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Article: Dingo in Vegas at the World Championships (Day 3)

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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:




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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That's equivalent to Canada beating Brazil in soccer

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

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

85kg #2 Zhan Beleniuk is from Ukraine and he is of half-African descent, which I've never seen from an athlete from the Ukraine. Found this article on how bad racism is in Ukraine, even for a highly visible, successful athlete like Beleniuk. We are very lucky in our country.



Women's 69kg

#5 Yeats of Canada is upset by #15 Wieszczek of Poland. Opposite side of the bracket from Pirozhkov, so no benefit to the US wrestler.

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Kazakh coach just slapped the dogcrap out of 69kg #20 Syzdykova during the break. Probably the hardest slap I've ever seen a coach give his athlete. It appears to be part of their ritual

Shortly after said slap, she pinned her Azerbaijani opponent at the end of a scramble

Here comes sideshow Holm....let's get after it, pal.

Very physical start for Holm. A loud slap echoed through the arena

Passivity against Hamtazau...HOlm looking for the gut...no dice...restart in neutral

Second passivity gives Holm a point. He's been pretty active on his feet and has been rewarded. Back to par terre....just doesn't seem to be able to unglue the Belarussian from the ground

Holm leads 1-0 after 1 period. Holm seems to have the edge on their feet, Hamtazau probably has the edge in par terre

Back at it....Crowd getting the USA chant going....Holm gets a passivity warning, his first...still 1-0, 2 minutes left

Force out by Hamtazau ties it up, 1-1, but criteria goes to Hamzatau...Holm needs to work, running out of time

Another passivity puts Holm in par terre....hope he can fend off the Belarussian...he doesn't....Holm is in big trouble, trails 3-1

Clash of heads has Holm bleeding, but the bigger issue is the 12 seconds left in the match....going to take a hail mary

Holm loses...not his finest match. I can't see Hamzatau negotiating his way to the gold medal match, so I suspect Holm's day is done, leaving the US with, again, one lone bronze medal. Bummer

It's likely just the freestylers from here forward, and up now is Pirozhkova, today's best bet for a medal for the US.



She's up quickly against Keju....gets 2 TDs and a quick fall...VERY impressive


Her next opponent will either be #9 Fransson of Sweden or #19 Acosta of Venezuela.....2-0 early lead from Fransson

Fransson techs her ranked opponent....She's up next for Pirozhkov...quite a challenge, as, like Pirozhkov, Fransson is also a former World champ

Returning World champ and current #10 (#10? I guess being the defending World champ doesn't mean much in the rankings?) Noumonvi of France just lost by choking himself out while trying to bridge against UZB's Assakalov. He went out completely and then started convulsing as he started to come back to consciousness. Not the first time I've seen it, but it's disturbing looking. Glad he's ok.

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Pretty much all Greco at this point...#1 David Chakvetadze of Russia is up against #8 Manukyan of Armenia in a nasty opening round match.

Almost saw Chavetadze get pinned....had to fight like mad from his back to avoid the fall. The Armenian leads 2-0

You don't tug on Superman's cape....Chakvetadze  storms back to take a 5-2 lead, with 45 seconds left

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53kg #2 Mattson of Sweden vs. #4 Shushko of BLR first round matchup.......they're getting after it

Mattson and Shushko exchange takedowns, and with hers, Mattson throws in a cradle, then, later, a double armbar combination....she's pretty nasty on the mat

#2 Mattson gets the fall vs. a game #4 Shushko

Here comes Whitney Conder, facing #3 Zhong....tough matchup....

They tie up, overhooks for Conder, they back away and re-engage...Conder looking for the 2 on 1. Warning against Zhong for the excessive head slap...scoreless through 1 minute

1st TD for Conder in a quick scramble. Zhong escaped almost immediately...2-0 Conder leads...2 minutes in

Zhong gets the leg, COnder tries to fights it....takedown and a roll...Zhong leads 4-2 at the break..Zhong turned her a little to easily. Might want to avoid par terre if you're Conder

Another TD for Zhong...looked like Conder had a good shot at a TD herself, but Zhong is a crafty counter wrestler...6-2 Conder trails...looked like a pushout at least for Conder, if not a takedown on the edge...no points...still 6-2....1:45 left, Conder needs to get busy

Conder not setting up her shots well, she's telegraphing them, making it easy for Zhong to counter them. Lots of stalling for Zhong, no call....Conder loses 6-2

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Well, here comes Lampe against Vie from Vietnam

Lampe gets forced out by Vu, trails 1-0....Vue with a TD, leads 3-0, not a good start for Lampe.

