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    Dingo in Vegas at the World Championships (Day 3)


    Dingo Brigade

    Greetings from Las Vegas. While the first two days have had some really exciting moments, at the end of two days,the US has only 1 medal to show for their effort. I saw Harry Lester being interviewed after his repechage loss and he was extremely emotional about his day's work. Robby Smith was, conversely, ecstatic about his non-medal performance, and rightly so. He really energized the crowd in a way that only Bisek equaled or surpassed.

    Day 3 brings the final Greco competition, and 3 women's freestyle weights. The US draws are as follows:

     

    Greco

     

    85kg/187 lbs Jordan Holm Vs. Javid Hamzatov (Belarus) --Three-time World team member Side Show Holm brings a high energy style, along with high energy hair, to the mat against Hamzatov. He won gold at the Dave Schultz and the Hungarian Grand Prix, and currently sports a #13 World ranking. Hamzatov sits one place higher at #12, but Holm, in my opinion, has the ability to surprise in this event. Of course, the kind draws for the US ended on day 1, so Holm will have to navigate a tough field that features former World champ #10 Melonin Noumonvi of France, #1 David Chekvetadze of Russia, #2 Zhan Belenyuk of Ukraine and #3 Habibollah Akhlaghi of Iran. If Cuba's heavyweight Lopez can be beat, anyone can be beat, so Holm might pull a surprise or two.

     

    Women's Freestyle

     

    48kg/105.5 lbs Alyssa Lampe Vs. Thi Hang Vu (Vietnam) -- World #13 Lampe gets a nice opening matchup vs. unranked Vu of Vietnam. Of course, Vu was still a Junior World silver medalist in 2012, so she's no slouch. Lampe is coming off a 5th place finish at World's and could be poised to make a big move in this year's home country tourney. Standing at the very top of the weight class are two dominant competitors: #1 and multi-X World and Olympic champ Eri Tosaka, possibly the second most dominant woman wrestler in the world (to teammate Saori Yoshida), and the very consistent #2 Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijan. Lampe will need to use her physical, American style to wear down her opponents. She should win her opening match and has a very solid shot at a bronze.

     

    53kg/116.5 lbs Whitney Conder Vs. Isabelle Sambou (Senegal) -- #11 Conder also draws an unranked opponent, although Sambou was fifth at the 2012 Olympics. Conder is a former Junior World champ and won Pan Am gold this year, so she has some nice accomplishments already. This is her 3rd World team,and this could be the one where she medals. The aforementioned Saori Yoshida of Japan is the most successful wrestler of all-time, male or female. She recently broke Karelin's record of World titles, as she currently has 15 World titles, including 3 Olympic golds. #2 Sofia Mattsson of Sweden is a 5-time World medalist and is very consistently in the money at Worlds. Conder is a similar bet for bronze as Lampe.

     

    69kg/152 lbs Elena Pirozhkova Vs. Vs. Alison Keju (Marshall Islands) -- #8 Pirozhkova is one of the three former World champs in this division. She, like Lampe and Conder, drew an unranked opponent. I had no idea where the Marshall Islands were, so I looked it up. It's a part of Micronesia in the South Pacific. Keju is considered to be Marshallese...so now you know. Pirozhkova is plenty capable of medaling, as she has done so 4 times at the World level. This is a more open weight class than the two previously listed, and Pirozhkova could win the whole shebang. Hopefully, the 'home' crowd (she was born in Russia) gets her pumped and she wrestles to her full ability. Standing in her way are #1 Natalia Vorobieva (Russia), former World champs #3 Alina Makhinya (Ukraine) and #9 Jenny Fransson (Sweden), as well as #2 Feng Zhou of China.

     

    Here's to hoping for 4 US medals tomorrow. U-S-A!!

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    Yes sir, Mr. Clark...it really is gonna be a marathon


    Yoshida sure looked a lot younger than her 32 years. She was pure fast twitch compared to most of her opponents. Stadnyk is probably closing the gap, but the rest of the field seemed way behind....still


    Japan's dominance of women's freestyle showing no signs of letting up this year

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    I refereed the Women's World Cup in Japan once. About 20,000 people in attendance and the place was going nuts! Women's wrestling is very popular in Japan.

