Everything You Need To Know About 57kg At The Olympics

57kg Olympic Preview - Thomas Gilman Against The World

57kg Olympic Preview - Thomas Gilman Against The World

An in depth preview of the 57kg weight class at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jun 23, 2021 by Jon Kozak
57kg Olympic Preview - Thomas Gilman Against The World
Thomas Gilman is Team USA’s Olympian at 57kg in a field that includes 2 past world champions and 5 other world medalists. This 57kg Olympic preview will give an overview of Gilman’s senior level career and explore the careers of each of his potential competitors in Tokyo. We'll also break down the competitors into tiers based on medal contenders, dark horses and long shots at the Olympic Games.

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Thomas Gilman is Team USA’s Olympian at 57kg in a field that includes 2 past world champions and 5 other world medalists. This 57kg Olympic preview will give an overview of Gilman’s senior level career and explore the careers of each of his potential competitors in Tokyo. We'll also break down the competitors into tiers based on medal contenders, dark horses and long shots at the Olympic Games.

Is Gilman A Medal Threat?

Thomas Gilman has represented the United States at 57kg two previous times at the World Championships. In his first showing, 2017, Gilman made the finals of the world championships before falling to Japan’s Yuki Takahashi, 6-0. On his way to the finals, Gilman defeated four international competitor's including Iran’s Reza Atri, 3-0. Both Atri and Takahashi will be in the bracket in Tokyo but will not be seeded. That means Gilman could draw either competitor in the first round at the Olympics.

Gilman was not as successful in his second trip to the worlds in 2018. At those world championships, Gilman made the semi-finals but lost by tech fall (11-0) to Nurislam Sanayev (KAZ). Gilman then dropped his bronze medal match to Suleyman Atli (TUR), 5-4. Both Sanayev and Atli will be in the 57kg Olympic bracket and are serious medal threats. 

It’s also worth noting that Gilman will not be seeded but randomly drawn into the bracket. A more favorable draw for Gilman would be on the top side with the #1 seed Stevan Micic (SRB) and #4 seed Ravi Kumar (IND). Two-time defending world champion Zaur Uguev (RUS) and 2019 world silver medalist Suleyman Atli (TUR) will be on the opposite side of the bracket as the #2 and #3 seeds respectively.

Gilman should contend for a medal in Tokyo but should be considered an underdog to win gold. Along with being unseeded, Gilman has lost to 5 different wrestlers who will be in his Tokyo bracket. He’s also coming off an injury-his first match at the Olympics will be his first since the Olympic Trials. Thomas Gilman will have to wrestle 4 of the best matches of his life and perform far above what he has in the past to come away with Olympic Gold.  Check out Gilman's profile below to see how he's performed at the world level and how he's fared against his Olympic competition.


Thomas Gilman (USA)
Record since 2018 - 45-15

Accolades:

  • 2017 World Silver
  • 2018 Pan-Am Bronze
  • 2014 Junior World Bronze

9-7 Record Against the 57kg Olympians:

Thomas Gilman's win over Iran's Reza Atri from 2017 Worlds:

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The Favorite

Zaur Uguev (RUS) is the clear favorite to win gold at 57kg in Tokyo. Uguev has won the last two World Championships and has only lost twice in the last 3 years. Also, the two competitors who have defeated Uguev since 2018, (Makhir Amiraslanov, AZE and Giorgi Edisherashvili, AZE) will not be in the bracket at the Olympics due to Azerbaijan's failure to qualify at this weight. Uguev is also the clear favorite based on his past performances against the other 57kg Olympians. He’s only lost once against the field and has head to head wins over 8 of the 57kg wrestlers. Take a look at his accomplishments and list of victories below to see why Uguev is the Olympic gold favorite.


Zaur Uguev (RUS)
Record Since 2018 - 48-2

Accolades:

  • 2018 and 2019 World Gold  
  • 2020 World Cup Gold 
  • 2019 Euro Games Bronze
  • 2018 Euro Championships Silver
  • 2017 Euro Championships Bronze

9-1 Record Against 57kg Olympians:

Zaur Uguev's 2019 World Championship win over Suleyman Atli:

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Medal Contenders

It’s challenging to establish a “cut-off” for medal contenders at 57kg. Not much separates the competitors ranked 2-13 at the lightest Olympic weight. For instance, Stevan Micic who is seeded #1 (but ranked #12 in our Olympian Rankings) has past wins over #2 Suleyman Atli and #6 Nurislam Sanayev. Yet Micic has also lost to #10 Thomas Gilman and #9 Arsen Harutyunyan. With that in mind, the main medal contenders are Yuki Takahashi, Suleyman Atli, Ravi Kumar, Nurislam Sanayev, and Gulomjon Abdullaev. Takahashi was the 2017 World Champion at 57kg and has wins over 7 of the wrestlers in this field. Sanayev, Atli and Kumar have medaled at past world championships at 57kg and have winning records against the Olympic field. Gulumjon Abdullaev has more recently elevated himself into medal contention by winning 3 consecutive senior level tournaments and defeating Sanayev and Kumar in June at the Poland Open. Take a look at the 5 main contenders profiles:


Yuki Takahashi (JPN) 
Record Since 2018 - 39-8

Accolades:

  • 2017 World Gold 
  • 2018 World Bronze 
  • 2017 Asian Gold 
  • 2019 Asian Bronze 
  • 2018 Asian Games Bronze 

11-4 Record Against 57kg Olympians:


Suleyman Atli (TUR) 
Record Since 2018 - 37-11  

Accolades:

