U.S. wins three bouts, but its four Greco-Roman athletes miss medal rounds at Paris World Championships

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Aug. 21, 2017, 11:01 a.m. (ET)
G’Angelo Hancock of the USA spars with Seyedmosta Salehizadeh of Iran in their 98 kg repechage match at the World Championships in Paris. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

PARIS, France – U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers competing on the first day of the 2017 World Championships combined for three wins, but none of the four entries qualified for the medal rounds in the evening at the AccorsHotel Arena on Monday. All four were competing in their first Senior Worlds.

At 98 kg/215 lbs., 2016 Junior World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/New York AC/OTC) reached the repechage rounds at 98 kg/215 lbs., where the 20-year-old was unable to advance.

Hancock opened with a strong 3-0 decision over 2016 World University champion Fatih Baskoy of Turkey in his opening match. Hancock scored by forcing a step out then receiving a pair of passivity calls against Baskoy.

Next, Hancock fell to 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia in his second match, by a 10-1 technical fall. Hancock trailed 3-0 at the break, and closed it to 3-1 early in the second period after a passivity penalty against Aleksanyan. However, Aleksanyan scored a key four-point move, plus a failed challenge, to make it 8-1 then closed out the bout with a takedown.

When Aleksanyan reached the finals, Hancock was drawn into repechage, where he was defeated by 2017 Asian champion Seyedmosta Salehizadeh of Iran, 3-1. Hancock led 1-0 after a passivity call against Salehizadeh, but the Iranian came back with two points on passivity and a forced stepout to secure the final three points of the bout.

“It was a rough day. It has been a rough month. I am grateful to wrestle an Olympic champion and multiple World champion. I am grateful for that experience. I give my life to this and I trained my whole year for this. Wrestling is like that. Every day, something crazy can happen,” said Hancock.

The other three U.S. wrestlers entered on Monday also lost matches, and were not able to come back into repechage after their opponents fell short of the finals.

Another 20 –year old, Mason Manville (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP), went 1-1 in his first Senior World Championships experience at 75 kg/165 lbs.

He opened with a 4-2 win over 2017 Nordic Championships bronze medalist Manfred Edsberg of Sweden. Manville went up 2-0 on two passivity calls against Edsberg. On the key exchange of the match, Manville was turned by Edsberg, but then caught Edsberg on his back, for a two-and-two ruling by the officials, for the final points in the bout.

In his second bout, Manville fell to 2009 European Junior champion Mindia Tsulukidze of Georgia, 4-2. It was a match in which Manville scored the only technical points with a bodylock takedown early in the second period. However, officials nailed Manville with three passivity penalties giving Tsulukidze three points. In the closing seconds, Manville got behind Tsulukidze but could not get the Georgian’s knee to hit the mat. The USA challenged the call, which was denied, giving Tsulukidze his final point. Manville was eliminated after Tsulukidze lost in his quarterfinal bout, and did not advance to repechage.

Manville was a past Cadet World freestyle champion and a Youth Olympic Games silver medalist in Greco-Roman. He is a student at Penn State.

“I felt pretty good. I felt I was moving well and was pushing the pace, trying to do my offensive ties. There was some controversy with the ref, but you can’t control that. I thought I took him down twice, but the ref didn’t. It doesn’t matter. I am just trying to get better,” said Manville.

Pat Smith, a 2014 University World silver medalist, also finished with a 1-1 record in his first Senior World Championships, and did not reach the repechage rounds.

Smith opened with a solid 5-0 shutout over Matous Morbitzer of Czech Republic. Smith scored a takedown, forced a stepout and received two points on passivity against Morbitzer.

Smith fell to 2017 Asian bronze medalist Nurgazy Asangulov of Kyrgyzstan in the second round, 8-2. Smith opened with a 2-0 lead on a passivity point and a stepout. Asangulov opened it up with a four-point headlock, then nailed another four-pointer to put away the match.

When Asangulov lost his quarterfinal bout to Demeu Zhadrayev of Kazakhstan, Smith was eliminated from the competition. Smith competed for the University of Minnesota in college.

