USA Wrestling Burroughs will wrest...

Burroughs will wrestle for bronze after setback to Tsargush at World Championships

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Sept. 09, 2014, 7:12 a.m. (ET)

Jordan Burroughs fell to Russia’s Denis Tsargush in a battle of World champions in the semifinals on Tuesday. Robbert Wijtman photos.

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – A knee injury and a determined Denis Tsargush resulted in the first career loss to a foreign opponent for American star Jordan Burroughs.

Tsargush, a two-time World champion from Russia, took advantage of a hobbled Burroughs in a 9-2 semifinal win at the World Championships on Tuesday afternoon at the Gymnastics Palace.

Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion, was unable to generate much offense with a heavily wrapped left leg. Tsargush came out on top in numerous scrambles in taking a 7-0 lead after the first period.

Burroughs was awarded two caution points in the second period as Tsargush continually clubbed and slapped his U.S. opponent. Tsargush then countered Burroughs for a late takedown for the final margin as Burroughs had trouble attacking with his leg he injured in the first round.

Burroughs is scheduled to face Ukraine’s Rustam Dudaev in the bronze-medal freestyle bout at 74 kg/163 lbs. on Tuesday night.

Burroughs, now 91-2 in his remarkable international career, had beaten 2009 and 2010 World champion Tsargush in the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics.

“Jordan couldn’t move like he usually does,” U.S. coach Bruce Burnett said. “He did the best he could. He showed a lot of character and resolve and guts. He’s going to go again tonight. He’s a class act and a great leader for our team. I would’ve liked to have seen him wrestle Tsargush when both guys were 100 percent.”

Burroughs turned in a gutsy performance just to reach the semifinals.

Burroughs survived a huge scare in gaining a narrow 4-3 first-round win over Augusto Midana of Guinea Bisau. Burroughs injured his left knee late in the first period, but scored on a second-period pushout to earn the win.

Burroughs followed with a 13-2 win over Korea’s Yun-Seok Lee in the second round. Burroughs gave up the opening takedown and led 3-2 at the break before opening it up in the second period.

Burroughs followed with a gritty 5-0 win over 2013 World bronze medalist Rashid Kurbanov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. Despite being the clear aggressor in the match, Burroughs was put on the shot clock for passivity. Burroughs responded by scoring both times he was put on the shot clock.

Burroughs beat Kurbanov 6-0 in the first round of the Yasar Dogu event this year in Turkey.

Burroughs won a World title last year less than a month after breaking his left ankle.

2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner, first-time World Team member Jimmy Kennedy and third-time World Team member Brent Metcalf came up short of medaling on Tuesday.

Varner, a 2011 World bronze medalist, opened with a 7-0 win over Germany’s William Harth at 97 kg/213 lbs.

Varner then dropped a 5-3 second-round decision to Valeri Andriitsev of Ukraine. Varner led 3-1 at the break before Andriitsev scored on four one-point pushouts in the second period to prevail. Varner beat Andriitsev in the 2012 Olympic finals.

Varner was eliminated when Andriitsev did not make the finals.

Metcalf, wrestling in his third World Championships, opened with an 11-0 technical fall over Korea’s Yunseok Lee in the first round at 65 kg/143 lbs.

Metcalf then dropped a 6-4 decision to Turkey’s Mustafa Kaya in the second round.

Kaya scored on a double-leg takedown to break a 4-4 tie with 30 seconds left in the bout. Metcalf shot in on a leg attack in the closing seconds and had both arms wrapped around Kaya’s legs with Kaya’s butt on the mat. No points were awarded and the call was upheld after a U.S. challenge.

Metcalf was eliminated when Kaya fell short of advancing to the finals.

“I got in a scrap with a guy and wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do,” Metcalf said. “I need to build and get better. I feel like I have a whole lot of experience. It’s time to just do it. My ability level and how I feel about myself in my weight class is a lot better than what showed today.”

Kennedy opened with a quick 10-0 technical fall over Indonesia’s Hamka Hamka at 61 kg/134 lbs. Kennedy then fell 6-4 to Moldova’s Andrei Perpelita in the second round.

Kennedy was eliminated when the Moldovan fell short of the finals.

“It’s not what I wanted obviously,” Kennedy said. “I just didn’t get any offense going. It’s hard to get here and it’s even harder to win. You just got to find a way. I need to learn from this.”

Burnett said his team simply “needs to get better.”

“It was a tough session,” Burnett said. “We were ahead in every match we lost except Jordan’s last one. Our team needs to get busy and get back to work. Our guys will be ready to wrestle next year.”

Puerto Rico’s Franklin Gomez, a 2011 World silver medalist and NCAA champion for Michigan State, lost to Russia’s Soslan Ramonov by fall in the second round at 65 kg/143 lbs. Gomez trailed 8-2 before storming back to take a 10-8 second-period lead. Ramonov then caught Gomez on his back for a fall. Gomez won a match in the repechage before coming up one victory short of the medal round.

Bulgaria’s Boris Novachkov, an NCAA runner-up for Cal Poly, fell to Azamat Nurikov of Belarus in the second round at 65 kg/143 lbs. The match ended in a 4-4 tie, but Nurikov won on criteria.

Novachkov was eliminated when Nurikov did not reach the finals.

2014 World Championships
Sept. 8-14
Gymnastics Palace, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Finals matchups


61 kg/134 lbs.
Haji Aliev (Azerbaijan) vs. Masoud Esmailpoorjouybari (Iran)

65 kg/143 lbs.
Soslan Ramonov (Russia) vs. Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi (Iran)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Denis Tsargush (Russia) vs. Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Abdusalam Gadisov (Russia) vs. Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan)

U.S. freestyle results

61 kg/134 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
WIN Hamka Hamka (Indonesia), 10-0
LOSS Andrei Perpelita (Moldova), 4-6

65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Hawkeye WC)
WIN Yun-Seok Lee (Korea), 11-0
LOSS Mustafa Kaya (Turkey), 4-6

74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska Wrestling TC)
WIN Augusto Midana (Guinea Bisau), 4-3
WIN Yunseok Lee (Korea), 13-2
WIN Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan), 5-0
LOSS Denis Tsargush (Russia), 2-9
vs. Rustam Dudaev (Ukraine) in bronze-medal match

97 kg/213 lbs. – Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
WIN William Harth (Germany), 7-0
LOSS Valeri Andriitsev (Ukraine), 3-5