G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world no. 12) is guaranteed more “Ranking Series” hardware.
The 97-kilogram class at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix offered a collection of top-tier behemoths with Hancock being one of them. But his road to this afternoon’s final (beginning at 12pm EST on FLOWrestling) was paved with the same efficient grit that helped escort the Coloradan to bronze two weeks ago in Zagreb., and he carried a rightful air of confident momentum with him as he took the mat for his very first bout.
The opponent was familiar — Lee Se-Yeol of Korea. Hancock and Lee had engaged in a contentious quarterfinal battle in Croatia that didn’t drum up a lot in the way of points, but certainly offered its fair share of chippy moments. No such resistance was discerned on Saturday as Hancock easily breezed to an 8-0 tech.
In the quarters, Hancock got past Abudourexiti Alimujiang (CHN) 4-0 to punch his ticket to the semis opposite Iranian Hassan Ali Aryanezhad. This is when things turned dicey. Aryanezhad held a 2-1 passivity-point lead in the second period and got his shot from top. As Aryanezhad went to gut, Hancock swiveled his hips and reversed to go up 3-2, holding strong the rest of the way.
Just as it was with Lee earlier this morning, Hancock is facing another familiar face in the final — Fatih Baskoy (TUR). Hancock and Baskoy first met in the qualification round of the 2017 Paris Worlds with the American emerging victorious 3-0.
Rice In Bronze Round
Travis Rice (63 kg, IRTC) is once again in a bronze-medal match at a “Ranking Series” tournament. A victory via injury default over Tamas Nad (SRB) put the former NMU star in the semifinals where he was defeated by Erbatu Tuo (CHN). But another second chance awaits, and against another high-quality opponent. For bronze, Rice will do business with 2018 World bronze Salike Walihan (CHN).
2019 Hungarian Grand Prix
February 23rd-24th — Gyor, Hungary
TEAM USA DAY 1 RESULTS
Travis Rice (IRTC)
WON Tamas Nad (SRB) via injury default
LOSS Erbatu Tuo (CHN) 9-0, TF
vs. Salike Walihan (CHN)
G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist)
WON Lee Se-Yeol (KOR) 8-0, TF
WON Abudourexiti Alimujiang (CHN) 4-0
WON Hassan Ali Aryanezhad (IRI) 3-2
vs. Fatih Baskoy (TUR)
Nick Boykin (Sunkist)
LOSS Abudourexiti Alimujiang (CHN) via fall