USA Wrestling Bey defeats Porter i...

Bey defeats Porter in two straight in UWW Junior World Greco-Roman Special Wrestle-off at 74 kg

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | June 09, 2017, 10:09 p.m. (ET)

Kamal Bey lifts and throws Jesse Porter, on the way to a two-match sweep in the UWW Junior Greco-Roman World Team Wrestle-off at 74 kg. Photo by Mark Lundy.

Kamal Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) hadn’t wrestled since recovering from a concussion suffered at the Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Las Vegas in April. A 2017 U.S. Open champion, Bey was defeated in the finals of the World Team Trials by Mason Manville, falling short of making his first World Team.

His first order of business after Vegas was recovering from the concussion. The second order of business was getting back into training, for a Special Wrestle-off for the 74 kg spot on the 2017 U.S. Junior World Team.

In spite of all of his challenges, Bey came out strong today, defeating a longtime rival, 2017 UWW Junior Nationals champion Jesse Porter (Clifton Park, N.Y./New York AC/NMU-OTS) in two straight matches to make his second straight U.S. Junior World Team.

Bey scored a big four point move in the first period of bout one, and had solid defense in the second period for a 4-1 lead. In the second match, with the bout tied at 1-1, Bey scored a 2-point arm throw for a takedown, then scored two more points on a lift and a throw, going on to win the match, 5-1. The victory made Bey reflect on the challenge that his concussion recovery had caused him in recent weeks.

“This was the first time I wrestled a match and I was nervous. When I first had my concussion, I couldn’t do large crowds. I had to stay in my room. People brought me food most of the time. When I came out here with the bright lights, it gave me chills. When I got my first match out of the way, it reminded me why I love this sport so much, why I am doing what I am doing, and putting on a show for people to watch,” said Bey.

The reason Bey could wrestle-off for the Junior World Team was based upon his success at the Senior level. This year, the Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials was held alongside the UWW Junior Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Las Vegas. In order to allow top Juniors like Bey to try out for both teams, any Junior who placed in the top four of the U.S. Greco-Roman Open in December could skip the Junior Trials to wrestle in the Senior Trials. Then, they could challenge the UWW Junior Trials champion in their weight class at a later date.

After the U.S. Open, Bey travelled to Brazil and weighed in at the Pan American Senior Championships, but could not compete. The USA had to have an entry in the Pan Americans in order to enter an athlete in the Senior Worlds, and Bey had the visa to travel to Brazil, so he went down and weighed in but didn’t wrestle. Then it was time to recover.

“It took a lot. When I got back from Brazil, I had to spend two weeks alone in my room. That gave me a lot of time to count my blessings for everyone who put 100% into me. In defeat, you learn how many people care about you, and who really loves you. I felt I had a lot of people behind me who were supporting me, no matter what,” said Bey.

Once Bey was cleared to wrestle again, he turned focus on making the Junior World Team. Along the way, he became even more appreciative of those who are helping him in his wrestling journey.

“I was actually thinking about it last night when I was sleeping. I woke up with a cold sweat. I get it now, how people want to compete, even though they are hurt. It’s more about just themselves. It’s everybody who put work in to you. Wrestlers say that if you are hurt, you shouldn’t have done it. But you did all the work you did to get to where you needed to be. So, yes, I competed with a concussion at the Open. But a loss is a loss, and that doesn’t change the fact. I know my path, I know where I need to be. The coaches, staff and trainers will help me get there,” he said.

At Lincoln, Neb., June 9

74 kg/163 lbs. – Kamal Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) dec. Jesse Porter (Clifton Park, N.Y./New York AC/NMU-OTS), two matches to none
Bey dec. Porter, 4-1
Bey dec. Porter, 5-1