Roberts places fifth in freestyle at Junior World Championships in Hungary

By Gary Abbott | July 27, 2010, 11:20 a.m. (ET)
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Nick Roberts (Hooversville, Pa./Young Guns) placed fifth at 50 kg/110 lbs. in freestyle at the Junior World Championships at the Syma Arena on Saturday. It was the top U.S. performance of the day.

Roberts, who is 16, was defeated by Anatoli Buruian of Moldova in the bronze-medal round, 0-6, 0-3. Burian was a 2010 European Junior champion and won a Junior World bronze medal in 2009.

Buruian came out strong in the first period, scoring a pair of takedowns as well as two turns for exposure to register a 6-0 technical fall. Roberts wrestled more aggressively in the second period, which ended 0-0. Buruian won the ball draw, secured the leg clinch, and scored a three-point takedown to win the match.

"The last match, the nerves got to me and I didn't wrestle good in that first period. In the second period, my coaches told me to give myself a chance and wrestle how I know to wrestle. I went out and wrestled and lost the clinch" said Roberts.

Earlier in the day, Roberts was beaten in his first match by eventual silver medalist Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia. Roberts rebounded in his repechage match to beat Tugs Batjargal of Mongolia and earn a spot in the bronze-medal match.

"It was really exciting, and a lot different with the different styles" said Roberts of his first international competition. "It makes me want to work harder for next year. This was first experience here. I just have to get used to it, get more experience and come back."

Roberts is a star high school wrestler, who was a Cadet National double champion last year and won both the FILA Junior Nationals and World Team Trials this year. He is a First Team member of the ASICS High School All-American Team.

The other three U.S. competitors lost their opening matches and were not able to get into the repechage rounds when their opponent failed to reach the finals.

Dropping their only bouts of the day were Matt McDonough (Marion, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs., Conrad Polz (Orland Park, Ill./Illini WC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Tyler Lehmann (Fargo, N.D./Minnesota Storm) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

McDonough was a NCAA champion for the Univ. of Iowa this year. Polz is a starter for the Univ. of Illinois. Lehman, a high school star in North Dakota, will attend the Univ. of Minnesota this season.

After the first day, the United States had six points and was in tied in 11th place. Russia, which had three of the four individual champions, leads with 38 points, followed by Azerbaijan with 34 points and Georgia with 28 points.

"Pretty much first-round, first-tournament jitters" said U.S. coach Rob Eiter of the Saturday performance. "Inexperience a little from the team, which is fine; you can't get experience without coming here. They were a little taken back with the intensity and the different styles of wrestling. We harped on the different styles, but until you feel it, words can't really describe how they wrestle. The kids wrestled hard. From a strategy standpoint and a technical standpoint, there are some areas we need to take back. The best thing is that these guys are young."

The Junior World Championships conclude Sunday with the final four men's freestyle weight classes: 55 kg. 66 kg. 84 kg, 120 kg.

At Budapest, Hungary, July 24

Men's freestyle results

50 kg/110 lbs.
1 Zikrula Dudaev (Russia)
2 Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia)
3 Anatolii Buruian (Moldova)
3 Nijat Muradov (Azerbaijan)
5 Nick Roberts (USA)
5 Ervand Tadevosyan (Armenia)
7 Abdollah Fouladvand (Iran)
8 Nobuhiro Takeda (Japan)
9 Tugs Batjargal (Mongolia)
10 Özbekan Guclu (Turkey)

60 kg/132 lbs.
1 Gadzhi Abdulaev (Russia)
2 Umid Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
3 Yasuhiro Suzuji (Japan)
3 Tengiz Chochishvili (Georgia)
5 Sayatbek Okasov (Kazakhstan)
5 Katai Yeerlanbieke (China)
7 Yasin Kul (Turkey)
8 Khas-Erdene Byambadori (Mongolia)
9 Jun-Sik Yun (Korea)
10 Oybek Kamolov (Uzbekistan)

74 kg/163 lbs.
1 Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia)
2 Soner Demirtas (Turkey)
3 Arsen Shallaev (Russia)
3 Ibrahim Yusifov (Azerbaijan)
5 Reza Alireza Afzalipaemami (Iran)
5 Ilgiz Dzhakypbekov (Kyrgyzstan)
7 Lei Wang (China)
8 Miroslav Stefanov Kirov (Bulgaria)
9 Olzhas Chingisbayev (Kazakhstan)
10 Oleg Zakharevych (Ukraine)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
1 Shamil Akhmedov (Russia)
2 Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan)
3 Fatih Yasarli (Turkey)
3 Arfan Moradali Amiri (Iran)
5 RafaelToth (Hungary)
5 Shamil Dibirov (Ukraine)
7 Adam Filipczak (Poland
8 Vadzim Tsimokhau (Belarus)
9 Gi-Chan Bak (Korea)
10 Tornike Khidesheli (Georgia)

U.S. Men's Freestyle Team performances

50 kg/110 lbs. - Nick Roberts, Hooversville, Pa. (Young Guns), 5th
LOSS Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia), pin 1:33
WIN Tugs Batjargal (Mongolia), 2-0, 3-2
LOSS Anatoli Buruian (Moldova), 0-6, 0-3

60 kg/132 lbs. - Matt McDonough, Marion, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), dnp/19th
LOSS Stanislav Reutsky (Ukraine), 1-2, 1-3

74 kg/163 lbs. - Conrad Polz, Orland Park, Ill. (Illini WC), dnp/15th
LOSS Oleg Zakharevych (Ukraine), 2-1, 1-4, 1-2

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Tyler Lehmann, Fargo, N.D. (Minnesota Storm), dnp//14th
LOSS Takahiro Baba (Japan), 3-3, 1-2