Andy Bisek earns 2nd straight bronze medal as World Championships open

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Sept. 08, 2015, 12:38 a.m. (ET)
Andy Bisek captured a bronze medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the World Championships on Monday night. Tony Rotundo photo.

LAS VEGAS – American Andy Bisek wrestles in arguably the toughest and deepest Greco-Roman weight class of the 2015 World Championships.

But he still found a way to battle tough and earn his second consecutive World bronze medal at 75 kg/165 lbs.

Bisek earned his second straight win over a World champion, claiming a hard-fought 2-0 win over Iran’s Saeid Morad Abdvali in their bronze-medal bout on Monday night at the Orleans Arena.

Abdvali, a past Senior World champion and two-time Junior World champion, was called for a leg foul as Bisek tried to turn him in the second period. Bisek was awarded two points for what turned out to the deciding points.

“It was huge,” Bisek said of coming back to win a medal. “I started the day slower and I got a little down on myself. I lost in the quarters to a tough guy, but I was able to fire myself up and get it taken care of.”

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 four-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.

“I’ve got one more big stage to do and that’s the Olympics,” Bisek said. “I’ve got to put it together for that and I believe I’m fully capable. I’m going to train like hell to make it and to win.”

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 then dropped a 5-0 decision to two-time World bronze medalist Frank Staebler of Germany in the quarterfinals.

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 then dropped a 4-4 decision on criteria to 2011 World champion Elis Guri of Bulgaria in the second round.

“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.”

Greco-Roman World champions crowned on Monday were Germany’s Frank Staebler at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Russia’s Roman Vlasov at 75 kg/165 lbs. and Armenia’s Artur Aleksanyan at 98 kg/216 lbs.

Vlasov and Aleksanyan won their second World titles.

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

Medal winners


66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold – Frank Staebler (Germany)
Silver – Hansu Ryu (Korea)
Bronze – Davor Stefanek (Serbia)
Bronze – Artem Surkov (Russia)

75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold – Roman Vlasov (Russia)
Silver – Mark Madsen (Denmark)
Bronze – Andy Bisek (USA)
Bronze – Doszhan Kartikov (Kazakhstan)

98 kg/216 lbs.
Gold – Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia)
Silver – Ghasem Rezaei (Iran)
Bronze – Islam Magomedov (Russia)
Bronze – Dimitriy Timchenko (Ukraine)

Finals matchups

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Frank Staebler (Germany) dec. Hansu Ryu (Korea), 5-1

75 kg/165 lbs.
Roman Vlasov (Russia) dec. Mark Madsen (Denmark), 6-0

98 kg/216 lbs.
Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia) dec. Ghasem Rezaei (Iran), 3-0

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) – BRONZE MEDAL
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
WIN Saeid Morad Abdvali (Iran), 2-0

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