USA Wrestling James, Nelson, Hanra...

James, Nelson, Hanrahan, Studenic get silver, Conn a bronze in freestyle at Veterans Worlds in Bulgaria

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 13, 2017, 3:45 p.m. (ET)

Photo of the five U.S. Veterans freestyle medalists on Friday, by Robbert Wijtman, CSC Photography.

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria – The United States won five medals on the first day of men’s freestyle at the Veterans World Championships on Friday.

There were four silver medal performances, by Rudy James of St. Paul, Minn. (Div. A at 78 kg), Hedj Nelson of Colville, Wash. (Div. E at 62 kg), John Hanrahan of Milton, Ga. (Div. E at 88 kg) and Daniel Studenic of Alpharetta, Ga. (Div. E at 100 kg).

Nelson was attempting to win a Veterans World double title after he also won the Greco-Roman gold on Tuesday. He was defeated in the gold-medal finals by Zhora Hovhannisyan of Armenia, 9-1. To reach the finals, Nelson beat Hendrik Bekker of South Africa and Michael Osborne of the USA.

This was Nelson’s fifth Veterans World medal in the last three years. He also won a freestyle silver medal in 2016, a freestyle silver medal in 2015 and a Greco-Roman bronze medal in 2015.

Hanrahan, a 2016 Veterans World champion, was seeking to win a second straight gold medal. In the championship finals, he drew 2016 Veterans World silver medalist Willem Putter of South Africa, who Hanrahan beat in the finals last year by a 2-0 margin. This year, Putter was able to beat Hanrahan in the finals by a 4-0 score.

James won three straight matches to reach the finals, beating Jiri Runcak of Slovakia, Purevbayar Choijisuren of Mongolia and Jacques Rossow of South Africa. In the finals, he dropped a 5-5 criteria decision to Sayedasied Sayyadmeneshshiadeh of Iran. It is the second straight year that James has won a Veterans World silver medal.

Studenic finished with a 2-1 record to capture the silver medal, losing to Idris Iasulov of Russia, 4-2 in the finals. He scored wins over Battur Badamgarav of Mongolia and Victor Graur of Moldova in the preliminary rounds.

The USA added a freestyle bronze medal from Greg Conn of Cortland, N.Y. at 130 kg in Div. A. Conn secured the bronze medal with a pin of Ismet Ozmetin of Turkey in 1:44 in the medal rounds. He opened with a 9-6 win over Amrik Singh Punia of India, 9-6 before losing to eventual champion Mehdi Shatieian Amiri of Iran.

Wrestler placed fifth after losing their bronze medal matches, Michael Osborne of Bristol, Va. (Div. E at 62 kg), Bruce Moe of Hillsboro, N.D. (Div. E at 78 kg) and Joseph Cattan of Mt. Washington, Ky. (Div. E at 88 kg). Moe was a Veterans World freestyle champion last year.

With five men’s freestyle medals won on Friday, along with the seven Greco-Roman medals won during the first three days of action, the United States has collected 12 medals, with two more days to go.

There will be 13 U.S. freestyle wrestlers competing on Saturday, with action in Div. C and Div. D. The first-round pairings for each USA athlete is listed below. There are two 2016 Veterans World champions who will be competing on Saturday, Petros Petrosyan of Los Alamitos, Calif. (Div. D 88 kg) and George Porter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Div. C 130 kg).

Results and video are available on TrackWrestling.

Click Here for Results and Video

At Plovdiv, Bulgaria, October 13

Div B. men’s freestyle medalists

62 kg
1st Place - Petru Toarca of Romania
2nd Place - Nurdin Donbaev of Kyrgyzstan
3rd Place - David Bigeaud of France
3rd Place - Aleksandr Labzhinov of Russia

70 kg
1st Place - Mayis Ibadov of Azerbaijan
2nd Place - Reza Mohammadali Akbarpour Bahnamiri of Iran
3rd Place - Katsuyoshi Ito of Japan
3rd Place - Stefan Pentschew of Germany

78 kg
1st Place - Seyedsaeid Seyedha Sayyadmaneshshiadeh of Iran
2nd Place - Rudolph John James of United States
3rd Place - Attila Raisz of Slovakia
3rd Place - Jacques Rossouw of Republic of South Africa

88 kg
1st Place - Mohammad Mahmoud Zarrinkamar of Iran
2nd Place - Jacobus Arno Pieter Van Der Merwe of Republic of South Africa
3rd Place - Ivan Bonev Bonev of Bulgaria
3rd Place - Ganbat Dorjgotov of Mongolia

100 kg
1st Place - Eldar Kurtanidze of Georgia
2nd Place - Sohrab Rostam Rahmatabadi of Iran
3rd Place - Jacques Meyer of Republic of South Africa
3rd Place - Adrian Recorean of Romania

130 kg
1st Place - Mehdi Akbar Shafieian Amiri of Iran
2nd Place - Aydin Halimoglu of Turkey
3rd Place - Gregory Leo Conn of United States
3rd Place - Ulaanbaatar Munkhbayar of Mongolia

U.S. Div. B men’s freestyle performance

62 kg – Jason Goldman, Endicott, N.Y., 9th place
LOSS Aleksandr Labzhinov (Russia), tech. fall 12-2

78 kg – Kazeka Muniz, Monument, Colo., dnp/13th
LOSS Attila Raisz (Slovakia), tech. fall 10-0

78 kg – Rudy James, St. Paul, Minn., silver medal
WIN Jiri Runcak (Slovakia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Purevbayar Choijisuren (Mongolia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Jacques Rossow (South Africa), 8-2
LOSS Sayedasied Sayyadmeneshshiadeh (Iran), 5-5

