Tucker Sanderson make semifinals Abas goes for bronze at World University Freestyle Championships

By Gary Abbott | Nov. 04, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)
Two additional U.S. wrestlers qualified for the semifinal round, and another earned a spot in a bronze medal match during second day action at the 2000 World University Wrestling Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 4. Earning spots in Sunday's semifinals with victories on Saturday were Byron Tucker (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds and Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 187.25 pounds. Tucker claimed his pool competition with a 6-0 victory over Sean Pierson of Canada. The win gave Tucker a 2-0 record in the competition. Tucker, a 2000 NCAA champion at the Univ. of Oklahoma, holds a No. 4 Senior-level ranking in the United States. Sanderson qualified for the semifinals by winning the repechage (wrestle-back) for the fourth and final position in the semifinals. Sanderson pinned Kazuhiro Hamanaka of Japan in 1:40, then beat Serhat Balci of Turkey, 6-0. Sanderson lost his first match of the tournament and placed second in his pool, but now still has a chance to win the gold medal. Sanderson is a two-time NCAA champion for Iowa State, and is competing in his junior season. He was also a 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier. Tucker and Sanderson join three other U.S. wrestlers who qualified for Sunday's semifinals with victories on Friday: Teague Moore (Pittsburgh, Pa./Sunkist Kids) at 119 pounds, Eric Larkin (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 138.75 pounds, and Chad Lamer (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) at 213.75 pounds. Moore, a former Oklahoma State NCAA champion, is currently ranked No. 3 in the United States on the Senior level. Larkin, an Arizona State student, is currently ranked No. 3 in the United States on the Senior level. Lamer, a former star at South Dakota State, is ranked No. 4 in the USA on the Senior level. Stephen Abas (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) lost his only match on Saturday, and will compete in the bronze medal match at 127.75 pounds. In his final pool match, Abas lost to Aliaksandr Karnitski of Belarus, 5-3. Abas placed second in his pool, and will face Luvsandamda Enkbayar of Mongolia for the bronze medal. Abas, a 1999 NCAA champion for Fresno State, is competing in his senior season in college after taking a redshirt year in 2000. He holds a No. 4 national ranking at 119 pounds on the Senior level, but has moved up a weight class in this tournament. Casey Cunningham (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) was eliminated from medal contention in the repechage round at 152 pounds. He lost a 3-1 decision to Ishak Boziev of Russia, then defeated Jung Dae-Ie of Korea, 5-3. Koziev advanced to the semifinals after beating Jung. Cunningham was a 1999 NCAA champion for Central Michigan and was an 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier. The freestyle athletes are coached by Freestyle Developmental Coach Mike Duroe and Freestyle Resident Coach Kevin Jackson, who work full-time at USA Wrestling's national headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. To participate, an athlete must be 17-28 years old, must be a current college student, or be graduated from a university within a year of the competition. The U.S. team was selected based upon performance on the national level, with National Team ranking, Olympic and Regional Trials and Resident athlete participation the top criteria. In addition, performance at USA Wrestling age-group national events was also part of the selection process. The competition is being held at the Sports Hall at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo. The Greco-Roman portion of the tournament is set for November 6-8. WORLD UNIVERSITY FREESTYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS at Tokyo, Japan, November 3 U.S. Freestyle Team results - Day two 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif. (Sunkist Kids) - lost dec. to Aliaksandr Karnitski (Belarus), 5-3 69 kg/152 lbs. - Casey Cunningham, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) - lost dec. to Ishak Boziev (Russia), 3-1; dec. Jung Dae-Ie (Korea), 5-3 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Byron Tucker, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) - dec. Sean Pierson (Canada), 6-0 85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) - pin Kazuhiro Hamanaka (Japan), 1:40; dec. Serhat Balci (Turkey), 6-0 Sunday's semifinals 54 kg/119 lbs. Teague Moore, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Zaoudin Bajev (Russia) Ramazan Demir (Turkey) vs. Kim Hyo-Sub (Korea) 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Eric Larkin, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Leonid Spiridonov (Russia) Mehmet Yozgat (Turkey) vs. Naoki Kurio (Japan) 69 kg/152 lbs. Mehdi Baraati (Iran) vs. Yuji Kudo (Japan) Ahmet Gulhan (Turkey) vs. Iskhak Boziev (Russia) 76 kg/167.5 lbs. Byron Tucker, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Falih Koyuncu (Turkey) Aznaour Adjiev (Russia) vs. Ramazanali Olyaninejad (Iran) 85 kg/187.25 lbs. Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) vs. Tamas Kiss (Hungary) Alexei Kaziev (Russia) vs. Majid Khodaee (Iran) 97 kg/213.75 lbs. Chad Lamer, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) vs. Kang Dong-Kuk (Korea) Shahrokh Sadaghatizadeh (Iran) vs DAWKINS Owen Dawkins (Canada) 130 kg/286 lbs. Round four of a five athlete roundrobin Sunday's determined medal match 58 kg/127.75 lbs. Gold medal - Kirill Pavlov (Russia) vs. Aliaksandr Karnitski (Belarus) Bronze medal - Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Luvsandamba Enkbayar (Mongolia) U.S. Coaches - Freestyle Developmental Coach Mike Duroe, Colorado Springs, Colo. and Freestyle Resident Coach Kevin Jackson, Colorado Springs, Colo. For complete results of every match of the first day, visit TheMat.com, the Ultimate Source for Real Wrestling.