Greco-Roman Worlds ends without USA medal

Updated: September 16, 2019

Photo: Max Nowry was the only American Greco-Roman wrestler to compete in a medal bout. Here beating Abelkarim Fergat (Algeria) in a repechage bout, Nowry ended up fifth at 55 kilograms. (Photo by Mark Lundy).

USA at the 2019 Worlds – Greco-Roman Recap

An inability to sustain leads in matches cost the United States Greco-Roman team, which failed to medal in the 2019 UWW World Championships in the first three days — Sept. 14-16 — of the week-long event in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Eight of the 10 Americans all won matches, including Max Nowry, who finished fifth at 55 kilograms. Overall, the USA Greco-Roman wrestlers compiled an 8-12 record with the Americans holding leads in eight of those bouts, including seven at intermission of those matches. Also, the USA failed to qualify any of the six Olympic weight classes — 60k, 67k, 77k, 87k, 97k and 130k — for the 2020 Games in Tokyo and will have to accomplish that task over the next year at specific qualifiers.

Perhaps the most disappointed USA Greco-Roman wrestler was heavyweight Adam Coon, a 2018 World silver medalist, who lost his only bout of the 2019 World Championships.

The 2019 World Championships will continue Tuesday with the start of women’s freestyle with men’s freestyle starting on Friday.

Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe to WIN Magazine, which will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2019 Worlds in its next issue that will be mailed Oct. 2.

The following is a closer look at the 20 Greco-Roman matches by American, Sept. 14-16:

55k – Max Nowry (2-2, 5thplace)

Competed Sept. 14-15

Max Nowry failed to win his 55-kilo bronze medal match vs. Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan) but did win two bouts in his first Worlds. (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround– won by TF over Fabian Schmitt (Germany), 10-1

Nowry actually trailed 1-0 at the break, after giving up a passivity call midway through the first period. But the American scored all ten points in the second frame, the first four coming off an arm throw with 2:15 left in the match and then scored six more points when Nowry scored a takedown at the 1:35 mark and added a pair of gut-wrenches.

Quarterfinal – lost to Khorlan Zhakansha (Kazakhstan), 3-2

Nowry led 2-0 at the intermission after he countered an arm throw by Zhakansha for a takedown of his own 1:30 into the match. The Kazak wrestler rallied when Nowry was called for passivity with 1:43 left in the match and used the par-terre advantage for a chest lock that rolled Nowry over 10 seconds later. With Zhakansha reaching the finals, Nowry was placed in the consolation bracket.

Repechage– won by TF over Abelkarim Fergat (Algeria), 11-3

Nowry led 7-0 at the break after he used passivity par terre to score six exposure points by turning the Algerian three times with a combination gut and bar-arm/tight waist. Fergat cut the margin to 7-3 with 1:09 left in the bout when he used a passivity call to add two more exposure points with a gut. Nowry ended any doubt when he countered two shots for takedowns of his own.

Bronze Medal– lost to Eldaniz Azizli, Azerbaijan, 8-0 — The match lasted just 41 seconds as the defending World champ scored a takedown 16 seconds in the bout and turned Nowry three straight times for the technical fall. 

60k – Ildar Hafizov (1-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 16

Ildar Hafizov defeated Etienne Kinsinger (Germany) 6-1 in his first match at 60 kilos (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround– defeated Etienne Kinsinger, Germany, 6-1

After giving up a passivity point at the 4:48 mark, Hafizov was able to get a good lock around the German, which first led to a takedown, then added two more exposure points when he lifted Kinsinger and took him to his back to lead 4-1 with 17 seconds left in the first period. The final two points came when Hafizov countered a throw by the German for a takedown of his own with 25 seconds left.

2ndround– lost to Lenur Temirov, Ukraine, 6-2

Trailing 2-1 and down in par terre after he was charged with passivity with two minutes left, Temirov scored a reversal, then used a gut wrench to turn Hafizov for a 4-2 lead. Temirov then iced the victory on a takedown with two seconds left. Hafizov first took a lead on criteria with 1:17 left in the first period when officials ruled in favor of the American after a Ukrainian challenge that Temirov had scored exposure points a few seconds earlier. Hafizov was eliminated when Temirov lost in the quarterfinals.

63k – Ryan Mango (1-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 14

Ryan Mango was able to lift Rahman Bilici (Turkey) in a second-round match, but ended up losing 7-4. (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround– won by TF over Julinho Be Correia Dju (Portugal), 11-0

The match ended at the 4:10 mark in the first period after Mango, benefitting from passivity par terre 17 seconds earlier, used a chest lock to roll the Portuguese wrestler back and forth five times for 10 straight points.

2ndround– lost to Rahman Bilici (Turkey), 7-4

Mango actually took a 4-1 lead after he countered a reverse lift by Bilici and took the Turk to his back 1:25 into the first period. But Bilici was able to counter a throw by Mango and put the American on his back that cut the deficit to 4-3 ten seconds later. The Turk then took the lead for good when he used another reverse lift and tossed Mango off the mat for two and a 5-4 lead with a minute left in the first period. The final points came in the second period when Bilici used an underhook to take down Mango with 1:25 left in the match. Mango was eliminated from the tournament when the Turk lost the quarterfinal match to Almat Kebispayev of Kazakhstan.

67k – Ellis Coleman

Competed Sept. 15

Ellis Coleman (top) split his two matches at 67 kilograms. (Mark Lundy photo)

1st round – won by TF over Meiirzhan Shermakhanbe (Kazakhstan), 10-2

Coleman jumped on top 4-0 at the 5:19 mark when he countered a bear hug and used a headlock to put the Kazakhstan wrestler to his back with 56 seconds left in the period. Coleman ended the bout with 1:55 left on a final takedown off a counter.