Lampe returns the favor, but nearly gets reversed....Lampe power-torques Vu and nearly gets the fall, but still trails 5-4

Vu is very quick, and very active. Lampe appears to be the physically stronger athlete...interesting test of skills here....Lampe trails 5-4 at the break.

Honestly, Lampe looks al ittle frustrated by Vu's movement....another Vu takedown, leads 7-4

Lampe had a trapped head, which she transitioned to a double leg, which she followed with a slam AND A FALL! Crowd goes wild. Great comeback against a frustrating opponent

Great chain wrestling by Lamp won that match

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Not surprisingly, things aren't looking too great for Holm. Hamzatau is getting worked at the break, 4-1  by the #3 Akhlaghi of Iran

Akhlaghi finishes the job, was never really challenged by Hamzatau. Holm is eliminated. One bronze for the Greco team. No improvement from last year. In fact, you could make the argument that it's a step back since this was on home soil.

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#2 Beleniuk (UKR) and #4 Lorincz (Hung) doing battle now...scoreless through 2:30


Pirozhkov should be up soon

Conder needs #3 Zhong to keep winning. Right now she leads 1-1 on criteria over Davassukh of Mongolia

Boy, Beleniuk is one difficult man to turn, as #4 Lorincz is finding out. Passivity gives Lorincz a 1-0 lead

Zhong was trailing, but just nailed a TD and a gutwrench to take a 5-2 lead. Good for Conder.


Beleniuk earns a tough 3-1 win over Lorincz

Looked like Zhong got taken down at the buzzer, but they said no. Zhong wins 3-1. Conder still alive. Only Holm has been eliminated for the US today

Sorry Zhong won 5-3...


Here comes Pirozhkov...tough match against #9 Fransson

Heavy hands for the American. The Swede doesn't care for it....headlock for Pirozhkov...ref stops action due to alleged choke, Restart, back to neutral. 1:15 in we are scoreless. Who will blink? 2 Passivities against Pirozhkov puts her on the shot clock....no go, she trails now 1-0...they're hand fighting and locking up...not a lot of real shooting...then Fransson shoots right before the break and gets a takedown. Looked like she Kneed the American in the midst of the takedown, but the reality is that the American trails 3-0 against the fellow former world champ

Hate to say it, but Pirozhkov is in big trouble. A nice TD by Pirozhkov is challenged by Sweden. Trying to get a slip call....she doesn't get it. Bad strategy by the Swedes....5-3 now....1 minute to go. Let's go Pirozhkov!

Fransson stalls her way to the win. 5-3. Really discouraged by the lack of passivity calls today in freestyle. They were so quick to call passivity in Greco and it made the matches more exciting.


So, the US has only 1 'live' wrestler left in Lampe. The other two women, Conder and Pirozhkov are still alive for a shot at repechage

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Not quite as rare as Nigeria beating Russia in a wrestling match, but Nigeria just beat Ukraine in a wrestling match.


53kg Adekuoroye of Nigeria has to be the tallest, longest 53kg woman wrestler in the world. It's hard to believe she's only 53kg. She is causing big problems for her opponents because of her amazing length. She gets the #2 wrestler in the world next round, so we'll give her a true heat-check.


Here comes Lampe against Kim of N. Korea. The Cold War match

Lampe and Kim scoreless through 1. Sweet low single for Kim and a scramble results in a 2-0 lead for Kim. Lampe can't let Kim dictate the match. She needs to pressure the N. Korean

Lampe with a 4 point move, followed by a near pin of Kim....Her strength is really telling here...Kim saved by the bell. 4-3 Lampe leads into the break. Very close call whether or not she was pinned. Chants of U-S-A starting up for Lampe

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TD for Kim.....5-4 lead now for the N. Korean. Less than a minute left...crunch time for Lampe. She's stalking, Kim is blocking and stalling. FINALLY a passivity point for Lampe, which leads to a 5-5 criteria win for Lampe. GREAT JOB of pressuring and really going for it for Lampe. She earned this win. Really nasty sportsmanship by Kim, which I've seen a lot from N. Korea. I feel bad for them, but this is sport

So, the US has Lampe in the quarters, where she will face Li of China.


