USA wins Freestyle World Cup team title with four individual champions

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 06, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)


With a strong performance, the United States defeated Russia, 22-9, and clinched the team title at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling 2000 in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 6. The loss dropped Russia to a third-place finish in the five team field.

Eric Akin (Overland Park, Kan./Dave Schultz WC) started the U.S. off with a win at 119 pounds, defeating Maxim Molonov, 10-6. Russia drew even with a victory at 127.75 pounds, when Miron Dzadzaev stopped Eric Guerrero (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids), 7-3.

The U.S. middleweights blew the dual meet open with four straight wins. Two-time World medalist Cary Kolat (Morgantown, W.Va./Dave Schultz WC) scored a dominant 10-0 technical fall in 2:05 over Zelimhkan Akhmadov at 138.75 pounds. It was immediately followed by another technical fall, as two-time World medalist Lincoln McIlravy (Iowa City, Iowa/Gateway WC) hammered Zaur Kazbekov, 11-1, in 5:51.

Joe Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) kept up the heat with a 2-2 overtime referee's decision at 167.5 pounds. 1997 World Champion Les Gutches (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) closed the door at 187.25 pounds, stopping Sajid Sajidov, 3-0 in overtime at 7:07.

Russia's 1997 World Champion Kouramagomed Kouramagomedov claimed the 213.75 pound bout, beating Dominic Black (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), 4-1. The U.S. closed the show with a victory by Kerry McCoy (State College, Pa./New York AC) over Oleg Khorpiakov at 286 pounds, 4-0.

The United States closed with a 4-0 record, and Russia was 2-2 during the World Cup.


Iran defeated Ukraine, 22-9, to finish with an impressive second place finish at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling 2000 in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 6.

Iran claimed six of the eight weight classes against Ukraine. To start things off, 1998 Junior World champion Ali Reza Darvishi of Iran upset 1999 World bronze medalist Alexander Zakharuk, 4-3 in overtime. 1998 World Champion Ali Reza Dabir scored a 10-0 technical fall over Vasil Fedoryshin at 127.75 pounds.

After a forfeit win by Iran, Ukraine won two bouts, with victories by Orest Skobelsky at 152 pounds and Alik Muzaev at 167.5 pounds. Iran won another forfeit at 187.25 pounds, then claimed the last two matches, with a victory by 1998 World Champion Ali Reza Heidari at 213.75 pounds, then a win by Ali Reza Rezaie at 286 pounds.

Iran finished with a 3-1 record, losing only to the champion United States on Saturday night. Ukraine finished with an 0-4 record, and placed fifth. Cuba, which did not compete Sunday night, finished at 1-3 in fourth place.


Four U.S. wrestlers claimed individual World Cup gold medals, based upon their performance against the other competitors in their weight class. The U.S. champions were Cary Kolat (Morgantown, W.Va./Dave Schultz WC) at 138.75 pounds, Lincoln McIlravy (Iowa City, Iowa/Gateway WC) at 152 pounds, Joe Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) at 167.5 pounds and Kerry McCoy (State College, Pa./New York AC) at 286 pounds. Kolat and McIlravy have won the World Cup for three straight years, and McCoy claimed his second straight World Cup title. It was the first career World Cup gold medal for Williams.

Iran boasted three individual gold medalists: Behnam Tayebi at 119 pounds, Ali Reza Dabir at 127.75 pounds and Ali Reza Heidari at 213.75 pounds. It was the second straight year that Dabir and Heidari have captured World Cup titles. Both Dabir and Heidari were World Champions in 1998, as well.

Cuba's Yoel Romero, a 1999 World Champion, captured the World Cup gold medal at 187.25 pounds. It is his second World Cup title in the last three years.

Three U.S. wrestlers claimed silver medals: Eric Akin (Overland Park, Kan./Dave Schultz WC) at 119 pounds, Eric Guerrero (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds and Les Gutches (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 187.25 pounds. Placing fourth was Dominic Black (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 213.75 pounds.


The final two-day total for attendance at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling 2000 was 13,2001, according to event organizers. Sports fans from Northern Virginia, Washington D.C, Maryland and other nearby areas helped make the event a success. The lead sponsor for the event was Gebhart Properties. Organizers included the Balitimore Committee for International Wrestling, the Washington/Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition and Archbishop Curley High School.

