Lawal wins gold at Yasar Dogu Tournament in Turkey

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 12, 2006, 12:31 p.m. (ET)
The U.S. won four medals during the first day of the Yasar Dogu International in Samsun, Turkey, led by individual gold-medalist Mo Lawal (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. on Feb. 11.

Lawal won four matches on the way to the title. He won in the gold-medal finals against Serhat Balci of Turkey, 1-0, 2-0.

Lawal was seventh in the 2005 World Championships, his first appearance at the World level. He won an international tournament for the second straight week, after winning the Dave Schultz Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 3-4.

Winning a silver medal for the U.S. was Sammie Henson (Flintstone, Ga./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs. Capturing bronze medals were Chris Bono (Ringgold, Ga./Sunkist Kids) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Henson won his first three bouts, to qualify for the gold-medal finals, where he was defeated by 2002 World champion Rene Montero of Cuba. Henson was a 1998 World champion and 2000 Olympic silver medalist.

Bono won two matches, then was defeated in the semifinals by the eventual champion Elman Asgarov of Azerbaijan, 1-1, 0-1. Bono rebounded to win the bronze-medal match, stopping Khagan Suleymanov of Azerbaijan, 1-1, 4-1. Bono is a three-time U.S. World Team member.

Thompson, a 2005 World bronze medalist, won his first match, but was upset in the second round when he was pinned after a footsweep by Faruk Demir of Turkey in 1:42. He won two straight matches in the repechage round to claim the bronze medal. His victory in the bronze-medal round was a pin of Shermis Bullit of Turkey in 2:48.

One other wrestler competed on Saturday. Ron Groves (Colorado Springs, Colo./unattached) lost his opening match at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and did not medal.

Three other U.S. athletes weighed in on Saturday, Feb. 11 and will compete on Sunday, Feb. 12:

At Samsun, Turkey, Feb. 11

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Rene Montero (Cuba)
Silver - Sammie Henson (USA)
Bronze - Demir Ramazan (Turkey)
Bronxe - Naranbbataar (Mongolia)
5th - Murat Gencturk (Turkey)
5th - Muhyettin Uzun (Turkey)
7th - Allaverdi Valiyev (Azerbaijan)
8th - Danil Neustroue (Russia)
9th - Kiurbiyik Erdinc (Turkey)
10th - Krasimir Kratanuv (Bulgaria)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Elman Asgarov (Azerbajian)
Silver - Yesil Ayetullah (Turkey)
Bronze - Chris Bono (USA)
Bronze - Mustafa Kuyucu (Turkey)
5th - Khagan Suleymanov (Azerbaijan)
5th - Yusuf Benekli (Turkey)
7th - Yasin Bolat (Turkey)
8th - Abdulhamit Altun (Turkey)
9th - Dursun Gozel (Turkey)
10th - Nikolai Kurtev (Bulgaria)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold -Mo Lawal (USA)
Silver - Serhat Balci (Turkey)
Bronze - Roerlandy Zuniga (Cuba)
Bronze - Gulhan Yavaser (Turkey)
5th - Faruk Kalender (Turkey)
5th - Bahadir Karatov (Turkey)
7th - Ziya Kambur (Turkey)
8th - Petar Kasabov (Bulgaria)
9th - Muhammed Gunyadin (Turkey)
10th - Nuri Zengin (Turkey)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Ali Reza Kaya (Turkey)
Silver - Alexander Monteogodo (Cuba)
Bronze - Tolly Thompson (USA)
Bronze - Saban Yilmaz (Turkey)
5th - Servest Bulut (Turkey)
5th - Kasif Sakiroglu (Turkey)
7th - Mehmet Yesilyesil (Turkey)
8th - Mukerrem Kiyi (Turkey)
9th - Mumin Guclu (Turkey)

U.S. performances

55 kg/121 lbs. - Sammie Henson (Flintstone, Ga./Sunkist Kids), 2nd

WIN Ramazan Demir (Turkey), 2-1, 6-0
WIN Tekin Soyer (Turkey), 1-1, 2-1, 8-1
WIN Murat Gencturk (Turkey), 5-3, 2-0
LOSS Rene Montero (Cuba), 0-1, 0-2

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Chris Bono (Ringgold, Ga./Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN Serkan Alkanat (Turkey), 2-1, 3-0
WIN Yasin Bolat (Turkey), 4-2, 2-1
LOSS Elman Asgarov (Azerbaijan), 1-1, 0-1
WIN Khagan Suleymanov (Azerbaijan), 1-1, 4-1

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Ron Groves (Colorado Springs, Colo./unattached), dnp
LOSS Yusuf Benekli, 0-3, 1-8

84 kg/185 lbs. - Mo Lawal (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC), 1st
WIN Muhammad Gunaydin (Turkey), 1-0, 1-0
WIN Nuri Zengin (Turkey), 2-0, 4-1
WIN Gokhan Yavaser (Turkey), 3-0, 2-0
WIN Serhat Balci (Turkey), 1-0, 2-1

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN Suleyman Aykiri (Turkey), 2-0, 6-0
LOSS Ali Reza Kaya (Turkey), fall, 1:42
WIN Mehmet Yesilyesil (Turkey), 3-0, 6-0
WIN Servest Bulut (Turkey), fall, 2:48

U.S. pairings for second day of Yasar Dogu International

60 kg/132 lbs. - Michael Lightner (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)

Bye, to face winner of Ahmet Shelnur (Bulgaria) vs. Hakki Gurer (Turkey)

74 kg/163 lbs. - Joe Williams (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids)
vs. Ivan Delizirski (Bulgaria)

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Nick Preston (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids)
vs. Ugar Guibonov (Azerbaijan)