The first day of the 2019 Thor Masters in Nykøbing Falster, Denmark is all wrapped up and the United States has five athletes who have yet to taste defeat.
Three previous Senior World Team members — Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm), Patrick Martinez (87 kg, NYAC), and G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world no. 3) — all got the job done in their first two matches, as did U23 World Teamer Carter Nielsen (82 kg, Minnesota Storm/OTS). “Wildman Sam” — 2014 University World bronze Sammy Jones (NYAC/OTS), only had one bout on Friday, and it was something else. Jones and Kasper Ravn (DEN) put on a high-scoring show with the American coming out on top 11-9.
Smith was in good form in his first match, a grinding 4-0 affair opposite Nikko Erkkola (FIN). In his second, he battered and bullied Leos Drmola (SVK) whistle to whistle, nearly ending it via tech late in the second period thanks to a big throw that was eventually called back. Nevertheless, the Minnesotan prevailed 9-2, and owns solid position in his stacked pool. Martinez, who like Smith and Hancock participated in both “Ranking Series” events last month, ousted NMU’s Tommy Brackett to open up his tournament. The sledding got rougher in the next round.
Facing Eividas Stankevicius (LTU), Martinez sustained a breakneck pace and occasionally brandished a two-on-one that he attempted to bar for leverage. He out-pummeled and outhustled Stankevicius throughout the entirety of the first period, entering the break up 1-0. The second frame saw little deviation. Martinez remained the aggressor and received another passivity/par terre chance. As the Olympic Training Center athlete went for his lock, Stankevicius pushed against Martinez’s hips with his legs, but there was no call. It didn’t matter in the end, however, because Martinez controlled the tie-ups the rest of the way and is position for a potentially big day tomorrow.
It’s the same thing for Hancock, who is carrying more momentum than any other US athlete at the moment. His first test on Friday was Aleksandr Shyshman (UKR) a Junior World bronze over a decade ago and a multi-time Military World medalist. The explosiveness was there but Shyshman played it close enough to the vest so as not to get cracked open. Even still, Hancock got the scores he needed and moved on with a 5-0 win. Sweden’s Billy Rääf represented Victim #2. Following a bit of jousting, Hancock received two on a caution when Rääf was called for fleeing. After a reset, Hancock widened his advantage dramatically. He rushed in, got behind Rääf, and hurled him over for five (see video below). A takedown in the second period tied a bow around what was a 9-0 tech.
Nielsen, competing overseas for the first time since those aforementioned U23 Worlds (and subsequent second knee procedure), was lights out in both of his bouts on Friday. He started off by blitzing Marc Weber (SUI) on the heels of an arm throw and front-headlock, and next he defeated NMU teammate Corey Fitzgerald.
Two-time U23 World Team member Jesse Porter (77 kg, NYAC/OTS) bombed Jevgenijs Kolcovs (LAT) 10-1. In his second match, he was battling 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix bronze Vladomir Yakovliev (UKR) in the first period when he was graced with two caution points and a passivity. From top, Porter went to lock and Yakovliev immediately reversed position. The New York native eventually regained his feet, but then two caution points had gone the other way. The second period was even more frustrating; Porter went on an all-out mission to get to Yakovliev’s body — darting in, shucking arm-throws, and the like — but no calls were made, and Yakovliev survived with a 5-3 decision.
Day 2 begins tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 10:00am (5:00am ET) and can be viewed for free right here.
- Two-time World Team member/2016 Olympian Jesse Thielke (63 kg, NYAC/LOG) was unable to compete due to a sore neck but is not currently expected to miss out on next week’s training camp.
- 2017 World Champion Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, Sunkist) seemed well in control of Tuomas Lahti (FIN) in his first-ever major Senior match-up. Schultz got one on a passive and then gutted Lahti over for two more. But two takedowns late in the second period saw Lahti walk away a 4-3 victor.
- 63 and 72 kilograms only went through one match in each pool. The rest will be competed tomorrow.
- US athletes participated in 33 matches on Friday — with only two American vs. American bouts (Nielsen/Fitzgerald and Martinez/Brackett).
2019 THOR MASTERS
March 15th-16th — Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
TEAM USA DAY 1 RESULTS
*Day 2 opponents.
Justin Feldman (Camarillo)
LOSS Etienne Kingsinger (GER) 8-0, TF
LOSS Lauri Karjalainen (FIN) 8-0, TF
Dominic Damon (WA)
LOSS Nasrullah Nasibov (UKR) 9-0
vs. Bence Kovacs (HUN)
Sammy Jones (NYAC/OTS)
WIN Kasper Ravn (DEN) 11-9
vs. Stig-Andre Berge (NOR)
Morgan Flaharty (NYAC)
LOSS Aleksi Kalinichenko (UKR) 8-0, TF
LOSS Aleksandrs Jurkjans (LAT) 9-0, TF
Austin Morrow (NYAC/OTS)
LOSS Fredrik Bjerrehuus (DEN) 11-0, TF
LOSS Manrikos Theodoridis (GRE) 6-3
Jessy Williams (NYAC/FLWC)
LOSS Denis Bolunov (EST) 9-5
LOSS Daniel Soini (SWE) 10-1, TF
Nick Tarpley (NYAC)
LOSS Dawid Karecinski (POL) 8-3
vs. Flavio Freuler (SUI)
Jesse Porter (NYAC/OTS)
WIN Jevgenijs Kolcovs (LAT) 10-1, TF
LOSS Volodymyr Yakovliev (UKR) 5-3
vs. Andre Isberg (SWE)
Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)
WIN Nikko Erkkola (FIN) 4-0
WIN Leos Drmola (SVK) 9-2
vs. Roland Schwarz (GER)
Corey Fitzgerald (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Anton Olsson (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Carter Nielsen (Minnesota Storm/OTS) 8-0, TF
Carter Nielsen (Minnesota Storm/OTS)
WIN Marc Weber (SUI) via fall
WIN Corey Fitzgerald (NMU/OTS) 8-0, TF
vs. Dimitrios Papadopoulos (GRE)
Spencer Woods (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Petr Novak (SUI) via fall
LOSS Hannes Wagner (GER) 11-0, TF
Tommy Brackett (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Patrick Martinez (NYAC) 8-0, TF
LOSS Dimitrios Tsekeridis (GRE)
Patrick Martinez (NYAC)
WIN Tommy Brackett (NMU/OTS) 8-0, TF
WIN Eividas Stankevicius (LTU) 2-0
vs. Amer Hrustanovic (AUT)
Trey Hardy (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Albin Frid (SWE) 9-0, TF
LOSS Zakarias Berg (SWE)
Alan Vera (Florida Jets)
LOSS Dimitrios Tsekeridis (GRE) 4-1
LOSS Iurii Shkriuba (UKR) 10-9
Orry Elor (NYAC)
LOSS Artur Omarov (USA) 9-0, TF
vs. Billy Rääf (SWE)
G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist)
WIN Oleksandr Shyshman (UKR) 5-0
WIN Billy Rääf (SWE) 9-0, TF
vs. Elias Kuosmanen (FIN)
Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist)
LOSS Tuomas Lahti (FIN) 4-3
vs. Vladyslav Voronyi (UKR)