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|Three U.S. wrestlers win freestyle bronze medals at Golden Grand Prix Final in Azerbaijan|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Three U.S. wrestlers won bronze medals at the Golden Grand Prix final event in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 25.
Winning bronze medals were Sammie Henson (Flintstone, Ga./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Bill Zadick (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Mo Lawal (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Henson won his first match against Namig Sevdimov of Azerbaijan, 6-0, 2-0, but was defeated in his next bout by 2005 World silver medalist Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria, 3-1, 0-2, 0-6. Henson received a bye in the next round to capture the bronze.
Henson was a 1998 World champion and a 2000 Olympic silver medalist.
Zadick competed in a four-athlete round-robin, and finished with a 1-2 record to place third. He openend with a 1-1, 2-1, 4-5 loss to 2005 World champion Alan Dudaev of Russia. His second match was a victory over Askerov of Azerbaijan, 1-1, 2-0, 3-0. He dropped his final match to the eventual champion Andrey Sementzov of Russia, 0-1, 1-4.
Zadick was seventh in the 2001 World Championships and has qualified for the 2006 U.S. World Team.
Lawal was defeated in his opening match, losing to eventual champion Reza Yazdani of Iran, 1-0, 0-2, 0-1. Lawal won by forfeit in the wrestlebacks, which allowed him to receive a bronze medal.
Lawal was seventh at the 2005 World Championships.
Two Americans placed fifth, Donny Pritzlaff (Northport, N.Y./New York AC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and 2005 World bronze medalist Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Both finished with 0-2 records.
The other U.S. wrestler in the field, 2006 World Team Trials champion Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC) did not place, losing his only bout at 84 kg/185 lbs.
According to FILA, champions in each weight class in Azerbaijan earned $5,000 apiece with $3,000 awarded to each silver medalist and $1,000 apiece going to the two bronze medalists in each division.
"Our guys looked sluggish," said National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson. "That said, we made several mistakes to lose matches we should have won."
GOLDEN GRAND PRIX FINAL
At Baku, Azerbaijan, June 22-24
55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Dilshod Mansurov (Uzbekistan)
Silver - RadoslavVelikov (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Sam Henson (USA)
Bronze - Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Vusal Aliev (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Vasyl Fedoryshin (Ukraine)
Bronze - Murad (Iran)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Andrey Sementzov (Russia)
Silver - Alan Dudaev (Russia)
Bronze - Bill Zadick (USA)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Gela Sagirashvili (Georgia)
Silver - Arsen Gitinov (Russia)
Bronze - Sergei Kirilov (Russia)
Bronze - Oleg Belotserkovskiy (Ukraine)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - Reza Yazdani (Iran)
Silver - Taras Danko (Ukraine)
Bronze - Mo Lawal (USA)
Bronze - Nauruz Temrezov (Russia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Georgi Gogshelidze (Georgia)
Silver - Ali Reza Heidari (Iran)
Bronze - Nurzhan Kataev (Kazakhstan)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan)
Silver - Marid Mutalimov (Kazakhstan)
Bronze - Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia)
Bronze - Alex Modebadze (Georgia)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Sam Henson, Flintstone, Ga. (Sunkist Kids), 3rd place
WIN Namig Sevdimov (Azerbaijan), 6-0, 2-0
LOSS RadoslavVelikov (Bulgaria), 3-1, 0-2, 0-6
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 3rd place
LOSS Alan Dudaev (Russia), 1-1, 2-1, 4-5
WIN Askerov (Azerbaijan), 1-1, 2-0, 3-0
LOSS Andrey Sementzov (Russia), 0-1, 1-4
74 kg/163 lbs. - Donny Pritzlaff, Northport, N.Y. (New York AC), 5th place
LOSS Gela Sagirashvili (Georgia), 0-1, 1-2
LOSS Sergei Kirilov (Russia), 0-2, 2-2
84 kg/185 lbs. - Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC), dnp
LOSS Murat (Belarus), 1-2, 1-1, 0-2
84 kg/185 lbs - Mo Lawal, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 3rd place
LOSS Reza Yazdani (Iran), 1-0, 0-2, 0-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 5th place
LOSS Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan), 0-1, 0-6
LOSS Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia), 0-3, 3-0, 0-1