Hayden Tuma of the USA battles Russia's Artur Suleymanov at 60 kg at the Junior World Championships. Tim Foley photo
UPDATE: Tuma places eighth on opening day of Greco-Roman at Junior Worlds in Bulgaria
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Hayden Tuma (Boise, Idaho/Suples WC) finished eighth at 60 kg/132 lbs. in Greco-Roman on the opening day of the Junior World Championships, with a 2-2 record.
Tuma opened with a strong 10-3 technical fall victory over Pal Eirik Gunderson of Norway in the first period. There were a number of throws in the match, with Tuma coming out on top at key times.
In his second match, Tuma had two turns early in the first period to jump to a 5-1 lead over Asian Junior bronze medalist Dastan Uskenbekov of Kazakhstan. The Kazak came back strong in the second period, closing the lead, but Tuma showed some strong par terre defense to win the bout 5-4.
In the quarterfinals, Tuma dropped a heartbreaker to Karen Aslanyan of Armenia, a 2011 Cadet World bronze medalist and the reigning European Junior champion. Aslanyan hit an early arm throw for three points to take the lead, but Tuma battled back in the second period to tie the match at 6-6 with a three-point lift and an additional back point.
As time was running out, Aslanyan attacked Tuma's head in desperation and was able to score a two-point takedown with just three seconds left on the clock for a dramatic 8-6 victory. Tuma would have won the criteria if the bout ended 6-6.
Tuma was pulled back into the repechage right off the bat in session two, when Aslanyan defeated Elman Mukhtarov of Azerbaijain in the semifinals.
Tuma drew 2010 European Cadet champion Artur Suleymanov of Russia in the repechage rounds. The winner would advance to a bronze-medal bout. Suleymanov led 3-0 after one period, with two gutwrenches, one for two points and the other for one. He added a point on a passivity in the second period to beat Tuma, 4-0.
"I wrestled tough overall. I went out there and my whole plan was to go out and brawl. I knew the Europeans and Asians get real tired. They weren't used to being in that kind of match" said Tuma. "This let me establish where I am at. I lost to the guy in the finals and a guy going for bronze. It is a plus that I am in it with people who are medaling. I want to come back next year and go for gold."
Tuma is a past U.S. Cadet World Team member, and won the Junior Nationals Greco-Roman title in Fargo, N.D. earlier this summer.
"It just came down to nine seconds. You have to wrestle every second of the match. Hayden came out there and was ready. He did what he needed to do. The kid from Armenia jumped up and hit him with a snapdown really quickly. Sometimes that happens. In terms of condititioning, he was there. In all of his matches, Hayden finished strong" said U.S. Coach Rodney Smith.
The other three U.S. wrestlers who competed on Tuesday dropped their first matches, and were not eligible for repechage when their opponents failed to reach the finals. They included Tirso Lara (Poway, Calif./Ultimate Warrior) at 50 kg/110 lbs., Geordan Speiller, Oviedo, Fla. (Florida Jets) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Kevin Beazley (Howell, Mich./HRWA/VBRTC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
"We may have not had any medalists today, but I see a lot of opportunity for us to grow as a team. These guys have to seize the day" said Smith.
The final four U.S. Greco-Roman athletes have weighed in and received their draws.
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sofia, Bulgaria, August 13
50 kg/110 lbs.
Gold - Isvand Mahmodi Farshad (Iran)
Silver - Oleksandr Tryfonov (Ukraine)
Bronze - Alexandru Botez (Romania)
Bronze - Bence Juhasz (Hungary)
5th - Ramiz Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
5th - Zamir Dunkanaev (Kyrgyzstan)
7th - Yasin Karadasli (Turkey)
8th - Irakli Shavadze (Georgia)
9th - Dzhangar Bachaev (Russia)
10th - Ali Soto Macias (Mexico)
Gold - Isvand Mahmodi Farshad (Iran) tech. fall Oleksandr Tryfonov (Ukraine), 8-0
Bronze - Alexandru Botez (Romania) dec. Ramiz Mammadov (Azerbaijan), 7-7 (criteria)
Bronze - Bence Juhasz (Hungary) dec. Zamir Dunkanaev (Kyrgyzstan), 5-5 (criteria)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Karen Aslanyan (Armenia)
Silver - Basar Enes (Turkey)
Bronze - Elman Mukhtarov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Radoslav Vasilev (Bulgaria)
5th - Artur Suleymanov (Russia)
5th - Cheol Jeong (Korea)
7th - Khvicha Tchitava (Georgia)
8th - Hayden Tuma (USA)
9th - Nikita Masjuks (Latvia)
10th - P. Khot (India)
Gold - Karen Aslanyan (Armenia) tech. fall Basar Enes (Turkey), 7-0
Bronze - Elman Mukhtarov (Azerbaijan) dec. Artur Suleymanov (Russia), 1-0
Bronze - Radoslav Vasilev (Bulgaria) tech. fall Cheol Jeong (Korea), 7-0
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Karapel Chalyan (Armenia)
Silver - Andriy Antonyuk (Ukraine)
Bronze - Jeyhun Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Bekkan Ozdoev (Russia)
5th - Samat Shirdakov (Kyrgyzstan)
5th - Viktor Nemes (Serbia)
7th - Petru Sevciuc (Moldova)
8th - Furkan Bayrak (Turkey)
9th - Bogdan Kourinnoi (Sweden)
10th - Gurpreet Singh (India)
Gold - Karapel Chalyan (Armenia) dec. Andriy Antonyuk (Ukraine), 3-0
Bronze - Jeyhun Aliyev (Azerbaijan) X Samat Shirdakov (Kyrgyzstan), 4-0
Bronze - Bekkan Ozdoev (Russia) pin Viktor Nemes (Serbia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Musa Evloev (Russia)
Silver - Daniel Gastl (Austria)
Bronze - Fatih Baskoy (Turkey)
Bronze - Romas Fridrikas (Lithuania)
5th -Naor Gurielashvili (Israel)
5th - Jakhongir Turdiev (Uzbekistan)
7th - Aleksander Kroczak (Poland)
8th - S. Salehizadeh (Iran)
9th - Tural Dasdamirov (Azerbaijan)
10th - Kim Seunjun (Korea)
Gold - Musa Evloev (Russia) dec. Daniel Gastl (Austria), 8-2
Bronze - Fatih Baskoy (Turkey) dec. Naor Gurielashvili (Israel), 5-0
Bronze - Romas Fridrikas (Lithuania) pin Jakhongir Turdiev (Uzbekistan)
U.S. Greco-Roman performances
50 kg/110 lbs. - Tirso Lara, Poway, Calif. (Ultimate Warrior)
LOSS Bence Juhasz (Hungary), tech. fall 0-7 (0:44)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Hayden Tuma, Boise, Idaho (Suples WC), 8th
WIN Pal Eirik Gunderson (Norway), tech. fall 10-3 (2:23)
WIN Dastan Uskenbekov (Kazakhstan), 5-4
LOSS Karen Aslanyan (Armenia), 6-8
LOSS Artur Suleymanov (Russia), 0-4
74 kg/163 lbs. - Geordan Speiller, Oviedo, Fla. (Florida Jets)
LOSS Lasha Gobadze (Georgia), 0-5
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Kevin Beazley, Howell, Mich. (HRWA/VBRTC/Old Dominion University)
LOSS Fatih Baskoy (Turkey), tech. fall 0-7 (4:00)