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Burroughs settles for bronze after disappointing Day 2 at Worlds
An inability to finish moves and matches led to a disappointing Day 2 in the United World Wrestling World Championships for the American men’s freestyle team on Tuesday that saw two-time World champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs settle for a bronze medal.
All four Americans, who competed on the final day of men’s freestyle at the Gymnastics Palace in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, won their opening matches, including James Kennedy (61k/134 pounds), Brent Metcalf (65k/143) and Jake Varner (97k/213). This trio all scored shutout victories in those bouts … only to see their hopes of medals end when they gave up leads and lost to foes who failed to make the finals.
“It was a tough session,” U.S. National Team coach Bruce Burnett told TheMat.com. “We were ahead in every match we lost except Jordan’s last one. Our team needs to get busy and get back to work. Our guys will be ready to wrestle next year.”
Even Burroughs (74k/163) appeared ready to score an opening takedown in his semifinal against Russia’s Denis Tsargush, who countered the American’s move for a takedown and two-point tilt in the first 25 seconds and eventually handed Burroughs his first-ever loss, 9-2, in four World/Olympic competitions and 19 matches.
Burroughs, who is now 92-2 in international competition since graduating from Nebraska with two NCAA titles and the Hodge Trophy in 2011, had defeated the Russian — who eventually won his third World Championship — en route to claiming gold medals at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics.
Burroughs, who wrestled with a heavily-wrapped left knee in his five matches during the tournament, reached the semifinal bout by winning three matches, including a scary 4-3 victory over Augusto Midana of Guinea Bisau in the first round that saw Burroughs score two pushouts in the final minute. Burroughs said he sprained his MCL in that match.
“Jordan couldn’t move like he usually does,” Burnett said. “He did the best he could. He showed a lot of character and resolve and guts. He’s going to go again tonight. He’s a class act and a great leader for our team. I would’ve liked to have seen him wrestle Tsargush when both guys were 100 percent.”
Burroughs also trailed 2-0 in his bronze-medal match against Rustam Dudaiev of Ukraine, before his second power double of the match put the Ukrainian on his back and led to a fall with 12 seconds left in the first period.
“I’m not going home with what I want, which was gold, but I still got a bronze so I’m happy about that,” Burroughs told TheMat.com. “Obviously, I wasn’t the same (after the injury), but Tsargush was well-prepared. He’s a stud and he hasn’t won a World championship since 2010, so he’s been waiting for his shot to get back on top of the podium.
“I’ll be back next year for the (2015) Worlds in Las Vegas. I’m not done yet.”
As for the other three Americans, Kennedy opened with a 10-0 technical fall over Hamka Hamka of Indonesia in his first Worlds before losing 6-4 to Moldova’s Andrei Perpelita who scored two takedowns in the final 1:12 to beat the former Illinois All-American. Kennedy was eliminated from bronze-medal consideration when Perpelita lost in the quarterfinals to Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
“It’s not what I wanted obviously,” Kennedy told TheMat.com. “I just didn’t get any offense going. It’s hard to get here and it’s even harder to win. You just got to find a way. I need to learn from this.”
Metcalf, who was 0-2 in two previous World Championships, faced a similar fate. The former two-time NCAA champ and Hodge Trophy winner from Iowa opened with an 11-0 technical fall over Yun-Seok Lee of South Korea, but then gave up a takedown with 30 seconds left in a 7-4 loss to Turkey’s Mustafa Kaya, who was awarded another point when a late protest by the U.S. was denied.
Metcalf, whose second takedown seven seconds into the second period gave him the advantage in a 4-4 deadlock, wrestled that final period with his left ankle heavily wrapped. Metcalf’s day was done when Kaya lost in the semifinals to Iranian Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi.
“I got in a scrap with a guy and wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do,” Metcalf told TheMat.com. “I need to build and get better. I feel like I have a whole lot of experience. It’s time to just do it. My ability level and how I feel about myself in my weight class is a lot better than what showed today.”
Varner, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, opened with a 7-0 blanking of Germany’s William Harth, but then gave up four straight pushouts in the second period of his 5-3 loss to Ukraine’s Valeri Andriitsev (whom Varner defeated in the London Olympics gold-medal match). Andriitsev reached the semifinals before losing to Khetag Gazyumov of Azerbaijan and eliminating Varner from a potential bronze.
Women’s freestyle begins on Wednesday when Alyssa Lampe (48k/105.5), Helen Maroulis (55/121), Jenna Burkert (60/132) and Randi Miller (69/152) all compete. All but Burkert have earned past medals including Miller, who claimed a bronze in the 2008 Olympics.
Their opening matches will begin at midnight (EDT) with medal matches beginning at 9 a.m. (EDT).
2014 World Championships
Day 2 (Men’s Freestyle), Sept. 9
Gymnastics Palace, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Medal Results from Day 2 (Sept. 9)
61 kg/134 lbs.
Gold Medal — Haji Aliev (Azerbaijan) dec. Masoud Esmailpoorjouybari (Iran), 12-7
Bronze Medals — Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia) dec. Artas Sana (Kazahkstan), 2-1
Yowlys Bonne (Cuba) dec. Andrei Perpelita (Moldavia), 8-2
65 kg/143 lbs.
Gold Medal — Soslan Ramonov (Russia) pinned Sayed Ahmad Mohammadi (Iran)
Bronze Medals — Mihail Sava (Moldavia) dec. Mustafa Kaya (Turkey), 16-13
Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia) pinned Azamat Nurykau (Belarus)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold Medal — Denis Tsargush (Russia) dec. Sohsuke Takatani (Japan), 3-2
Bronze Medals — Jordan Burroughs (United States) pinned Rustam Dudaiev (Ukraine), 2:48
Livan Lopez (Cuba) dec. won by TF over Jumber Kvelashvili (Georgia), 11-1
97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold Medal — Abdusalam Gadisov (Russia) dec. Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan), 2-1
Bronze Medals — Valeri Andriitsev (Ukraine) pinned Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia)
Samil Erdogan (Turkey) won by TF over Javier Cortina (Cuba), 10-0
U.S. freestyle results from Day 2 (Sept. 9)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
Won by TF over Hamka Hamka (Indonesia), 10-0
Lost to Andrei Perpelita (Moldova), 6-4
65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Hawkeye WC)
Won by TF over Yun-Seok Lee (Korea), 11-0
Lost to Mustafa Kaya (Turkey), 6-4
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska Wrestling TC)
Defeated Augusto Midana (Guinea Bisau), 4-3
Won by TF over Yunseok Lee (Korea), 13-2
Defeated Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan), 5-0
Lost to Denis Tsargush (Russia), 9-2
Pinned Rustam Dudaev (Ukraine) in bronze-medal match, 2:48
97 kg/213 lbs. – Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
Defeated William Harth (Germany), 7-0
Lost to Valeri Andriitsev (Ukraine), 5-3