Pictured: Freestyle and Greco Roman Junior World Teamer (97 kg) Braxton Amos. Image courtesy of United World Wrestling/Kadir Caliskan.
Sessions 11 and 12 are in the books in Russia as day six of wrestling concludes at the 2021 Junior World Championships. With that, fans of USA Wrestling finally got to see our last five men’s Greco-Roman World team members begin their respective tournaments.
After five long days of watching from home, Nic Bouzakis (60 kg), Dominic Damon (67 kg), Justus Scott (72 kg), and newly minted Arizona State transfer Jon Fagen (82 kg) got to finally take to the mat for the first time in Ufa. Braxton Amos (97 kg) returned to the mats of Ufa Arena once again after earning a 2021 World gold medal in men’s freestyle at 97 kg in men’s freestyle four days ago.
In the 97 kg opener, Amos kept his momentum rolling from his freestyle tournament earlier this week. A nasty Amos headlock at the edge allowed the Wisconsin Badger collegian to bring Kazakhstan’s Yerzat Yerlanov to his back, taking a 4-0 lead the American would never relinquish. A passivity point gave Braxton a 5-0 lead at the break. Amos used a takedown at the edge and a step-out to end the bout and advance in the second round.
In the quarterfinals, Amos utilized a very workmanlike performance to win by fall with just two seconds remaining over Mustafa Olgun of Turkey. Late in the second period, the bout was locked at 1-1. The two points came on a passivity point for each wrestler, but neither could muster a turbn from the top position. At the 90-mark, Amos added what would be the match-winning point – a step-out with 90 seconds remaining. Then, as Olgun took a leap of desperation trying to score in the waning seconds of the match, Braxton added a four-pointer en route to a pin.
Amos ran into trouble in his semifinal matchup with Russia’s Aleksei Mileshin, who seemed to get the better of Braxton in every phase.
The Russian snagged the opening takedown on the edge for a 2-0 lead. Then, Amos was hit with passivity and sent down. Mileshin turned Amos twice. Lastly, another takedown, again at the edge, sent the Russian to the finals and the American to the battle for bronze.
Alongside Amos, Bouzakis helped inject some energy into the very deflated sails of Team USA Greco squad. Nic was the the only other American outside of Amos to win a match in the Greco-Roman tournament.
In the Round of 16, Bouzakis stormed to an impressive 11-2 tech against Miguel Loureiro Santos of Portugal. After giving up the initial takedown while looking for a headlock, Nic rattled off seven straight points. The first point, a reversal, was followed by trio of gut wrenches. Bouzakis led 7-2 at the break. In the second period, Nic added a takedown with exposure to seal the deal and advance.
In Bouzakis’ quarterfinals matchup, an offensive shootout chock-full of excellent scrambling and four-pointers, Poland’s Arslanbek Salimov had a relentless offensive attack that got the better of Bouzakis. Nic fought hard but came up short, losing 12-5.
Bouzakis was eliminated after Salimov fell in his semifinal 8-0 Esmaeili Leivesi of Iran.
Unfortunately, as was the case during day number one of the Greco-Roman tournament, the United States continued to struggle mightily as the second grouping of Greco World Teamers took to the mats.
The USA dropped its first three Round of 16 bouts of the session: at 72 kg (a 9-0 tech via Turkey), 67 kg (an 8-0 tech via Russia), and 82 kg (a 9-2 decision via Belarus).
Also, from session 10, Kodiak Stephens fell via 10-0 technical superiority to Maksat Sailau (Kazakhstan) in the repechage during session 11. With the loss, Stephens was also eliminated from the tournament after an 0-2 showing.
Statistically speaking, aside from Amos and Bouzakis, the other eight USA Greco World Teamers were a combined 0-9 and outscored 74-5 overall in Ufa.
Compete Results All Team USA Greco -Roman Competitors
2021 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug. 16-22 | Ufa, Russia
U.S. Greco-Roman results
60 kg: Nic Bouzakis (Shavertown, Pa./XCalibur Athletics) – eliminated
WIN Miguel LOUREIRO DOS SANTOS (Portugal), 11-2
LOSS Arslanbek SALIMOV (Poland), 12-5
67 kg: Dominic Damon (Seattle, Wash./NMU RTC) – eliminated
LOSS Muslim IMADAEV (Russia), 8-0
72 kg: Justus Scott (Henderson, Nev./Legends of Gold Las Vegas) – eliminated
LOSS Omer DOGAN (Turkey), 9-0
82 kg: Jon Fagen (Fruitland, Idaho/Spartan Combat RTC) – eliminated
LOSS Mikhail KHACHATURAU (Belarus), 7-2
97 kg: Braxton Amos (Mineral Well, W.V./Wisconsin RTC) – bronze match
WIN Yerzat YERLANOV (Kazakhstan), 8-0
WIN Mustafa OLGUN (Turkey), fall 5:58
vs. Aleksei MILESHIN (Russia)
87 kg: Kodiak Stephens (Arnold, Calif./Ebbetts Pass WC) – eliminated
LOSS Tyrone STERKENBURG (Netherlands), 8-0
LOSS Maksat SAILAU (Kazakhstan), 10-0
Official USA Wrestling recap
Click here for the official release from USA Wrestling.
OTHER TOM COVERAGE
Session One recap
Session Two recap
Session Three and Four recap
Session Five recap
Session Six recap
Session Seven recap
Session Eight recap
Session Nine recap
Session 10 recap