UPDATE: Richard Perry wins silver, Aaron Pico adds bronze at Medved International in Belarus

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Feb. 19, 2016, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Richard Perry receives his 86 kg silver medal at the Medved International. Photo by Brandon Slay.

MINSK, Belarus – The United States added two more men’s freestyle medals on the final day of the respected Alexander Medved International on Friday.

Claiming a silver medal was Richard Perry (Philadelphia, Pa./NYAC/PRTC) at 86 kg/189 lbs. In the finals, he was defeated by 2015 Junior World champion Nurmagomed Gadziev of Azerbaijan. In the first period, Gadziev scored a pushout and a four-point double leg takedown, then added a second period pushout.

Perry got on a run in his bracket, beating Boris Makoev of Russia, 2-1, stopping Ahmet Bilichi of Turkey, 12-5 and pinning World bronze medalist Sandro Aminashvili of Georgia in the quarterfinals. He earned his spot in the finals with a 9-6 win over Amarjajy Magamedov of Belarus, who was seventh in the 2012 European Championships.

Perry, who competed in college for Bloomsburg, has been one of our nation’s top young freestylers in recent seasons. He was third at the 2015 Alexander Medved International. Perry placed fifth at the 2016 U.S. Open.

Young star Aaron Pico (Whittier, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) claimed a bronze medal at 70 kg/154 lbs. Trailing 5-4 in the second period, Pico hit a four-point throw on the edge to take the lead, then closed out a 10-5 win over Davit Tlashadze of Georgia in the bronze-medal round. Tlashadze was seventh at the 2015 World Championships and fifth at the 2015 European Games. Pico is a past Cadet World champion and two-time Junior World medalist.

He opened with three big technical fall wins, stopping Kanat Musabekov of Kazakhstan, 14-4, dominating two-time World bronze medalist Mandakhnaran Ganzorig of Mongolia, 11-0 and putting away European U23 bronze medalist Andrei Karpach of Belarus, 12-0 in the quarterfinals. He was edged in the semifinals by European U23 silver medalist Zurabi Iakobishvili of Georgia, 3-5.

At 86 kg/189 lbs., 2016 U.S. Open champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes WC) finished with a 2-1 record. He opened with a dominant 13-2 technical fall over Sebastian Jezierzanski of Poland, then stopped Irakli Mtsituri of Georgia, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, he was defeated by Amarjajy Magamedov of Belarus, 1-9. When Magamedov was beaten in the semifinals by Richard Perry, Dake was eliminated and not eligible for repechage.

The USA won four men’s freestyle medals in the two-day tournament. On Thursday, the USA got bronze medals from 2015 World champion Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) at 97 kg/213 lbs. and past Junior World silver medalist Logan Stieber (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) at 65 kg/143 lbs.

“The final day of the Medved included a silver by Richard Perry and a bronze by Aaron Pico. Both men have really progressed in the last year, which is to be commended. Progression is not defined by gold medals but by improvement, and Richard and Aaron continue to improve. Out of weight classes, Team USA will bring home four medals from one of the toughest tournaments on the planet, which is encouraging. Heading into Rio, Team USA will need to improve on finishing shots, front headlock offense, edge management and par terre defense to become the best team I the world. Now it’s time to qualify the last four weights in the Lone Star State at the Pan Am Qualifier,” said Assistant National Freestyle Coach Brandon Slay.

Special thanks to Coach Brandon Slay, a number of U.S. athletes and international wrestling fans who have been reporting on the event through Twitter, Periscope and other social media.

Medal winners will be updated.

At Minsk, Belarus, Feb. 19, 2015

Men's Freestyle results

61 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - George Koliev (Belarus)
Silver - Bekhan Goygereyev (Russia)
Bronze - Egor Ponomarev (Russia)
Bronze - Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia).

70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold - Zurabi Yakobashvili (Georgia)
Silver - Amir Berukov (Russia)
Bronze - Habib Magomedov (Russia)
Bronze - Aaron Pico (United States).

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold - Nurmagomed Hajiyev (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Richard Perry (United States)
Bronze - Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia)
Bronze - Omargadzhi Magomedov (Belarus).

125 kg/275 lbs.
Gold - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)
Silver - Said Hamidov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Komeil Ghasemi (Iran)
Bronze - Nick Matukhin (Germany)

U.S. Men’s Freestyle performance

70 kg/154 lbs. – Aaron Pico, Whittier, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), bronze medal
WIN Kanat Musabekov (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 14-4
WIN Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Andrei Karpach (Belarus), tech. fall 12-0
LOSS Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia), 3-5
WIN Davit Tlashadze (Georgia), 10-5

86 kg/189 lbs.– Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes WC)
WIN Sebastian Jezierzanski (Poland), tech. fall 13-2
WIN Irakli Mtsituri (Georgia), 6-1
LOSS Amarjajy Magamedov (Belarus), 1-9

86 kg/189 lbs. – Richard Perry, Philadelphia, Pa. (NYAC/PRTC), silver medal
WIN Boris Makoev (Russia), 2-1
WIN Ahmet Bilichi (Turkey), 12-5
WIN Sandro Aminashvili (Georgia), pin
WIN Amarjajy Magamedov (Belarus), 9-6
LOSS Nurmagomed Gadziev (Azerbaijan), 0-6

125 kg/275 lbs. – Eric Thompson, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
LOSS Dmitry Popov (Kazakhstan)

U.S. women’s freestyle performance

53 kg/116.5 lbs.– Jessica Medina, Champaign, Ill. (Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Natalia Malyshieva (Russia), 0-10