Pictured: View from inside Ufa Arena in Ufa, Russia, at the 2021 World Championships. Image courtesy of Bryan Medlin, head coach Illinois Regional Training Center.
As day five (sessions nine and 10) begin at the 2021 Junior World Championships inside Ufa Arena in Ufa, Russia, on Friday, fans of USA Wrestling have a lot to look forward to.
The men’s Greco-Roman tournament begins Friday during the early morning session, plus Alara Boyd wrestled (and won) her repechage bout, advancing to the medal-round later today. Boyd’s crucial win further adds to what has already been a truly historic showing for our Team USA women’s freestyle squad at the World Championships.
Boyd got things started with a bang on Friday as day five got going . Alara, a Cadet bronze medalist in 2016 and a Cadet World finalist in 2017, picked up a big (and dominant) 12-1 tech over Yana Tretsiak (Belarus). It was quick work for the American women’s freestyler. A four-point takedown (from a single-leg) and gut wrench created Boyd’s quick 6-0 lead. Then a go-behind followed by a pair of guts ended it. Now she’ll wrestle for Junior world bronze later today. Boyd’s big win has enormous implications for Team USA’s standing in the women’s freestyle team race.
With only the medal-round bouts remaining on the women’s freestyle side, here is where the Red, White, and Blue stand in the team race.
Women's Freestyle team scores heading into medal matches, with max potential points. Highlighted weights have medal matches later today. pic.twitter.com/Lgq6leYS5r
— The Wrestling Nomad (@wrestlingnomad) August 20, 2021
Team USA did not get the start in wanted in Greco Fridayin Greco-Roman. Billy Sullivan (55 kg), Chayse La Joie (63 kg), Matthew Singleton (77 kg), Kodiak Stephens (87 kg), and Luke Luffman (130 kg) all took to the mat, and it did not go well.
At, 77 kg Matthew Singleton fell 7 -0. Andreas Vasilakopoulos of Greece. After leading 4-0 at the break because of a go-behind ad a successful throw, Vasilakopoulos added a passivity point and a caution-and-two to win by a seven-point. Vasilakopoulos fell in the quarterfinals, sending Singleton home.
At 87 kg in Greco Kodiak Stephens (USA) vs. Tyrone Sterkenburg (Netherlands) ended quickly. A Sterkenburg arm spin cost Stephens four points. Sterkenburg got the eventual pin. However, the USA challenged the throw and was successful and kept the match alive. The challenge proved meaningless, though, as a Sterkenburg headlock for four points ended the match 8-0 in technical superiority over Stephens.
At 55 kg Billy Sullivan recorded the first offensive points of the Round of 16 on the for-Team USA against Iskhar Kurbayev of Kazakhstan before being defeated 11-2. Kurbayev took a 3-0 lead to the break after earning a takedown and passivity point. In the second period, Sullivan got a chance on top in par terre after a passivity point was awarded his way. Sullivan couldn’t turn Kurbayev but made the most of the opportunity, taking Kurbayev to the edge and rolling through, but no points were awarded initially. However, Sullivan challenged and won. He was rewarded with a step-out point. With the score now 3-2 in favor of Kurbayev, Iskhar got a go-behind and two four-point throws for the 11-2 tech. Sullivan loses a tough one.
At 61 kg Chayse LaJoie came up empty against Iman Mohammadi of Iran. First, Chayse was hit with passivity. From there, Mohammadi got put on top in par terre already up 1-0. Three guts and an Iran step-out point later the bout, ended via technical superiority 8-0. Mohammadi fell in the quarterfinals to end LaJoie’s tournament.
In what would end up being the last Greco bout of the day for Team USA, Luke Luffman fought hard but lost a 6-1 decision at 130 kg against Razmik Kurydan of Armenia. In typical heavyweight fashion, the only two points scored in the first four-plus minutes was a passivity point for each wrestler, tying the match 1-1. Hoffman was hit with a caution-and-two for a leg foul. Luffman challed the foul call and lost. After that, the Armenian added a gut and held on to win 6-1. Luffman is eliminated after the Armenian lost in round two.
With the Luffman loss, Team USA falls to 0-5 through the first session of action Friday. Similarly, the USA mustered just three total points in the round, and athletes were teched on three occasions. Of the three points scored, two were awarded for opponent passivity and one via step-out by Sullivan. The five USA Graco athletes in action today were outscored by a combined 40-3 margin.
As of now, only Sullivan and Stephens are the only ones still alive in the repechage. However, each opponent must win their semifinal match later today to bring the pair Team USA Greco grapplers back in.
That's all for this session. Here's a short recap:
Sullivan (55 kg) and Stephens (87 kg) awaiting semifinals results to see if they will be pulled into repechage.
LaJoie (63), Singleton (77) and Luffman (130) were eliminated from the tournament.
Semis start at 7:45 am ET
— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) August 20, 2021
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