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Holm, Wechter storm into finals as Dave Schultz Memorial International kicks off



Jordan Holm (in red) battles for an edge in the semifinals on Thursday. John Sachs photo.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Whatever Jordan Holm and John Wechter are doing in the practice room is certainly paying off.

The training partners from the Minnesota Storm advanced to the Dave Schultz Memorial International finals in Greco-Roman wrestling on Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Holm, 31, second in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, downed Alkhazur Ozdiyev of Kazakhstan 1-0, 1-0 in the semifinals.

“This is really good competition,” Holm said. “It’s a great tournament for the U.S. to host. I definitely hope to wrestle in Budapest this year and compete for a World medal. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to wrestle in these international tournaments and sharpen and improve. Everything is going well.”

Holm was scheduled to face Danyal Gajiyev of Kazakhstan in the finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. But the Kazakhstan wrestler will forfeit the match because of injury. Holm wins his first Schultz title.

Wechter, 32, who is doing his residency as an orthopedic surgeon, beat American Caylor Williams 1-0, 5-2 in the semifinals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Wechter advances to face Vilius Laurinaitis of Lithuania in the finals.

“I’ve been working a lot with Jordan Holm and (Coach) Dan Chandler in Minneapolis,” Wechter said. “The thing we really work on is being solid on our feet and solid on the mat and not giving away stupid points. I’m just trying to stay in good position out there.”

The finals are set for approximately 5 p.m.

One of the best finals matchups will feature two of the top heavyweights in the World.

2012 Olympic bronze medalist Johan Euren of Sweden will battle 2011 World bronze medalist Nurmakhan Tinaliyev of Kazakhstan in the finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Euren is looking for his second Schultz title. He won this event in 2011.

Joe Betterman, a three-time Dave Schultz Memorial champion, fell in the first round to China’s Wan Feihu at 60 kg/132 lbs. Feihu prevailed 0-2, 5-1, 7-0 en route to making the finals.

The second of three days of competition is set for Friday with freestyle wrestling taking place. First whistle is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Colorado Springs.

FINALS MATCHUPS

55 kg/121 lbs.
Nursultan Kalmurzaev (Kazakhstan) vs. Fan Awen (China)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Wan Feihu (China) vs. Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Yerbol Konyratov (Kazakhstan) vs. Wang Shihu (China)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Doszhan Kartikov (Kazakhstan) vs. Sharur Vardanyan (Sweden)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Jordan Holm (Minnesota Storm) vs. Danyal Gajiyev (Kazakhstan)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
John Wechter (Minnesota Storm) vs. Vilius Laurinaitis (Lithuania)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Johan Euren (Sweden) vs. Nurmakhan Tinaliyev (Kazakhstan)
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