“My body felt good. I felt prepared. I was ready to go. Reflecting back, the first thing that comes to mind is the second match, it was definitely winnable. That is the frustrating thing, small lapses in discipline and position can change the whole course of the match. I know what I am capable of, and it didn’t quite come out after that second match,” said Smith.

Two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (Stevens Points, Wis. (New York AC) was defeated in his only match, and was not eligible for repechage. It was his first Senior World Championships appearance.

Provisor dropped his opener against 2014 World Military champion Oleksandr Shyshman of Ukraine, 6-2. It was a close match until the end, when Shyshman broke a 2-2 tie with 12 seconds left by getting behind Provisor and hitting a four-point throw. Provisor was ahead on the tiebreaker if he had been able to hold off that final Shyshman attack.

“I was up 2-2 with 16 seconds left. With the head butt that happened, I sort of got upset. It was the same thing that happened at the Olympics. I let my emotions get the best of me. I need to practice on that a little bit more. I was winning. I should have circled back with my left foot forward. He scored on my good side. My left side is my tricky side. I shouldn’t have given that point up. Live and learn. It was my first World Championships and now I will probably move to Penn State with Mason and we’ll see,” said Provisor.

The finals in the four weight classes are set for 7:00 p.m. Paris time. The final four U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers weigh-in on Monday night. Their draws will be posted when available.

2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Paris, France, August 20, 2017

U.S. Greco-Roman results


71 kg/156 lbs. - Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
WIN Matous Morbitzer (Czech Republic), 5-0
LOSS Nurgazy Asangulov (Kyrgyzstan), 8-2

75 kg/165 lbs. - Mason Manville, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
WIN Manfred Edsberg (Sweden), 4-2
LOSS Mindia Tsulukidze (Georgia), 4-2

85 kg/187 lbs. - Ben Provisor, Stevens Points, Wis. (New York AC)
LOSS Oleksander Shyshman (Ukraine), 6-2

98 kg/215.5 lbs. - G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/New York AC/OTC)
WIN Fatih Baskoy (Turkey), 3-0
LOSS Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia), 10-1 tech. fall
LOSS Seyedmosta Salehizadeh (Iran), 3-1

Medal Match pairings

71 kg/156 lbs.
Gold - Demeu Zhadrayev (Kazakhstan) vs. Frank Staebler (Germany)
Bronze - Balint Korpasi (Hungary) vs. Adam Kurak (Russia)
Bronze - Daniel Cataraga (Moldova) vs. Mohammadali Geraei (Iran)

75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold- Aleksandr Chekhirkin (Russia) vs. Viktor Nemes (Serbia)
Bronze - Tamas Lorincz (Hungary) vs. Fatih Cengiz (Turkey)
Bronze - Saeid Morad Abdvali (Iran) vs. Kazbek Kilou (Belarus)

85 kg/187.5 lbs.
Gold - Denis Kudla (Germany) vs. Metehan Basar (Turkey)
Bronze - Hossein Ahmad Nouri of Iran vs. Islam Abbasov of Azerbaijan
Bronze - Davit Chakvetadze of Russia vs. Roberti Kobliashvili of Georgia

98 kg/215 lbs.
Gold - Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia) vs. Musa Evloev (Russia)
Bronze - Revazi Nadareishvili (Georgia) vs. Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan)
Bronze - Dimitriy Timchenko (Ukraine) vs. Balazs Kiss (Hungary)

Semifinal results

71 kg/156 lbs.
Demeu Zhadrayev (Kazakhstan) dec. Balint Korpasi (Hungary), 1-1
Frank Staebler (Germany) dec. Daniel Cataraga (Moldova), 4-2

75 kg/165 lbs.
Aleksandr Chekhirkin (Russia) pin Tamas Lorincz (Hungary), 4:43
Viktor Nemes (Serbia) dec. Kazbek Kilou (Belarus), 7-0

85 kg/187.5 lbs.
Denis Kudla (Germany) pin Hossein Ahmad Nouri (Iran), 5:59
Metehan Basar (Turkey) dec. Davit Chakvetadze (Russia), 4-2

98 kg/215 lbs.
Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia) tech. fall Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan), 8-0
Musa Evloev (Russia) dec. Dimitriy Timchenko (Ukraine), 8-1