will be unseeded - world and Olympic bronze medalist Artur Naifonov will also be randomly drawn into the bracket at 86 kg. That means there's a chance Hassan Yazdani, Aaron Brooks, Myles Amine, Artur Naifonov, and Dauren Kurugliev are all on the same side of the bracket at the Olympics. That would be the worst-case scenario for Brooks and make his road to the Olympic finals a brutal one.

97 Kilograms

  1. Magomedkhan Magomedov, AZE
  2. Akhmed Tazhudinov, BRN
  3. Kyle Snyder, USA
  4. Ibrahim Ciftci, TUR
  5. Givi Matcharashvili, GEO
  6. Erik Thiele. GER
  7. Abdulrashid Sadulaev, AIN (RUS)
  8. Alisher Yergali, KAZ

Unseeded 97 kg: Wrestlers Listed In Order Of Rankings Points:

  • Zbigniew Baranowski, POL
  • Mostafa Elders, EGY
  • Amir Ali Azarpira, IRI
  • Aliaksandr Hushtyn, AIN (BLR)
  • Arturo Silot, CUB
  • Luis Miguel Perez, DOM
  • Awusayiman Habila, CHN
  • Nicolaas de Lange, RSA

Kyle Snyder will be the #3 seed at the Olympics and will be on the same side of the bracket as defending world champion Akhmed Tazhudinov and two-time Olympic and 5-time world champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev. This is about as bad of a draw as Snyder could get but it could get worse considering Iran's Amir Ali Azarpira will be randomly drawn into the bracket. At only 22 years old, Azarpira is one of Iran's best young wrestlers and defeated Snyder, 6-3 earlier this season at the Zagreb Open. Snyder has earned 9-straight medals at the World Championships/Olympics but this might be the toughest tournament of his career.

125 Kilograms

  1. Amir Hossein Zare, IRI
  2. Geno Petriashvili, GEO
  3. Mason Parris, USA
  4. Taha Akgul, TUR
  5. Daniel Ligeti, HUN
  6. Giorgi Meshvildshvili, AZE
  7. Abdulla Kurbanov, AIN (RUS)
  8. Zhiwei Deng, CHN

Unseeded 125 kg Wrestlers Listed In Order Of Rankings Points:

  • Aiaal Lazarev, KGZ
  • Jonovan Smith, PUR
  • Dzianis Khramiankou, AIN (BLR)
  • Ashton Mutuwa, NGR
  • Diaaeldin Kamal, EGY
  • Amar Dhesi, CAN
  • Yusup Batirmurzaev, KAZ
  • Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur, MGL

Mason Parris will be the #3 seed at the Olympics with a potential rematch with three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili looming in the semifinals. Parris and Petriashvili wrestled in the semis at last year's world championships where Petriashvili narrowly defeated Parris, 8-6. Both Parris and Petriashvili will be the favorites to reach the semis regardless of who gets randomly drawn into their side of the bracket so Parris will likely have to take out Petriashvili to reach the Olympic finals.