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Greco-Roman session 1: Lindland and Lowney open with victories, Bracken splits a pair of bouts, Mays



The U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team opened its Olympic action with four athletes competing during the first session on Sunday, Sept. 24th at the wrestling venue (Halls 1 & 2) at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour. Winning their opening bouts were Matt Lindland of Lincoln, Neb. at 76 kg/167.5 lbs. and Garrett Lowney of Appleton, Wis. at 97 kg/213.75 lbs. Kevin Bracken of Chicago, Ill. had a victory and a loss at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Steven Mays of Pensacola, Fla. opened with a pair of losses at 54 kg/119 lbs. Lindland won his first match, a solid 3-0 win over Tarieli Melalashvili of Georgia. Lindland scored the bout's first point on a lift from the top at the 2:03 mark, then added a key two-point gutwrench at the 2:22 mark. No points were scored in the second period. Lowney won a 2-0 overtime referee's decision over Marek Svec of Czech Republic, the 1998 World silver medalist. Lowney got a caution and one point against Svec during the clinch starting the second period. Lowney also added an escape later in the second period. There were no points in overtime, but Lowney controlled the action and was clearly in better condition. His next pool match, in the evening session, will be against five-time World Champion Gogui Koguouachvili of Russia. Bracken won his first match 12-5 against Choi Sang-Sun of Korea. Trailing 3-0, Bracken hit a five point throw at the 1:59 mark, plus an extra one point for holding the opponent on his back, then never trailed. After the Korean lauched a second period comeback, Bracken scored a two point reversal and a hold to put the match away. Later in the session, Bracken lost to Riccardo Magni of Italy by a 2-2 overtime referee's decision. Bracken scored the first point on a takedown in the first period, then added an escape for a 2-0 lead at the break. Magni scored two-point turn in overtime. Mays opened with a loss, falling by technical fall, 10-0, to Uran Kalilov of Uzbekistan. It was close most of the bout, with Kalilov leading 2-0 at the mid break. Mays tried to force the action late, and gave up the final seven points on a pair of exposures in the final minute of the match. In his second pool match, Mays lost a 11-0 technical fall to 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Andriy Kalashnikov of Ukraine. Kalashnikov was able to get a number of takedowns to exposure, and finished the bout off at the 2:29 mark. Lindland will have two matches in the 5:00 p.m. session. Mays and Lowney wrestle once, and Bracken will not compete at the session. All eight members of the U.S. Greco-Roman team are competing in their first Olympic Games. Weigh-ins and draws for the other four weight classes will be held later today. They include Jim Gruenwald of Colorado Springs, Colo. at 58 kg/127.75 lbs., Heath Sims of Huntington Beach, Calif. at 69 kg/152 lbs., Quincey Clark of New Brighton, Minn. at 85 kg/187.25 lbs. and Rulon Gardner of Afton, Wyo. at 130 kg/286 lbs. U.S. results Sunday, September 24, 9:30 a.m. session 54 kg/119 lbs. - Steven Mays, Pensacola, Fla. (U.S. Navy) lost by tech. fall to Uran Kalilov (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0, 6:00 lost by tech. Fall to Andriy Kalashnikov (Ukraine), 11-0, 2:29 63 kg/137.75 lbs. - Kevin Bracken, Chicago, Ill. (New York AC) dec. Choi Sang-Sun (Korea), 12-5 lost by ref. dec. to Riccardo Magni (Italy), 2-2, ot, 9:00 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tarieli Melalashvili (Georgia), 3-0 97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Garrett Lowney, Appleton, Wis. (Minnesota Storm) won by ref. dec. over Marek Svec (Czech Republic), 2-0, ot, 9:00
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