Roberts, much older & wiser, meets Hafizov again in Final X
Photo: Dalton Roberts (left) beat Ildar Hafizov at the 2023 U.S. Open...
The future of men’s freestyle wrestling in this country looks very bright after last week’s FILA Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, where silver medalists Aaron Pico and Joey McKenna were among six young Americans to claim World medals in that style.
Overall, the United States claimed ten medals in three styles — including a pair of bronze by Adam Coon in men’s freestyle and Greco — in the week-long tournament that ended Aug. 10.
McKenna, the future Stanford collegian and Blair Academy graduate from Towaco, N.J., won his first four matches at 132 pounds on Aug. 9, including a semifinal pin against Dzianis Maksimau of Belarus before losing in the gold-medal bout, 8-0, against Iman Sadeghikoukandeh of Iran.
One day later, Pico from Whittier, Calif., barely won his first-round match against Deichi Takatani of Japan), 7-5, but stormed through his next three bouts with technical falls, including against Mihail Georgie in Bulgaria in the semifinals. Unfortunately, Pico dropped his gold-medal match to Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran, 9-2.
Yazdanicharati’s victory guaranteed Iran a first-place finish ahead of the United States, which won 27 of 36 matches in the final two days of the Junior Worlds.
Four other Americans earned bronze medals in men’s freestyle:
• 121-pound Thomas Gillman (Council Bluffs, Iowa), who won by criteria in his quarterfinal against Reza Atri of Iran. The Iowa Hawkeye rallied to beat Vladimir Kurdin of Kazakhstan in the third-place match after losing to Michalan Hasan-Zada of Azerbaijan in the semifinals;
• 185-pound Gabe Dean (Lowell, Mich.) settled for third place after losing just 7-6 against Azamat Dauletbekov of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. The All-American from Cornell, otherwise, won three matches by technical fall before winning by injury default over Nuramagomed Gadzhiyev of Azerbaijan in the third-place match;
• 211.5-pound Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md.) came back to beat Iranian Pedram Jamshidi, 7-1, in the bronze-medal match after the future Ohio State Buckeye lost 8-1 to Gergii Gogaev of Russia in the quarterfinals;
• Heavyweight Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich.) capped off a two-medal performance at the Junior Worlds, when he pinned two foes in freestyle, including Yusuf Emre Dede of Turkey in the bronze-medal match after losing 7-6 to Canada’s Amar Dhesi (who also wrestles for Oregon State) in the semifinals.
Coon also earned a bronze medal in Greco-Roman, which took place on the first two days of the Junior Worlds on Aug. 5-6. The Michigan Wolverine also scored a pin against Japan’s Arata Sonoda in the bronze-medal bout — Coon’s third fall of the tournament — after losing 8-0 to Russia’s Sergei Semenov in the semifinals.
Overall, the United States won just six (four by Coon) of 14 matches in Greco and finished in a tie for 16th place. The other two wins came from 145.5-pound Alejandra Sancho (Miami, Fla.) and 163-pound Jon Jay Chavez (Boise, Idaho).
In women’s freestyle, which took place on Aug. 7-8, three wrestlers — 44-pound Marina Doi (Kingsburg, Calif.), 130-pound Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville, Ky.) and 158-pound Victoria Francis (Litchfield, Ill.) — earned bronze medals.
Doi came back to win two matches after losing to eventual gold medalist Haruka Uchijo of Japan, including a pin against Weronika Sikora of Poland in the third-place match. Miracle pinned all four of her victims, including against Kriszta Tunde of Romania in the bronze-medal match after losing 4-3 to Germany’s Luisa Niemesch in the quarterfinals. Francis, who pinned India’s Pooja Pooja in the first round came back to defeat Germany’s Francy Radelt for the bronze medal after losing to Russia’s Anzhela Kataeva in the quarters.
The American women won 11 of 20 bouts and finished fifth as a team.
