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|Scott, Dlagnev to wrestle for bronze, Herbert needs two wins for bronze at Olympics|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
American Coleman Scott will wrestle for an Olympic bronze medal on Saturday night. Larry Slater photo.
LONDON – The U.S. bolted out to a fast start a day after Jordan Burroughs won a gold medal, but three Americans will now hope to battle back for bronze medals at the Olympic Games.
Americans Coleman Scott and Tervel Dlagnev will wrestle for bronze medals on Saturday night after suffering semifinals losses in freestyle wrestling before a sellout crowd of 6,500 fans at ExCeL North Arena 2.
Teammate Jake Herbert needs two wins to earn bronze after dropping a controversial decision to Azerbaijan’s Sharif Sharifov in the quarterfinals.
“We can’t do anything about what happened in the first session now,” U.S. assistant coach Sean Bormet said. “We have to come back strong tonight.”
The repechage is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. (12:45 p.m. Eastern Time) in London, with the medal matches to follow.
Scott and Dlagnev will wait for the winners of the repechage wrestlebacks to see who they face in the bronze-medal bouts. Dlagnev won a World bronze medal in 2009. Scott and Dlagnev are competing in their first Olympics.
Scott will face the winner between Japan’s Kenichi Yumoto and Germany’s Tim Schleicher for bronze at 60 kg/132 lbs. Scott beat Yumoto, a 2011 World bronze medalist, in the World Cup this year.
Dlagnev will face either Iran’s Komeil Ghasemi or Germany’s Nick Matuhi for bronze at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. He also is competing in his first Olympics.
Herbert fell in the quarterfinals, but was pulled back in for the repechage at 84 kg/185 lbs. after Sharifov made the finals. Herbert will face Turkey’s Ibrahim Bolukasi in the repechage. The winner will face Iran’s Ehsan Lashgari for the bronze.
Scott dropped his semifinal bout to past World silver medalist Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan. Asgarov won 1-0, 4-0 at 60 kg/132 lbs. The second period was scoreless before Scott shot in on a leg attack late in the period.
Scott nearly scored before the Azerbaijan wrestler countered and gained a takedown and two points for exposure. The U.S. challenged the call, but the protest was denied.
Scott pinned World fifth-place finisher Malkhaz Zarkua of Georgia in the second period of the quarterfinals. Scott shot in on a low ankle for a first-period takedown and then took charge by powering in on a shot in the second period that produced three points with exposure.
Down 4-0, Zarkua tried a desperation throw but Scott countered and planted the Georgian on his back for a dramatic fall.
Scott opened by sweeping Korea’s Seung-Chul Lee 3-0, 3-0. Scott finished in the leg clinch to win the first period as he exposed Lee’s shoulders as he drove him off the mat. Scott then defended in the clinch by stepping over Lee in the second period. Scott exposed Lee’s back and gained an additional point after Korea’s challenge was denied.
Herbert suffered a controversial quarterfinal loss to Sharifov, a 2011 World champion. Sharifov won the first period 4-1 before shooting in on a double-leg attack in the second.
Herbert countered and flipped Sharifov through onto his back, and the referee signaled three points to Herbert. The action continued and another flurry followed where Sharifov appeared to have exposed Herbert’s back to the mat.
After that exchange, no points were put on the scoreboard and the U.S. challenged the call. After a pair of reviews, Sharifov was given six points and Herbert none in the two exchanges although the jury initially gave Herbert three. The jury is supposed to have the final say in those situations.
Those rulings gave Sharifov the win by technical fall 6-0, with just 43 seconds elapsed in the two-minute period.
“It all happened so fast,” Bormet said. “We were trying to get clarification on the score at first. It seemed like the officials went back and forth on what the points would be.
“There is nothing you can do about it. It’s hard because they didn’t have the score on the board. It’s disappointing. It looked like Jake had the momentum and took his opponent over for three points, but the refs don’t always see it the way we do. We thought it should have been 3-2 in favor of us.”
U.S. coach Zeke Jones was given a yellow card, considered a warning in international wrestling, for disputing the call.
Herbert had beaten Sharifov in the 2009 Worlds en route to winning a silver medal.
Herbert dropped the first period before topping Cuba’s Humberto Arencibia 1-4, 8-0, 1-1 in the first round. Herbert powered in on a leg attack and finished for a takedown with 11 seconds left in the third period. He won the period by virtue of scoring last.
Dlagnev fell to 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan in the semifinals. Taymazov, who lost to Dlagnev in the 2011 World quarterfinals, locked up a near-side cradle to record the fall with 10 seconds left in the first period. The fall was called even though one of Dlagnev’s shoulder blades appeared to be off the mat. Falls can’t be challenged at the international level.
“It’s real disappointing,” U.S. Olympic coach Lou Rosselli said. “If that match would’ve continued, I think Tervel would’ve won. Obviously, he’s very disappointed, but it won’t be hard to get him pumped up to win a bronze medal tonight.”
Dlagnev scored a huge win in the quarterfinals when he controlled 2011 World champion Alexei Shemarov of Belarus 2-0, 3-1. Dlagnev was effective with his leg attacks in avenging a loss to Shemarov from the semifinals of the 2011 Worlds.
Dlagnev opened by sweeping Egypt’s Eldesoky Shaban 6-2, 1-0.
Puerto Rico’s Jaime Espinal, who trains at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club in State College, Pa., advanced to the finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. Penn State assistant coach Cody Sanderson is in Espinal’s corner for this event.
Puerto Rico’s Franklin Gomez, a past NCAA champion for Michigan State, dropped a tough three-period match to four-time World champion Besik Kudukhov of Russia. Kudukhov beat Gomez in the finals of the 2011 Worlds.
Kudukhov fought off a leg attack by Gomez late in the match and then fired in to gain a takedown of his own in the final seconds. Gomez will have an opportunity to wrestle back after Kudukov made the finals.
The finale of the eight-day Olympic wrestling tournament is scheduled for Sunday at the ExCeL Center. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. Eastern Time) in London. Fans can watch a live webcast of the event on nbcolympics.com.
American freestyle wrestlers Jared Frayer (Norman, Okla./Gator WC) and Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) are scheduled to compete on Sunday. Frayer wrestles at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Varner competes at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Frayer and Varner are competing in their first Olympic Games. Varner won a World bronze medal last year.
ExCeL Center, London, England
60 kg/132 lbs.
Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan) vs. Besik Kudukhov (Russia)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Jaime Espinal (Puerto Rico) vs. Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan) vs. David Madzmanashvili (Georgia)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Coleman Scott, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC)
WIN Seung-Chul Lee (Korea), 3-0, 3-0
WIN Malkhaz Zarkua (Georgia), 1-0, fall 1:29
LOSS Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan), 0-1, 0-4
84 kg/185 lbs. – Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC)
WIN Humberto Arencibia (Cuba), 1-4, 8-0, 1-1
LOSS Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan), 1-4, 0-6
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids)
WIN Eldesoky Shaban (Egypt), 6-2, 1-0
WIN Alexei Shemarov (Belarus), 2-0, 3-1
LOSS Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan), fall 1:50