USA Wrestling FLASH: Thielke wins ...

FLASH: Thielke wins silver medal, qualifies for Rio Olympics at World Olympic Qualifier in Turkey

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | May 06, 2016, 1:51 p.m. (ET)

Jesse Thielke of the United States at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey. Thielke earned a berth at the Olympic Games with a silver medal on Friday. Photo by Dr. Fred Roberto.

ISTANBUL, Turkey – U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion Jesse Thielke (Germantown, Wis./New York AC) earned a berth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with an inspiring performance at 59 kg/130 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the 2nd World Olympic Games Qualifier at the Bagcilar Sports Complex on Friday.

The 23-year-old Greco-Roman phenom Thielke won four matches in the first session of wrestling, clinching his trip to Rio by making the finals.

Athletes needed to place in the top two of their weight class to qualify their nation to compete at the Olympics. Since Jesse Thielke won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, he will compete at the Olympic Games for Team USA. This was the last qualifying event for the Olympics in wrestling, so the Greco-Roman field has been completed.

“I am super happy to see Jesse get his weight qualified for the Rio Olympic Games. He had a rough start in the Mongolia qualifier, and for him to bounce back and get it done here in Istanbul was fun to watch. He showed a lot of grit, and displayed how good he really is. Jesse had to beat some really great wrestlers to get the job done. The 59 kg weight class is incredibly tough, since the combining of the former 55 kg and 60 kg classes. I am looking forward to taking Jesse to the Olympic Games and I know he is capable of winning the gold,” said National Greco-Roman Coach Matt Lindland.

He claimed the silver medal after falling in the gold-medal match to isix-time World champion and reigning Olympic champion Hamid Soryan of Iran, 8-0. Soryan scored a first-period takedown and was able to execute three two-point gut wrenches to win by technical fall.

Thielke opened with a pair of decisive wins over 2012 Olympic medalists Peter Modos of Hungary, 8-0, and Revaz Lashkhi of Georgia, 13-6. In the quarterfinals, he picked up a second period fall over Frunze Harutyunyan of Sweden while trailing 4-2 at the time of the fall.

In the deciding semifinal match, Thielke scored an impressive 17-8 technical fall over 2014 World University bronze medalist and 2012 World University champion Donior Islamov of Moldova. After giving up a pair of four point throws early, Thielke started getting his own throws and turns. He closed out the match with a takedown and a gut wrench turn, then celebrated his tremendous achievement.

U.S. Greco-Roman athletes RaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb./New York AC) and Joe Rau (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) fell short of qualifying for the Olympic Games when they did not reach the finals in their weight class. Perkins finished in eighth place and Rau was in ninth place.

To open the tournament, Perkins defeated 2012 Asian champion Pan Zheng of China by technical fall, 11-2, and followed with a come from behind 9-4 decision over Vladimiros Matias of Greece to advance to the 66 kg/145.5 lbs. quarterfinals.

Perkins run to Rio was stopped short by 2016 Asian Championships bronze medalist Ruslan Tsarev of Kyrgyzstan in a back and forth, 4-3, affair.

Perkins was pulled back into repechage when Tsarev reached the finals. He drew Armen Vardanyan of Ukraine in his first repechage bout. Vardanyan hit two four-point arm throws to defeat Perkins by technical fall, 8-0 and eliminate him from medal contention.

Perkins finished one victory shy of qualifying for Rio at the 1st World Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament in Mongolia two weeks ago, when he won a bronze medal, but was defeated in the special Olympic Qualification match for third place.

Rau, a 2014 World Team member, looked strong in his opener as he downed Narek Setaghyan of Spain with ease, 9-0. Facing Kevin Mejia of Honduras the second round, Rau gave up a trapped arm gutwrench in the first period to lose by technical fall, 8-0.

“My heart goes out to both Joe Rau and Ravaughn Perkins. They both fought hard and unfortunately came up a little short. These men are young and have a bright future,” said Lindland.

The United States will have four Greco-Roman wrestlers at the Olympic Games: Jesse Thielke (59 kg), Andy Bisek (75 kg), Ben Provisor (85 kg) and Robby Smith (130 kg).

Currently the USA has 13 athletes qualified for the Olympics, five in men’s freestyle, four in Greco-Roman and four in women’s freestyle. Two women’s freestyle wrestlers from the USA attempt to qualify for the Olympics on Saturday, Kelsey Campbell (58 kg) and Tamyra Mensah (69 kg). One U.S. men’s freestyle wrestler, Frank Molinaro (65 kg) goes for an Olympic berth on Sunday.

