Riley Briggs (72 kg, NMU) and Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC/Chicago RTC) both clinched bronze medals earlier today to close out Greco-Roman competition at the annual Granma Cup in Havana, Cuba.
Briggs — who along with Smith came of age under Mark Halvorson at the Community Youth Center in Concord, California — lost to Cuba’s Sablon — but his bracket was in a round-robin format. Therefore, Briggs earns his first major Senior international medal by virtue of falling to the highest two placewinners. Briggs began his full-time career at 67 kilograms, only occasionally making appearances at 72 before moving up to 77 for this Olympic Year and coming back down for this event.
Smith was behind Luciano Del Rio (ARG) 1-0 entering the second and then he poured on the offense. Smith used his passive to turn Del Rio with a pair of front headlock rolls; following a takedown and caution on Del Rio, Smith later wrapped up the match with one more takedown to win via tech. For Smith, it his second career Granma Cup bronze medal.
As reported over the weekend, this tournament represented Smith’s first since recovering from shoulder surgery five months ago. Speaking briefly from Cuba this evening, Smith said, “I felt even better today than I did yesterday. He (Del Rio) is a big boy, but my lungs were great heading into the second period.”
Minnesota Storm’s resident “Gunslinger” Alec Ortiz (77 kg) also made his season debut at the Granma Cup and had a chance for a bronze medal on Wednesday. Unfortunately for Ortiz, Dairon Salomon (CUB) emerged victorious via tech fall.
At this time, official scores for Briggs and Ortiz are unavailable. Information in general from this event has been hard to come by due to various external factors. This page will be updated as details come in, so please stay tuned.
2020 Granma Cup
February 11-12 — Havana, Cuba
TEAM USA DAY 2 RESULTS
Riley Briggs (NMU) — bronze
LOSS Sablon (CUB)
Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) — 5th
LOSS Dairon Salomon (CUB) 9-0, TF
Robby Smith (NYAC/Chicago RTC) — bronze
WON Luciano Del Rio (ARG) 10-1, TF