Five U.S. wrestlers to compete in historic first ANOC World Beach Games in Qatar, Oct. 14-15

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 11, 2019, 10:44 a.m. (ET)
Shauna Isbell-Kemp tosses an opponent at the U.S. Women's Beach World Games Trials in Las Vegas. She will compete in Qatar for Team USA. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

The United States will enter five talented Senior wrestlers in the historic first ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar, Oct. 14-15.

This is a launch of a new major multi-sport event featuring beach sports. Beach Wrestling is one of only 15 sports which will be included in this historic first-ever event.

The competition is organized by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). The competition is endorsed by the International Olympic Committee, with the Beach Wrestling competition being organized by United World Wrestling. The U.S. team in all of the participating sports will be managed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The U.S. team will feature four women wrestlers and one men’s wrestler, all who have extensive experience in a variety of wrestling disciplines.

The women wrestlers are Kristal Betanzo (Hillsborough, Calif./Leviathon WC) at 50 kg, Shauna Isbell-Kemp (Jamestown, N.D. (Titan Mercury WC) at 60 kg, Ashley Sword (Decatur Ga./Valkyrie WC) at 70 kg and Donell Bradley (Hephizibah, Ga./Morris Fitness) at Over 70 kg.

The women qualified for the U.S. team at the ANOC Beach World Games by winning their weight class at the World Beach Games Women’s Trials in Las Vegas, Nev. on April 28.

Betanzo was a 2019 UWW Cadet Beach World Championships bronze medalist, and placed third at the Zagreb Beach World Series Final in Croatia in September. She placed third in the 2019 UWW Beach World Series standings at her weight class. In women’s freestyle, she was a 2017 UWW Cadet Nationals silver medalist.

Isbell-Kemp is the head coach for women’s wrestling at Jamestown University in North Dakota, and is a past member of the U.S. Senior Women’s National Team. Isbell was a five-time U.S. Open All-American. She was a 2012 WCWA college national champion and three-time finalist for Lindenwood University.

Sword is the head coach for women’s wrestling at Life University in Georgia, and is also a past member of the U.S. Senior Women’s World Team. She also coaches with Team Georgia. She was a WCWA All-American for Oklahoma City University.

Bradley was an athlete on the early Missouri Valley College women’s wrestling teams and also qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s World Team. She is currently coaching with Harlem High School in Georgia and is a coach with Team Georgia.

The men’s wrestler is Diante Cooper (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force WCAP), who will compete in the Over 90 kg weight class. Cooper qualified for the USA team by winning his weight class at the U.S. Beach National Championships in Carolina Beach, N.C., May 18.

Cooper is active duty Air Force, stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo. and in its World Class Athlete Program. He competed in both freestyle and Greco-Roman for the Air Force at the 2019 Armed Forces Championships in El Paso, Texas. He also competed in college for Campbellsville University.

The USA was expected to field a full eight-athlete wrestling team as the host nation at the ANOC Beach World Games, which was initially set for San Diego, Calif in October. However, San Diego pulled out as the host city, and ANOC moved the event to Doha. With this change in host city, the USA lost all of its automatic spots in the event. United World Wrestling negotiated with the host nation on behalf of the U.S. team, and was able to secure these five positions in the competition.

The Team Leader and Coach of the U.S. wrestlers is Ed Duncan of Spruce Pine, N.C. Duncan is the chair of the USA Wrestling ad-hoc Associated Styles Committee and a member of the UWW Beach Wrestling Committee. He is a USA Wrestling Silver Certified Coach, and a high school and club coach in North Carolina. Duncan is state chairperson for North Carolina USA Wrestling and has been event director for the U.S. Beach National Championships since 2013.

United World Wrestling assigned Rusty Davidson of Grants, N.M. to serve as a referee for the ANOC Beach World Games. Davidson has officiated numerous Beach World Championships and Beach World Series events in the past, and has been head official for the U.S. Beach National Championships for many years. He also serves on USA Wrestling’s ad-hoc Associated Styles Committee.

Betanzo and Isbell-Kemp will compete on Monday, October 14. Sword, Bradley and Cooper are competing on Tuesday, October 15. The schedule is listed below. Doha is seven hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.

ANOC BEACH WORLD GAMES
At Colorado Springs, Colo., October 4

U.S. Women’s Beach Wrestlers

50 kg – Kristal Betanzo, Hillsborough, Calif. (Leviathon WC)
60 kg – Shauna Isbell-Kemp, Jamestown, N.D. (Titan Mercury WC)
70 kg – Ashley Sword, Decatur Ga. (Valkyrie WC)
70 kg – Donell Bradley, Hephizibah, Ga. (Morris Fitness)

U.S. Men’s Beach Wrestlers
Over 90 kg - Diante Cooper, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force WCAP)

Team Leader/Coach – Ed Duncan, Spruce Pine, N.C.
Referee – Rusty Davidson, Grants, N.M.

Beach World Games Wrestling Event Schedule
Seven bours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone


Monday, October 14
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Group Competition for Women (50 kg, 60 kg) and Men (70 kg, 80 kg)
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Elimination rounds and finals for Women (50 kg, 60 kg) and Men (70 kg, 80 kg)
8:05 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Victory ceremony for Women (50 kg, 60 kg) and Men (70 kg, 80 kg)

Tuesday, October 15
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Group Competition for Women (70 kg, +70 kg) and Men (90 kg, +90 kg)
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Elimination rounds and finals for Women (70 kg, +70 kg) and Men (90 kg, +90 kg)
8:05 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Victory ceremony for Women (70 kg, +70 kg) and Men (90 kg, +90 kg)