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|Smith, Rossetti win bronze medals in Junior International in Bulgaria|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
SOFIA, BULGARIA - A pair of U.S. wrestlers claimed bronze medals at the Petko Sirakov - Ivan Iliev International, a major Junior Greco-Roman tournament held March 10-11.
The U.S. bronze medalists were Michael Rossetti (Pennsylvania/USOEC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Robbie Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
The U.S. team was a mix of athletes from the FILA Junior level (ages 17-20), including athletes from the U.S. Olympic Education Center program at Northern Michigan Univ., plus some other talented FILA Junior athletes selected to participate.
Rossetti won his bronze-medal match against an opponent from Bulgaria. More information will be provided when available.
Smith, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., had a 3-1 record, with his only loss in the semifinals. He defeated Todor Mihov of Bulgaria, 0-4, 1-1, 2-1 in the bronze-medal match.
Two U.S. wrestlers placed fifth after dropping bronze medal matches, high school star Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon WC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and- Jake Swenson (Moroni, Utah/USOEC) at 60 kg/132 lbs.
"Robbie Smith wrestled awesome," said USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson. "We could see from this event how he stacks up against the other top Juniors in the world. He had four quality matches. He lost to the Russian in the semifinals, when he made a few mistakes. He beat one of the best Bulgarians in the bronze-medal match. He wrestled smart. He has a legitimate shot at winning a Junior World medal this year. Now he knows how he stacks up against them."
"Mike Rossetti is one of Ivan Ivanov's newest kids at Northern Michigan. He did a nice job. He lost to a Polish wrestler in the semifinals, but he beat a tough Bulgarian in the bronze-medal match. We can now see how he stacks up against the top foreign wrestlers. The guys who placed fifth (Grajales, Swenson) also did a good job," said Anderson.
Anderson was pleased with the effort of the team, and also felt the tour was very important in developing a strong Junior World Team this year.
"Overall, we looked good. A few of the coaches from other nations said we wrestled strong and they liked our American fight. We were able to bring some of our best FILA Juniors to this event. If we continue to get more of these competitions, we will do well at the Junior World level," said Anderson.
PETKO SIRAKOV - IVAN ILIEV JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL
At Sofia, Bulgaria, March 10-11
(second day results currently unavailable for 55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg)
50 kg/110 lbs.
Gold - Babken Karapetyan (Armenia)
Silver - Tekin Ferhat (Turkey)
Bronze - Zurab Macharashvili (Georgia)
Bronze - Anton Bairaktarov (Bulgaria)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Lasha Lolashvili (Georgia)
Silver - Ugurlu Asamet (Turkey)
Bronze - Vahram Khachatryan (Armenia)
Btonze - Ilhan Mumunov (Bulgaria)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Nikolai Bairiakov (Bulgaria)
Silver - Denis Boldyrev (Russia)
Bronze - Aram Stepanyan (Armenia)
Bronze - Damian Janikowski (Poland)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Ahmet Tachylidiz (Turkey)
Silver - Zaur Kodoev (Russia)
Bronze - Robbie Smith (USA)
Bronze - Soso Jabidze (Georgia)
(incomplete results at 55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Eric Grajales, Brandon, Fla. (Brandon WC), 5th
Bronze medal match - lost to Turkish opponent
60 kg/132 lbs. - Jake Swenson, Moroni, Utah (USOEC), 5th
LOSS Lasha Lolashvili (Georgia), 0-5, 0-5
WIN Damian Mazur (Poland), 9-8. 5-0
WIN Zolty Berku (Romania), pin
LOSS Ilhan Mumunov (Bulgaria), 3-3, 3-9
60 kg/132 lbs. - Bo Beckman, Utah, dnp
LOSS Ramil Mamedov (Russia), 2-5, 0-2
60 kg/132 lbs. - Ryan Hall
LOSS Vahram Khachatryan (Armenia), 0-8, 0-6
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - John Dibala, Silverton Ore. (USOEC), dnp
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Ben Provisor, Stevens Point, Wis., dnp
74 kg/163 lbs. - Talon Knox, Salt Lake City, Utah (USOEC), dnp
LOSS Shaban Karatash (Turkey), 0-7, 1-1
74 kg/163 lbs. - John Kent
LOSS Emrah Kush (Turkey), 0-3, 0-6
84 kg/185 lbs. - Mike Rossetti, Pennsylvania (USOEC), 3rd
Bronze medal match - WIN over Bulgarian opponent
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Robbie Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Dimitar Stefanov (Bulgaria), 7-0, 7-0
WIN Vladimer Karchava (Georgia), 3-0, 4-2
LOSS Zaur Kodoev (Russia), 0-6, 3-3
WIN Todor Mihov (Bulgaria), 0-4, 1-1, 2-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs - Panagiotys Gounaridis (USOEC)
LOSS Vladimer Karchava (Georgia), 6-0, pin 2nd period