2019 Wrestling World Championships: Things you need to know

Jordan Burroughs, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, and Risako Kawai head up star-studded United World Wrestling (UWW) event in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

By Andrew Binner ·

The ancient sport of wrestling comes to Kazakhstan's futuristic capital Nur-Sultan for the 2019 World Wrestling Championships, 14-22 September.

The likes of Jordan Burroughs, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, and Vinesh Phogat will do battle in the freestyle wrestling, while all eyes will be on triple Olympic champion Mijain Lopez in the Greco-Roman wrestling.

"I have every confidence that Astana (now called Nur-Sultan) will deliver an excellent event for our athletes, coaches, and fans," United World Wrestling President Nenad Lalovic said.

The UWW event will also act as the first wrestling qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


14 - 23 Sep 2019

UWW World Championships - Nur-Sultan


Freestyle wrestling favourite Jordan Burroughs

Where else to start than with USA Wrestling's Jordan Burroughs?

The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist is widely regarded as the world's best offensive wrestler, and is searching for his seventh world title in Nur-Sultan.

The 74kg fighter won his third-consecutive Pan American Games title in Lima last month, and his potential bout with great rival Frank Chamizo is one of the most eagerly-anticipated of the event.

“When I lace up my shoes, I’m going to do my best to get my hand raised. Fortunately for me, Team USA has a lot of young wrestlers who are setting the world on fire, and those guys motivate me and inspire me daily" - Jordan Burroughs

One of those talented teammates is Kyle Dake.

In 2018, the now-28-year-old claimed his first world championships without giving up a point in any of his matches.

The 79kg World Champion is arguably the most difficult American to score points on in his era.

Mayu Mukaida Japan's top hope

Wrestling is hugely popular in Japan, and with Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying spots up for grabs, the pressure is on women's 53kg favourite Mayu Mukaida to deliver.

The 22-year-old is 2018 and 2016 World champion, Youth Olympic Games champion, and has only lost once since February 2016.

With Japanese women's wrestling in a particularly rich vein of form at the moment, also keep an eye on Risako Kawai.

You may remember her flipping her coach in celebration after winning the 63kg final at Rio 2016, but the 2018 59kg world champion has now dropped to 57kg, and combined it with a new aggressive streak to devastating effect.

Carrying India's best hope of gold is 65kg No. 1 seed Bajrang Punia.

Since 2017, the Haryana native has won Commonwealth and Asian Games gold, as well as silver in the 2018 World Wrestling Championships.

There is no such thing as a sure bet in wrestling, but if there was it would be Russia's Abdulrashid Sadulaev.

Nicknamed 'The Russian Tank', at 86kg Sadulaev is the 2016 Olympic champion, a three-time world champion and current European champion.

He tops the UWW wrestling rankings and it would take something very special to beat him in Kazakhstan.

Russia's Greco-Roman front-runners

Russia are the dominant force when it comes to Greco-Roman wrestling.

Sergey Emelin has not relinquished his No. 1 world ranking at 60kg this season, and is expected to take this category at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships.

Compatriot Musa Evloev has been equally dominant since winning the 97kg world title last year.

He is the top seed in this weight bracket after winning on the Dan Kolov, European Championships and the Grand Prix of Germany. 

Sergey Semenov is the 130kg top dog, and will be defending his title from the 2018 World Championships in Budapest.

The 24-year-old is set for some stern competition however, in the form of Cuba's three-time Olympic champion Mijain Lopez.

Korea's 77kg Olympic champion Kim Hyeonwoo is the only non-European wrestler who owns a top seed at the World Championships.

The 2019 Asian champion has medalled in each of his three Ranking Series event appearances.

Olympic qualification

The 2019 World Championships will be the first qualification event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, with the top six wrestlers in each Olympic weight category booking their place at the competition.

A total of 228 athletes will compete in wrestling in at Tokyo 2020.

2019 World Wrestling Championships Schedule

(GR = Greco-Roman, WW = Women's Wrestling, FS = Men's Wrestling)

Saturday, September 14

11:00-16:00: Qualification Rounds (GR 55-63-72-82kg)
18:00-19:30: Semifinals (GR 55-63-72-82kg)

Sunday, September 15

11:00-16:00: Qualification Rounds (GR 67-87-97kg) & Repechage (GR 55-63-72-82kg)
16:45-17:30: Opening Ceremony
18:00-18:45: Semifinals (GR 67-87-97kg)
19:00-22:00: Finals (GR 55-63-72-82kg)

Monday, September 16

11:00-16:00: Qualification Rounds (GR 60-77-130kg) & Repechage (GR 67-87-97kg)
17:00-17:45: Semifinals (GR 60-77-130kg)
18:00-20:30: Finals (GR 67-87-97kg)

Tuesday, September 17

11:00-15:00: Qualification Rounds (WW 50-53-55-72kg) & Repechage (GR 60-77-130kg)
16:45-17:45: Semifinals (WW 50-53-55-72kg)
18:00-20:30: Finals (GR 60-77-130kg)

Wednesday, September 18

11:00-15:00: Qualification Rounds (WW 57-59-65-76kg) & Repechage (WW 50-53-55-72kg)
16:45-17:45: Semifinals (WW 57-59-65-76kg)
18:00-21:00: Finals (WW 50-53-55-72kg)

Thursday, September 19

11:00-16:00: Qualification Rounds (WW 62-68kg // FS 57-65kg) & Repechage (WW 57-59-65-76kg)
16:45-17:45: Semifinals (WW 62-68kg // FS 57-65kg)
18:00-21:00: Finals (WW 57-59-65-76kg)

Friday, September 20

11:00-16:00: Qualification Rounds (FS 70-74-92-125kg) & Repechage (WW 62-68kg // FS 57-65kg)
16:45-17:45: Semifinals (FS 70-74-92-125kg)
18:00-21:00: Finals (WW 62-68kg // FS 57-65kg)

Saturday, September 21

11:00-16:00: Qualification Rounds (FS 61-79-86-97kg) & Repechage (FS 70-74-92-125kg)
16:45-17:45: Semifinals (FS 61-79-86-97kg)
18:00-21:00: Finals (FS 70-74-92-125kg)

Sunday, September 22

15:30-17:30: Repechage (FS 61-79-86-97kg)
18:00-21:00: Finals (FS 61-79-86-97kg)