Coon silver medal salvages tough Greco World performance for USA

Updated: October 28, 2018

Adam Coon did not win a World Championship on Oct. 28, but the former NCAA All-American from Michigan personally salvaged an otherwise very tough four days of Greco-Roman competition for the United States at the 2018 UWW World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

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Before Coon, the native of Fowlerville, Mich., lost 9-0 to Russian Sergey Semenov in the gold-medal match at 130 kilograms, the heavyweight pinned four foes to eventually claim the United States’ first World medal since 2015 and highest place since Dremiel Byers also claimed a silver medal in 2009.

Coon’s first World Championships performance also took away the sting of seeing nine other Americans claim a 3-10 record as only Ellis Coleman (67k) and Kamal Bey (77k) won matches in Hungary … before being eliminated.

Overall, the United States finished in 19th place with 20 points while Russia dominated the Greco-Roman tournament with six gold medals.

The end of Greco-Roman competition ended an otherwise historic World Championships for USA Wrestling as a record 12 wrestlers won medals; four gold (by Kyle Dake, David Taylor and J’den Cox in men’s freestyle and Adeline Gray in women’s freestyle); three silver (Coon, Kyle Snyder in men’s freestyle and Sarah Hildebrandt in women’s freestyle); and five bronze medals (Joe Colon, Jordan Burroughs and Nick Gwiazdowski in men’s freestyle, and by Mallory Velte and Tamyra Mensah-Stock in women’s freestyle.)

The following is a recap of the the matches of the United States’ wrestlers in Greco-Roman.

55k/121 pounds

Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma City, did not place

1st round — lost by TF to Ekrem Ozturk (Turkey), 8-0 — Hazewinkel, a 2012 Olympian in freestyle, saw his return to Greco-Roman competition last just 45 seconds as Ozturk scored a four-point throw 23 seconds into bout, then added a pair of gut-wrenches to end the bout. Hazewinkel was eliminated when Ozturk lost next bout.

60 kg/132 pounds

Dalton James Roberts, Fowlerville, Mich., did not place

Prelim – lost by TF to Etienne Kinsinger (Germany), 11-0 — Roberts gave up six points after three separate two-point moves and saw the match end with 1:04 left when the German executed a four-point throw. Roberts was eliminated when Kinsinger lost his next bout.

63k/138.75 pounds

Jesse Thielke, Colorado Springs, Colo.,  did not place

Prelim — lost to Donior Islamov (Moldova), 8-7 — Thielke opened with a 5-0 lead after he earned a passivity point and then used par terre advantage to score four more points off a pair of gut-wrenches. But Islamov battled back to take a 6-5 lead with one minute left in the first frame after he turned a takedown into a pair of trap-arm gut-wrenches. Islamov added another takedown off an arm throw with two minutes left while Thielke added two passivity points with 12 seconds left to cut the margin to one. Thielke was eliminated when Islamov lost his next match.

67 kg/147 pounds

Ellis E. Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo., did not place

1st round — pinned Edgaras Venckaitis (Lithuania), 2:29 — Coleman was trailing 5-0 when he countered a bear hug by Venckaitis and flattened the Lithuanian for the United States’ first victory at the Worlds in Greco.

Quarterfinal — lost to Artem Surkov (Russia), 3-1 — The Russian scored the deciding points with 1:16 left when he earned a passivity point and scored two more points off a gut-wrench. Coleman’s point came when he earned a passivity point with 1:09 left in the first period.

Repechage — lost to Mamadassa Sylla (France), 5-3 — Coleman led 3-0 before before Sylla used a passivity call and par terre advantage to execute two gut-wrenches with 1:43 left in the bout.

72k/158 pounds

Ravaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb, did not place

Prelim — lost to Murat Dag (Turkey), 8-7 — Perkins, a late substitute for Jon Jay Chavez, took a 3-2 lead when he earned a passivity point and two more points off a gut-wrench. But Dag rallied to score seven straight points, including four off a gut lift with 26 seconds left. Perkins was able to score two takedowns in the final two minutes but that was not enough. Perkins was eliminated from the Worlds when Dag lost his next match.

77k/169 pounds

Kamal Bey, Colorado Springs, Colo., did not place

Prelim — won by TF over Ridong Zhang (China), 9-0 — Bey needed just five seconds to score a five-point move then added two more takedowns, the second coming when he countered a throw with 1:05 left in the first period.

1st round — dec. Reinier Jimenez Terry (Guatemala), 6-1 — Bey scored his first three points off a passivity point and reverse lift for two exposure points with 1:10 left in the first. After Terry earned a passivity point with two minutes left, Bey scored a reversal then closed out the match on a takedown with 14 seconds left.

Quarterfinal — lost to Elvin Mursaliyev (Azerbaijan), 6-2 — Bey used a duck-under to take a 2-1 lead with 1:51 left in the first period before Mursaliyev scored five straight points, three off a passivity, passivity plus a turn out of par terre and a final takedown with one second left. Bey was eliminated when Mursaliyev lost his next match.

82k/180 pounds

Geordan Speiller, Oviedo, Fla., did not place

Prelim — lost by injury default to Luis Eduardo Avendano Rojas (Venezuela) — The match ended with eight seconds left when Speiller, trailing 8-5, fell to the mat in pain after countering a shot by Rojas. Speiller, who trailed 4-0 with 1:15 left in the first, had rallied to take a 5-4 lead with a pair of gut-wrenches, but gave up a takedown with 41 seconds left, that also initially injured Speiller’s shoulder. Speiller was eliminated when Rojas lost his next bout.

87 kg/192 pounds

Patrick Martinez, Colorado Springs, Colo., did not place

1st round — lost to Viktor Lorincz (Hungary), 5-1 — The Hungarian scored four of his first points when he first earned a passivity point with 1:30 left before adding two gut-wrenches off a par terre advantage. Martinez scored his only point off a passivity point with two minutes left. Martinez was eliminated when Lorincz lost his next bout.

97k/213 pounds

Tracy G’Angelo, Colorado Springs, Colo., did not place

1st round — lost to Peter Oehler (Germany), 6-3 — Oehler scored five straight points off one stepout, two passivity calls and a counter to a Hancock throw with 33 seconds in the first period before G’Angelo scored three points off passivity and gut-wrench from par terre with 1:55 left. G’Angelo was eliminated when Oehler lost his next match.

130k/286 pounds

Adam Coon, Fowlerville, Mich., Silver Medalist

Prelim — pinned vs Rafal Andrzej Krajewski (Poland), 1:53 — The match ended when Coon countered a Krajewski throw and landed on top for the takedown and pin. Coon had scored two more takedowns, including a four-pointer off a body lock with 1:43 left in the first.

1st round — pinned Lingzhe Meng (China), 4:13 — Coon was losing on criteria in a 1-1 bout before he used a body lock to throw Meng to his back with 2:07 left in the match and pinned him 20 seconds later.

Quarterfinal — pinned vs Eduard Popp (Germany), 2:32 — Coon was trailing 3-1 when he used his strong body lock for the match-determining throw and immediate pin. Popp scored two points off a gut-wrench with 1:28 left in the first period.

Semifinal — pinned Minseok Kim (Korea), 3:42 — Moments after Kim was penalized with a caution-and-2 a second time, which gave Coon a 5-0 lead, the American threw the Korean heavyweight to his back for his fourth straight fall.

Gold Medal Match — lost by TF to Sergey Semenov (Russia), 9-0 — The match lasted 1:19 as the U23 World champ and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist first scored a stepout against Coon, then twice used a body lock to throw Coon to his back.