Howard qualifies for Youth Olympic Games freestyle gold-medal match, Manville to go for bronze

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 14, 2018, 11:23 a.m. (ET)
Robert Howard of the United States goes for the score against Cadet World silver medalist Hayato Fujita of Japan at the Youth Olympic Games on Sunday. Photo courtesy of United World Wrestling

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Robert Howard of Cranford, N.J. will compete in the gold-medal match at 55 kg in men’s freestyle on the final day of wrestling at the Youth Olympic Games.

Howard, a two-time Cadet World Team member for the United States, finished his Group B pool competition with a perfect 2-0 record. He will battle two-time Pan American Cadet bronze medalist Hernan David Almendra of Argentina for the gold medal.

The finals session begins at 5:00 p.m. in Buenos Aires, which is one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone.

Howard got things rolling with an impressive 13-2 technical fall over 2018 Cadet World silver medalist Hayato Fujita of Japan. Howard jumped to a 9-2 lead at the break, and closed out the victory with four second-period points.

In his second match against 2018 European Cadet champion Vladyslav Ostapenko of Ukraine, he fell behind 1-0, but rallied to take a 7-1 lead at the break. In the second period, Ostapenko was able to score on two two-point moves, but Howard also scored three points, holding off any opportunity for a comeback.

“He had an extremely tough pool. After the draw, we determined that the draw does not dictate the outcome. You can’t wrestle your best unless you wrestle against the best. He rose to the level of his competition. Robert is a dynamic wrestler, and he executed his technique in both matches. He moved very well each match. Tonight, he will focus not on who he wrestles, but how he wrestles,” said U.S. Youth Olympic Games coach Sam Barber.

Barber noted that the finals should be very exciting, with an athlete from Argentina competing against Howard in front of a large and vocal crowd supporting their countryman.

Howard is a junior at Bergen Catholic High School and was a 2018 New Jersey state high school champion at 120 pounds.

Carson Manville of Kingston, Pa. has qualified for a bronze-medal bout at 65 kg, where he will face 2017 Asian Cadet silver medalist Inayat Ullah of Pakistan for a medal.

Manville completed his Pool B competition with a 1-1 record. Manville was eighth in the 2018 Cadet World Championships in freestyle. He competes for Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was a 2018 Prep National champion.

Manville had a strong start, scoring a 12-3 decision over 2018 African Cadet champion Fathi Tarek Fathi Attia Ismail of Egypt in his first pool match. Manville led 8-3 at the break, and scored four more points in the second period to secure the match.

In his second match against 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist Mohammad Baghi Karimiseifabad of Iran, Manville was not able to get offense going, falling by a 10-0 technical fall in first period.

“In his first match, the Egyptian was a solid wrestler. Carson did a nice job, competed very well and has put himself in a position to wrestle for a bronze medal. We are very excited that both of our wrestlers have a chance to get an Olympic medal around their neck,” said Barber.

With a victory on Sunday night, Manville has an opportunity to join his older brother Mason as a Youth Olympic Games medalist. Mason Manville won a silver medal at 69 kg in Greco-Roman at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

By reaching the finals, Howard has guaranteed that Team USA will have at least two Youth Olympic Games wrestling medals this year. On Saturday, Emily Shilson of Maple Grove, Minn. became the first U.S. wrestler to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games with her victory at 43 kg in women’s freestyle.

Live-time results are available on the official YOG website at:

Also check out United World Wrestling’s complete coverage

At Buenos Aires, Argentina

U.S. Men’s freestyle wrestling performance

55 kg/121 lbs. - Robert Howard, Cranford, N.J.
Group B Matches
WIN Hayato Fujita (Japan), tech. fall 13-2
WIN Vladyslav Ostapenko (Ukraine), 10-5
Gold-Medal Match – vs. Hernan David Almendra (Argentina)

65 kg/143 lbs. - Carson Manville, Kingston, Pa.
Group B Matches
WIN Fathi Tarek Fathi Attia Ismail (Egypt), 12-3
LOSS Mohammad Baghi Karimiseifabad (Iran), tech. fall 10-0
Bronze-Medal Match – vs. Inayat Ullah (Pakistan)

Men’s Freestyle Medal Matches

48 kg
Gold – Umidjon Jalolov (Uzbekistan) vs. Giorgi Gegelashvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Halil Gokdeniz (Turkey) vs. Diego Zuluaga Cuevas (Colombia)

55 kg
Gold – Robert Howard (USA) vs. vs. Hernan David Almendra (Argentina)
Bronze - Vladyslav Ostapenko (Ukraine) vs. Oussama Laribi (Algeria)

65 kg
Gold - Mohammad Baghi Karimiseifabad (Iran) vs. Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Carson Manville (USA) vs. Inayat Ullah (Pakistan)

80 kg
Gold – Akhmedkhan Tembotov (Russia) vs. Fateh Benferdjallah (Algeria)
Bronze – Carson Lee (Canada) vs. Mukhammadrasul Rakhimov (Uzbekistan)

110 kg
Gold – Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran) vs. Sergei Kozyrev (Russia)
Bronze – Ahmed Mahmoud Elsayed Khalil (Egypt) vs. Luis Orozco Cortez (Mexico)