Problems with par terre cost US on first day of Greco

Updated: August 14, 2016

RIO DE JANIERO — Greco-Roman wrestlers Jesse Thielke and Andy Bisek experienced the highs and lows of only scoring points off par terre at the Carioca 2 Arena … and in the end both American wrestlers each went 1-1 and failed to reach the medal round on the first day of wrestling at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Both Americans won their first-round matches in shutout form — Thielke over Morocco’s El Mahadi Messaoudi, 9-0 at 59 kilos (130 pounds), and Bisek 1-0 over Cuba’s Yurisandy Hernandez Rios at 75 kilos (165 pounds) — when their opponents were put down in par terre because of passivity.

But then both USA wrestlers lost by shutout in their quarterfinal bouts — Thielke to Azerbaijan’s Rovshan Bayramov, 9-0, and Bisek to Croatia’s Bozo Starcevic, 2-0 — and then were eliminated when both Bayramov and Starcevic lost in the semifinals.

“I wrestled against (Bayramov) in Azerbaijan, so I knew he had a good straight lift,” Thielke said. “I thought I was moving enough and defending my left side. It felt like I kind of got tripped down to the mat, so that’s what I wanted the challenge. But that (challenge) was kind of late and ended the match. And odd series of events ended the match. I could have left it and had the whole second period to gas him. Clearly he wasn’t going to score on his feet.”

“I felt good and felt strong,” said Bisek, who earned bronze medals in the last two World Championships. “I just made a few mistakes. I shouldn’t have gotten turned my par-terre defense wasn’t what it should have been. I should have been able to fight and gotten him to open up again at the end of that second period.”

“Bottom line, we got turned in both matches,” said USA National Greco-Roman coach Matt Lindland. “It’s a simple answer.

“What’s there to say? We wrestled hard. Pretty much the only conversation we had was, “Sorry, things didn’t the way you wanted it to go and came up short.’ ”

The medal matches in these two weight classes — beginning with repechage bouts between wrestlers who lost to the eventual finalists — will start this afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT.

Day 2 of the 2016 Olympics will also seen two more American Greco-Roman wrestlers compete on Monday: Ben Provisor at 85k/187 pounds and Robby Smith at 130k/286 pounds.

Provisor (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) will face Rustam Assakalov (Uzbekistan), who finished second  in the 2015 World Championships, in the first round. This is the second straight Olympics for Provisor, who competed at 163 pounds for the U.S. in 2012.

Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) will take on Sabah Shiarati (Azerbaijan), who list Smith finished fifth in 2015 World Championships.

There will be no Americans wrestling on Tuesday since the United States did not qualify the remaining two weights: 145.5 and 216 pounds.

Women’s wrestling will begin on Wednesday and continue through Thursday. Men’s freestyle will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Carioca 2 Arena.


United States Wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Day 1 – Aug. 14 – Greco-Roman

The following are recaps of the two American Greco-Roman wrestlers — Jesse Thielke at 59k/130 pounds and Andy Bisek at 75k/165 pounds — at Carioca 2 Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jesse Thielke

Jesse Thielke

59 kg/130 lbs. – Jesse Thielke, Colorado Springs, Colo./Germantown, Wisc. (New York AC)

First round — won by technical fall over El Mahadi Messaoudi (Morocco), 8-0 — Once Thielke gained par terre advantage over the Moroccan, who was called for passivity midway through the first period, the American used four straight guts to score all his points in a bout that ended with three seconds left in the first frame.

Quarterfinal — lost by technical fall over Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan), 9-0 — In a similar routine from his first bout — but one the other side of the punishment — the two-time Olympic silver medalist used a par terre passivity advantage to score eight straight point midway through the first period. The final point came when a video review did not uphold an American protest and awarded two more points on one of Bayramov’s turns.

Sunday night’s Medal Matches

Gold – Ismael Borrero Molina (Cuba) def. Shinobu Ota (Japan), 8-0

Bronze – Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan) def. Arsen Eraliev (Kyrgyzstan), 13-8

Bronze – Stig Andre Berge (Norway) def. Rovshan Bayramov (Azerbaijan) 1-1 criteria


75 kg/165 lbs. – Andy Bisek, Colorado Springs, Colo./Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)

Andy Bisek

Andy Bisek

First Round — defeated Yurisandy Hernandez Rios (Cuba), 1-0 — Bisek’s only point came when the Cuban was penalized for passivity at the 3:39 mark in the second period. Hernandez Rios earned a par terre advantage with about a minute left but Bisek prevented any points being scored.

Quarterfinal — lost to Bozo Starcevic (Croatia), 2-0 — The Croatian scored both of his points off a passivity par terre advantage at the 3:24 mark. Bisek also was given a par terre advantage at with 1:16 gone in the first period, but could not score.

Sunday Night’s Medal Matches

Gold – Roman Vlasov (Russia) def.  Mark Madsen (Denmark), 5-1

Bronze – Hyeonwoo Kim (Korea) def. Bozo Starcevic (Croatia) 6-4

Bronze – Saeid Morad Abdvali (Iran) def. Peter Bacsi (Hungary) 5-2