2014 FILA Junior World Championships
Zagreb, Croatia • Aug. 5-10
Greco-Roman (Aug. 5-6)
50 kg/110 lbs. – Josiah Seaton, Bonner Springs, Kansas (Trojan WC), dnp
1st round — lost by TF to Artur Petrosyan (Russia), 8-0, 1:53
55 kg/121 lbs. –Arthur Carmona, Brawley, Calif. (USOTS), dnp
1st round — lost by TF to Ion Lefter (Moldova), 12-4
60 kg/132 lbs. – Dante Rodriguez, Kearney, Neb. (Cyclone WC), dnp
1st round — lost by TF to Sergei Emelin (Russia), 8-0, 1:07
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Alejandro Sancho, Miami, Fla. (USOTS), dnp
1st round — pinned Stefan Steigl (Austria), 5:20
2nd round — lost to Cengiz Arslan (Turkey), 2-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jon Jay Chavez, Boise, Idaho (Suples WC/BWC/CYC), dnp
1st round — defeated David Klimek (Poland), 7-2
2nd round — lost to Vlad Mariea (Romania), 3-0
84 kg/185 lbs. – Richard Carlson, Mounds View, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), dnp
1st round — lost by TF to Lasha Gobadze (Georgia), 10-0, 2:46
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Kevin Beazley, Howell, Mich. (Virginia Beach RTC), dnp
1st round — lost by TF to Nokhcho Labazanov (Russia), 12-2, 5:13
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Adam Coon, Fowlerville, Mich. (Cliff Keen WC), bronze medal
1st round — pinned Stepan David (Czech Republic), 0:45
2nd round — defeated Seungchan Lee (Korea), 8-5
Quarterfinal — pinned Adam Mertse (Hungary), 5:10
Semifinal — lost by TF to Sergei Semenov (Russia), 8-0
Bronze Medal — pinned Arata Sonoda (Japan), 0:45
1. Azerbaijan, 59 pts
2. Georgia, 44 pts.
3. Russia, 31 pts.
4. Armenia, 31 pts.
5. Turkey, 28 pts.
16 (tie) United States, 8 pts.
Women’s Freestyle (Aug. 7-8)
44 kg/97 lbs. – Marina Doi, Kingsburg, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), bronze medalist
1st round — lost by TF to Haruka Uchijo (Japan), 11-0, 5:25
Consolation — won by criteria vs. Mariya Georgiyeva (Ukraine), 6-6
Bronze Medal — pinned Weronika Sikora (Poland), 4:21
48 kg/105.5 lbs. –Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (OKCU Gator RTC), dnp
1st round — lost by fall to Milana Dadisheva (Russia), 0:36
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Amy Fearnside, Morgan Hill, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC/Jamestown), dnp
1st round — lost to Lilya Horishna (Ukraine), 8-5
55 kg/121 lbs. – Becka Leathers, Choctaw, Okla. (Choctaw WC), 8th place
1st round — pinned Anastassia Krasanova (Estonia), 2:32
Quarterfinals — lost on criteria to Tetyana Kit (Ukraine), 4-4
Consolation — lost by fall to Amber Maschke (Canada), 0:41
59 kg/130 lbs. – Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids), bronze medalist
1st round — pinned Bayhan Derya (Turkey), 1:46
2nd round — pinned Madina Bagbergenova (Kazakhstan), 2:14
Quarterfinal — lost to Luisa Niemesch (Germany), 4-3
Consolation — pinned Patrizia Liuzzi (Italy), 5:44
Bronze Medal — pinned Kriszta Tunde (Romania), 4:30
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Alexis Porter, Ballston Lake, N.Y. (New York AC), dnp
1st round — defeated Signe Fidje (Norway), 6-2
Quarterfinal — lost to Burneebaatar Nyamgerel (Mongolia), 7-2
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Kayla Aggio, Rohnert Park, Calif. (OKCU Gator RTC), dnp
1st round — lost to Martina Kueuz (Austria), 4-3
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Victoria Francis, Litchfield, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Lindenwood), bronze medalist
