U S wins three bronze medals at World Beach Wrestling Championships

By Gary Abbott | Nov. 06, 2006, 12:09 p.m. (ET)
ANTALYA, TURKEY - The United States won three bronze medals at the first World Beach Wrestling Championships, held at Camyuva Beach on Saturday.

Claiming bronze medals in the men's competition were Ray Downey (Babylon, N.Y./East Meadow WC) at the Under 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division and Angelo Borzio (Stroudsburg, Pa.) at the Over 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division.

Winning a bronze medal in the women's Under 70 kg/154 lbs. division was Leigh Jaynes (Colorado Springs, Colo./Prince of Battle).

The two bronze medals by Downey and Borzio led the United States to a second place finish in the team standings for men. In the women's team standings, Jaynes' bronze medal put Team USA in third place.

It was the second World medal for the week for both Borzio and Jaynes, who won bronze medals in the Sombo World Championships earlier in the week.

The United States finished the week of competition, which also included the World Sombo Championships, with a total of 12 individual medals.

Downey, a high school coach in East Meadow, N.Y., won his first two matches in dominant fashion, stopping Ali Topal of Turkey and Bernard Nicholas of France by identical 2-0 margins. In the semifinals, in a hard-fought battle, Downey was defeated by Abdullah Aykac of Turkey.

"I felt totally prepared," said Downey. "I got an opportunity to get here as an alternate. I took that opportunity. I changed my training from preparing for a marathon to preparing for Beach wrestling."

"During my bouts, I wanted to control the tie. I know if I got my underhook, I would control the matches with my offense," he said. "In the semifinals, he was tough. I lost the scrambles. I felt good out there."

Borzio won three rounds to reach the semifinals. He opened with a forfeit over Ivan Nemeth of Hungary, then stopped Vijay Paval of India, 2-0. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Fatjon Boro of Albania, 2-1.

Borzio wrestled an additional match that was not necessary due to a pairing error. Tournament officials paired him with Araz Cuferov of Azerbaijan, who Borzio defeated, 2-1, seemingly placing him in the finals. However, Cuferov should not have been in the bout, as he had lost his earlier match. Borzio had to do the semifinals over again, facing Viyad Kava of India, and he lost the bout, 2-0.

"I think I wrestled pretty well for what my training had been," said Borzio. I wanted to hold my position, and not get into any situations. From control situations, I was waiting and getting into positions where I could score."

"I let the India wrestler get into his favorite position. I tried a body lock. He got into a position to control my throw. I had to wrestle a match that didn't count. Your mindset is that you are in the finals but then you have to come back and wrestle again. You are getting a high, thinking you are in the finals, then have to wrestle again to make the finals," he said.

Jaynes opened the tournament with a pin in approximately nine seconds against Leyla Metin of Turkey. In the semifinals, she was caught and pinned in eight seconds by N. Ugrun Percin of Turkey.

"The first match went great. She tried to throw. It is hard to do techniques in the sane. She tried a lateral drop and I was right there. In the second match, I tried a front headlock. She was shorter and smaller than me and she got under me. It was a technical mistake," said Jaynes.

The U.S. added another World placewinner with Carlos Dolmo (Bronx, N.Y.) placing fifth at the Men's Over 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division.

Dolmo opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Eran Akoglu of Turkey. In his second match, he was edged by eventual champion Ali Reza Kaya of Turkey, 2-1.

Two other U.S. wrestlers competed in the men's division and were defeated in their first match: J.T. Taylor (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at the Men's Under 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division and Jeff Zastrow (Whitewater, Wis./Warhawk WC) at the Men's Under 85 kg/187.5 lbs.

Taylor was defeated in his first match by Bernard Nicholas of France, 2-0. Zastrow, competing in the first-ever match at the World Beach Wrestling Championships, was pinned by Araz Ceferof of Azerbaijan in approximately 59 seconds.

It was a historic day for Beach Wrestling, which was added as a style of international wrestling in 2005, and was holding its first World Championships ever. Turkey won the team title in the men's division, and Spain won the team title in the women's division.

