USA Wrestling Five more World clas...

Five more World class stars commit to competing at Kurt Angle Classic in New Orleans Nov 8 10

By Gary Abbott | Oct. 03, 2002, 12 a.m. (ET)

Five more international wrestling stars have accepted invitations to compete in the historic new Kurt Angle Classic, a challenge competition featuring U.S. wrestling stars and many of the best wrestling athletes from across the world. The event, held in conjunction with Kurt Angle and GNC, will take place at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La., November 8-10, 2002. This brings the total to nine World-class wrestling stars from foreign nations who have agreed to participate in this exciting new competition. These nine international athletes have won a total of eight World Championships, one Olympic Games championship and 21 World-level medals. The five new confirmed participants include 2002 World Champion Eldar Kurtanidze of Georgia, plus four stars from Russia, 2002 World Champion Gaidar Mamedaliev, 1996 Olynpic Champion Khadjimurad Magomedov, 1998 World Champion Alexander Menshikov and 2002 World silver medalist Magomed Isagaschiev. USA Wrestling, in conjunction with event organizers and international wrestling federations, is helping firm up the final lineup at this time. The Kurt Angle Classic features a "USA vs. The World" format, and will spotlight Olympic and World Champion athletes in the three Olympic styles of wrestling: men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle. All wrestlers will be paid to compete, with bonuses available to the winners. In all, the total purse for the event will exceed $75,000. Kurtanidze, 30, was the 2002 World Champion in freestyle at 96 kg/211.5 pounds. He won bronze medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. He was also a 1993 World silver medalist and 1997 World bronze medalist. Kurtanidze is scheduled to battle U.S. World Team member Tim Hartung (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) in the competition. The Russian delegation includes two Greco-Roman stars (Mamedaliev and Menshikov) and two freestyle stars (Magomedov and Isagaschiev). Mamedaliev, 27, was competing in his first major international competition when he won the gold medal at 55 kg/121 lbs. at the 2002 World Greco-Roman Championships. Mamedaliev is scheduled to face 1996 Olympic silver medalist Brandon Paulson (Golden Valley, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at the Kurt Angle Classic. Paulson was also second at the 2001 World Championships. This will be a rematch of the controversial quarterfinal match at this year's World Championships, which Mamedaliev won in a 3-1 overtime decision. Menshikov won his World Greco-Roman gold medal in 1998, and won a silver medal at the 2002 World Greco-Roman Championships at 84 kg/185 pounds. He was also fourth at the 2001 World Championships. Menshikov competed at the 2000 Olympic Games, and also wrestled in the 1999 World Championships. Menshikov is scheduled to face 2002 U.S. World Team member Brad Vering (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), who placed fifth at the 2002 World Championships. Vering and Menshikov did not face each other during the World Championships. Magomedov won a freestyle gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, and added a gold medal at the 2001 World Championships. He was second in the 1999 World Championships and fourth in the 1997 World Championships. A 1997 European champion, Magomedov was also a silver medalist at the 1998 Goodwill Games. Magomedov will battle 2002 U.S. World Team member Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) in the event. Sanderson is well known in the United States as a four-time undefeated NCAA Div. I champion. Sanderson was a 2000 University World Champion. Isagaschiev won a silver medal at 74 kg/163 lbs. at the 2002 World Championships. He was also a bronze medalist at the 2002 European Championships. Isagaschiev will face 2001 World bronze medalist Joe Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) during the Kurt Angle Classic. Williams was also fourth at the 1999 World Championships, and has won three straight World Cup gold medals. As other international wrestling stars confirm their attendance at this spectacular wrestling showcase, their information will be posted on TheMat.com and shared with the international media. The Kurt Angle Classic is part of the "Show of Strength", a competition that will include body building, power lifting, arm wrestling and a strong man contest. Included will be a hall with over 300 exhibits of products, supplements and other resources useful in athletics. "I am excited and honored to be hosting this event along with USA Wrestling," stated Angle, who after capturing Olympic gold in 1996 went on to become a WWE superstar. "This is my way of giving back to the sport of wrestling. It should be an incredible atmosphere and putting the top wrestlers in the world against each other should help the sport of wrestling as well." There will be three sessions of competition. In session one, a team comprised of military wrestlers from the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy will face a team composed of wrestlers from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Sessions two and three will pit the top U.S. stars in all three Olympic styles (men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman, women's freestyle) fighting against some of the top international competitors in the world. Wrestling will take place in an entertaining atmosphere. Matches will be enhanced with music, up-close interviews and cutting-edge production techniques that are certain to make this one of the most fan-friendly and stunning amateur wrestling events ever. For more information on the Kurt Angle Classic, visit www.showofstrength.com. KURT ANGLE CLASSIC at New Orleans, La., Nov. 8-10 International Wrestling Stars confirmed as of 10/2/02 Men's Freestyle competitors 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Elbrus Tedeev (Ukraine) 74 kg/163 lbs. - Magomed Isagadzhiev (Russia) 84 kg/185 lbs. - Khadjimurad Magomedov (Russia) 96 kg/211.5 lbs.- Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia) 120 kg/264.5 lbs. -Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan) Men's Greco-Roman competitors 55 kg/121 lbs.- Geider Mamadaliyev (Russia) 66/kg/145.5 lbs. -Jimmy Samuelsson (Sweden) 84 kg/185 lbs. - Alexsandre Menshikov (Russia) 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Eddy Bengsston (Sweden)