2003 World Cup Session I USA wins easily Germany Ukraine tie Ukraine upsets Russia

By Gary Abbott | April 05, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
USA DEFEATS WORLD SELECT TEAM, 24-3, WINNING EVERY BOUT The U.S. claimed every match, including an extra exhibition bout, to open the World Cup with a 24-3 victory over the World Select Team on Saturday at the Bank of America Centre in Boise, Idaho. The U.S. team opened with a 10-0 technical fall win by Stephen Abas (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) over World Select's Ben Vombaur at 121 pounds. Abas controlled all of the action, including an impressive three-point takedown to exposure in the second period. Abas and Vombaur were Pac-10 opponents when Abas was at Fresno State and Vombaur at Boise State. Eric Guerrero (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) followed with a solid 3-1 win over Daniel Wilde of Germany at 132 pounds. Chris Bono (Gilbert, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) kept the rout going with a 7-0 win over Sergei Kowalenko of Germany. Bono scored a three-point takedown on the buzzer to end the match. The U.S. won by forfeit at 163 pounds. Crowd favorite Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) defeated 1996 Olympic champion Khajimurad Magomedov of Russia, 3-1 at 185 pounds. Sanderson scored a pair of takedowns and received his third point on a fleeing the mat call against Magomedov. Sanderson had also beaten Magomedov earlier this season at the Kurt Angle Classic in New Orleans, La. An exhibition match was held at 185 pounds, with 2000 Olympian Charles Burton defeating David Bichinashvili of Germany, 4-2. The match did not count towards the team score, but was a good victory for Burton over a seasoned competitor. Burton was an All-American at Boise State, and is popular with the local fans. The final U.S. victory came at 211.25 pounds, a solid 4-2 victory by Tim Hartung (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) over Oleg Kallagov of Russia. Hartung broke a 2-2 tie with a two-point exposure to win the bout. The final bout was a forfeit win for Kerry McCoy (Bethlehem, Pa./New York AC) at 264.5 pounds. The U.S. now has a 1-0 team record in the event, while the World Select team is 0-1. Quotes from Team USA Stephen Abas, 55 kg "Getting the first match out of the way is good. I was able to work on my par terre a bit. I wasn't expecting too much from Vombaur. It was a good match for me." (on defending his World Cup title) - "I have to wrestle here like I am capable of. I have the skills and tools to do it. I just have to get it done. I've seen many of these guys before, so I know what I have to do to win." Chris Bono, 66 kg "I felt good. It was good to get that one out of the way. I did everything I wanted to do. Now, I'll get ready for the second match tonight." Dan Gable, head coach "There were some tough matches out there. Both of the Russian matches were especially tough. They were highly respected wrestlers. We won those matches handily. Overall, things look good. We were not threatened. There were no major mistakes. We didn't have to come from behind at all. We basically wrestled steady." (about the next bout against Germany) "Tonight will be a step up. There will be a few tighter matches. If we shut them down and wrestle our style, we should be fine." (about Sanderson's win) "Sanderson kept Magomedov out of his style, except for that one takedown. Cael took advantage of the edge a couple of times. He also got a call he might not have gotten in Russia, that third point. Without that point, it would have gone to a clinch, and that changes everything. The third point was big in the match. He was outhustling the guy, took advantage of the zone, plus we are in America." UKRAINE AND GERMANY END IN A TIE, 14-14, TO OPEN WORLD CUP Although Ukraine won four of the seven matches, an injury default win at heavyweight allowed Germany to secure a 14-14 tie with the favored Ukrainian team in their first World Cup dual meet. A key to the Germany performance came in the first match, when Vassili Zeiher scored a 4-3 overtime win over Gevork Markaryan at 121 pounds. Ukraine reeled off three straight wins to take a solid team lead. At 132 pounds, Victor Bilokopitiy of Ukraine defeated Mario Koch, 7-3. Sergiy Latyshev followed with a 3-1 win over Ergin Urun at 145.5 pounds. 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Zaza Zazirov pushed the margin with a pin in 1:30 of Dominik Zeh at 163 pounds. Germany got a big boost at 185 pounds, when veteran Andre Backhaus pinned Alik Muzaev in 3:47. Ukraine rebounded at 211.25 pounds, with a 3-1 win by Vasyl Tismenetskiy over Cengiz Cakici. Ukraine led by four team points going into the final match. Germany's Sven Thiele, a 1995 World silver medalist, needed a pin or technical fall to tie the match. However, when his opponent Serhii Priadun was injured with a cut and could not continue, Thiele received the four team points he needed to secure the 14-14 tie. At the World Cup, a tie gives one classification point to each team in the standings. Both Ukraine and Germany have opened the World Cup with 0-0-1 records. UKRAINE UPSETS RUSSIA, 17-10, WITH DISQUALIFICATION AT HEAVYWEIGHT Ukraine surprised everybody with a 17-10 upset victory over co-favorite Russia in the first session of the World Cup Wrestling Championships. Russia opened the match with a solid 6-0 victory by Alexander Kontoev over Ukraine's Gevork Markaryan at 121 pounds. The next bout at 132 pounds went into overtime, where Ukraine's Victor Bilokopitiy scored a 5-4 overtime win over Zelimkhan Gousseinov. Ukraine took the team lead with a forfeit win at 145.5 pounds. At 163 pounds, in an entertaining and competitive bout, 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Zaza Zazirov edged Inal Dzagourov, 5-3, Russia then received a forfeit win of their own at 185 pounds. Ukraine took the team lead when Vasyl Tismenetskiy scored a solid 3-1 win over Zainudin Ibragimov at 211.25 pounds. Needing a pin or technical fall to give Russia the win, 1997 World Champion Kouramagomed Kouramagomedov of Russia tried to push the action against Serhii Priadun of Ukraine. The match got a bit chippy as Priadun took a lead in the second period. In a fit of frustration, Kouramagomedov punched then kicked Priadun, then was disqualified from the match by FILA officials. Ukraine's record moved to 1-0-1 in the tournament, while Russia dropped to a 0-1 record.