World Cup Session III USA beats Cuba to stay unbeaten Iran upsets Russia

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


The United States stopped Cuba, 19-10, to claim its third straight win at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling 2000 in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 6.

The USA faces Russia on Sunday evening in the tournment's final dual meet. Iran upset Russia on Sunday morning and the USA beat Iran on Saturday night. If the USA beats Russia, it wins the World Cup team title outright. If Russia defeats the USA, there would be a three-way tie for first, which must be broken through tie-breaking procedures. (A similar situation occured during the 1998 World Cup in Stillwater, Okla.)

Cuba opened with a victory, as Rene Montero defeated Eric Akin (Overland Park, Kan./Dave Schultz WC), 9-2 at 119 pounds. The United States rebounded with four straight victories, and never trailed the rest of the way.

Eric Guerrero (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids) dominated Yoendris Albear in a 10-0 technical fall at 127.75 pounds. Two-time World medalist Cary Kolat (Morgantown, W.Va./Dave Schultz WC) scored a solid 4-0 victory over Yandro Quintana at 138.75 pounds.

Two-time World medalist Lincoln McIlravy (Iowa City, Iowa/Gateway WC) escaped a scare at 152 pounds, scoring a last-second move on the buzzer to edge Yosmany Sanchez, 4-3. Joe Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) claimed his third straight win of the weekend by controlling Daniel Gonzalez, 5-0.

In a battle of World Champions, 1999 World Champion Yoel Romero of Cuba beat 1997 World Champion Les Gutches (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 3-1 at 187.25 pounds. It is the third straight year that Romero has beaten Gutches during the World Cup. However, Gutches defeated Romero at the 1999 Pan American Games.

Cuba's third victory came at 213.75 pounds, when Wilfredo Morales edged Dominic Black (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), in a 1-0 overtime match at 213.75 pounds. Kerry McCoy (State College, Pa./New York AC) scored an injury default win at 286 pounds, when 1998 World Champion Alexis Rodriguez could not wrestle due to an injury suffered on Saturday.

The United States climbed a 3-0 record, and Cuba dropped to a 1-3 mark for the World Cup after the match.


Iran upset Russia, 17-15, keeping its team title hopes alive at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling 2000 in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 6. Both Iran and Russia have a 2-1 record after three sessions. Iran lost to the United States on Saturday night. However, if Russia defeats the United States on Sunday night, there could be a three-way tie between the nations, which would be broken by tiebreakers. Iran won the first three matches of the dual meet to jump to an early 10-1 team lead. Iranian winners were Behnam Tayebi at 119 pounds, Ali Reza Dabier at 127.75 pounds and Akbar Behtari at 138.75 pounds. Russia came back with three straight wins from Zaur Kazbekov at 152 pounds, Chamil Aliev at 167.5 pounds and Sajid Sajidov at 187.25 pounds. The key match came at 213.75 pounds, where 1998 World Champion Ali Reza Heidari of Iran defeated 1997 World Champion Kouramagomed Kouramagomedov, 3-1, putting Iran ahead in the team standings, 16-12. Russia's Oleg Khorpiakov closed the meet with a 6-2 win over Ali Reza Rezaei, but needed a pin for Russia to earn a tie.

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


United States 19, Cuba 10

54 kg/119 lbs. - Rene Montero, Cuba, dec. Eric Akin, Overland Park, Kan., 9-2

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla. won by tech. fall over Yoendris Albear, Cuba, 10-0, 5:49

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Cary Kolat, Morgantown, W.Va. dec. Yandro Quintana, Cuba, 4-0

69 kg/153 lbs. - Lincoln McIlravy, Iowa City, Iowa, dec. Yosmany Sanchez, Cuba, 4-3

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa dec. Daniel Gonzalez, Cuba, 5-0

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Yoel Romero, Cuba, dec. Les Gutches, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-1

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Wilfredo Morales, Cuba, won by ref. dec. over Dominic Black, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1-0, ot, 9:00

130 kg/286 lbs. - Kerry McCoy, State College, Pa. won by inj. dft. over Alexis Rodriguez, Cuba

Iran 17, Russia 15

54 kg/119 lbs. -Behnam Tayebi, Iran, dec. Maxim Molonov, Russia, 4-0

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Dabir, Iran, won by tech. fall over Zelimkhan Gussienov, Russia, 10-0, 5:52

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Akbar Behtari, Iran, dec. Zelimkhan Akhmedov, Russia, 5-2

69 kg/153 lbs. - Zaur Kazbekov, Russia, dec. Mehdi Baraati, Iran, 4-2

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Chamil Aliev, Russia won by tech. fall over Ramezanali Oliani Nejad, Iran, 12-1, 5:05

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Sajid Sajidov, Russia dec. Mehdi Saredjlov, Iran, 8-2

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Heidari, Iran, dec. Kouramagomed Kouramagomedov, Russia, 3-1

130 kg/286 lbs. - Oleg Khorpiakov, Russia, dec. Ali Reza Rezaei, Iran, 6-2

U.S. quotes from the session

58 kg - Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla. - "I felt good today. After last night's loss to Iran, I did some thinking. I don't accept losing. I am from a family that doesn't accept losing, a program that doesn't accept losing. Last night, I went back to my room and did some serious thinking and evaluating. I put that to use today, and plan on putting it to use tonight against Russia."

63 kg - Cary Kolat, Morgantown, W.Va. - "I felt sluggish and wrestled a poor match. I need to get some kinks and rust out. I concentrated more on conditioning than wrestling and made a few mistakes."

69 kg - Lincoln McIlravy, Iowa City, Iowa - "Poor performance - good win. "

76 kg - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa - "I felt good. Every day is a learning experience. I'm learning something every match. I'm trying to keep it as fun as possible."

85 kg - Les Gutches, Colorado Springs, Colo. - "It was a big match, no doubt. But in some ways, it's all practice until the Olympics. If I beat Romero in the Olympics, no one will remember this. Don't get me wrong. I don't like to lose. I hate to lose. Today, he took it to me. I don't like it at all. Obviously, he came to wrestle today and wanted it more, and I don't like it at all."

85 kg - Yoel Romero, Cuba - "I felt excellent. It was a long awaited match. " (about Gutches rivalry) "There is no rivalry, only the ambition for the Olympic gold" (about avenging Pan Am loss to Gutches); "We are friends."

Head Coach Greg Strobel - "McIlravy was a key, coming from behind to win. He showed us, it's never over until it's over. Les got out of his game plan a little bit. These two guys, both World Champions, are great wrestlers. You can't lose your game plan in a match like this. Our guy really hustled, though."

Assistant Coach Mike McArthur - "Both yesterday and today, we started slowly in the early match. We won matches without really looking good. That was the case in this Cuba match, except for Guerrero and Williams who looked good."