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|USA freestyle quotes following bronze medal matches at the World Championsips|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
"It was an up and down day. My goal was to win. I think the Turk will win tonight. I was a good match. We scrapped. It paid off. I won the bronze and he is in the finals. It is tough waiting. You are so down. I had three tough guys to go through. The Ukrainian was talented. The Romanian beat the Olympic champion earlier today."
"I talked to coach Jackson forever after my loss. I watched movies. I took a nap. You don't know you are in until the semifinals are over. I could be in the sauna right now, licking my wounds."
"Winning in high pressure situation is what our sport is all about. To go out and win under pressure, that is what we wrestle for."
"We are a tight team. We spent all summer training together. Team USA is tight. We didn't get the outcome we wanted, but we support each other."
"I lost my grandfather Alvin Thompson in May. I'd like to dedicate this to him."
U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach Mike Duroe
"I am extremely proud of Tolly Thompson. He showed a lot of heart. The USA should be proud of him. It shows a lot of character. It was the second USA/Russia showdown of the tournament. That was a big win for us."
"You wait all day to see if your opponent gets into the finals. It went down to the last second, when the Turk scored on the Russian and won. The Turk willed himself to beat the Russian. Then you have three matches like that, a good Ukrainian, a good Romanian and a good Russian. That is the ultimate, besides of course winning the gold medal. We came over expecting to wrestle. We had to wait two rounds. Once the Turk won his first match, Tolly was already warming up. The Ukrainian was not ready to wrestle hard, but Tolly was ready. He got on a roll. Conditioning was a big factor for him. He was in the best shape of his life. It paid off. He had to be in great shape to win the bronze."
U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach Joe Seay
"With the team performance we had, for Tolly to come back and win three in a row, that was great. That is how you should wrestle. He dominated three of the best heavyweights in the world. He had to do it in a short time. That is exactly how you have to wrestle with these new rules. It doesn't get any better than this. That heavyweight class was loaded. Now he knows what he can do. It may give us another two or three years with Tolly. We need people who can wrestle with the pressure on. It doesn't get any more intense than this. He was just what we needed right now."
USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson
"Tolly got a second chance for a medal. You don't get many second chances in this game. He had to take advantage of it."
48 kg/105.5 lbs. -Jenny Wong, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
"I knew coming in that the Japanese wrestler is always technical and tough. I would have to bring my game. Unfortunately, it wasn't all there. This is unacceptable to me and it makes me even more motivated for next year."
"It was different making weight at 105 pounds in a different country. Besides that, it pretty much like any other overseas tournament, except it is so much bigger. With this bracketing system, it is difficult for wrestlers who are go-getters, as it is hard to put your own destiny in someone else's hands. But, on the same page, it was in my hands to begin with but I gave that up."
U.S. Women's World Team Coach Bill Scherr
"I thought we had opportunities. Jenny is still trying to find out how good she really is. She is better than she showed against the Japanese wrestler. She will learn that she can win against athletes at this level. Her competition was solid. She was there with the Japanese opponent in the second period. The Japanese girl was very prepared. Jen was getting beat in her own technical positions. She did get it going in the second period, but it was too little too late."
"Stephanie wrestled well. The Canadian girl was a good competitor. She went hard against Stephanie. We got turned off in our offense position in the second period, and lost that period. We got a leg and had a chance to score in the third period, but we were not able to finish it. If Stephanie continues, she will have an opportunity again. She knows what intensity level she needs to compete. We will see how she does. In that match, the Canadian girl was more intense in the third period at the end. Stephanie is as good technically as anyone. Her intensity is the missing part."