  • 2019 World Silver
  • 2018 World Bronze
  • 2019 and 2021 Euro Gold 
  • 2020 Euro Silver 
  • 2019 Euro Games Silver 
  • 2017 Euro Bronze

8-7 Record against  57kg Olympians:

Suleyman Atli's win over Thomas Gilman in the 2018 World Bronze Medal Match:

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Ravi Kumar (IND) 
Record Since 2018 - 38-7

Accolades:

  • 2019 World Bronze 
  • 2020 and 2021 Asian Gold 

9-4 record against 57kg Olympians:

Ravi Kumar's win over Yuki Takahashi at the 2020 Asian Championships:


Nurislam Sanayev (KAZ)
Record Since 2018 - 39-13

Accolades:

  • 2018 World Silver
  • 2019 World Bronze
  • 2018 Asian Gold
  • 2017 Asian Bronze

9-6 record against 57kg Olympians:

Nurislam Sanayev's win over Thomas Gilman to make the 2018 World Finals:

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Gulomjon Abdullaev (UZB)
Record since 2018 - 12-9

Accolades:

  • 2016 Jr World Bronze

4-3 Record Against 57kg Olympians:

Abdullaev's win over Ravi Kumar from the 2021 Poland Open:

Ravi Kumar vs Gulumjon Abdullaev

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The "Dark Horses"

Obviously anything can happen at the Olympics, but a few competitors are tough to pick as medal threats past performances at the world level. Arsen Harutyunyan (ARM) and Stevan Micic (SRB) are younger competitors who are looking for their breakthrough performance. Reza Atri (IRI), Bekhbayar Erdenebat (MGL), and Georgi Vangelov (BUL) might all be “past their prime” but will look to use their experience to their advantage in Tokyo. This tier will have to perform above what they have shown in their recent outings to bring home an Olympic medal. Check out their profiles and why they’re considered “underdogs”.


Reza Atrinagharchi (IRI)
Record Since 2018 - 23-8

Accolades:

  • 2019 Asian Gold 
  • 2018 Asian Games Bronze 
  • 2017 Asian Bronze 

3-9 Record Against 57kg Olympians :


Arsen Harutyunyan (ARM)
Record Since 2018 - 42-11

Accolades:

  • 2020 World Cup Silver
  • 2020 Euro Bronze
  • 2020 Euro Gold
  • 2017 and 2018 Jr World Bronze

4-2 Record Against 57kg Olympic Field

Zaur Uguev vs Arsen Harutyunyan in the 2020 Individual World Cup Finals


Georgi Vangelov (BUL)
Record since 2018 - 37-18

Accolades:

  • 2020 World Cup Bronze
  • 2016 Euro Bronze

6-8 Record Against 57kg Olympians:


Bekhbayar Erdenebat (MGL)
Record Since 2018 - 38-10

Accolades:

  • 2015 and 2017 World Bronze
  • 2018 Asian Games Gold
  • 2015 Asian Championships Gold
  • 2012 Jr World Gold

4-8 Record Against 57kg Olympians:


Stevan Micic (SRB)
Record since 2018 - 21-9

Accolades:

  • 2018 and 2020 Euro Bronze
  • 2019 Euro Games Silver
  • 2015 Junior World Bronze

2-8 Record Against the 57kg Olympians:

Stevan Micic vs Arsen Harutyunyan in the 2020 Individual World Cup Semi-Finals:

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The Long Shots

The remaining four competitors would shock the world if they win an Olympic medal in Tokyo. None of these competitors have wins over any of the previous 12 Olympians mentioned. Of these four, Minghu Liu (CHN) has the best results with a win over Daton Fix from January 2020 and a previous bronze medal at U23 Worlds. 


Minghu Liu (CHN)
Record Since 2018 - 22-19

Accolades

  • 2019 Asian Silver
  • 2018 U23 World Bronze

1-5 Record Against 57kg Olympians:


Oscar Tigreros (COL)
16-11 Record Since 2018

Accolades

  • 2018 and 2019 Pan-Am Silver

1-2 Record Against 57kg Olympians


Diamantino Iuna Fafe (GBS)
Record Since 2018 - 10-6

Accolades

  • 2020 African Silver

1-2 Record Against 57kg Olympians:


Abdelhak Kherbache (ALG)
Record Since 2018 - 15-8

Accolades :

  • 2019 and 2020 African Gold
  • 2014, 2015 and 2017 African Silver

2-6 Record against 57kg Olympian:


57kg Olympians - Records Against The Field (sorted by winning percentage)

  1. Zaur Uguev (RUS) - 8-1
  2. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) - 11-4 
  3. Ravi Kumar (IND) - 9-4
  4. Arsen Harutyunyan (ARM) - 4-2
  5. Nurislam Sanayev (KAZ) - 9-6
  6. Thomas Gilman (USA) - 9-7
  7. Gulomjon Abdullaev (UZB) - 4-3
  8. Suleyman Atli (TUR)- 8-7
  9. Georgi Vangelov (BUL) - 6-8
  10. Bekhbayar Erdenebat (MGL)  - 4-8
  11. Reza Atri (IRI) - 3-8
  12. Diamantino Iuna Fafe (GBS) - 1-2
  13. Oscar Tigreros (COL) - 1-2
  14. Abdelhak Kherbache (ALG) - 2-6
  15. Stevan Micic (SRB) - 2-8
  16. Minghu Liu (CHN) - 1-5

Check out our Olympian Rankings here to see every Olympian ranked in all 6 men's freestyle weights.