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Russians plan to put talented squad on mat against United States team in Chicago Cup



They have been one of the most dominant countries on the planet in terms of success at the Olympic and World level in freestyle wrestling.

So when a team of Russians travels to the U.S. to face a team of Americans in the Chicago Cup, it is a fairly safe assumption they aren't flying halfway around the globe to lose.

The Russian team is loaded with wrestlers who have excelled internationally, including a number of young stars on the rise.

The Russian team is led by veteran Zaur Botaev, a 2002 World Bronze Medalist who also was a Junior World Champion and Cadet World Champion. Botaev competes at 74 kg/163 lbs. Teammate Shamil Batirov (66 kg/145.5 lbs.) was a 2005 Junior World Champion while Ali Isaev (84 kg/185 lbs.) was a 2006 World University Champion.

The dual meet is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007 at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Ill. There also will be a pair of Greco-Roman matches in addition to a pair of women's freestyle matches.

Tickets to the event are free. In order to gain admittance to McGaw Hall/Welsh-Ryan Arena, fans must call the ticketing number and reserve their complimentary ticket. For further information and tickets, contact Kate Cox at 866-860-3234 or contact: chicagocuptickets@jtpr.com

Also for Russia, Adam Batirov (60 kg/132 lbs.) placed second at the 2003 Junior World Championships while Rustam Agaev (96 kg/211.5 lbs.) was fifth in the 2004 Olympics. Heavyweight Aleksey Voronin was second in the 2005 World University Championships. Ramazan Saritov (60 kg/132 lbs.) won the Henri Deglane Challenge and Uzbekistan Cup in 2006.

The team from Russia also is expected to compete at the Dave Schultz Memorial International Open on Feb. 8-10 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Six of the seven members of the 2006 U.S. World Team are scheduled to compete, including World Silver Medalist Mike Zadick at 60 kg/132 lbs. and World Bronze Medalists Sammie Henson (55 kg/121 lbs.) and Donny Pritzlaff (74 kg/163 lbs.). Also on the team are 2006 World Team members Andy Hrovat (84 kg/185 lbs.), Daniel Cormier (96 kg/211.5 lbs.) and Tolly Thompson (120 kg/264.5 lbs.).

Henson is a past World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist. Thompson is a past World Bronze Medalist.

"This event will showcase America's top wrestlers in heated competition against the best wrestlers in the World," said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling's Executive Director. "Fireworks are sure to fly as the athletes attempt to establish themselves on the World's elite stage."

2006 World Bronze Medalists Lindsey Durlacher (55 kg/121 lbs.) and Harry Lester (66 kg/145.5 lbs.) of the U.S. are scheduled to compete in Greco-Roman bouts against athletes from China.

Lester is scheduled to meet 2006 World Champion Yanyan Li of China, who won the World title last September in Guangzhou, China. Durlacher is scheduled to face Shujin Li of China, who competed in the 2005 World Championships but did not place in the top 10.

Olympic Silver Medalist Sara McMann (63 kg/138.75 lbs.) and 2006 World Team member Mary Kelly (48 kg/105.5) of the U.S. are scheduled to compete in women's freestyle matches against wrestlers from Canada.

McMann is scheduled to face Megan Dolan of Canada. Dolan placed 13th in the 2006 World Championships. Kelly is scheduled to face Carol Huynh of Canada. Huynh is a past World Silver Medalist and placed fifth at the 2006 World Championships.

The event is sponsored by USA Wrestling in alliance with World Sport Chicago, the group that is bidding to host the 2016 Olympics.

CHICAGO CUP - USA VS. RUSSIA DUAL MEET

7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007, Welsh-Ryan Arena, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

RUSSIA FREESTYLE LINEUP

55 kg/121 lbs. - Osip Mikhailov
60 kg/132 lbs. - Adam Batirov
60 kg/132 lbs. - Ramazan Saritov
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Shamil Batirov
74 kg/163 lbs. - Chamsulvara Chamsulvaraev
74 kg/163 lbs. - Zaur Botaev
84 kg/185 lbs. - Murad Gadzhimuradov
84 kg/185 lbs. - Ali Isaev
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Tokhtar Temrezov
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Rustam Agaev
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Aleksey Voronin
Coach - Tamazi Kelekhsaev, David Musul'bes, Alan Bestaev, Valeri Tedeev, Kerim Sungurov, Eduard Dzhioev, Stanislav Tshovrebov, Andrey Vaneev, Alkhaz Choctchaev, Alan Kaziev, Murad Ibragimov, Sirazhid El Darov

U.S. FREESTYLE LINEUP

55 kg/121 lbs. - Sammie Henson, Flintstone, Ga. (Sunkist Kids)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Mike Zadick, Solon, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Jared Frayer, Cambridge, Mass. (Gator WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Donny Pritzlaff, Madison, Wis. (New York AC)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
Coaches - Kevin Jackson, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Sean Bormet, Naperville, Ill.

U.S. GRECO-ROMAN PARTICIPANTS

55 kg/121 lbs. - Lindsey Durlacher, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Harry Lester, Akron, Ohio (USOEC/Gator WC)
Coach - Ivan Ivanov, Marquette, Mich.

CHINA GRECO-ROMAN PARTICIPANTS
60 kg/132 lbs. - Shujin Li
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Yanyan Li

U.S. WOMEN'S FREESTYLE PARTICIPANTS

48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Mary Kelly, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Sara McMann, Iowa City, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
Coach - Bill Scherr, Glenview, Ill.

CANADA WOMEN'S FREESTYLE PARTICIPANTS
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Carol Huynh
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Megan Dolan
Coach - Leigh Vierling

Lineups are tentative and subject to change.
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