Photo credit Austin Bernard
Current Arizona State All-American and three-time World Team member Zahid Valencia (Pico Rivera, Calif./Sunkist Kids) will battle for his first World medal on Wednesday. Valencia will receive a first-round bye before taking on Junior European champion and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Gadzhimurad Magomedsaidov of Azerbaijan, in the second round.
The winner of the Valencia/Magomedsaidov match will take on either Chyngyzbek Paizov (Kyrgyzstan) or 2017 Asian Championships fifth place medalist Cheolyeon Lee (Korea). Wrestlers with a great resume on the top bracket with Zahid include Junior World Championships runner-up Javrail Shapiev (Uzbekistan), 2016 Cadet World Champion Deepak Punia (India), and U23 European Championship runner-up Bendeguz Toth (Hungary). Shapiev and Punia are on course to meet up in the second round.
Some of the top wrestlers in the bottom bracket include 2017 European Championship bronze medalist Zaur Beradze (Georgia), 2016 Junior World Championships silver medalist Ahmad Yous Bazrighaleh (Iran), 2x Pan American Championships Champion Alexander Moore (Canada), and 2017 Junior World Championships bronze medalist Osman Gocen (Turkey).
Tampere, Finland is 10 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Time, meaning those wishing to watch live can tune in at 12 a.m. (PT). A live stream of the event, as well as brackets, can be found at Trackwrestling.com.