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    Dingo in Vegas at the World Championships


    Dingo Brigade

    Greetings from The Orleans in Las Vegas, Nevada! I'm one lucky Hoosier, as I will be covering the entire week of competition for my favorite website....this one. I got in this evening and walked around the casino and floor area a bit. I saw athletes, male and female, milling around the casino, some looking intense and focused, and some enjoying what Las Vegas is famous for. Athletes from countries like Japan, Kazakshtan, Bulgaria, Russia and, yes, Trinidad and Tobago are very easy to spot, with the telltale ears and scars that often grace high level wrestlers. There are a lot of folks here from around the world, and the buzz is palpable.

     

    Tomorrow morning, Greco competition kicks off the action, as titles will be determined at 66, 75 and 98 kilos. Draws have been released for the US, and are as follows:

     

    66 kg/145.5 lbs -- Bryce Saddoris vs Hugo Miguel Da Silva Passos (Portugal). Two-time World member Saddoris has a favorable draw for his first match in Passos, who has had minimal international success. A two-time All-American while competing at Navy, Saddoris is also a true hometown hero, as he was a four-time state champ in Nevada. Saddoris has a very solid chance to win his first match, but he has a very tough road for a medal. 2014 World champ Davor Stefanek of Serbia is the odds on favorite to win gold, and 2014 bronze medalist Tamas Lorincz of Hungary is another strong candidate to take it all. Outside of those two, many of the top competitors from the London Olympics and the 2014 World Championships are not representing their respective countries this year. An ideal scenario for Saddoris is for him to win his opening match and then get pulled into a repechage match, where a couple of upsets could spring a bronze medalist for the former Midshipmen standout, That said, it's likely too much to ask of Saddoris at this point in his career. Hope I'm wrong.

     

    75 kg/165 lbs -- Andy Bisek vs Luis Eduardo Avendano Rojas (Venezuela). 2014 bronze medalist Bisek opens up against an opponent he handled easily at this year's Pan Am games. Bisek has been competing internationally for a solid decade and this is his fourth World Championship. He really seems to be peaking, as evidenced by his medal at last year's competition. Despite his recent success, he's still ranked only 14th in the world, a testament to the depth of talent at this weight. Like Saddoris, Bisek has a favorable early draw, and, hopefully, he can parlay an early win into a run to the medal session. Hyeon-Woo Kim (Korea), the 2013 world champ, and Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia), the 2014 world gold medalist, lead a strong, deep group and are the top favorites to win it all this year, although it would be foolish to underestimate Roman Vlasov of Russia, the 2012 Olympic champion and silver medalist at the 2013 Worlds. In a perfect world, Bisek puts it all together and makes a title run, but more realistically, he wins his opening match and benefits from a repechage situation. Bisek was the lone medalist in Greco for the US in 2014, and his performance on the opening day of competition could be an omen of things to come for the entire US Greco team.

     

    98 kg/216 lb -- Caylor Williams vs Davi Jose Albino (Brazil). Three-time World team member Caylor Williams, who competed in college at UNC-Greensboro, has a tougher opening round match than Bisek and Saddoris in Albino. While Williams hasn't produced a lot of topnotch international finishes, he has displayed big-match potential, as evidenced by his huge upset of 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Rustam Totrov of Russia. However, in order to have any shot to medal tomorrow, Williams has to wrestle at his best each minute of each match. This is an especially loaded field, led by Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia), a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, 2013 World silver medalist and 2014 World champ, Islam Magomedov (Russia), the latest in a long line of nightmarish Russian grapplers, and Ghasem Rezaei (Iran), the London Olympic champion. It would be a fairly substantial upset if Williams managed a medal this year.

     

    I will update this thread during the competition, although I have to be careful with the picture-taking, as they are very particular about this topic. I have my fingers crossed that Bisek can reproduce last year's impressive run, and either Saddoris or Williams can pull some upsets. LET'S GO U-S-A!!!!!

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    just thought I'd say -- I don't really follow Greco but these updates are great -- thanks for putting in the time

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    Haha, GrecoRef, he's obviously phenomenally athletic, but it's almost hard to tell because he's so deliberate and smooth. He looks so effortless and "different" out there. He has a great build for a DE for sure. Thanks for the kudos, base!


