2021 Senior World Championships

57kg Worlds Preview - Thomas Gilman's Time To Win Gold

57kg Worlds Preview - Thomas Gilman's Time To Win Gold

An in-depth preview of 57kg at the 2021 Senior World Championships.

Sep 23, 2021 by Jon Kozak
57kg Worlds Preview - Thomas Gilman's Time To Win Gold

Thomas Gilman is Team USA’s world team rep at 57kg at the 2021 Senior World Championships. This 57kg World Championship preview will give an overview of Gilman’s senior-level career and explore the careers of each of his potential competitors in Norway.


The Favorite - Thomas Gilman

Coming off his performance at the Olympics, Thomas Gilman is the clear favorite to win gold in Oslo. In Tokyo, Gilman looked to be wrestling better than he ever has and was seconds away from defeating world and Olympic champion Zavur Uguev. After the loss to Uguev, Gilman went on to take out Gulomjon Abdullaev (11-0) and Reza Atri (9-1) to win bronze. The other three Olympic medalists will not participate at worlds leaving the door open for Thomas Gilman to upgrade his bronze to world gold. 


Thomas Gilman (USA)

  • 2020 Olympic Bronze
  • 2017 World Silver
  • 2018 Pan-Am Bronze
  • 2014 Junior World Bronze

Watch Thomas Gilman make the 2017 world finals with his win over Jong (KOR):

The Contenders

Though Gilman is the clear favorite coming off the Olympics, there is a solid group of contenders at 57kg who are capable of winning gold. Suleyman Atli is at the top of the list and has a past win over Thomas Gilman from the 2018 World Championships. After Atli are two young up-and-comers in Gulomjon Abdullaev and Abubakar Mutaliev. Though Abdullaev did not place at the Olympics, he has past wins over Olympic Silver - Ravi Kumar and Olympic Bronze - Nurislam Sanayev. Abubakar Mutaliev will be replacing Zavur Uguev as Russia’s representative at 57kg. Mutaliev took bronze at Russian Nationals in March of 2021 losing only to Uguev. Mutaliev also has 2 head to head wins against Thomas Gilman from October (10-8 at Intercontinental Cup) and December of 2019 (2-1 at The Alans).


Gulomjon Abdullaev (UZB)

  • 2016 Junior World Bronze


Suleyman Atli (TUR)

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

Atli’s Win over Gilman:

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Abubakar Mutaliev's win over Thomas Gilman from the 2019 Alans:

Dark Horse Group

The group of “Dark Horse” wrestlers is a mix of young talent looking to win their first world medal and veterans who might be past their prime. On the older side is Bekhbayar Erdenebat and Aryan Tsiutrin. Erdenebat is a two-time world bronze medalist who has wins over numerous competitors in the field including Afghan Khashalov, Aryan Tsiutrin, and Suleyman.  The aforementioned Tsiutrin is a former Russian who placed bronze at Russian Nationals three times before transferring to Belarus in 2021. Though Tsiutrin has been competing on the senior level since 2014, he is getting his first chance to wrestle at the senior world championships. Tsiutrin is a dangerous competitor and has past wins over Olympic medalist Nurislam Sanayev along with Afghan Khasalov, Alireza Sarlak, and Gulomjon Abdullaev.

The younger squad at 57kg consists of Toshiya Abe, Afghan Khashalov, and Alireza Sarlak. All have shown glimpses of being able to challenge the best in the world but have yet to medal (or in some cases even compete) at the senior world championships. Toshiya Abe might be at the top of the list of young wrestlers at 57kg. The young Japanese wrestler has been behind world champion Yuki Takahashi and Olympic silver Rei Higuchi. American fans might remember Abe from his win in the 2019 junior world finals over Vito Arujau (3-2).


Bekhbayar Erdenebat (MGL)

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


Erdenebat’s win over Suleyman Atli from 2017 Worlds:

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Alireza Sarlak (IRI)

  • 2019 U23 World Gold
  • 2021 Asian Silver


Toshiya Abe (JPN)

  • 2019 Junior world gold

Toshiya Abe’s win over Vito Arujau in the 2019 Junior World finals:

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Aryan Tsiutrin (BLR)

  • 2013 Euro Bronze

Aryan Tsiutrin’s win over Alireza Sarlak from the 2019 World Cup

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Afghan Khasalov (AZE)

  • 2021 Euro Bronze
  • 2019 U23 World Bronze
  • 2017 Junior World Bronze


Khashalov’s win over Aryan Tsiutrin from the 2021 European Championships:

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Prediction

If Thomas Gilman is wrestling at the same level he was a month ago at the Olympics, he should bring home a world title from Norway. I believe Gilman will get it done at the world championships and prove to be a level above the rest of the competitors in this bracket. After Gilman, and depending on the draw, I expect Abubakar Mutaliev to make the most of his opportunity at the world championships and to bring home a medal. If he’s opposite Gilman, I believe he’ll make the finals.

Full medal predictions:
Gold - Thomas Gilman
Silver - Abubakar Mutaliev
Bronze - Toshiya Abe
Bronze - Suleyman Atli


Check out our World Championship Rankings at 57kg here to view the top 10 wrestlers who will be competing at worlds ranked according to recent results and head-to-head matches.