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    Ali Ragan up now against Mongolian Baatarjav


    Some of these Asian countries are blowing me away...and their competition. China is so good already it's scary. N. Korea is really good in all styles. Japan's women are legendary, especially at the lower weights..The Mongolian wrestlers I've seen are as tough as nails and wrestle a nasty, physically tough style. Then of course, all the former Soviet satellites are tough.


    Ragan gets taken down, warned for passivity. Trails 2-0. struggling to get through the Mongolian's hand defense

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    Ragan close to a TD, Mongolian slips her leg out. Ragan definitely flustered. Baatarjav put on the shot clock for passivity....15 secs...Ragan gets a point...2-1....TD for Ragan, leads 3-2, Mongolian trying to spin around..theres a challenge by Mongolia...if it fails, Ragan with a HUGE, come from behind win against a tough Mongolian. Don't see how Ragan loses this...She doesn't, a win for Ragan in impressive, clutch fashion. 2 for 2 for the Americans. Clodgo up now

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    Clodgo gets the first TD, trying to make it 3 for 3 for the US. Leads 2-0. After the break, Clodgo the aggressor, stalking...the Cuban spins around, takes a 3-2 lead. Clodgo back to stalking.2 minutes left...looked like Clodgo had a nice  body lock, and instead the Cuban headlocks her and nearly pins her. CLodgo in real trouble now, keeps getting reversed. Was deep in on a leg, the Cuban spins around. I apologize for caliing her 'The Cuban' over and over, but I can't read her name from here. Vidiaux is her name....Late TD for Clodgo...Throws in a gut, cuts it to 9-6...only 24 secs left....not enough time


    Clodgo falls 11-6. Very uneven effort for her. It's hard to envision the Cuban making it to the gold medal match, so this is a disappointing result for #18 Clodgo. Feel like she was physically superior to Vidiaux Lopez, but the Cuban was really slick and clever.

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    So, one American down.

     

    No sooner than I point out that Japan isn't as strong in the bigger women's weights, Japan's Kawai just upset #2 Tkach of Ukraine at 63kg. The Japanese continue their dominance

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    Gray getting ready to step up and defend her world title from last  year, her second and fourth World medal overall. In short, Gray is a juggernaut.

     

    Here she is....ADELINE GRAY!. She's facing one of those stout Mongolians, Gelegjamts


    Wow, lightning quick TD and 2 leglaces for Gray....6-0. She's like a one-woman blitzkrieg


    Another TD, another leglace....it's over. Gray is ecstatic in victory, gesturing to the crowd. The crowd willingly responds with high volume. Great win for Gray, possibly the most dominant match for all Americans thus far.

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    Metcalf will face China's Yeerlanbieke next. While the Chinese wrestler is unranked, their wrestlers have been handing us our lunch this tournament so far. Hopefully, the Energizer Bunny Metcalf can put an end to that trend


    Here's Metcalf.....the crowd is going apes$%t.

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    Here they go. The formula for Metcalf isn't a secret. He wears you down and never, ever relents. Scoreless in the early going.

     

    Metcalf in on a leg...picks up the Chinese wrestler and brings him down for 2. 2-0 for the Michigan native. Passivity against Yeerlanbieke. Surprise TD for the Chinese wrestler...they're reviewing it...they call it a 2 and 2...Metcalf leads 4-2


    Shotclock applied to Metcalf, doesn't get a TD, lead cut to 4-3....Again, on paper, this should be a slaughter, but the Chinese have improved by leaps and bounds and have to now be called, I dare say, a true wrestling country. Metcalf nearly taken down...Oh my God, the Chinese wrestler couldn't have been closer to a TD at the buzzer....the ref didn't signal TD....challenge thrown in.....4-3 unless challenge overturned


    Metcalf avoided a disastrous loss by keeping his legs and head off the mat, despite the Chinese wrestlers position behind him. Unreal how close that was to a huge upset. Very smart wrestling by Metcalf but Yeerlandbieke is a good, dangerous wrestler and was able to stay with Metcalf in a fitness contest.