    Also, base, to your point...I don't follow Greco much either, but I'm trying to learn on the fly who's who and whatnot


    So far so good for Mango. Barrero looks to be in control against his German opponent Meneske. Less than 90 seconds left, he's up 5-2


    Beautiful par terre defense for the Cuban Barrero. He gave up 2 points, but really fought off some nice, deep guts...wins 5-4. Mango still alive for repechage


    Not too often you see a Russian wrestler get boatraced, but #1 @71kg Chunayev (Aze) just destroyed his Russian opponent Kurak 9-0.

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    Lester is up now and he has another tough opponent. This time it's #8 Ozel of Turkey


    The announcer reminded the crowd that many moons ago, Lester was also a world team freestyle member, as a cadet.

     

    He looks good one minute in. A passivity call against Lester, which looked bizarre. There would be no action if not for him...finally a passivity call against the Turk...Big throw for Ozel, looks like Lester got hurt. Maybe his shoulder?


    Lester fights off the turk in par terre, but he'll go into period 2 down 4-0. Hope he's not hurt...because he'll need to be at his dynamic best to come back against this mean looking Ozel


    Lester answers the question with a beautiful throw for 4, then gets a forceout for 1...leads 5-4. Passivity against Ozel....Lester is taking over, a big TD out of bounds...leads 7-4...Turks are challenging


    Turkey loses challenge, another point for Lester...leads 8-4...gets forced out, 8-5


    Passivity against Lester, he's definitely slowing down...par terre...Lester fighting off....back to their feet...30 secs left!


    Lester wins in beautiful fashion. Beats his second top-8 in the world opponent. Great tourney thus far...Unfortunately, #1 Chunayev is lurking next for Lester. I believe Harry can beat him,but it's gonna take another spectacular effort

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    Robby Smith will be coming up soon....no sooner than I type it, here he comes.....the German Popp is his opponent


    Smith and Popp scoreless thru 30 secs...Sweet throw for Smith, tried to headlock and slipped, Popp gets two freebies...4-2 Smith on a very nimble toss. Germany challenging...I guess they want more than 2

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    Challenge successful for Popp...2-2. Bummer

     

    Back at it...lots of pulling and pushing.Passivity warning against Popp...Smith looks to be the slight aggressor. Finally another passivity call against Popp...Smith looks for the turn...once again, Popp slips out...Challenge by the US, saying it was a slip and should be no points for Popp


    Challenge won by Smith...not sure where the 2 points came from, but Smith got 2 more points. I believe they are penalty points against Popp for using his legs. Maybe someone more in the know can help me out here?


    Big takedown for Smith...leads 6-2...90 seconds to another win


    1 minute left...30 secs...Smith almost there....15 secs...Popp looks gassed....a beautiful win for a beautiful beard

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    59kg #2 Angelov (Bul) and #3 Tasmuradov (UZB) are putting on one high-flying show. They've exchanged big throws, chippy, late shoves and lots of dirty looks....Angelov wins 6-6 by criteria

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    This 59kg match between North Korea's Yun and Azerbaijan's Bayramov has been incredible. Lots of big throwing, a double challenge attempt by N. Korea's coaches....craziness. They are seriously pissed off as Bayramov beats Yun....They feel they were robbed and aren't trying to hide their feelings.

     

    Cuban Borrero pulls an upset over Bulgaria's #7 Daurov....so Mango still alive for repechage.

     

    Russian #4 @59kg Maranyan is in danger of being upset by unranked Kim of S. Korea


    A big flurry between Maranyan and Kim results in a tie at 7-7 with the edge in criteria to the Russian....huge TD with less than 10 seconds...Kim beats Maranyan. Always nice to see the Red Army lose


    The Kim upset really helps Mango. Now Borrero needs to beat the unranked Kim instead of the #4 Maranyan. He will still need to beat #2 Angelov for Mango to get another crack at the field.

     

    Lester will face #1 Chunayev (Aze) now....oh man


    Lester gets a shot at Chunayev in par terre....unable to do much...back to neutral. Getting physical....Slip by Lester, restart...still scoreless...passivity warning against Lester


    Scoreless after 1st period....Lester and Chunayev both wrestling conservatively...wow, Chunayev throsw Lester, then throws him again....just like that Lester is teched


    Wow, when Chunayev unleashed, he ended the match in mere seconds. Disappointing way to lose for Lester. He has a great shot at repechage. Semis are set at 71kg.