United World Wrestling is providing a live web stream of the competition from Istanbul, and also live results on its website.


For those who enjoy following on Twitter, the hashtag is #LastChance2Rio. Please note that Istanbul is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone. and all of USA Wrestling’s social media platforms will also provide extensive coverage.

At Istanbul, Turkey

Greco-Roman results

59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold - Hamid Mohammad Soryan (Iran)
Silver - Jesse Thielke (USA)
Bronze: Donior Islamov (Moldova)
Bronze: Dmytro Tsymbaliuk (Ukraine)
Gold: Hamid Mohammad Soryan (Iran) tech. fall Jesse Thielke (USA), 8-0
Bronze: Donior Islamov (Moldova) dec. Frunze Hartunyan (Sweden), 5-0
Bronze: Dmytro Tsymbaliuk (Ukraine) dec. Ivan Lizatovic (Croatia), 4-1

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Rasul Chunayev (Azerbaijan)
Silver- Ruslan Tsarev (Kyrgyzstan)
Bronze: Dawid Karecinski (Poland)
Bronze: Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine)
Gold: Rasul Chunaev (Azerbaijan) dec. Ruslan Tsarev (Kyrgyzstan), 6-0
Bronze: Dawid Karecinski (Poland) inj. dft. Artak Margaryan (France)
Bronze: Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine) dec.. Daniel Cataraga (Moldova), 6-5

75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold - Selcuk Cebi (Turkey)
Silver- Daniel Tihomirov Aleksandrov (Bulgaria)
Bronze: Bozo Starcevic (Croatia)
Bronze: Robert Patrik Rosengren (Sweden)
Gold: Selcuk Cebi (Turkey) inj. dft. Daniel Tihomirov Aleksandrov (Bulgaria)
Bronze: Bozo Starcevic (Croatia) dec. Jure Kuhar (Slovenia), 5-4
Bronze: Robert Patrik Rosengren (Sweden) dec. Jonas Bossert (Switzerland), 4-0

85 kg/187 lbs.
Gold - Denis Maksymilian Kudla (Germany)
Silver - Roberti Kobliashvili (Georgia)
Bronze: Metehan Basar (Turkey)
Bronze: Laimutis Adomaitis (Lithuania)
Gold: Denis Maksymilian Kudla (Germany) inj. dft. Roberti Kobliashvili (Georgia)
Bronze: Metehan Basar (Turkey) dec. Artur Omarov (Czech Republic), 2-0
Bronze: Laimutis Adomaitis (Lithuania) forfeit over Danyal Gajiyev (Kazakhstan)

98 kg/215 lbs. –
Gold - Cenk Ildem (Turkey)
Silver - Daigoro Timoncini (Italy)
Bronze: Felix Baldauf (Norway)
Bronze: Oliver Adrian Hassler (Germany)
Gold: Cenk Ildem (Turkey) inj. dft. Daigoro Timoncini (Italy)
Bronze: Felix Baldauf (Norway) pin Kevin Mejia Castillo (Honduras)
Bronze: Oliver Adrian Hassler (Germany) dec. Abrorbek Mamasoliev (Uzbekistan), 4-0

120 kg/286 lbs.
Gold - Johan Magnus Euren (Sweden)
Silver - Iakobi Kajaia (Georgia)
Bronze: Radhouane Chebbi (Tunisia)
Bronze Miloslav Yuriev Metodiev (Bulgaria)
Gold: Johan Magnus Euren (Sweden) inj. dft. Iakobi Kajaia (Georgia)
Bronze: Radhouane Chebbi (Tunisia) forfeit over Mihaly Deak-Bardos (Hungary)
Bronze Miloslav Yuriev Metodiev (Bulgaria) dec. Ioseb Chugoshvili (Belarus), 4-3

U.S. Greco-Roman results

59 kg/130 lbs. – Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (New York AC/OTC), 2nd place
WIN Peter Modos (Hungary), 8-0
WIN Revaz Lashkhi (Georgia), 13-6
WIN Frunze Harutyunyan (Sweden), Fall
WIN Donior Islamov (Moldova), 17-8
LOSS Hamid Soryan (Iran), 0-8

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – RaVaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (New York AC/OTC), 8th place
WIN Pan Zheng (China), 11-2
WIN Vladimiros Matias (Greece), 9-4
LOSS Ruslan Tsarev (Kyrgyzstan), 4-3
LOSS Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine), 0-8

98 kg/215 lbs. – Joe Rau, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 9th place
WIN Narek Setaghyan (Spain), 9-0
LOSS Kevin Mejia (Honduras), 8-0