    Well, Metcalf's reward for a razor-thin, heart-stopping win is a date with World #1 Mohaamadipah of Iran for a shot at the quarters. Sigh


    #1 Maroulis should be up soon

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    Maroulis up at 55kg vs. Mexico's Fernandez. Very quick TD for Helen. Leads 2-0, looking for a gut...another TD, leads 4-0. Another TD, a trap arm, and another TD, a quick tech fall for #1 Maroulis. Very, very impressive


    World #3 Nikolova of BUL is next for Maroulis. Tough one

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    Quarters are set at 55kg


    Ali Ragan up now...She's wrestling Renteria of Colombia


    Renteria is a 2X World bronze medalist. 1st point to Renteria on a pushout. Near TD for Renteria, Ragan fighting for her life. Renteria eventually gets it....3-0. Ragan is looking uncomfortable here, on the defensive. Weird call of TD for Renteria, didn't look like one, challenged by Ragan....it's overturned....3-0 lead for Renteria, still a manageable score for Ragan, but she needs to get her attacks going

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    Ragan down 3-0 at the break. Ragan in on a single, Renteria appears to stalemate her way out. Ragan clearly flustered and reacting more than dictating..Ragan whipped to her back by Renteria, trails 5-0. Just ccan't seem to do anything,  Ragan was never really in it. Renteria a dominant 6-0 win. Second US wrestler to lose. All 5 still alive for repechage at least. The 3 'live' wrestlers include 2 #1s and 1 #2.


    Clodgo eliminated as Kawai of Japan techs Cuba's Vidiaux Lopez

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    Gray is up and #4 Marzaliuk of Belarus is her opponent.


    Gray put on shot clock and responds with a nice TD< and follows it with a leglace to take a 4-0 lead. She is nasty in par terre


    Gray up 4-0 at the break.


    Ragan another TD, keeps looking for more on the ground....in control thus far


    Gray just plugging away....will win this one 6-0 to head to the quarters. Sorry for calling her Ragan a second ago

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    A lot of tension in the air here as #1 Mohammadipah takes on #2 Metcalf. Big time test for both wrestlers.


    Metcalf receives 2 passivity cautions, gets put on the shot clock. Not sure about that one. 1 point for Mohammadipah


    TD for the Iranian, leads 3-0. Quite a few Iranians here, so it's a little weird to hear the big cheer when they do something good at the Americans expense. Metcalf definitely being made uncomfortable. Will need to change up his gameplan a little. He and Brands are conferring


    Quarters set for all weights except men's 65kg. Metcalf might be in trouble. The Iranian keeping him off balance with lots of pushing and pulling. Usually it's Metcalf doing that to his opponent. Metcalf finally breaks through, gets a TD, trails 3-2....tries a leg turk, restart...3-2 with 2 minutes left


    Getting a little heated out there. The Iranian is drawing some boos from the crowd for his preening and gesturing. A near TD for Metcalf is denied....1 minute left....think the Iranian should be on the shot clock......Running out of time. 30 seconds left. Looked like Metcalf stopped wrestling, gets taken down. He will lose this match. Might be hurt. The Iranian is an obnoxious sneerer who seems to be loving being able to stick it to an American, but he's a good wrestler...late meaningless TD for Metcalf, loses 5-4

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    Bummer. Really sucked the life out of the crowd.

     

    Maroulis up 6-0 against Bulgarian Nikolova


    Not content with a tech, Maroulis gets the pin over the #3 wrestler in the world. Beautifully dominant


    Maroulis can do no worse than wrestling for bronze. She and Gray are the silver linings for the US today.


    Maroulis can do no worse than wrestling for bronze. She and Gray are the silver linings for the US today.

     

    At 58kg, Japan's Icho is a 3X Olympic champ and 9X World champ. These Japanese women are unreal


    Gray is 3 matches out on Mat D

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    Renteria wins at 58kg so Ragan is still alive for repechage. However, Renteria will have to beat World #1 and 3x Olympic champ Icho


    at 63kg, Japan's Kawaii just beat World #3 Mamashuk of Belarus, meaning the unseeded wrestler has knocked off the #2 and #3 in successive rounds. RIdiculous

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    Adeline Gray up now. A win here against Osocka puts her in the bronze match at a minimum. Quick TD and near pin for Gray. She's come out in beast mode, as the old saying goes. Poland's Osocka is ranked #15 in the world.


    Big double leg for Gray who follows it up with a dozen or so leglaces...tech fall win in hugely impressive fashion

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    Gray will face the winner between #8 DaSilva (Brazil) and #3 Bukina (Russia) for a spot in the finals

     

    Men's 65 kg, Italy's Frank Chamizo and Azerbaijan's Azgarov are in a heated, fast-paced match. As I mentioned earlier, the AZE coaches are absolutely insane. They are some seriously talented, athletic competitors and there is some  hostility brewing, it appears


    #8 DaSilva upsets #3 Bukina. Gray must get by DaSilva to reach the gold medal match.