     

    Here comes the last American in control of his own fate..Big Robby Smith against KGZ's Ramonov


    Smith looking for another headlock, again, bails on it, but at least he didn't slip this time....passivity against Smith, goes down in par terre...Ramonov can't do anything to big Robby


    Smith and Ramonov scoreless thru 1st period.

     

    Back at it...Ramonov trying for trapped arms, Smith looking for the head. Another passivity against Smith...1-0 lead for Ramonov...questionable call....Smith back down in par terre. Again fights off his opponent. 1-0 Ramonov leads with 2 minutes left. Finally another passivity against Ramonov...1-1, Smith on top in par terre.Smith very nearly gets the turn against Ramonov....still 1-1, back on their feet.


    45 secs left....Smith holds the criteria advantage....has to watch for another passivity call....20 secs left....Smith into the semis. That's the great news...the bad news? An opponent who hasn't lost since 2011, the 7 time world champ Lopez of Cuba. Boy, that would be Rulon Gardner-like if he could pull that upset.


    At this point, all 4 American wrestlers are still alive. Smith faces Lopez in the semis, and the other three are alive for a shot at repechage


    at 80kg, #5 Sasunouski survives a tough quarter match. One more win and Martinez is in repechage action.

     

    #1 80kger Saleev of Russia gets tossed and pinned by #7 Georgian Gobadze

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    The London Olympic gold medalist at 59kg just lost by DQ....the large Iranian crowd went ape-sh#t. Even the Iranian journalists look like they wanna fight someone. The crowd was literally screaming English curse words at the officials. I didn't see what caused the DQ. Anyone out there know?


    Borrero looks well on his way to advancing to the semis...One more win, against an unranked opponent in Kebispayev, means Mango is back in action....Just as soon as I wrote that, Kim throws Borrero and now leads by criteria 8-8....Mango looks done


    2 point penalty against Kim for a double leg....Borrero wins 8-6....Kim looks incredulous. Can't say I blame him, looked like he earned the nod....Borerro will advance, meaning Mango is still alive

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    Well, Lester is in the repechage at 71kg as #1 Chunayev just teched Belerussian Berdyieu in less than a period. Smith will wrestle for bronze if he doesn't upset Lopez. Lester will only have to win one match to wrestle for bronze.

     

    Smith and Lopez are up now


    Lopez towers over Smith, but Smith is much girthier. Lopez has been winning conservatively today, so maybe that plays to Smith's advantage. Keep it close then pull out a big move?


    In incredibly explosive fashion, Lopez techs Smith with a series of rolls after a takedown. It's over in minutes. Unbelievable. Smith will wrestle for bronze

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    All 4 US wrestlers still alive for repechage possibility. At 80kg, if #5 Sasunouski of Belarus can get by #9 Ghaderian, Martinez will join Lester and Smith in repechage.


    I had just made the mistake of commenting how Lopez had been wrestling conservatively...he made me look like a big dope. He is on another level

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    Not looking great for Martinez at the moment. After the 1st period. Sasunouski trails Ghaderian 3-0....40 seconds left to make something happen...30 seconds...passivity against Ghaderian....Sasunouski needs a big turn here or Martinez is done....he getes it with a lift and toss....wins by criteria....Martinez joins  Lester and Smith in repechage. Now we just need Borrero to win and Mango will make it 4 for 4.

     

    Azerbaijaini coaches are insane. Screaming and jumping around while their wrestler rests after the first period. Very entertaining.

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    Just like that Borrero up 1-0 against Kebispayev of Kaz....big throw for the cuban, then a reversal for Kebispayev....5-1 in favor of Borrero. Mango must be cautiously optimistic right now.

     

     

    Patrick Martinez up against Lithuania's Matuzevicius


    Matuzevicius gets dinged with passivity, Martinez on top in par terre....close but no cigar

     

    Borrero wins by tech....Mango makes it four Americans in repechage. Unbelievable.