100 kg – Octavius Bellamy, Bolingbrook, Ill., 9th place
LOSS Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia), 7-0
LOSS Adrian Recorean (Romania), 5-0

130 kg – Greg Conn, Cortland, N.Y., bronze medal
WIN Amrik Singh Punia (India), 9-6
LOSS Mehdi Shatieian Amiri (Iran), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Ismet Ozmetin (Turkey), pin 1:44

Div. E men’s freestyle medalists

62 kg
1st Place - Zhora Hovhannisyan of Armenia
2nd Place - Hedj Clarence Nelson of United States
3rd Place - Hendrik Jakobus Bekker of Republic of South Africa
3rd Place - Susumu Hashiura of Japan

70 kg
1st Place - Zakiy Bikbulatov of Russia
2nd Place - Frank Brombach of Germany
3rd Place - Mykhaylo Nylypyuk of Ukraine
3rd Place - Mukhtar Ussin of Kazakhstan

78 kg
1st Place - Gérard Rocco Santoro of France
2nd Place - Andrzej Jozef Kubiak of Poland
3rd Place - Omer Ersoz of Turkey
3rd Place - Vladislav Egorov of Russia

1st Place - Willem Jacobus Putter of Republic of South Africa
2nd Place - John Michael Hanrahan of United States
3rd Place - Francois Pienaar of Republic of South Africa
3rd Place - Mohsen Ali Abadi of Iran

100 kg
1st Place - Idris Iasulov of Russia
2nd Place - Daniel Boone Studenic of United States
3rd Place - Victor Graur of Moldova
3rd Place - Valerii Pavlenko of Ukraine

130 kg
1st Place - Zurab Kasradze of Russia
2nd Place - Attila Szabo of Romania
3rd Place - Akbar Ali Afrashteh of Iran
3rd Place - Vasil Nikolov Zhelev of Bulgaria

U.S. Div. E men’s freestyle performances

62 kg – Hedj Nelson, Colville, Wash., silver medal
WIN Hendrik Bekker (South Africa), 3-3
WIN Michael Osborne (USA), tech fall 10-0
LOSS Zhora Hovhannisyan (Armenia), 9-1

62 kg – Michael Osborne, Bristol, Va., 5th place
WIN Tulegen Bertayev (Kazakhstan), pin 0:59
LOSS Hedj Nelson (USA), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Hendrik Bekker (South Africa), 12-7

78 kg - Brad Brosius, Dover, Pa., dnp/20th
LOSS Bruce Moe (USA), tech. fall 10-0

78 kg – Chris Brown, Boyds, Md., 7th place
WIN Stoycho Pehlivanov (Bulgaria), 12-6
LOSS Gerard Santoro (France), tech fall 10-0
WIN Matthias Uwe Darnstead (Germany), 8-6
LOSS Vladislav Egorov (Russia), 12-4

78 kg – Bruce Moe, Hillsboro, N.D., 5th place
WIN Brad Brosius (USA), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Ibragim Ibragimov (Russia), 4-4
LOSS Gerard Santoro (France), pin 1:05
LOSS Vladislav Egorov (Russia), 6-0

88 kg – Joseph Cattan, Mt. Washington, Ky., 5th place
LOSS John Hanrahan (USA), 3-1
WIN Gurgen Torosyan (Russia), 2-1
LOSS Mohsen Ali Abadi (Iran), 8-2

88 kg – John Hanrahan, Milton, Ga., silver medal
WIN Joseph Cattan (USA), 3-1
WIN Gurgen Torosyan (Russia), 8-4
WIN Mohsen Ali Abadi (Iran), 12-4
LOSS Willem Putter (South Africa), 4-0

100 kg – Daniel Studenic, Alpharetta, Ga., silver medal
WIN Battur Badamgarav (Mongolia), 8-2
WIN Victor Graur (Moldova), 2-1
LOSS Idris Iasulov (Russia), 4-2

U.S. Div. C draws for Saturday

78 kg – Borys Kulich, Westmont, Ill.
Vs. Tumurbaatar Baatar (Mongolia)

88 kg – Eric Cluck, Cumming, Ga.
Vs. Kevin Pine (USA)

88 kg – Kevin Pine, Las Vegas, Nev.
Vs. Eric Cluck (USA)

130 kg – George Porter, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Vs. Marcho Markov (Bulgaria)

U.S. Div. D draws for Saturday

62 kg – Victor Aybar, Manchester, Md.
Vs. Roger Papotto (France)

70 kg – Steve Horton, Cibolo, Texas
Vs. winner of Baiar Ochirov (Russia) and Haliz Oz (Turkey)

70 kg – John Laurenzi, Congers, N.Y.
Vs. Domenico Piccinini (Italy)

70 kg – Brian Ransom, Yorba Linda, Calif.
Vs. Erimbek Umetaliev (Kyrgyzstan)

78 kg – Louis Orr, Rochester, Minn.
Vs. Osman Onder (Turkey)

88 kg – Jeffery Anderson, Zeeland, Mich.
Vs. Igor Ragulin (Kazakhstan)

88 kg – Petros Petrosyan, Los Alamitos, Calif.
Vs. Hidemitsu Yugawa (Japan)

130 kg – Phillip Pine, Elma, Wash.
Vs. Sabahattin Erdogan (Turkey)

130 kg – Brian Jones, Los Angeles, Calif.
Vs. Ardeshir Poorhekmat (Iran)