    Chamizo is a former Cuban, who 'relocated' to Italy and is competing at a high level here against the Azerbaijani some folks thought was the favorite at 65kg. 1 minute left, Chamizo by a 10-5 count


    Novachkov leads his quarters match against #8 Ramonov of Russia 1-0. Impressive start for Boris. Now 3-1. Boris leads at the end of period 1

     

     

    Chamizo beats Azgarov and the AZE coaches are trying to physically confront the ref and judges. It's insane. They are screaming, gesturing and having to be restrained by security. These guys are loose cannons.


    Ramonov ties it up 3-3, but Novachkov has the edge in criteria. Boris with a HUGE throw, then gets rolled a little. 4 and 2, in favor of Novachkov, leads 7-5. They are reviewing it.

     

    Elsewhere at 65 kilos, the Iranian that beat Metcalf is in firm control against the Romanian Bucu. Metcalf still alive for repechage, as is Ragan. So, 4 of 5 US wrestlers still with a shot at a medal today, Maroulis and Gray with outstanding chances.


    Mohammadipah wins 6-1. Will face Chamizo in the semis. Metcalf's fate resting on that match.

     

    Novachkov's nice toss gets overturned and, inexplicably, the 4 goes to the Russian and 2 to Boris. Very bizarre and controversial call. Now Novachkov is behind the 8-ball....and loses 11-9 to the Russian. Seems like he got screwed. The entire arena is pissed off and loudly booing. They showed the replay over and over and I just don't see how they made the call. Boris should be in the semis.

     

    Maroulis now up against unranked Pang of China for a chance at gold


    I believe this is the first, or one of the first, Chinese female athletes I've seen with a big, prominent tattoo. 
     

    Maroulis out quickly with a TD near the edge of the mat, leads 2-0

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    Chamizo beats Azgarov and the AZE coaches are trying to physically confront the ref and judges. It's insane. They are screaming, gesturing and having to be restrained by security. These guys are loose cannons.

     

     

    The Azerbijan version of the Brand brothers?

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    Maroulis a little less aggressive this match, but she's fightng off Pang nicely thus far. Still 2-0...a little over 2 minutes left. Pang on the shot clock


    The Azerbijan version of the Brand brothers?

    Way worse, way crazier


    No score for Pang....Maroulis lead 3-0.....A sweet slide around for Maroulis, she leads 5-0 and has one minute til the gold match. 20 seconds left, still 5-0....15 seconds


    FINALLY, a finalist for the USA. Maroulis on to the gold medal match!


    She will face #4 Ologonova of Russia, who has been very impressive today as well


    women's 58kg semis:

     

    Colombia's Renteria vs. #1 Icho of Japan

     

    Ratkevich of AZE vs. Ollis of Finland

     

    If Renteria can pull off the upset of her career and beat the 9-time world medalist...Ragan is in the repechage. Otherwise, she joins Clodgo in the eliminated status


    Icho up quick with a TD, and a couple of leglaces...6=- one minute into the match...make that 8-0 with another leglace....Not looking good for Renteria or Ragan


    Renteria loses by tech. Ragan eliminated.

    Icho another Japanese finalist


    Joining Icho in the finals is unranked Kawaii of Japan...She beat #2, #3 and #10 (by fall) en route to adding another Japanese finalist.

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    Gray will be coming up soon.....and HERE she comes!!!

     

    Gray will be facing a somewhat familiar foe in DaSilva of Brazil


    They met in last year's world championships. Hope we can get the same result. Big takedown for Gray...2-0

     

     

    Chamizo and Mohammadipah up now. Metcalf's fate in the balance


    Gray holds a 2-0 lead at the start of the 2nd period. DaSilva keeps trying to trap Gray's arms...also working a front headlock series.....Big TD for the Brazliian...tied 2-2, criteria advantage to DaSilva.....Huge answer for Gray with a TD and leglace exposure...6-2 Gray in control....30 secs left

     

    Iran and Chamizo scoreless through 1:30....then Mohammadipah spins Chamizo around and scores two....2-0 Iran out in front. Wow, Chamizo is having some kind of tourney. Puts Mohammadipah on his back....Metcalf is eliminated

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