Once they’re gone, you don’t get them back. Like locking your keys in the car and immediately wishing you could go back just a few little seconds.
Jesse Thielke (NYAC, 59 kg) lost to Gaurav Sharma (IND) in the first round of the 1st OG Qualifier. It was a match the 23-year old was in control of until the final two minutes of the second period.
Thielke’s first points came fast. Sharma reached up for an apparent headlock and Thielke deftly countered for a neat little twisting bodylock. The two points gave the American the edge early. Thielke was finding openings for underhooks on and off throughout the first period, but his next scoring chance wouldn’t come until the second. Following a passivity warning, Thielke quickly dove in on Sharma and ran him out of bounds for another point. Two more came just seconds later after he attempted an arm spin and came out the back door. Up 5-0 with just under two minutes remaining, it seemed the Wisconsin native was on his way.
Just as Thielke had found space for underhooks during the match, Sharma did, too. And he would capitalize in a big way. With just a minute and change left, he got double underhooks and arched Thielke to his back for a four-point shocker. Whether or not that stunned him, it certainly gave Sharma new life. And it would happen again. All that was left on the clock was 15 seconds, but it was more than enough time for Sharma to find another double-underhook opportunity, which he turned into two more points. The final score, 6-5 for the Indian wrestler.
We will have updates should Sharma advance to the final, pulling Thielke back in.
RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC, 66 kg) did his part in the first round. Facing off against Benedikt Puffer (AUT), it was the scrambling ability of Perkins that helped him earn the win.
Both wrestlers were heavy on the contact early, but Perkins was lighter on his feet. Using an authoritative approach, the rangy Perkins pushed inside and reacted to any of the Austrian’s muscled-up attempts. When the NYAC representative is on his game, it is usually due to his ability to counter with athletic scrambles. A Puffer entrance that backfired allowed Perkins to amble around for a quick two. Puffer then wanted something big, and that was a headlock. Things is, he reached up on the wrong guy. RaVaughn Perkins hipped out in a flash and the two came down off the edge. It would be scored as a takedown, but the Austrian side challenged and won. Still, it showed Perkins was zeroed in.
The second passivity call on Puffer led to more scoring. Perkins wrapped around for a gut, found a lock he liked and rolled it over. The conclusive period went similarly to the first. Perkins tried finding the advantage inside on the feet, Puffer would break out, re-engage, and it would start over. That is until Perkins had enough and ran the Austrian off the edge for another point. To his credit, Puffer stayed after it. With time running down, a late desperate throw attempt was met with instant consequences, as Perkins once again shimmied out of trouble for the block and another two points for a 7-0 first round victory. He will next face Mirambek Ainagulov (KAZ) in the quarterfinal.