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|Vote for U.S. Grapplers in USOC Twitter poll for December athlete awards|
By Gary Abbott & Jason Bryant USA Wrestling
The U.S. Olympic Committee has announced its Twitter voting is now open for December Male & Female Athletes of the Month along with Team of the Month.
Fans are encouraged to vote and re-tweet the poll links.
Representing USA Wrestling are Grappling World Champions Kelly Anundson and Felicia Oh. The U.S. Grappling Team, who won both the Gi and No-Gi World Championships last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at the Grappling World Championships represents USA Wrestling as the Team of the Month.
Vote for Felicia Oh
Vote for Kelly Anundson
Vote for U.S. Grappling World Team
SportsMan of the Month for December 2009
Sport: Men's Grappling
Athlete: Kelly Anundson
Position: 120 kg/264.5 lbs. in Grappling
Anundson won two gold medals in No-Gi Grappling at the FILA Grappling World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 12-13. Grappling, also called submission wrestling, is recognized as a form of wrestling by the international wrestling federation FILA.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, Anundson won the 120 kg/264.5 lbs. title. He defeated U.S. teammate Brandon Ruiz (West Jordan, Utah/Grappler's Edge) in the finals, 4-0. He had three straight wins to claim the title, with wins over Kenny Lester of the USA and Srdjan Klisaric of Serbia.
On Sunday, Dec. 13, Anundson won the Open division for men in No-Gi Grappling, a division in which athletes from all weight classes were eligible to enter. In the finals, he defeated U.S. teammate Mario Rinaldi (Port St. Lucia, Fla./American Top Team), 2-1, in overtime. He won four matches on the way to the title, including victories over athletes from Canada, Serbia and Senegal.
SportsWoman of the Month for December 2009
Sport: Women's Grappling
Athlete: Felicia Oh
Position: 50 kg/110 lbs. in women's Grappling
Oh won a pair of gold medals at the FILA Grappling World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 12-13. Grappling, also called submission wrestling, is recognized as a form of wrestling by the international wrestling federation FILA.
She captured the 50 kg/110 lbs. division in both the No-Gi and Gi divisions. On Saturday, Dec. 12, Oh won a four-athlete round-robin to capture the gold medal, winning two of her three matches. On Sunday, Dec. 13, she won a three-athlete round-robin, finishing with a 2-0 record. She was the only U.S. athlete in either the women's or men's divisions to win a World gold medal in both the No-Gi and Gi disciplines.
Team of the Month for December 2009
Team: 2009 U.S. Grappling World Team
The United States won the team title in all four divisions contested at the FILA Grappling World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 12-13. Grappling, also called submission wrestling, is recognized as a form of wrestling by the international wrestling federation FILA.
The United States won both the men's and women's divisions in No-Gi Grappling on Saturday, Dec. 12, then captured both the men's and women's divisions in Gi Grappling on Sunday, Dec. 13. The U.S. team was coached by USA Grappling National Coach Ricardo Liborio.
The U.S. dominated the No-Gi division, winning five of the six men's gold medals, and adding four of the five women's gold medals.
Winning men's No-Gi gold medals were Zachary Makovsky (Philadelphia, Pa./Philadelphia Fight Factory) at 60 kg/132 lbs., Tom LeCuyer (Plano, Ill./Atlas XT/Torres MA) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Ben Askren (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 84 kg/185 lbs., Raphael Davis (Lomita, Calif./Team Caique) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and Kelly Anundson (Columbia, S.C./Black Knight WC) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. It was the second straight year that Davis won the World title. Also, on the next day, Anundson won the No-Gi Open division, which included athletes of all weight classes. In total, the USA won 16 medals in men's No-Gi Grappling.
Winning women's No-Gi gold medals were Felicia Oh, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA) at 50 kg/110 lbs., Jessica Aguilar (Coconut Creek, Fla./American Top Team) at 59 kg/130 lbs., Sara McMann (Gaffney, S.C./Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Tori Adams (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 67 kg/147 lbs. McMann was a 2004 Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. The next day,
Adams won the gold medal in the Open division. In total, the USA won 12 medals in women's No-Gi Grappling.
In the Gi division, the USA also won the team title in both men and women's divisions. In men's Gi Grappling, the lone U.S. champion was Brian Peterson, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA) at 60 kg/132 lbs. In women's Gi Grappling, there were two individual gold medalists, Oh and Tara LaRosa (Woodstown, N.J./Philadelphia Fight Factory) at 59 kg/130 lbs. LaRosa also won the gold medal in the women's Gi Open division. In total, the U.S. won eight medals in men's Gi Grappling and nine medals in women's Gi Grappling.