Feature photos courtesy of Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers are Warriors.
Greco-Roman wrestlers Jesse Porter (Ballston Lake, N.Y./New York AC/Northern Michigan OTS) and Adam Coon (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) have received their draws for the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria. Porter competes in the 77 kg bracket, while Coon wrestles at 130 kg.
Both wrestlers will compete in the preliminary rounds and potentially the semifinals on Saturday. Repechage and medal matches will occur on Sunday. To qualify for the Olympic Games, Porter and Coon have to reach the finals.
To make the finals, Porter, a three-time U23 World Team member and four-time U23 Nationals champion, will have to win four-straight matches. In his opening bout at 77 kg, Porter will square off with Marciano George Ali of Puerto Rico, a 2020 Pan Am Championships bronze medalist at 82 kg and a third-place finisher at the Pan Am Olympic Qualifier. If Porter wins, his next opponent will be either Per Anders Kure of Norway, a 2018 Junior World bronze medalist and 2019 Nordic champion, or Turkey’s Faith Cengiz, a 2017 Senior World bronze medalist and U23 World champion. A potential quarterfinal opponent is Lithuania’s Paulius Galkinas, a 2019 Senior Worlds seventh-place finisher.
Other hammers on Porter’s side of the bracket that he could potentially see in the semifinals include Daniel Cataraga of Moldova, a 2016 Senior World silver medalist and two-time U23 World champion, Aik Mnatsakanian, a 2018 and 2019 Senior World bronze medalist at 72 kg for Bulgaria and Shmagi Bolkvadze of Georgia, a U23 and Junior World champion.
At 130 kg, Coon, a 2017 World silver medalist and three-time All-American for Michigan, will need to win three matches to advance to Sunday’s finals. In his first bout, he will see the winner of Murat Ramonov of Kyrgyzstan, a 2021 Asian Championships bronze medalist who finished seventh at the 2019 Worlds, vs. Adam Varga of Hungary, who finished third in the European Olympic Qualifier. The most likely quarterfinals opponent for Coon is the winner of the opening round bout between, Armenia’s David Ovasapyan, a 2019 U23 World bronze medalist and 2018 Junior World silver medalist and Mykola Kuchmii, a 2019 European Games bronze medalist and 2017 Senior Worlds fifth-place finisher, from Ukraine.
Other tough wrestlers that Coon could potentially face in the semifinals include Georgiev Radoslav of Bulgaria, a 2021 Nikola Petrov International champion and a 2020 Bulgarian champion, and Elias Kuosmanen of Finland, a 2017 U23 World silver medalist and a 2019 World Military Games silver medalist.
The event will be broadcast live on FloWrestling. Brackets can be found on United World Wrestling and FloWrestling.
WORLD OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIER
At Sofia, Bulgaria
77 kg Jesse Porter (Ballston Lake, N.Y./New York AC/Northern Michigan OTS)
First round draw for Saturday
Vs. Marciano George ALI (PUR) – 3rd in 2020 Pan Am Championships
Second round draw if Porter wins opening bout
Vs. Winner of Per Anders KURE (NOR) vs. Faith CENGIZ (Turkey)
Per Anders KURE (NOR) – 2019 Nordic champion, 2018 Junior World bronze medalist
Faith CENGIZ (TUR) – 2017 Senior World bronze medalist, 2017 U23 World champion
Other top competitors in Porter’s half-bracket
Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) – 2016 Senior World silver medalist, 2017 and 2018 U23 World champion
Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) – 2018 and 2019 Senior World bronze medalist
Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO) – 2017 U23 World champion, 2014 Junior World champion
130 kg Adam Coon (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
First round draw for Saturday
Vs. Winner of Murat RAMONOV (KGZ) vs. Adam VARGA (HUN)
Murat RAMONOV (KGZ) - Third in 2021 Asian Championships, 7th at 2019 Senior Worlds
Adam VARGA (HUN) – Third in European Olympic Qualifier
Other top competitors in Coon’s half-bracket
David OVASAPYAN (ARM) – 2019 U23 world bronze medalist, 2018 Junior World silver medalist
Mykola KUCHMII (UKR) – Third in the 2019 European Games, Fifth at the 2017 World Championships
Elias KUOSMANEN (FIN) – 2019 World Military Games silver medalist, 2017 U23 World silver medalist
(local time in Sofia is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone)
Saturday, May 8
Qualification rounds (10 am local time/3 am U.S. Eastern Time)
Semifinals (7 pm local/12:00 noon U.S. Eastern Time)
Sunday, May 9
Repechage (4 pm local time/9 am U.S. Eastern Time)
Medal matches (6 pm local/11 am U.S. Eastern Time)