2nd round – lost to Dayvid Dimitrov (Bulgaria), 5-0

Dimitrov scored all his points off two effective arm throws; first scoring a takedown and two exposure points 23 seconds in the match and then another led to a stepout by Coleman at the 4:51 mark.  The closest Coleman came to scoring was at the 1:39 mark when he appeared to counter another arm throw but it was then called a slip and he also tried a flying squirrel move with a minute left but failed. Coleman was eliminated from medal contention when Dimitrov lost 6-0 in the quarterfinals to Fredrik Holmquist Bjerrehuus  of Denmark.

72k – Raymond Bunker (1-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 14

Raymond Bunker reached the quarters in his first Worlds but lost to Aik Mnatsakanian (Bulgaria). (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround – def. Yogesh Yogesh (India), 6-5

Bunker led 4-0 at the intermission after he scored three points off a passivity call against Yogesh and added a stepout with six seconds left in the first. But the Indian rallied to take a 5-4 lead when Bunker was called for passivity and gave up a pair of guts to Yogesh. Bunker tied the bout 5-5 on a reversal, but then took the lead for good on a stepout with 1:17 left in the match.

Quarterfinal – lost to Aik Mnatsakanian (Bulgaria), 6-2

Bunker led 2-0 at the break when he first benefitted from a passivity call against the Bulgarian only 1:20 into the match, then forced a stepout with 1:02 left in the first period. But Mnatsakanian battled back to score six points in the second period, five after Bunker was called for passivity, then gave up a chest lock and then an throw for four exposure points with 1:34 left in the match. Bunker was eliminated from medal contention when Mnatsakanian lost the semifinal to Aram Vardanyan, 4-1.

77k – Pat Smith (0-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 16

Pat Smith also ended up with a bloody eye in his only match at the Worlds at 77 kilos. (Justin Hoch photo)

1stround – lost to Roland Schwarz(Germany), 5-3

Trailing 2-0 midway through the second period, the German made the most of a passivity call against Smith when he used the par-terre advantage to lift Smith and take him to his back for points and a 5-2 lead with 1:15 left. Smith, whose final points came on a stepout with 35 seconds left, led 2-0 at the intermission after he first scored a passivity point midway through the period, then added a stepout with one second left in the first frame. Smith was eliminated when Schwarz lost his next match to Paulius Galkinasof Lithuania.

82k – Jon Stefanowicz (0-2, did not place)

Competed Sept. 14-15

1stround – lost to Lasha Gobadze (Georgia), 7-0

Jon Stefanowicz failed to win a match, but was one of two Americans to earn a repechage bout. (Justin Hoch photo)

Gobadze used an arm throw with six seconds left in the first period to lead 3-0 at the break. Stefanowicz twice was called for passivity; once in the first period when he escaped from par terre, but then was called for fleeing midway through the second period. The final point came when Stefanowicz lost a challenge to the fleeing call. Gobadze eventually reached the gold-medal match, which put the American in consolation.

Joe Rau was leading 1-0 in a second-round match before surrounding nine straight. (Mark Lundy photo)

Repechage – lost by TF to Haitao Qian (China), 9-0

The Chinese wrestler led 5-0 with 1:13 left as he scored one stepout, three points after Stefanowicz was first called for passivity at the 1:20 mark and lost a challenge as the American’s corner believed he had put Qian on his back after Stefanowicz fought off being lifted. Qian’s final two points came off a pair of guts with 58 seconds left.

87k – Joe Rau (1-1, did not place)

1st round – def. Kumar Sunil (India), 6-0

All the points came in the first period; first a pair of stepouts for Rau in the first minute before the American executed a perfect duck-under for a takedown and quickly scored two more on a gut-wrench with two seconds left in the frame.

2nd round – lost to Mikalai Stadub (Belarus), 9-1

Rau actually led 1-0 at the break — after Stadub was called for passivity at the 4:39 mark in the first — before the Belarusian made the most of a passivity call against Rau as Stadub used an effective gut to score four straight turns and a technical fall with 1:16 left in the match. Rau was eliminated from the tournament when Stadub lost in the quarterfinals to Zhan Beleniuk of Ukraine.

92k – G’Angelo Hancock (1-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 15

G’Angelo Hancock displayed perhaps the best throw among USA Greco wrestlers, but ended up 1-1 at 97 kilograms. (Mark Lundy photo)

1st round – def. Mykola Krysov (Ukraine), 6-0

Hancock scored three points in each period; the first three coming after a passivity call against the Ukrainian, which led to a gut for two by Hancock. The first three points came off a stepout 15 seconds into the second period and a caution-and-2 against Kyrsov as time expired in the match.

2nd round – lost to Melonin Nourmonvi (France), 5-2

A stepout against the French wrestler gave Hancock a 2-1 lead with 1:31 left in the bout before Nourmonvi was able to penetrate Hancock’s defense for a low bear hug that also put the American on his back. Hancock was then eliminated when Nourmonvi lost his quarterfinal bout to Giorgi Melia of Georgia.

130k – Adam Coon (0-1, did not place)

Adam Coon (bottom) earned a passivity point before China’s Lingzhe Meng scored a reversal and 3-1 victory over the defending silver medalist. (Justin Hoch photo)

Competed Sept. 16

1stround – lost to Lingzhe Meng (China), 3-1

Coon, the defending World silver medalist, was leading 1-0 on a passivity point at the 4:40 mark when Meng scored a reversal from the par-terre position, then added two more points on a gut-wrench with 54 seconds left in the first. Coon could not penetrate Meng’s defense the rest of the match and was eliminated when Meng lost his next match 4-0 to Riza Kayaalp of Turkey.