1st round — pinned Pooja Pooja (India), 0:39
Quarterfinal — lost to Anzhela Kataeva (Russia), 9-2
Consolation — defeated Gracelynn Doogan (Canada), 9-1
Bronze Medal — won by TF over Francy Radelt (Germany), 16-6
1. Japan, 57 pts.
2. Russia, 45 pts.
3. Azerbaijan, 33 pts.
4. Turkey, 30 pts.
5. United States, 27 pts.
Men’s Freestyle (Aug. 9-10)
50 kg/110 lbs. – Jabari Moody, Country Club Hills, Ill. (Harvey Twisters), 5th place
1st round — defeated Azamat Toibek (Kazakhstan), 16-12
Quarterfinal — pinned Tsedev Mandalsuren (Mongolia), 1:47
Semifinal lost by TF to Maghudjon Shavkatov (Uzbekistan), 19-8, 4:26
Bronze Medal — lost by TF to Saber Sharestani (Iran), 10-0, 1:39
55 kg/121 lbs. – Thomas Gilman, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), Bronze Medalist
1st round — WIN Abdelhak Kherbache (Algeria), tech fall, 10-0, 2:29
2nd round — WIN Methodli Chadli (Tunisia), tech. fall, 10-0
Quarterfinal — WIN Reza Atri (Iran), 4-4
Semifinal — lost to Michalan Hasan-Zada (Azerbaijan), 5-2
Bronze Medal — defeated Vladimir Kurdin (Kazakhstan), 11-6
60 kg/132 lbs. – Joseph McKenna, Towaco, N.J. (Lehigh Valley AC), Silver Medalist
1st round — defeated Burghum Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 10-2
2nd round — defeated Yo Nakata (Japan), 6-2
Quarterfinal — won by TF over Giorgi Bregadze (Georgia), 10-0
Semifinal — pinned Dzianis Maksimau (Belarus), pin 1:49
Gold Medal — lost to Iman Sadeghikoukandeh (Iran), 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Aaron Pico, Whittier, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), Silver Medalist
1st round — defeated Deichi Takatani (Japan), 7-5
2nd round — won by TF over Kyrillos Binembaoum (Greece), 10-0, 2:25
Quarterfinal — won by TF over SurkoRashitkhanov (Belarus), 10-0, 3:42
Semifinal — won by TF over Mihail Georgie (Bulgaria), 11-0, 5:52
Gold Medal — lost to Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran), 9-2
74 kg/163 lbs. – Anthony Valencia, Pico Rivera, Calif. (Sunkist Kids), 9th place
Prelim — won by TF over Tarzan Maisuradze (Georgia), 10-0
1st round — won by TF over Lawrence Jayden (Australia), 10-0, 1:43
2nd round — lost by fall to Murat Erturk (Turkey), 1:33
84 kg/185 lbs. – Gabe Dean, Lowell, Mich. (Titan Mercury WC/FLWC), Bronze Medalist
1st round — won by TF over Selimmuhamet Muhadeyyev (Turkmenistan), 10-0, 1:16
2nd round — won by TF over Adris Ruhle (Latvia), 12-2, 4:08
Quarterfinal — lost to Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan), 7-6
Consolation — won by TF over Pavlos Sotiriadis(Greece), 14-3, 3:33
Bronze Medal — won by injury default over Nuramagomed Gadzhiyev (Azerbaijan)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Sunkist Kids), Bronze Medalist
1st round — won by TF over Alexios Kaousilidis (Cyprus), 12-1, 4:42
2nd round — defeated Said Gamidov (Azerbaijan), 9-2
Quarterfinal — lost to Gergii Gogaev (Russia), 8-1
Consolation — won by TF over Angel Gochev (Bulgaria), 10-0
Bronze Medal — defeated Pedram Jamshidi (Iran), 7-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Adam Coon, Fowlerville, Mich. (Cliff Keen WC), Bronze Medalist
1st round — won by TF over Qiang Tao (China), 10-0, 1:17
2nd round — won by TF over Rangi Roubaljeet (India), 10-0, 2:48
Quarterfinal — pinned Oyan Nazaryani (Azerbaijan) (time not available)
Semifinal — lost to Amar Dhesi (Canada), 7-6
Bronze Medal — pinned Yusuf Emre Dede (Turkey), 2:20
1. Iran, 64 pts.
2. United States, 58 pts.
3. Russia, 49 pts.
4. Turkey, 42 pts.
5. Azerbaijan, 41 pts.