UPDATED Mena and Douglas claim gold medals at FS Olympic Qualifier

By Gary Abbott | March 13, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)
Mena and Douglas claim gold medals at the freestyle Olympic Qualifier in Mexico City, Mexico, March 11-12

Mike Mena (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) and Melvin Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) won gold medals at the freestyle Olympic Qualifier in Mexico City, Mexico, March 11-12.

Mena won the gold medal at 119 pounds and Douglas won the gold at 213.75 pounds.

It was the fourth of five freestyle Olympic Qualification Tournaments held across the world from January through March. The final event will be held in Alexandria, Egypt, March 25-26. At the end of the series, seven more nations will qualify in each weight class for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Mena gained eight points for the United States at 119 pounds. He won his first two matches by pin. First over David Legrand of France and then Xiande Zhou of China. He then won by a technical fall over Victor Gutierrez of Mexico, 11-0. Mena won the gold medal over Mikhail Japaridze of Canada by an injury default.

Douglas won six of his seven matches to win the gold medal and gain eleven points for the United States. He started out with a pin as well over Danni Mayarez of Venezuela, then lost a decision, 4-1, to Islam Bairamukov of Kazakhstan. Bairamukov placed fourth at the 1997 World Championships.

Douglas then won by a technical fall over Isaac Mpia of Cameroon, 13-0, pinned Cristian Alvarez of Mexico and Otto Aubeli of Hungary. He decisioned George Torchinava of the Netherlands, 6-2, and Rolf Sherrer of Switzerland, 2-0, to win the gold medal.


at Mexico City, Mexico, March 11-12


54 kg/119 lbs. - Gold - Mike Mena, USA; Silver - Mikhail Japaridze, Canada; Bronze - David Legrand, France

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Gold - Othmar Kuhner, Germany; Silver - Iosif Momsedlidze, Kazakhstan; Bronze - Saeed Azarbayjan, Canada

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Gold - David Pogosyan, Georgia; Silver - Michele Liuzzi, Italy; Bronze - Stefan Fernyak, Slovak Republic

69 kg/152 lbs. - Gold - Majid Mohammadi Ziolaei, Iran; Silver - Zuanchong Xu, China; Bronze - Mariusz Dabrowski, Poland

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Gold - Nasir Gadshichanov, Macedonia; Silver - Pejman Dorostkar, Iran; Bronze - Felix Polianidis, Greece

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Gold - Apetnak Kurginyan, Armenia; Silver - Gabor Kapuvari, Hungary; Bronze - Seyed Mohammadi Ghaffari, Iran

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Gold - Melvin Douglas, USA; Silver - Rolf Sherrer, Switzerland; Bronze - Islam Bairamukov, Kazakhstan

130 kg/286 lbs. - Gold - Xing Qiang Chen, China; Silver - Zsolt Gombos, Hungary; Bronze - Efstathios Topalidis, Greece

U.S. performances

54 kg/119 lbs. - Mike Mena, Iowa City, Iowa, 1st - pinned David Legrand (France); pinned Xiande Zhou (China); won by tech. fall over Victor Gutierrez (Mexico), 11-0; won by inj. def. over Mikhail Japaridze (Canada)

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Melvin Douglas, Mesa, Ariz, 1st - pinned Danni Mayarez (Venezuela); lost dec. Islam Bairamukov (Kazakhstan), 4-1; won by tech. fall over Isaac Mpia (Cameroon), 13-0; pinned Cristian Alvarez (Mexico); pinned Otto Aubeli (Hungary); dec. George Torchinava (Holland), 6-2; dec. Rolf Scherrer (Switzerland), 2-0