WORLD CUP OF FREESTYLE WRESTLING 2000 at Patriot Center, Fairfax, Va., Feb. 6

SESSION FOUR/5:00 p.m.

Iran 22, Ukraine 9

54 kg/119 lbs. - Ali Reza Darvishi, Iran, dec. Alexander Zakharuk, Ukraine, 4-3, ot, 6:19

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Dabir, Iran, won by tech. fall over Vasil Fedoryshyn, Ukraine, 10-0, 3:16

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Akhbar Behtari, Iran, won by forfeit

69 kg/152 lbs. - Orest Skobelsky, Ukraine, pin Mehdi Baraati, Iran, 2:01

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Alik Muzaev, Ukraine, dec. Ramezanali Oliani Nejad, Iran, 7-1

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Mehdi Saredjlov, Iran, won by forfeit

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Heidari, Iran, dec. Sergey Pryadun, Ukraine, 4-3

130 kg/286 lbs. - Ali Reza Rezaei, Iran, won by ref. dec. over Merabi Valiev, Ukraine, 1-0, ot, 9:00

United States 22, Russia 9

54 kg/119 lbs. - Eric Akin, Overland Park, Kan. dec. Maxim Molonov, Russia, 10-6

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Miron Dzadzaev, Russia, dec. Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla., 7-3

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Cary Kolat, Morgantown, W.Va. won by tech. fall over Zelimkhan Akhmedov, Russia, 10-0, 2:05

69 kg/152 lbs. - Lincoln McIlravy, Iowa City, Iowa, won by tech. fall over Zaur Kazbekov, Russia, 11-1, 5:51

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa won by ref. dec. over Chamil Aliev, Russia, 2-2, ot, 9:00

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Les Gutches, Colorado Springs, Colo., dec. Sajid Sajidov, Russia, 3-0, ot, 7:07

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Kouramagomed Kouramagomedov, Russia dec. Dominic Black, Colorado Springs, Colo., 4-1

130 kg/286 lbs. - Kerry McCoy, State College, Pa. dec. Oleg Khorpiakov, Russia, 4-0

Final Team Standings: 1. United States, 4-0 record, 8 pts.; 2. Iran, 3-1 record, 6 pts.; 3. Russia, 2-2 record, 4 pts.; 4. Cuba, 1-3 record, 2 pts.; 5. Ukraine, 0-4 record, 0 pts.

Individual placewinners

54 kg/119 lbs. - Gold - Behnam Tayebi, Iran; Silver - Eric Akin, United States; Bronze - Alexander Zakharuk, Ukraine; 4th - Maxim Molonov, Russia; 5th - Wilfredo Garcia, Cuba

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Gold - Ali Reza Dabir, Iran; Silver - Eric Guerrero, United States; Bronze - Miron Dzadzaev (Russia); 4th - Yoendris Albear, Cuba; 5th - Vasil Fedoryshyn, Ukraine

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Gold - Cary Kolat, United States; Silver - Yandro Quintana, Cuba; Bronze - Zelimkhan Akhmedov, Russia; 4th - Akhbar Behtari, Iran

69 kg/153 lbs. - Gold - Lincoln McIlravy, United States; Silver - Orest Skobelsky, Ukraine; Bronze - Yosmany Sanchez, Cuba; 4th - Zaur Kazbekov, Russia; 5th - Mehdi Baraati, Iran

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Gold - Joe Williams, United States; Silver - Chamil Aliev, Russia; Bronze - Daniel Gonzales, Cuba; 4th - Alik Muzaev, Ukraine; 5th - Ramezanali Oliani Nejad, Iran

85 kg/187.25 lbs.- Gold - Yoel Romero, Cuba; Silver - Les Gutches, United States; Bronze - Mehdi Saredjlov, Iran; 4th - Sajid Sajidov, Russia; 5th - Taras Danko, Ukraine

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Gold - Ali Reza Heidari, Iran; Silver - Kouramagomed Kouramagomedov, Russia; Bronze - Wilfredo Morales, Cuba; 4th - Dominic Black, United States; 5th - Sergey Pryadun, Ukraine

130 kg/286 lbs. - Gold - Kerry McCoy, United States; Silver - Oleg Khorpiakov, Russia; Bronze - Ali Reza Rezaei, Iran; 4th - Merabi Valiev, Ukraine; 5th - Alexis Rodriguez, Cuba

U.S. quotes from the session

54 kg - Eric Akin, Overland Park, Kan. - "I felt pretty good