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UPDATE: Coleman wins bronze, Erickson is fifth at Junior World Championships in Greco-Roman
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) claimed a bronze medal for the second straight year in Greco-Roman at the FILA Junior World Championships on Wednesday.

He defeated hometown favorite Florin Mocanu of Romania for the bronze, 1-0, 6-0 at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Coleman won the first period on a stepout, then scored a technical fall in the second period to seal the victory.

Coleman opened with three straight wins. He beat Akreme Boudjemline of Algeria by technical fall then stopped Sachino Davitaia of Georgia in two straight periods.

He scored a come-from-behind win over Mehdi Chooli Zeidvand of Iran in three periods, 3-5, 4-0, 1-0. He hit his famous flying squirrel move in the first period for three points, although he didn’t win the period. He came back strong, controlling the next two periods for the clutch win.

He was edged in the semifinals by Ion Luchita of Moldova, 0-1, 0-1, which placed him in his bronze-medal bout.

“I was just finishing strong. I had a bad performance in my semifinals match. It was about finishing strong and getting a medal, similar to last year,” said Coleman.

Coleman missed much of the year with an injury and had to compete in a Special Wrestleoff in July in order to make the team.

“I feel I wrestled well for the most part. With my muscular endurance, I was getting tired, not during my matches but after my matches. I couldn’t recover quickly. As it went on, it got tougher and tougher. I was trying to keep pushing and do what I could do. I haven’t been on the mat a long time. I don’t have the muscular endurance I usually have,” said Coleman.

This is the last year which Coleman is eligible to compete at this level. FILA Juniors are athletes who are 17-20 years old. Many of the athletes who are successful at the Junior World Championships go on to win World and Olympic medals for their nations.

At 120 kg/264.5 lbs., Toby Erickson (East Helena, Montana/Bronco WC) placed fifth.

Erickson was defeated by Kiryl Hryshchanka of Belarus in the bronze-medal bout, 0-1, 0-3.

He was defeated in the first round by Babak Dezhbani Imchech of Iran. When Deshbani reached the finals, Erickson was eligible for the repechage rounds, where he beat Wenqui Wu of China, 1-0, 2-2 to qualify for the bronze-medal round.

“The experience was like none other,” said Erickson. “I wrestled two of the toughest guys in the world. I think I am right there with them. I am making a change to go just Greco, so I can take it a step up. I’ve never trained Greco year round. I am ecstatic to see how I will do when I really get trained in it.”

The other two U.S. wrestlers on Wednesday were defeated and did not get drawn back into the repechage: Mike Fuenffinger (Hibbing, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Joel Bauman (Kerkhoven, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Fuenffinger won his first match then was defeated in the second round. Bauman was beaten in his opening match. When the opponents who beat them did not reach the finals, they were not eligible for the repechage.

The Greco-Roman competition concluded on Wednesday. Women’s freestyle is next, with competition Thursday and Friday.

The United States finished in a tie for 14th with Belarus, with 14 points. Georgia was first with 49 points, followed by Azerbaijan in second with 38 points and Russia in third with 36 points.

“We are still improving, still climbing,” said National Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson. “We need to get guys on the team with more international experience. We have to get them over here for more experience. We need funding to get our guys here more.”

At Bucharest, Romania, July 27

55 kg/121 lbs.
1 Narek Khachartryan (Armenia)
2 Saman Morad Abdouli (Iran)
3 Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan)
3 Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan)
5 Tomoaki Nakano (Japan)
5 Nurlybek Mukhanbetalin (Kazakhstan)
7 Nikolay Ivanov Vichev (Bulgaria)
8 Chang-Jong Lee (Korea)
9 Ramunas Dagys (Lithuania)
10 Robert Daniel Andreca (Romania)

66 kg/121 lbs.
1 Chingiz Labazanov (Russia)
2 Ion Luchita (Moldova)
3 Ellis Coleman (USA)
3 Rasul Chunayev (Azerbaijan)
5 Florin Mocanu (Romania)
5 Yaraslau Kardash (Belarus)
7 Yeon Tak Yoo (Korea)
8 Mehdi Chooli Zeidvand (Iran)
9 Esengeldi Kozhobek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)
10 Benedikt Puffer (Austria)

84 kg/185 lbs.
1 Revazi Nadareishvili (Georgia)
2 Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine)
3 Aslan Atem (Turkey)
3 Stanislav Kanchev Kanev (Bulgaria)
5 Majid Abbas Aliyarifeizabadi (Iran)
5 Balint Farkas (Hungary)
7 Julius Matuzevicius (Lithuania)
8 Ruslan Kamilov (Uzbekistan)
9 Tadeusz Michalik (Poland)
10 Attila Gheza Tamas (Romania)

120 kg/264.5 lbs
1 Shota Gogisvanidze (Georgia)
2 Babak Dezhbani (Iran)
3 Igor Didyk (Ukraine)
3 Kiryl Hryshchanka (Belarus)
5 Aslan Dzebisov (Azerbaijan)
5 Toby Erickson (USA)
7 Wenqi Wu (China)
8 Bálint Lam (Hungary)
9 Vasily Parshin (Russia)
10 Eduard Popp (Germany)

U.S. Greco-Roman performances

55 kg/121 lbs. – Mike Fuenffinger, Hibbing, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), dnp/12th
WIN Denis Menekse (Germany), 4-1, 2-0
LOSS Nurlybek Mukhanbetalin (Kazakhstan), 1-4, 0-8

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Akreme Boudjemline (Algeria), 7-0, 7-0
WIN Sachino Davitaia (Georgia), 2-0, 1-0
WIN Mehdi Chooli Zeidvand (Iran), 3-5, 4-0, 1-0
LOSS Ion Luchita (Moldova), 0-1, 0-1
WIN Florin Mocanu (Romania), 1-0, 6-0

84 kg/185 lbs. – Joel Bauman, Kerkhoven, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), dnp/25th
LOSS Ruslan Kamilov (Uzbekistan), 0-3, 0-3

120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Toby Erickson, East Helena, Montana (Bronco WC), 5th
LOSS Babak Dezhbani Imchech (Iran), 0-3, 0-1
WIN Wenqui Wu (China), 1-0, 2-2
LOSS Kiryl Hryshchanka (Belarus), 0-1, 0-3

Team Standings
1. Georgia, 49
2. Azerbaijan, 38
3. Russia, 36
4. Iran, 35
5. Armenia, 33
6. Turkey, 31
7. Uzbekistan, 23
8. Poland, 19
9. Ukraine, 17
9. Hungary, 17
11. Kazakhstan, 15
11. Moldova, 15
11. Kyrgyzstan, 15
14. Belarus, 14
14. United States, 14
16. Bulgaria, 12
16. China, 12
18. Sweden, 10
19. Romania, 8
20. Germany, 7
20. Korea, 7
22. Japan, 6
22. Lithuania, 6
24. Mexico, 4
24. Norway, 4
24. Austria, 4
27. Finland, 3
28. Israel, 1
28. Turkmenistan, 1

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