The UWW Pre-Olympic Greco Roman World Rankings were released today and Patrick Martinez (USA, NYAC, 85 kg) cracked the top 20 for the first time, coming in at number 17. Martinez, a 2015 Senior World Team member who just made the 2016 University World Team, put together two strong showings earlier this summer. The first was in Poland, a solo mission, where the “Lone Wolf” faced off against a couple of tough customers to earn a bronze medal. His only loss that day was to Pavel Pominchuk (BLR, world no. 9) and rebounded nicely in the consolation final against Pominhcuk’s countryman Radik Kuliev.
A couple of weeks later Martinez competed at the Spanish Grand Prix. It was another bronze medal performance for the American, as he tech’ed out Juan Jose Ruiz (ESP) before dropping a decision to Mahmoud Fawzy Rashad (EGY).
Like Martinez, 2016 Olympian Jesse Thielke (USA, NYAC, 59 kg) initially entered the UWW Greco World Rankings at number 17 but was dropped to 19th for the time being. This ranking change is likely either completely inconsequential to Thielke or just more fuel to add to his fire heading into Rio in a couple of weeks.
Fellow Olympian and two-time World medalist Andy Bisek (USA, Minnesota Storm, 75 kg) has been entrenched in the top five for a while now and doesn’t see his spot altered for the Pre-Olympic edition.
Other notable changes: The summer tournaments had an effect on the UWW Greco World Rankings in other weight classes internationally. 2012 Olympic silver medalist and Hungarian powerhouse Tamas Lorincz (66 kg) wrestled up at 71 kg in Spain where he won the gold over Balint Korpasi (HUN, world no. 2). The win pumped Lorincz up from fourth at 66 kg to second. Sergey Semenov (RUS, 130 kg) didn’t have a very strong start to the year but has come on as of late. At the World Cup, Semenov beat Nurmahkan Tinaliev (KAZ, world no. 9) in a tightly-contested (but not exactly gripping) bout. In Spain, Mijain Lopez (CUB, world no. 2) stopped him in the finals in what was a fairly competitive field.