For the US, the 2016 Klippan Cup wound up being a successful first stop on the fall tour of Sweden.
Jordan Auen (59 kg, NMU-OTS) and G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg, NYAC-OTC) advanced through two challenging brackets to come away with gold while Jesse Porter (75 kg, NYAC-OTS) claimed third place. Although billed as a Senior-level event, the Klippan Cup, held in Klippan, Sweden, was heavy on Junior talent and highlighted a few wrestlers with legitimate international experience.
The constantly-improving and dynamic Auen got on a roll early, moving past Martin Ahl (Alebrottarna) on the strength of a technical superiority victory. He was then faced with two tough tests in a row– Yunus Zhorabek (BK Athén), whom he defeated 4-4 via criteria, and fellow American, high school senior Jordan Martinez, the latter being a 7-5 win for Auen. In the finals, Auen earned a nice victory over talented Anton Rosen (Klippans BK), 12-3 to cap his day and start his trip overseas off in style.
19-year old phenom Hancock similarly burst out of the gate. The 2016 Junior bronze medalist found little trouble mowing through Mathias Bak (BK Thrott), Billy Rääf (Sandvikens BK), and USA teammate Anthony Riopelle (NMU-OTS). It was three consecutive tech’s for Hancock, who looked to be on his way towards a drama-free tournament win. But waiting for him in the battle for gold was another former Junior World Team member, Emil Sandahl (HBK Bergania). There wouldn’t be another whitewash, as the score remained tight throughout. In the end, Hancock prevailed with a 2-1 win to wrap up the tournament and add onto to his impressive 2016 campaign.
New York native Jesse Porter, who seems to open people’s eyes every time he takes the mat, looked like he, too, was going to wind up with a special day. Porter started off by defeating Sebastian Aak (Kolbotn IL) and American upstart Giuseppe Rios (NMU-OTS), both via tech. However, he’d run into trouble in the next round against Khalid Kerchiev (Västerås BK), falling 8-0. But Porter rebounded quite nicely in the consolation round, getting by Kristian Karolak (BK Athén) 12-4.
2016 Klippan Cup Notes
- USA finished in second place behind Huddinge BK.
- High schoolers Martinez and Alston Nutter (NMU-OTS) each had their moments. Nutter went up a weight class to 66 kilograms and acquitted himself quite well in the process, going 2-2. He was defeated in his last match by 2016 University National champion Austin Morrow.
- Morrow himself went 2-2.
- Corey Fitzgerald (NMU-OTS), who took a silver at the Eduardo Campbell Cup a few weeks ago, finished 1-2 on the day.
- Kendrick Sanders (NYAC-OTS) did not compete.