    Martinez and Matuzevicius scoreless through 1 period....getting a little chippy out there....Passivity against Matuzevicius...point for Martinez, back on top in par terre


    Again, no success for Martinez....Might need to win this on his feet. Nearly gets a pushout, but no. 1-0 still, 2 minutes left. Just like that a big throw from feet to back for Martinez....5-0 over the #19 ranked wrestler at the weight. One minute to a first victory at Worlds for Martinez....All 4 Americans still alive after this repechage match. Great job by the young Californian. He beat a high quality international opponent for his first World win. Great job, Martinez! Let's keep it going


    Finals matchups are as follows:

     

    59kg

     

    Bayramov (Aze) vs. Borrero Molina (Cuba)

     

    71kg

     

    #1 Chunayev (Aze) vs. Vardanyan (Ukr)

     

    80kg

     

    #5 Sasunouski (Blr) vs. Cebi (Turkey)

     

    130kg

     

    #2 Kayaalp (Turkey) vs. #1 Lopez (Cuba)

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    Mango with a TD, reversal for Meneske...2-1 after 1st period....TD for Meneske, challenge issued by US...looks like legs used perhaps


    Mango loses challenge, trails 4-2 with  1 minute 45 secs....TD by Mango, leads by criteria 4-4...Tries for a lift...nothing doing, still 4-4. 1 minute 15 secs left, still 4-4...30 secs to hold off Meneske...Mango wins by criteria 4-4...still alive for bronze. Uncanny how the US wrestlers have survived so long today


    Lester up now....Russian Adam Kurak his opponent

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    Kurak gets the first TD, Lester nearly returns the favor...2-0 Kurak, then a throw by Lester, leads 4-2. Lester has been great all day, except for short lapse against Churayev. Kurak with a throw, leads 6-4. Lester needs to generate some more offense. Overhooks for Lester, throws Russian to his back, nearly gets the fall...8-6 Lester leads. Forceout for Lester, 9-6. Big takedown for Kurak...leads 10-9. Lester showing a lot of offense, not much defense thus far. 2 and a half minutes left, Lester trails 10-9.

     

    Patrick Martinez up now against Kazakhstan's Dilmukhamedo...2 point TD for Kazakh, and another...leads 4-0...Martinez needs some offense. Trails 4-0 at the end of the period

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    Lester seems to have slowed down quite a bit...1 minute left, Kurok stalling big time, not being punished for it. Running out of time. Lots of fleeing no penalty for Russian....Lester is the first American eliminated, which is quite a shocker, considering how the day started. Bummer

     

    Martinez back to sleep walking. Just not attempting much offense at this point. A slip for Kazakh wrestler...still 4-0. Looks completely frustrated and out of his comfort zone. Still 4-0. Gets top position in par terre, looks for gut...nearly gets the turn....still down 4-0. Probably a little bit too much to ask for Martinez to beat his second top-20 opponent in his first Worlds...15 secs left....the second US wrestler is eliminated


    Mango waiting the required 20 minutes, then he will face world #7 Daurov of Belarus

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    Well, that was brutal. Mango etched quickly. Didn't put up much of a fight.

     

    Smith to go for bronze tonight, but Makhov of Russia is standing in his way. Smith will need to wrestle the best match of his life

    Teched not etched

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    Robbie Smith loses to the Russian Beast in the Bronze Medal match 10-8. But Smith put up one hell of a fight in a very active match at Greco HWT that left the Russian completely drained. The crowd acknowledged Smith's great effort by loudly chanting his name even though he was defeated.

    Edited by MattM

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    Smith mounts a furious comeback but loses to the Russian Makhov 10-8. Zero medals today for the US, despite some real opportunities.

     

    The unseeded Cuban Borrero techs Bayramov to win 59kg.

    Edited by Dingo Brigade

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    Kind of can't believe it, but Cuba's Lopez was defeated in the finals 1-0 by turkey's Kayaalp. This was Lopez' first loss since 2011, when he lost to, who else, Kayaalp.

     

     

     

    71kg Chunayev wins gold over Vardanyan

     

    80kg Turkey got the 1st of their Tuesday golds when Cebi beat Sasunouski

     

    Tomorrow, Greco-Roman wraps up with Sideshow Jordan Holm, plus the women take the stage, when women's freestyle begins

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