Brandon Mueller (72 kg, Air Force/WCAP) has earned his second overseas silver in as many years.
Mueller, the lone US competitor at the ÖIS Grand Prix in Göteborg, Sweden, won three matches in the Nordic system format to advance to the weight class final. There, he faced off with 2016 Haparanda Cup gold medalist Simon Erlandsson (SWE).
Against Erlandsson, Mueller went down on the first passive of the bout but defended well and worked for openings through the remainder of the first period. In the second, Mueller struck back with a high dive to take a 2-1 lead. Later in the second, Erlandsson scored when he crashed into the body and made contact with Mueller’s legs en-route to a step-out point. No video review was available, so a replay challenge was out of the question. Still, Mueller was ahead on criteria with time ticking away. Mueller, believing his opponent was running out of gas, went in for the kill by trying to secure a head-and-arm for more points. As he went for it, he slipped. Erlandsson covered, and for some reason, was awarded two, thereby sealing the match in his favor.
Mueller has been overseas for the past few weeks. He first joined G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist) and Joe Rau (87 kg, Chicago RTC) in time for Poland’s Wladsylaw Pytlasinski Cup. Since then, he has been training in Denmark with BK Thrott Danmark, the club he represented earlier today in Göteborg.
While it was nice to grab a medal, Mueller was much more pleased with being able to put some of his recent overseas training to the test against a field of tough and experienced Nordic competitors.
“I’ve been working a bunch of different techniques in practice, but it can be hard to really hone in on what’s working and what’s not until competition,” Mueller said afterwards. “I made one mistake early at Pytlasinski and that was the whole tournament for me. Here, I got into a variety of situations against a variety of wrestlers. I really found some areas where my drilling has been effective and others where I need to spend more time.”
- Mueller competed at his previous weight of 72 kilograms for the first time this season due to the tournament’s two-kilo allowance and night-before weigh-ins.
- Mueller’s first overseas medal, a silver, came last year at the Kristjan Palusalu Memorial in Estonia.
ÖIS Grand Prix
September 29 — Göteborg, Sweden
TEAM USA RESULTS
72 kg — Brandon Mueller (Air Force/WCAP) — silver
WON Reza Akrami (SWE) 7-1
WON Sebastian Nilsson (SWE) 6-2
WON Sallim Al Rays (SWE) 5-0
LOSS Simon Erlandsson (SWE) 4-2