MOSCOW, Russia - The first three U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers have weighed in and received their draws at the World Wrestling Championships, which begins on Monday at the Olympiysky Sports Complex.
"I feel good about it. We are at the World Championships. It doesn't matter about the draw. You have to beat them all anyway" said National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser.
2005 World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz (Boise, Idaho (New York AC) will wrestle against 2010 CISM World Military bronze medalist Richard Karelson of Estonia in his opening bout.
Also on Ruiz's side of the bracket are 2008 Olympic silver medalist Mirko Englich of Germany and 2009 World silver medalist Jimmy Lidberg of Sweden.
2008 U.S. Olympian Spenser Mango (St. Louis, Mo./New York AC) opens up against 2008 Olympic champion Nazyr Mankiev of Russia. Mankiev was second in the 2010 European Championships.
Also on Mango's half of the bracket are 2010 European champion Elchin Aliyev of Azerbaijan, 2009 World bronze medalist Virgil Munteanu of Romania and 2010 European bronze medalists Peter Modos of Hungary and Vyugar Ragymov of Ukraine.
"Mango has the Russian Olympic champion. He has a tough one right off the bat. If Mango has his A game, I think he can beat that Russian" said Fraser
At 66 kg/145. lbs., 2009 U.S. World Team member Faruk Sahin (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) drew 2010 CISM World Military champion Tomacz Swierk of Poland in his first match. Swierk was second in the 2004 University World Championships.
Also on Sahin's side of the draw are 2008 Olympic gold Steeve Guenot of France, 2008 Olympic silver medalist Kanatbek Begaliev of Kyrgyzstan and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Armen Vardanyan of Ukraine.
All three U.S. athletes competing on Monday have previous World Championships experience.
Ruiz has now wrestled on five U.S. World Teams. Mango has been the U.S. competitor for the last three years at the Olympics and World Championships (2008-2010). Sahin is on his second straight U.S. World Team.
National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser is confident that the wrestlers are prepared and will perform to their abilities on Monday.
"We are confident we will do well. Every match is a tough match. If our guys are ready tomorrow and get into that warrior fighting spirit and get on a roll, any one of our three guys could get a medal, for sure" said Fraser.WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Moscow, Russia, Sept. 6
U.S. Greco-Roman draws for Monday
55 kg/121 lbs. - Spenser Mango, St. Louis, Mo. (New York AC)
vs. Nazyr Mankiev (Russia)
66 kg/145. lbs. - Faruk Sahin, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
vs. Tomacz Swierk (Poland)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Justin Ruiz, Boise, Idaho (New York AC)
vs. Richard Karelson (Estonia)