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Lowney qualifies for semifinals; Bracken beaten in quarterfinals; Gardner wins his first bout in mor



Five U.S. wrestlers were in action in the morning session on Monday Sept. 25 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour. Garrett Lowney (Appleton, Wis./Minnesota Storm) qualified for the semifinals at 97 kg/213.75 pounds. He won his quarterfinal match, defeating Genadi Chkhaidze of Georgia in a 2-0 overtime referee's decision. Lowney scored a point in regulation, and added an escape in overtime for the winning points. Lowney will battle 1993 and 1995 World Champion Mikael Ljungberg of Sweden in the semifinals in the 5:00 p.m. evening session. Lowney, at 20, is the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team in either style. The lowest that Lowney can place at the Olympics is fourth, with his hopes for the gold medal still alive. He will join Matt Lindland (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) in Monday night's semifinals. Lindland did not wrestle on Monday morning, after winning three bouts on Sunday. Lindland will face David Manukyan of Ukraine in his semifinal bout. In quarterfinal action, Kevin Bracken (Chicago, Ill./New York AC) lost a wild bout at 63 kg/138.75 pounds to Varteres Samourgachev of Russia. The final score ended at 11-5, even though the first period score was 1-0 in favor of the Russian. Bracken attempted a throw in the second period, which Samourgachev blocked and scored two points. Then, Bracken attempted an escape, but the Russian brought him down for two points. Bracken got his escape at 3:45, closing it to 5-1. Kevin opened up the pressure and got a three-point lift and exposure in 5:30, closing to 5-4. Bracken was penalized for jumping the whistle, a one-and-caution, making the score 6-4. Russia added two more for a turn at 5:45. Russia was cautioned and penalized for jumping at 5:47, making it 8-5. At the buzzer, the Russian hit a three-point throw, closing the bout at 11-5 The best that Bracken can now place is fifth at his weight class. Three U.S. wrestlers had their first match of their pool competition. The only to win was Rulon Gardner (Afton, Wyo./Sunkist Kids) at 286 pounds. Gardner defeated Omrane Ayari of Tunisia, 7-0. Gardner scored a two-point gutwrench in the first period, then added five more points in a dominant second stanza. Losing their opening bouts were Quincey Clark (New Brighton, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 85 kg/187.25 pounds and Heath Sims (Huntington Beach, Calif./Sunkist Kids) at 69 kg/152 pounds. Clark was defeated in his opening match by Luis Mendez of Cuba, the 1999 World Champion. Mendez scored all of his points in the first period, turning Clark with a trapped-arm gutwrench for two points, plus and additional point for the hold, then tilting him again. In the second period, Mendez held a strong defense against Clark's attacks. Sims dropped his opening bout, 3-0 to Ruslan Biktyakov of Uzbekistan. Sims was turned for a one-point gutwrench in the first period and another one-point gutwrench in the second period. Regulation ended at 2-0, and Biktyakov scored a one point takedown at the 7:45 mark for the 3-0 win. Jim Gruenwald of Colorado Springs, Colo. had a bye in the morning session at 58 kg/127.75 lbs. He will have two matches in the 5:00 p.m. session. U.S. results Monday, September 25, 9:30 am. session 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - James Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) Bye, no match this session 63 kg/137.75 lbs. - Kevin Bracken, Chicago, Ill. (New York AC) Quarterfinals - lost dec. to Varteres Samourgachev (Russia), 11-5 69 kg/152 lbs. - Heath Sims, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Dave Schultz WC) lost dec. to Ruslan Biktyakov (Uzbekistan), 3-0, ot, 7:45 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids) no match this session, already in semifinals 85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Quincey Clark, New Brighton, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) lost dec. to Luis Mendez (Cuba), 5-0 97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Garrett Lowney, Appleton, Wis. (Minnesota Storm) Quarterfinals - won by ref. dec. over Genadi Chkhaidze (Georgia), 2-0, ot, 9:00 130 kg/286 lbs. - Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Omrane Ayari (Tunisia), 7-0
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