U.S. Greco finishes U23 World Championships in Poland

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Nov. 22, 2017, 8:22 a.m. (ET)

Photo: Dalton Roberts in his first-round match against Slovakia. Photo by Andy Hamilton, Trackwrestling.

VIDEO: U23 World Championships interviews

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland – The United States wrapped up its Greco-Roman competition at the U23 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Wednesday afternoon.

USA was unable to qualify any wrestlers to the medal rounds, but the Red, White and Blue did pick up wins from Dalton Roberts and G’Angelo Hancock.

“It’s going to take leadership within the program,” U.S. Greco-Roman National Coach Matt Lindland said. “Talent, alone, won’t get it done. You have to have talent, hard work and all the intangibles that go along with what it takes to be a champion.”

Four-time age-group World Team member Roberts (Fowlerville, Mich./Sunkist Kids) started his tournament with a bang at 59 kg/130 lbs., sticking 2014 Junior World bronze medalist Zoltan Levai of Slovakia in his first match.

Halfway through the second period Roberts hit a duck under for a takedown and went right to his gut wrench, putting Levai in danger. At the five-minute mark, Roberts was awarded the fall, giving USA its first win of the U23 World Championships.

The Northern Michigan junior lost his second bout to 2016 Junior Asian champion Aidos Sultangali of Kazakhstan in a 10-4 battle. Trailing 6-0 at the break after fighting off his back, Roberts began a comeback with a four-point throw to cut the lead. However, it wasn’t enough. Sultangali went on to score twice more for a 10-4 win.

The Kazakh wrestler worked his way to the semifinals but fell in a last-second stunner to Junior World bronze medalist Masuto Kawana of Japan, 6-5, bringing Roberts’ World Championships to an end.

“Dalton Roberts gave everything he had with all he’s got,” Lindland said. “He has a ton of character, discipline, work and grit. When he continues to develop those skills, he’s going to surpass the talent of other athletes. The bright side is we have someone like Dalton in our program.”

2016 Junior World bronze medalist Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/New York AC) entered his third World Championships of the year, after competing at Junior Worlds in Tampere, Finland, and Senior Worlds in Paris, France.

Hancock, up at 130 kg/286 lbs., led 2016 Junior Balkans champion Leonard Berei of Romania, 4-4 on criteria, after the first period, thanks to a big four-point throw. He pulled away in the second with a takedown and two gut wrenches for a 10-5 win.

In his second match, Hancock fell to the 2017 African Championships gold medalist Abdellatif Mohamed of Egypt. He tournament came to an end when Mohamed lost in the quarterfinals.

Alejandro Sancho (Miami, Fla./New York AC) dropped his first bout at 66 kg/145 lbs., falling to Belarus’ Yuri Kankov, who finished fifth at the Junior European Championships.

Four of Kankov’s points were scored from Sancho initiating action, including a takedown early in the second period. Later in the bout, Sancho went for a throw, picking up two points on exposure, while also giving up exposure. At the end of six minutes, it was Kankov who had his hand raised in a 7-2 victory.

In the round of 16, Kankov fell to Gaoquan Zhang of China, ending Sancho’s 2017 U23 World Championships.

2017 Junior World champion Kamal Bey (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids) wrestled up a weight class at 80 kg/176 lbs., where he lost his first match against 2013 Junior World silver medalist Andrii Antoniuk of Ukraine in an 8-0 technical fall.

Anotniuk fell in the quarterfinals to 2015 Senior World bronze medalist Lasha Gobadze of Gerogia, 4-2, wrapping up Bey’s tournament.

Thanksgiving Thursday begins women’s freestyle action with Dominique Parrish, Megan Black, Maya Nelson and Rachel Watters competing for World titles.

The preliminary rounds begin at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), with the medal matches beginning at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) each day. Bydgoszcz is six hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.

Fans can find live streams and brackets on Trackwrestling.com.

2017 U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Bydgoszcz, Poland (Six hours ahead of ET)

U.S. Greco-Roman results
59 kg/130 lbs. – Dalton Roberts (Fowlerville, Mich./Sunkist Kids)
WIN Zoltan Levai (Slovakia), fall
LOSS Aidos Sultangali (Kazakhstan), 10-4

66 kg/145 lbs. - Alejandro Sancho (Miami, Fla./New York AC)
LOSS Yuri Kankov (Belarus), 7-2

80 kg/187 lbs. - Kamal Bey (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Andrii Antoniuk (Ukraine), 9-0

130 kg/286 lbs. - G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/New York AC)
WIN Leonard Berei (Romania), 10-5
LOSS Abdellatif Mohamed (Egypt), 8-0