Conder needs Zhong to keep winning and Pirozhkov needs Fransson to keep winning.

Fransson up now in the quarters..she must beat #1 Vorobeva for Pirozhkova to stay alive

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Fransson is looking impressive against the Russian. Leads 4-2 approaching the end of the period. 4-4 at the break. Fransson appears to be gassing out. The Russian outworked her for another TD and a 6-4 lead...finishes 7-4. Pirozkova is eliminated in very disappointing fashion

Three of the top-4 seeds at 69 kg in the semis.


Greco quarters now

We have an upset brewing here, as Azerbaijan's Tahmasebi is tossing #1 Chakvetadze around with regularity....6-0, but the latest points are under review

It's over...tech fall for Tahmesebi...huge upset here and the Russian is not pleased

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Unreal...1 point away from being teched, a huge headlock and fall pulled out by Uzbekistan's Assakalov against a stunned Iranian #3 Akhlaghi

Semis set at 85kg in Greco:


Finland's unranked Hietaniemi

#12 Assakalov (UZB)

Unranked Tahmasebi (AZE)

#2 Beleniuk (UKR)

15 time World champ Yoshida of Japan in the semis with a quick TF at 53kg...man, that seems ridiculous even as I write it....15 world titles, likely soon to be 16



Lampe should be coming up on deck on mat B

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Zhong into the semis at 53kg...Conder still alive for repechage,  but she will need to beat Yoshida to make it


Joining Zhong are:

#17 Jong of N. Korea

#2 Mattson of Sweden

#1 Yoshida of Japan

Lampe quickly takedn down and gutted...again and again. 10-0 tech fall in 90 seconds. Very disappointing

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Ok, it now looks like the US will have zero medals today. In order for the Americans to even have a shot to wrestle through repechage, some difficult things need to happen:


First at 48kg, Lampe needs unranked Li of China to beat #2 Stadnyk of AZE. Possible, but tough


at 53kg, Conder needs #3 Zhong to beat #2 Mattson...more likely than Lampe's situation, but still tough. Weird that the US is depending on Chinese success to continue wrestling


Final semis set, these are at 48kg:


Unranked Li of China

#2 Stadnyk of AZE

#1 Tosaka of JPN

#7 Morrison CAN


Pretty poor showing today for the US, and for the entirety of Worlds thus far


69kg semis up now

69kg #1 Vorobeva WBF over #6 Focken


China looking to put all 3 women in the finals...Zhou leads 6-2 over a tough Mongolian #4 Ochirbat

6-4 now, as Ochirbat fights back....end of 1st period

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Mattson and Zhong up. It boils down to this---a win and Conder can attempt to fight her way though repechage toward a bronze medal.




#1 Vorobeva (RUS) vs. #2 Zhou (CHN)


Just like that Zhong is pinned. Conder is eliminated

Li and Stadnyk up soon....Lampe will have to win just one match to wrestle for bronze IF Li can upset Stadnyk

Li is pinned...no Americans left. No medals. Crappy day. That's all I got, folks. I'm bummed

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65lkg is a weight class dominated by Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran....8 of the top-11 in the World are from these three countries.


Interestingly, also in Metcalf's weight class are former  NCAA standouts Boris Novachkov (BUL, formerly of Cal-Poly) and Franklin Gomez (PRico, formerly of Mich. St.)


Metcalf's half of the bracket is nothing short of brutal. The #1, #2 and #3 wrestlers, as well as 6 of the top-20 are in his side of the bracket.

Hypothetically, Metcalf would need to beat #1 Mohammadipah of Iran to advance to the quarters. Rough

Here comes METCALF. His intro was the loudest I've heard it here all week. Awesome!

Haha, forgot to add that David Habat is competing for Slovakia....

Ankle pick for Metcalf, leads 3-0, one for passivity


Metcalf, Gomez and Habat all up right now, with Novachkov later

Metcalf steamrolling Lukacs....His pressure is too much. Feel bad for Habat, as  he drew #1 in the World for his first Worlds match. Gomez is getting beat 4-0 by Armenia's Safaryan

9-0 Metcalf....11-0  tech fall for the former Iowa standout. Habat also gets teched 11-0

Women's 58kg up now...Ali Ragan up soon

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