The United States is entering the evening session of the Matteo Pellicone Memorial in Rome, Italy with five athletes in position to earn medals.
Patrick Martinez (87 kg, NYAC/FLWC), Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/Chicago RTC), G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist), and Adam Coon 130 kg, NYAC/Cliff Keen) are all going for bronze. Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP) is 1-1 in round-robin competition and could still come away with gold (though that might be a longshot).
Wrestling began at 10:30am local time in Rome (4:30am ET) and was broadcast live in the US on FLOWrestling.
Nowry kicked things off with a cruise-control victory over Andrii Semenchuk (UKR) by a score of 6-0. That led to a meetup with tough Turk Dogus Ayaczi. Nowry and Ayaczi first battled in Poland this past August with Nowry winning via fall. The result didn’t go in the American’s favor this time, as Ayaczi prevailed 9-0. Nowry has one more match today, against Serif Kilic (TUR). Ayaczi has defeated both Nowry and his countryman — so for Nowry to place first, he has to defeat Kilic and Semenchenko has to beat Ayaczi. If Semenchenko does not defeat Ayaczi, the best Nowry can do is silver.
When Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP) earned bronze at the Military World Games in October, he was helped in part by a big win over ’18 World bronze Sailike Walihan (CHN). The way the bracket worked out today, an immediate rematch between the two was on the table, and this time, Walihan got the nod 9-0. But — since Walihan advanced to the final, that meant Hafizov received a match in the repechage. Facing Walihan’s teammate Erbatu Tuo, Hafizov was in front 3-2 with only a minute left. However, Tuo, a compact wrestler, got in on an attack for four points and stayed out of trouble from then on to put a definitive end to Hafizov’s tournament.
Martinez, Rau, & Hancock
At 87 kilograms, two multi-time World Teamers for Team USA might wind up on the podium. Martinez executed a clutch takedown from double underhooks with just a minute left to score a 3-2 win against Mirco Minguzzi (ITA). In the next round, tight battle with ’19 Asian Championships silver Kumar Sunil of India saw Martinez fall 2-1. Sunil made the final after punching out Luis Avendano Rojas (VEN) — who Martinez will now stand across in the bronze round later today.
Making his season debut this morning was Rau, and his first-round opponent was a good one — ’19 World silver/two-time World bronze Viktor Lorincz (HUN). Lorincz benefited from the first passive and cranked two guts and added a takedown — all in the first — to defeat Rau 7-0. Because Lorincz is in the final, Rau was pulled into the repechage, where he downed Junjie Na (CHN) 3-1. In the bronze round, the Chicagoan will greet ’15 Junior World champ Ali Cengiz (TUR).
G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist) might not be in the gold-medal match, but he has still had a solid day at the office. He gutted Hardeep Hardeep (IND) into oblivion in the round-of-16, shut out Ramsen Azizsir (GER), and was decisioned by ’17 European Championships gold (and occasional training partner) Felix Baldauf (NOR) 7-2. The assignment is an equally challenging one in the medal round for Hancock — two-time U23 World Champion Semyon Novikov (UKR) awaits. Novikov edged Suleyman Demrici (TUR) before losing to Baldauf in the quarters.
Coon vs. Meng Again; Miller
’18 World silver Coon didn’t start off so hot on Wednesday, but he can still finish strong. He opened against Pan Am Games runner-up Moises Perez Hellburg (VEN), who figures to be a problem at the Olympic qualifier in March. Coon seemed to be in control until Hellburg yanked a four-pointer to wind up stealing the match 4-3.
To his credit, Hellburg advanced all the way to the final, which gave Coon another chance to get some work. In the repechage, Coon out-hustled (and maneuvered) experienced Tuomas Lahti (FIN). It gets even better — for bronze, Coon will once again go head-to-head with Lingzhe Meng (CHN).
At the ’18 World Championships in Budapest, Coon pinned Meng in the round-of-16. Then in his first bout of the Worlds this past September, Meng turned the tables and grabbed a decision.
Daniel Miller (Marines) will not be wrestling for a medal today but he put forth a very strong effort. It started with a bang. Miller caught and pinned Yanan Chen (CHN) to get himself rolling. But the momentum was halted soon enough. Miller dropped a passive-happy affair to ’15 Junior World champ Nikolz Kakhelashvili (ITA), and was turned back by Luillys Perez Mora (VEN) 6-3 in the repechage.
The bronze-medal matches and finals are slated to begin at 6:00pm in Rome (12:00pm ET) and can be viewed live in the US on FLOWrestling.
2020 Matteo Pellicone Memorial
January 15-16 — Rome, Italy
DAY 1 TEAM USA RESULTS
Max Nowry (Army/WCAP)
WON Andrii Semenchuk (UKR) 6-0
LOSS Dogus Ayaczi (TUR) 9-0, TF
vs. Serif Kilic (TUR)
Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP)
LOSS Sailike Walihan (CHN) 9-1, TF
LOSS Erbatu Tuo (CHN) 6-3
Calvin Germinaro (Minnesota Storm)
LOSS Quiye Tian (CHN) 7-2
Jamel Johnson (Marines)
LOSS Anthony Palencia Puentes (VEN) 5-1
Xavier Johnson (Marines)
LOSS Quiye Tian (CHN) 2-2
Patrick Martinez (NYAC/FLWC)
WON Mirco Minguzzi (ITA) 3-2
LOSS Kumar Sunil (IND) 2-1
vs. Luis Avendano Rojas (VEN)
Joe Rau (TMWC/Chicago RTC)
LOSS Viktor Lorincz (HUN) 7-0
WON Junje Na (CHN) 3-1
vs. Ali Cengiz (TUR)
G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist)
WON Hardeep Hardeep (IND) 8-0, TF
WON Ramsin Azizsir (GER) 5-0
vs. Semen Novikov (UKR)
Daniel Miller (Marines)
WON Yanan Chen (CHN) via fall
LOSS Nikoloz Kakhelashvili (ITA) 3-1
LOSS Luillys Perez Mora (VEN) 6-3
Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen)
LOSS Moises Perez Hellburg (VEN) 6-4
WON Tuomas Lahti (FIN) 5-2
vs. Lingzhe Meng (CHN)