Mango just misses Greco medal again on final day of Worlds

Updated: September 14, 2014

No American Greco-Roman wrestler has dominated the lightest weight class in this country more than Spenser Mango, who has qualified for every World and Olympic tournament since 2008. Unfortunately, the native of St. Louis, Mo., must still wait for his first World medal after Mango dropped a 1-0 decision on Sunday to Norway’s Stig Andre Berge in the bronze-medal match at 130 pounds.

Spenser Mango (top) got one chance to score off par terre against Norway's Stig Andre Berge, but failed to score and lost 1-0 in the bronze medal match. (Bob Mayeri image).

Spenser Mango (top) got one chance to score off par terre against Norway’s Stig Andre Berge, but failed to score and lost 1-0 in the bronze medal match. (Bob Mayeri image).

This also means that United States failed to earn a medal on the final day of competition of the 2014 Worlds, which were sponsored by United World Wrestling and held in the Gymnastics Palace in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fellow Americans Justin Lester (156 pounds) and Caylor Williams (216) also failed to place.


The only point in Mango’s bronze-medal loss came with 1:35 left in the bout when he was penalized one point for passivity. Both Mango and Berge faced an earlier passivity caution and were placed in par terre, but neither could take advantage of the opportunity.

This marked the second straight year that Mango fell short in a bronze-medal bout and his first time at the new Olympic weight of 130 pounds . His only other Top-10 finishes at this level came with a No. 9 placing in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, when he wrestled at was then the lightest Greco weight of 121 pounds

“I’m going home with no medal again — and that’s rough,” Mango told “I still have things to work on. I’m one of the smaller guys in the weight and I need to keep adjusting to that.”

“I’m really proud of Spenser,” U.S. coach Matt Lindland said. “He fought hard — he always does. He gave everything he had, but we’ve got to score points. We knew that going into the match. We’ve got to take advantage of our opportunities.”

Earlier in the tournament, Mango opened his fifth World Championships with three straight wins: edging Fatih Ucuncu of Turkey, 2-2 on criteria; blanking 2013 World bronze medalist Peter Modos of Hungary, 4-0; and dominating Kazuma Kuramoto of Japan, 10-0, on a trio of bear hugs.

Unfortunately, Mango was no match in the semifinal against Russia’s Olympic bronze medalist Mingiyan Semenov, who used a par-terre advantage against the American to score five points in a 9-1 technical fall.

Lester, a two-time bronze medalist, opened his sixth World Championship with a 5-0 victory over Mindia Tursumia of Georgia as the native of Akron, Ohio, countered his opponent’s takedown attempt by lifting Tursumia over his back for a four-point throw two minutes into the bout. Unfortunately, he lost 9-7 to Azerbaijan’s Rasul Chunayev, the World’s No. 2-ranked wrestler who used a tough bear hug to put Lester on his back for a 7-2 lead with eight seconds left in the first period.

Lester was eliminated from bronze-medal consideration when Chunayev lost 4-1 in the quarterfinals to Yunus Ozel from Turkey

            “I got going about a minute and a half too late,” Lester told “I gave up some points I usually don’t give up. When you’re on this level, you can’t give up points like that.”
            Williams, meanwhile, failed to score in his only bout of his second straight World Championship, losing 3-0 to Norway’s Marthin Nielsen, who lost the next round and officially ended Williams’ day

“I’m still fairly new to the sport of Greco-Roman wrestling,” Williams told “I need to put on more size and weight, and keep gaining more international experience. I need to continue to grow as a wrestler.”

As a team, the Americans do have a positive to build on in the Greco program as the team left Uzbekistan with a medal when 165-pound Andy Bisek claimed a bronze on Friday for the United States’ first World medal since 2009.

Overall, USA Wrestling grabbed six medals during the week-long tournament. This included bronze medals by Jordan Burroughs and Tervel Dlagnev in men’s freestyle; and a gold medal by Adeline Gray, silver by Elena Pirozhkova and bronze medal by Helen Maroulis in women’s freestyle
2014 World Championships
Day 7 • Greco-Roman • Sept. 14
Gymnastics Palace, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Greco-Roman Medal Matches on Sept. 14

59 kg/130 pounds
Gold Medal — Hamid Soryan (Iran) dec. Mingiyan Semenov (Russia), 2-1

Bronze Medals — Stig Andre Berge (Norway) dec. Spenser Mango (United States), 1-0

Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan) won by TF over Ismael Borrero (Cuba), 10-0

71 kg/156 pounds
Gold Medal — Chingiz Labazanov (Russia) dec. Yunus Oezel (Turkey), 3-1

Bronze Medals — Afshim Byabangard (Iran) dec. Aliaksandr Dzemyanovich (Belarus), 5-3

Rasul Chunayev (Azerbaijan) won by TF over Varsham Boranyan (Armenia), 10-0

98 kg/216 pounds
Gold Medal — Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia) won by TF over Oliver Hassler (Germany), 8-0

Bronze Medals — Ghasem Rezaei (Iran) dec. Aliaksandr Hrabovik (Belarus), 4-1

Cenk Ildem (Turkey) dec. Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu (Romania), 1-0

U.S. Greco-Roman results from Sept. 14

59 kg/130 pounds – Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP), 5th place
Defeated Fatih Ucuncu (Turkey), 2-2 criteria
Defeated Peter Modos (Hungary), 4-0
Won by TF over Kazuma Kuramoto (Japan), 10-0
Lost to Mingiyan Semenov (Russia), tech. fall 1-9
Lost to Stig Andre Berge (Norway), 1-0, in bronze-medal match

71 kg/156.5 pounds – Justin Lester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP), dnp
Defeaeted Mindia Tursumia (Georgia), 5-0
Lost to Rasul Chunayev (Azerbaijan), 9-7

98 kg/216 pounds – Caylor Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP), dnp
Lost to Marthin Nielsen (Norway), 3-0