USA Wrestling Andy Bisek advances ...

Andy Bisek advances to bronze match as World Championships kick off

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Sept. 07, 2015, 7:48 p.m. (ET)

Andy Bisek advanced to the bronze-medal match on Monday at the World Championships. John Sachs photo.

LAS VEGAS – A session that started with promise after five straight wins ended with one U.S. wrestler advancing to a medal match.

American Andy Bisek will look to earn his second straight bronze medal in Greco-Roman wrestling as the six-day World Championships kicked off on Monday at the Orleans Arena.

Bisek will face Iran’s Saeid Morad Abdvali, a 2011 World champion, in the bronze-medal match tonight. The medal matches will start at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Bisek will compete in the fourth match of the session.

American Bryce Saddoris fought gamely before falling one win short of the medal round. Teammate Caylor Williams also showed improvement as he went 1-1 on Monday.

Bisek overcame a 2-0 deficit to storm past Venezuela’s Luis Avendano 5-2 in his first match at 75 kg/165 lbs. Bisek scored on a passivity point and two turns to prevail. Bisek followed by earning a hard-fought 6-4 win over India’s Gurpreet Singh in the second round.

Bisek then lost by a 9-0 technical fall to three-time World silver medalist Mark Madsen of Denmark in the quarterfinals.

Bisek bounced back to edge past World champion Yavor Yanakiev of Bulgaria 1-0 in the repechage.

Bisek’s top-six finish clinches the U.S. its first qualifying spot in the 2016 Olympic Games. The U.S. now has a spot in the Olympics in Greco at Bisek’s weight class of 75 kg/165 lbs.

“It’s always hard to come back – you have your sights set on a gold medal and it’s tough to wrestle again after a loss,” Bisek said. “I just had to keep wrestling hard and push myself. It’s huge to qualify the weight class for the Olympics. I still have another match left, and I got to take third.”

Saddoris opened with a 3-0 win over Portugal’s Hugo da Silva at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. He followed with a 6-1 win over Bulgaria’s Konstantin Stas in the second round. Saddoris scored a takedown and two second-period turns in the win.

Saddoris then dropped a 5-0 decision to two-time World bronze medalist Frank Staebler of Germany in the quarterfinals. Staebler led 1-0 at the break before pulling away with a second-period turn.

Saddoris built a quick 4-0 lead in the repechage against Olympian Tarek Aziz Benaissa of Algeria, but was injured during a sequence early in the bout. Benaissa hit a pair of two-point gut wrenches late in the match to take a 5-4 win.

“Bryce got hit in the head,” U.S. National Coach Matt Lindland said. “Obviously, he wasn’t the same wrestler after the injury. It’s unfortunate because he was wrestling really well.”

Williams rallied from a 5-2 second-period deficit to record a dramatic fall over Brazil’s Davi Albino in the first round at 98 kg/216 lbs. Williams lifted Albino high off the mat and then planted him on his back to earn the fall.

Williams then dropped a 4-4 decision on criteria to 2011 World champion Elis Guri of Bulgaria in the second round. Guri was inexplicably given two points in the second period and won on criteria by virtue of scoring on two two-point moves. Williams scored with a two-point move and two one-point moves.

“I tried to show the World what I was made of,” Williams said. “It’s the first time I’ve won a match at Worlds and this is my third time here. I need to grow from this and keep getting better. This is a tournament I want to win.”

Day 2 of the six-day event is set for Tuesday in Las Vegas. Americans Spenser Mango, Justin “Harry” Lester, Patrick Martinez and Robby Smith are set to compete for the U.S.

Lester is a two-time World bronze medalist. Mango and Smith have finished as high as fifth in the World. Martinez is competing at his first Worlds.

2015 World Championships
Sept. 7-12
Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Finals matchups


66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Frank Staebler (Germany) vs. Hansu Ryu (Korea)

75 kg/165 lbs.
Mark Madsen (Denmark) vs. Roman Vlasov (Russia)

98 kg/216 lbs.
Ghasem Rezaei (Iran) vs. Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia)

U.S. results

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Bryce Saddoris, Sneads Ferry, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
WIN Hugo da Silva (Portugal), 3-0
WIN Konstantin Stas (Bulgaria), 6-1
LOSS Frank Staebler (Germany), 0-5
LOSS Tarek Aziz Benaissa (Algeria), 4-5

75 kg/165 lbs. – Andy Bisek, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Minnesota Storm)
WIN Luis Avendano (Venezuela), 5-2
WIN Gurpreet Singh (India), 6-4
LOSS Mark Madsen (Denmark), tech fall 0-9
WIN Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgaria), 1-0
vs. Saeid Morad Abdvali (Iran) in bronze-medal match

98 kg/216 lbs. – Caylor Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
WIN Davi Albino (Brazil), fall 4:30
LOSS Elis Guri (Bulgaria), 4-4