Photo: Thomas Gilman (right) and Joe Colon battle in the 57 kg finals. Photo by Kadir Caliskan, UWW.
ROME, Italy – Team USA finished off the Matteo Pellicone International, picking up three golds, two silvers and two bronzes in men’s freestyle on Saturday in Rome, Italy.
Winning golds for the U.S. was Thomas Gilman at 57 kg, Kyle Dake at 74 kg and Zahid Valencia at 86 kg. Jordan Oliver and Alex Dieringer claimed silver medals at 65 kg and 86 kg, respectively, and Zain Retherford and Pat Downey collected bronze medals.
At 57 kg, 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman won the Matteo Pellicone title, defeating USA teammate and 2018 World bronze medalist (at 61 kg) Joe Colon in the finals.
Gilman was the first to score, drawing a passivity point from Colon. At the end of the first period, Colon got on the board with a takedown from a low single to lead 2-1 at the break.
In the second period, Gilman was the only one to score, picking up a step out and later two points for exposure on the edge for a 4-2 victory.
Gilman had to go through two tough Americans en route to the title, also defeating 2017 Junior World champion and 2019 World Team member Daton Fix in the semifinals.
Fix finishes fifth at the tournament, falling in the bronze match to Minghu Liu of China, 3-2. Liu scored a takedown with less than 10 seconds left to take the match.
The other USA head-to-head gold match came at 86 kg, where Junior World silver medalists Zahid Valencia and Alex Dieringer battled for the gold.
Valencia went up 5-0 quickly, picking up a point from Dieringer passivity and then recording a takedown and gut wrench shortly after. Dieringer responded with a step out, and Valencia took at 5-1 lead into the break.
In the second period, Dieringer cut the lead to 5-3 with a throw-by for a takedown. In the final minute, Valencia picked up another takedown to extend his lead. Dieringer was awarded two points on a pair of caution-and-ones for Valencia fleeing, but it was not enough as Valencia won 7-5 for gold.
Also winning a medal at 86 kg was Pat Downey, who took out Ilia Archaia of Ukraine. Downey led 3-2 at the break, but the second period featured a flurry of scoring.
Archaia picked up a takedown, and as a result, USA challenged the call, but lost the challenge, giving Archaia another point for a 5-3 lead. The Ukrainian scored another takedown, but Downey responded with a four-point throw to take over, 7-7, on criteria. Downey went on to add three more takedowns within the final minute for a 13-7 victory and the bronze medal.
Two-time defending World champion (at 79 kg) Kyle Dake showed his prowess at 74 kg on Saturday, winning the gold at the Olympic weight.
In the finals, Dake faced two-time World bronze medalist Soner Demirtas of Turkey, who he smashed in 35 seconds.
Dake struck with a takedown shortly after the opening whistle. He then rattled off a pair of leg laces. In an attempt for a third one, Demirtas was penalized with a caution-and-one for fleeing. Dake had a 7-0 lead in 15 seconds.
They restarted in par terre and Dake finished it off with two gut wrenches for an 11-0 gold-medal victory in 35 seconds.
In the 65 kg finals, Jordan Oliver had a nail-biter against two-time Senior World medalist Bajrang Bajrang of India.
Oliver struck first with a low single and later tacked on a step out for a 3-0 lead at the break.
In the second period, Bajrang registered back-to-back step outs to cut Oliver’s lead to 3-2. Halfway through the period, the Indian scored exposure in a scramble and held Oliver on his back for more than a minute. When the two were brought back to center, there was only about 30 seconds left on the clock, and Oliver was unable to take back the lead, falling to Bajrang, 4-3, to finish with silver.
Zain Retherford also picked up a medal at 65 kg, defeating Vasyl Shuptar of Ukraine in a fun back-and-forth bronze-medal bout.
Retherford went up early 4-0, but Shuptar raced past the American with a takedown, gut wrench and four point lift in one sequence to take an 8-6 lead into the break.
In the second period, Retherford was tilted in a scramble and managed to score a reversal to trail the Ukrainian 10-7. Moments later, Retherford forced Shuptar to his back and secure the fall in 4:41.
Overall, the USA claimed 16 medals across the three styles, including four gold, five silver and seven bronzes.
MATTEO PELLICONE INTERNATIONAL
at Rome, Italy (UWW Ranking Series event)
Men’s freestyle results
57 kg: Thomas Gilman (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) - GOLD
WIN Gabit Tolepbay (Kazakhstan), 11-0
WIN Minghu Liu (China), 12-4
WIN Daton Fix (USA), 2-1
WIN Joe Colon (USA), 4-3
57 kg: Joe Colon (Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC) - SILVER
WIN Stevan Micic (Serbia), 10-4
WIN Andrii Yatsenko (Ukraine), 10-6
LOSS Thomas Gilman (USA), 4-3
57 kg: Daton Fix (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC) - FIFTH
WIN Wanhao Zou (China), 7-1
WIN Pedro Mejias Rodriguez (Venezuela), 11-0
LOSS Thomas Gilman (USA), 2-1
LOSS Minghu Liu (China), 3-2
65 kg: Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids WC/TarHeel WC) - SILVER
WIN Syrbaz Talgat (Kazakhstan), 10-0
WIN Selahattin Kilicsallayan (Turkey), 4-0
WIN Erik Arushanian (Ukraine), 7-0
LOSS Bajrang Bajrang (India), 4-3
65 kg: Zain Retherford (Nittany Lion WC) - BRONZE
LOSS Bajrang Bajrang (India), 5-4
WIN Joey McKenna (USA), 10-5
WIN Vasyl Shuptar (Ukraine), fall 4:41
65 kg: Joey McKenna (Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC) – SEVENTH
WIN Abdellatif Mansour (Italy), 12-2
LOSS Bajrang Bajrang (India), 4-2
LOSS Zain Retherford (USA), 10-5
74 kg: Kyle Dake (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes WC) - GOLD
WIN Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 5-1
WIN Murad Kurmagomedov (Hungary), 10-0
WIN Fazil Eryilmaz (Turkey), 3-1
WIN Soner Demirtas (Turkey), 11-0
74 kg: James Green (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC) – 12TH
LOSS Yones Emamichoghaei (Iran), 15-5
74 kg: Logan Massa (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) – 15TH
LOSS Murad Kurmagomedov (Hungary), 10-0
86 kg: Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids) - GOLD
WIN William Raffi (Italy), 11-1
WIN Fatih Erdin (Turkey), 10-0
WIN Alex Dieringer (USA), 7-5
86 kg: Alex Dieringer (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC) - SILVER
WIN Illia Archaia (Ukraine), 9-0
WIN Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan), 8-4
WIN Pat Downey (USA), 3-2
LOSS Zahid Valencia (USA), 7-5
86 kg: Pat Downey (Titan Mercury WC/NJ RTC) - BRONZE
WIN Osman Gocen (Turkey), 12-5
WIN Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico), 9-5
LOSS Alex Dieringer (USA), 3-2
WIN Illia Archaia (Ukraine), 13-7