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Reader wins gold medal on final day of Dan Kolov International in Bulgaria

The U.S. medalists at the Dan Kolov in Bulgaria pose together (l to r) Wynn Michalak (gold at 96 kg), Jake Varner (silver at 96 kg), Nick Marable (gold at 74 kg) and Jon Reader (gold at 84 kg). Photo by Bill Zadick

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria – Jon Reader (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) won a gold medal at 84 kg/185 lbs. on the final day of the Dan Kolov International on Sunday.

Reader, an NCAA champion for Iowa State as a collegian, had an impressive 5-0 record on his march to the title. Included was a gold-medal win over Namik Korkmaz of Turkey, 2-0, 0-1, 1-0.

“On the final day of the Dan Kolov, we had champion at 84 kg in Jon Reader. Jon displayed great composure in several tough matches. He wrestled hard maintaining superior position, no matter the score. He kept an offensive posture and gave his opponents very little opportunity. I'm happy for him, as he should be, in winning a tough and competitive tournament,” said Assistant National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick.

Reader opened with two-period sweeps over Stephane Marczinski of France, Ivan Yurukov of Bulgaria and Piotr Yanelov of Moldova. In the semifinals, he won the third period by technical fall to dispatch Maciej Balawender of Poland, 2-1, 0-1, 6-0.

Also competing at 84 kg/185 lbs. on Sunday was National Team member Keith Gavin (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC), who dropped his opening match to Serdar Boke of Turkey, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1. When Boke failed to reach the finals, Gavin was not eligible for the repechage rounds. Gavin was a NCAA champion for Pittsburgh.

During the men’s freestyle portion of the competition, the six-athlete U.S. team won four medals, including three gold medals.

Joining Reader as Dan Kolov champions were Nick Marable (Columbia, Mo./Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Wynn Michalak (Champaign, Ill./Titan Mercury WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Winning a silver medal was 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

“Team USA had solid performances; winning four medals, three gold and one silver. We reinforced to ourselves that Team USA can go to distant parts of the world and win at great competitions. I'm excited to continue developing many more champions for generations to come,” said Zadick.

The level of competition was outstanding all week, as competition was held in all three Olympic styles. In addition, the numerous teams competing bonded together behind the movement to Keep Wrestling In the Olympics.

“With the IOC recommendation earlier this week, a spirit of energy was among the wrestling community at the Dan Kolov in Bulgaria. I believe athletes, coaches and wrestling people came to display our great sport and fans were the big winners! The entire tournament was filled with excellent matches,” said Zadick.

At Plodiv, Bulgaria, February 17

Men’s freestyle results

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria)
Silver - Ryong Hak Hwang (North Korea)
Bronze - Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia)
Bronze - Ivan Guidea (Romania)
Bronze - Stefan Ivanov (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Tim Schleicher (Germany)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - Jon Reader (United States)
Silver - Namik Korkmaz (Turkey)
Bronze - Radoslaw Marcinkiewicz (Poland)
Bronze - Maciej Balawender (Poland)
5th - Piotr Yanulov (Moldova)
5th - Serdar Boke (Turkey)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Dimitar Kumchev (Bulgaria)
Silver - Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia)
Bronze - Gyuray Hamdiev (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Dragomir Stoychev (Bulgaria)
5th – Alexandr Romanov (Moldova)
5th - Antoine Jaoude (Brazil)

U.S. men’s freestyle performances

84 kg/185 lbs.- Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), Gold medal
WIN Stephane Marczinski (France) 4-0, 4-0
WIN Ivan Yurukov (Bulgaria) 2-0, 6-0
WIN Piotr Yanelov (Moldova) 1-0, 1-0
WIN Maciej Balawender (Poland) 2-1, 0-1, 6-0
WIN Namik Korkmaz (Turkey) 2-0, 0-1, 1-0

84 kg/185 lbs. - Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC), dnp
LOSS Serdar Boke (Turkey) 1-0, 0-1, 0-1
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