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Burroughs loses to Russian, still has chance at Olympic bronze
RIO DE JANEIRO — There will be no second straight gold medal for Jordan Burroughs, thanks to a 3-2 quarterfinal loss to Russia’s Aniuar Gedeuv. But thanks to the Russian’s ability to rally in a second match in Carioca Arena 2 early Friday afternoon, the defending Olympic champion at 74 kilograms still a chance to settle for bronze later this evening.
Burroughs, who has placed at every World and/or Olympic event since 2011, must first face former Clarion All-American and current Harvard assistant coach Bekzod Abdurakhmonov, representing his native Uzbekistan, in a repechage (wrestleback) match.
If Burroughs wins that bout, he will face Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil Hasanov in one of two bronze medal matches that will take place this evening.
At one point during Hasanov’s semifinal with Gedeuv, it appeared that the Azerbaijanian wrestler might win — after he took a 4-0 lead into the second period — which would have eliminated Burroughs from medal contention. But when the Russian rallied to win 5-4 with a late four-point move, that victory brought Burroughs back for a second chance at a medal.
Burroughs opened the day with an 8-3 win over Augusto Midana of Guinea-Bissau, which set up a quarterfinal match with Gedeuv, who lost by just a 4-3 margin to Burroughs in the semifinals of last September’s World Championships in Las Vegas, where the Russian settled for bronze and Burroughs eventually claimed his third World Championship.
This year’s rematch, which began with each wrestler shoving each other in the first 10 seconds, featured plenty of blood timeouts — after Burroughs suffered a cut in his head — and plenty of defense by Gedeuv, who did not allow Burroughs to penetrate until the final ten seconds.
But before then, the Russian scored three points — a shot clock violation by Burroughs in the first period and later a stepout by Burroughs and one-point lift in the second frame — that sent Gedeuv to the semifinal bout.
After the bout, Burroughs spent a tough moment with his wife Lauren near the stands in Carioca 2 before moving on to prepare for Friday night’s medal round and repechage matches.
Unfortunately for 57-kilogram American Daniel Dennis, his first experience on an Olympic mat only lasted 89 seconds because that’s all the time Bulgarian Vladimir Dubov needed to score a takedown and four straight gut turns to end the match with a 11-0 technical fall.
Dennis was not given a second chance when Dubov blew a four-point lead against World champion Vladimir Khinchegashvili of Georgia and lost 8-4 in the semifinals … and eliminated the former University of Iowa All-American from the tournament.
“I felt like I was moving well and doing what I needed to on my feet,” said Dennis. “(Dubov) capitalized when he got on top of me and ended the match early. He’s a good wrestler. He could have very well been in the finals. I felt like I was in control of that match on our feet, then it just kind of hit the fan, and he blew it open. It’s very frustrating.”
Men’s freestyle will continue the next two days as J’den Cox (86 kilos) and heavyweight Tervel competing on Saturday with Frank Molinaro (65 kilos) and 2015 World champion Kyle Snyder (97 kilos) ending Olympic competition on Sunday.