Wrestlers from Army’s World Class Athletes Program have been training at the Suples Headquarters in Boise, Idaho since last week. As reported, it is a long camp that will not conclude until February 17.
When it does, six of those in attendance will have a short break before making their way over to Italy for the Matteo Pellicone “Ranking Series” tournament set for March 4-5. Among the group will be 2012 Olympian/four-time US World Team member Ellis Coleman (67 kg, 5PM #1), whose most recent competition was the Military World Games in October of ’19. A torn triceps and subsequent lengthy recovery process kept the 29-year-old off the mat through most of last season. Coleman had just begun to regain a semblance of form prior to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier in March, but it was teammate Alex Sancho (world #19, 5PM #2) who wound up getting the nod and triumphantly securing the weight category for Tokyo.
With Coleman in Rome will be four of his fellow “Ninja Squad” compadres as well as two-time National Teamer Luke Sheridan (97 kg, 5PM #2). Rounding out the Army list for the Matteo Pellicone Memorial are:
Max Nowry (55 kg, world #3 at 55 kg, 5PM #3 at 60 kg)
Mike Fuenffinger (60 kg, 5PM #4)
Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, 5PM #1)
Ryan Mango (60 kg, 5PM #2)
A whole other segment of US athletes are pegged for the trip to Italy, most of whom are World/National Team members. In addition to the Army/WCAP contingent will be several from the Marines — including Peyton Walsh (77 kg, 5PM #9), who is featured in a Q&A scheduled for release tomorrow. Also expected to compete in Italy are two-time World Team member Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm, 5PM #1) and ’18 World silver Adam Coon (130 kg, NYAC/Cliff Keen, world #6, 5PM #1), among others.
Rau in Deutschland
Two-time World Teamer Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/IRTC, world #6, 5PM #2) has now been in Europe for nearly two months. First, it was Belgium before quickly shuffling off to France; next it was Sweden; then, Croatia; and currently, it is Germany. Thus far, Rau has benefited from Germany’s allotment of decorated competitors in and around his weight. He has trained with the likes of ’16 Olympic bronze/multi-time World medalist Denis Kudla (87 kg), ’17 World bronze Pascal Eisele, and Peter Oheler.
Rau will remain in Germany for a short while longer before traveling to Tata, Hungary where he will join the US delegation ticketed for the “Olympic Preparation Tournament” and its main attraction of a camp. The Chicagoan is also on the list for Pellicone.
Korea apparently has designs on sending athletes to Italy, as well. According to their federation’s competition calendar, Pellicone is on the docket for March, followed by the Asian Olympic Qualifier and the Asian Championships, respectively. This is good news. Korea has not participated in any events since prior to the pandemic (and just recently postponed their Nationals until the summer).
They are also still waiting to punch some tickets. Not one Korean athlete qualified his weight category at Nur-Sultan ’19, which saw two-time World gold Ryu Han-Soo (67 kg) and Olympic/World champ Kim Hyeon-Woo (77 kg) both fall short of reaching the medal rounds.