The first four individual champions in Beach Wrestling history were:
- Hakkin Ceylan of Turkey in the Under 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division
- Ali Riza Kaya of Turkey in the Over 85 kg/187.5 lbs. division
- Aurorra Fajardo of Spain in the Under 70 kg/154 lbs. division
- Dacil Lopez of Spain in the Over 70 kg/154 lbs. division

FILA also hosted "Super Champion" matches, pitting the winners of both weight classes against each other. In the men's division, the heavier wrestler won the match, as Ali Riza Kaya of Turkey beat Hakkin Ceylan. In the women's division, the lighter wrestler won the bout, as Aurorra Fajardo of Spain defeated Dacil Lopez of Spain.

Beach Wrestling, which is gaining popularity across the world, now has its first set of World Champions.

The U.S. medalists were pleased with the opportunity to participate in this historic competition.

"It is hard leaving my family. It was a long and expensive trip. But it is worth it with a medal on your neck," said Downey.

"I think the experience I had with Beach wrestling is great," said Borzio. "Intially, I did it to have fun. For me, it kept me doing something in wrestling. I had an opportunity to come to Turkey and I took it. It was a great experience to come to a World Championships, to meet other athletes and to see a new country. I think Beach wrestling will make it."

"They were both excellent experiences," said Jaynes of her two World medals won this week. "I will take something for each of them. This was a beautiful setting. Beach wrestling is an excellent idea."

At Antalya, Turkey, November 4

Individual medalists

Men's Under 85 kg/187.5 lbs.
Gold - Hakkan Ceylan (Turkey)
Silver - Abdullah Aykac (Turkey)
Bronze - Ray Downey (USA)
Bronze - Gettan Gerar (Turkey)

Men's Over 85 kg/187.5 lbs.
Gold - Ali Riza Kaya (Turkey)
Silver - Viyond Yadal (India)
Bronze - Angelo Borzio (USA)
Bronze - Sukru Kazan (Turkey)

Women's Under 70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold - Aurora Fajardo (Spain)
Silver - N. Ugrun Percin (Turkey)'
Bronze - Leigh Jaynes (USA)
Bronze - Margarita Montes (Spain)

Women's Over 70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold - Dacil Lopez (Spain)
Silver - Gurbet Koca (Turkey)
Bronze - Seda Bozkurt (Turkey)
Bronze - Melek Yagan (Turkey)

Super Final Matches

Men's division
Ali Riza Kaya (Turkey) dec. Hakkan Ceylan (Turkey), 2-1

Women's division
Aurora Fajardo (Spain) dec. Dacil Lopez (Spain), 2-0

U.S. performances

Men's Under 85 kg/187.5 lbs.

Ray Downey, Babylon, N.Y. (East Meadow WC), bronze medal
WIN Ali Topal (Turkey), 2-0
WIN Bernard Nicholas (France), 2-0
LOSS Abdullah Aykac (Turkey), 1-2

J.T. Taylor, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., dnp
LOSS Bernard Nicholas (France), 2-0

Men's Over 85 kg/187.5 lbs.

Angelo Borzio, Stroudsburg, Pa., bronze medal, bronze medal
WIN Ivan Nemeth (Hungary), forfeit
WIN Vijay Paval (India), 2-0
WIN Fatjon Boro (Albania), 2-1
WIN Araz Cuferov (Azerbaijan), 2-0**
LOSS Viyad Kaya (India), 2-0
** bout did not count, incorrect pairing

Jeff Zastrow, Whitewater, Wis., dnp
LOSS Araz Ceferof (Azerbaijan), pin 0:59 approx.

Carlos Dolmo, Bronx, N.Y., 5th place
WIN Eran Akoglu (Turkey), 2-0
LOSS Ali Reza Kaya (Turkey), 2-1

Women's under 70 kg/154 lbs.

Leigh Jaynes, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Prince of Battle), bronze medal
WIN Leyla Metin (Turkey), pin 0:09 approx.
LOSS N. Ugrun Percin (Turkey), pin 0:08 approx.