photos courtesy of Kadir Caliskan; Germany Wrestling
The remainder of the Junior Greco-Roman team was in action today with results that were overall encouraging. Andrew Berreyesa became the only American to advance to the Greco finals this year. He will face three-time age group world champion Aleksandr Komarov (Russia) in tomorrow’s final. Berreyesa grinded his way to three wins, none of which had a larger margin than three points. Cohlton Schultz was superior to a physically imposing opponent in his bronze medal matchup. Schultz, a 2017 Cadet world champion, now has his first Junior level medal. Unfortunately, Kamal Bey was not able to replicate his success from a year ago, against him 2017 world finals opponent. Though he was obviously disappointed, Bey showed plenty of class with his arm around the victorious Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan), in a respectful embrace that was similar to the way that Makhmudov handled last years defeat. Even with one match remaining, the results are positive for a Greco program that was struggling up until the past couple of years. With Berreyesa in the finals, it marks the first time since 1999 that the US Junior Greco team has had finalists in back to back years.
Round of 32 – Taylor LaMont vs. Galym Kabdunassarov (Kazakhstan)
Taylor LaMont had one of the most difficult draws, as he had the Asian Champion Kabdunassarov in the first round. The pair exchanged passivity points, the second of which was against LaMont and gave Kabdunassarov criteria. In the ensuing par terre exchange, Kabdunassarov attempted a lift; however, LaMont countered and stepped over for two points of his own. A late takedown iced the match for Taylor and gave him a 5-1 win.
Round of 16 – vs. Ararat Manucharyan (Armenia)
Manucharyan jumped out to an early lead after getting two points from an arm throw. A passivity call on LaMont extended his lead to three. On the par terre restart that followed Manucharyan scored four points with a throw from a body lock. In the second period, Lamont got on the scoreboard with a passivity point of his own. He also took advantage of the position, getting two points for a gut wrench. He was not able to penetrate the Armenian’s defense any further and lost 7-3.
Manucharyan lost 5-3 in the quarterfinals to the defending world champion Kerem Kamal (Turkey) which dashed any hopes of repechage for LaMont.
Repechage – Alston Nutter vs. Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia)
Nutter was pitted up against an opponent in Poghosyan that had a much stockier, compact build than him. In addition to a possible strength advantage, Poghosyan was very active and continually looked for openings to score. He would find one early one with a four-point throw from a body lock. The Armenian continued to attack and used a body lock again to take a 6-0 advantage into the break. In the second period, Poghosyan used a sort of a shuck-by after getting another body lock to add to more points and end the match with a tech.
Round of 32 – Peyton Omania vs. Mohamed Elsayed (Egypt)
There was minimal activity in the early going, as Elsayed scored the only point of the first period with a push out. In the second the Egyptian broke the bout wide open with a takedown using a body lock and then he quickly moved into a back arch, which was initially scored five points. After a review from the American bench it was deemed to be worth four points; however the scoreboard was still 7-0 in favor of Elsayed. The match would end shortly after that when Elsayed picked up a takedown at the edge of the mat. The US staff challenged this call, to no avail. A point for a lost challenge was added to Elsayed’s tally making the final score 10-0.
Elsayed would go on to lose a 5-5 match on criteria in the semis to Makhmud Bakhshilloev (Uzbekistan) which would eliminate Omania from the tournament.
Round of 32 – Tyler Dow vs. Gergely Bak (Hungary)
Bak started quickly with a takedown and them two separate sets of points for correct throws, which gave him a 6-0 at the break. In the second, Dow was able to counter a throw at the edge of the mat, though the official gave Bak two more points. The call was challenged by the American corner, and it was ruled that there was no scoring on the exchange. A similar situation occurred where Dow countered another throw attempt; however Bak dropped straight to his back giving Tyler his first two points of the match. Dow would push hard but was unable to earn any more points. A late step out brought the final score to 7-2.
Bak was defeated in the quarterfinals by Minto Maeda (Japan) 7-3 which stopped any shot Dow had at wrestling back for a medal.
Round of 16 – Andrew Berreyesa vs. Simone Fidelbo (Italy)
A bye to the round of 16 made Berreyesa the last wrestler to start his morning, but he proved to be ready from the outset. Andrew led first 1-0 after a passivity call. He would then extend his lead to two points after getting a step out. After the break, both wrestlers were engaged in a flurry near the edge of the mat. Initially, it was ruled two points for Berreyesa, however, after a challenge, it was reduced to a one-point step out. Fidelbo finally got going with a point for passivity, inching closer to Andrew 3-1. On the par terre restart, Berreyesa was able to step over his opponent for a reversal. That was the last point scored, and Berreyesa got to move on after his 4-1 win.
Quarterfinals – Abubakr Alimov (Uzbekistan)
Though the final score of this match was only 3-0, Berreyesea thoroughly outworked Alimov and wore him down. During the last minute and a half, Alimov could barely get into position and was not physically able to challenge.
Semifinals – Muhutdin Saricicek (Turkey)
The previous credentials for Saricicek were misleading, as he was only 13th at the Asian Championships, but he was a game opponent for Berreyesa. Andrew was awarded two points at the edge of the mat for a takedown when he had a headlock and Saricicek had a body lock. This was a familiar position that the Turkish wrestler was never able to use to his advantage. Before the end of the first period, Berreyesa was called for passivity which brought the score to 2-1. A second passivity call tied the score, though Andrew led due to using a two-point score, instead of two one pointers, like Saricicek. That advantage would hold up from Berreyesa as he thwarted all of Saricicek’s final threats and advanced to the world finals.
Round of 32 – Chad Porter vs. Illia Laurynovich (Belarus)
The scoring was started by Laurynovich when Porter was called for passivity. Laurynovich then proceeded to execute a back arch for four points and at the same time Porter was called for a caution and two making the score 7-0 in the blink of an eye. The Belarusian then ended the match with a second four-point throw, bring the score to read 11-0.
Laurynovich was shut out 7-0 in the semifinals by Arvi Savolainen (Finland) which eliminated Porter.
Bronze Medal Match – Kamal Bey vs Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan)
It was a rematch of the 2017 Junior world finals between these two. Bey had won a shootout that time around by the score of 16-11. In this meeting, Bey struck first by getting the point for passivity on Makhmudov. The following par terre sequence proved to be the difference in the match. Bey was attempting a straight lift, which was countered by Makhmudov, who then scored with a reverse lift. The coaching staff for Kyrgyzstan then challenged the sequence, and it was found that Bey had committed a leg foul and he was penalized with a caution and two points, making the score 4-1. Makhmudov then closed out the first period with another four-point throw to lead 8-1. In the second period, Makhmudov thought he ended the match with a tech after a push out, however after US side challenge it was ruled that there was not hold attempted, just a straight push, which was a new rule change. The match resumed, but Bey was never able to hit any of his trademark big throws to get himself any closer.
Bronze Medal Match – Cohlton Schultz vs Ante Milkovic (Croatia)
At first glance, these two looked like a high schooler vs. a 25-year-old man as Milkovic was much larger and developed than Schultz. If it affected the American, he never showed let it show. Milkovic struck first with a step out point to lead 1-0. Schultz countered by forcing a passivity call. Cohlton would capitalize on the par terre advantage with a gut wrench, possibly two. The US coaching staff wanted to review the call, but Schultz tossed the challenge brick back to them, satisfied with his 3-1 lead. Schultz got an insurance score when he snapped down the overzealous Milkovic and spun behind for a takedown. As the clock expired and Milkovic was resigned to his fate, Cohlton picked up a takedown to win 7-1.