Mittlestead wins Veterans World Greco-Roman gold for a double title, USA gets four medals on Friday

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

U.S. Veterans World Greco-Roman medalists on Friday: Charles Jones (silver), Eric Mittlestead (gold), Stephen Horton (bronze), Ben VomBaur (bronze) (Photo by Chris Brown)

LOUTRAKI, Greece – The first day of Greco-Roman at the 2023 Veterans World Championships featured competition in Group B and Group E on Friday. The United States earned four medals on the day, led by

individual gold medalist Eric Mittlestead of California (130 kg Div. E).

Mittlestead won a five-athlete round robin with a perfect 4-0 record, getting a pin, a technical fall, a decision and an injury default. Included was a 5-0 shutout over eventual silver medalist Asghar Marani of Iran.

With the victory, Mittlestead became a double champion at the 2023 Veterans Worlds, after also winning a freestyle gold medal on Tuesday. He was an NCAA Div. I All-American at Cal-State Bakerfield, and was a member of the Freestyle National Team.

Capturing a silver medal was Charles Jones of Nevada (100 kg Div. E). Jones qualified for the finals with an 8-0 technical fall over Bernard Bauer of Germany. In the finals, he was edged by Detlef John of Germany, 2-1.

Claiming bronze medals for Team USA were Stephen Horton of Texas (70 kg Div. E) and Ben VomBaur of Colorado (62 kg Div. B). Both won their second medal of the week, after capturing freestyle medals on Tuesday.

Horton opened with two victories, including a technical fall and a forfeit. After a tight 4-3 loss to Lars Dahl of Sweden, Horton was pulled back into repechage when Dahl reached the finals. Horton won his first repechage match with a 9-0 technical fall over Nurakhan Utepbergenov of Kazakhstan. He claimed the bronze medal by injury default when Domenico Piccinini of Italy could not compete. Horton won a silver medal in freestyle on Tuesday.

VomBaur won his bronze medal match with a 6-5 victory over Jarkko Wester of Sweden. His only loss came to eventual champion Claudiu Gavrila of Romania. VomBaur won a gold medal in freestyle on Tuesday.

The Greco-Roman competition continues on Saturday with action in Div. C and Div. D. Sunday will conclude with Greco-Roman competition in Div. A.

The Veterans World Championships are broadcast live on FloWrestling.

2023 Veterans World Championships

At Loutraki, Greece, October 20

Div. B Greco-Roman champions

62 kg – Claudiu Gavrila (Romania)

70 kg – Milan Maric (Serbia)

78 kg – Dumitru Popov (Moldova)

88 kg – Karam Gaber Ebrahim (Egypt)

100 kg – Peter Cseperkalo (Hungary)

130 kg – Leif Eddy Bengtsson (Sweden)

U.S. Div. B Greco-Roman results

62 kg – Ben VomBaur, Greeley, Colo., Bronze Medal

LOSS Claudiu Gavrila (Romania), tech fall 9-1

WIN Jarkko Wester (Sweden), 6-5

70 kg - James Ferguson, Omaha, Neb., 7th place

WIN Eric Caballero (USA), pin 0:48

LOSS Khalid Jafarov (Azerbaijan), tech fall 9-1

70 kg – Eric Caballero, Houston, Texas, 10th place

LOSS James Ferguson (USA), pin 0:48

78 kg – Andrei Stashonak, Brooklyn, N.Y., 5th place

WIN Juan Nel (South Africa), 5-1

WIN Efthymios Papageorgiou (Greece), tech fall 9-0

LOSS Dumitru Popov (Moldova), 5-1

LOSS Aake Kantola (Sweden), 3-1

78 kg – Joseph Uccelini, Troy, N.Y., 16th place

LOSS Nikola Jovanovic (Serbia), tech fall 9-0

88 kg - Jeremy Black, LaJolla, Calif.,  15th place

LOSS James Medeiros (USA), tech fall 8-0

88 kg - Gerald Harris II, Broken Arrow, Okla.., 9th place

WIN Nikolaos Spyridakis (Greece), 1-1

LOSS Vangel Vangelov (Bulgaria), 3-1

88 kg – Michael LeVanti, Schaumburg, Ill., 17th place

LOSS Karam Gaber Ebrahim (Egypt), tech fall 8-0

LOSS Evgenii Glazkov (Individual Neutral Athlete), 3-0

88 kg – James Medeiros, Granada Hills, Calif., 7th place

WIN Jeremy Black (USA), tech fall 8-0

WIN Ahmed Saleh (Egypt), 8-5

LOSS Huseyin Memi (Turkey), tech fall 9-0

Div. E Greco-Roman champions

62 kg – Terho Kettunen (Finland)

70 kg - Lars Dahl (Sweden)

78 kg – Jukka Saari (Finland)

88 kg – Gert Pettersson (Sweden)

100 kg – Detlef John (Germany)

130 kg – Eric Mittlestead (USA)

U.S. Div. E Greco-Roman  results

62 kg – Joseph Raia,, South Elgin, Ill.,

WIN Asadollah Jalali (Iran), 3-2

LOSS Vasil Atanasov (Bulgaria), tech fall 9-0

70 kg - Marc Cecconi, Waynesville, Ga., 15th place

LOSS Laszlo Bodai (Hungary), tech fall 8-0

70 kg - Stephen Horton, Cibolo, Texas, Bronze Medal

WIN Iunus Makhumov (Kyrgyzstan), tech fall 9-0

WIN Irian Baishekenov (Kazakhstan), forfeit

LOSS Lars Dahl (Sweden), 4-3

WIN Nurakhan Utepbergenov (Kazakhstan), tech fall 9-0

WIN Domenico Piccinini (Italy), inj. dft.

70 kg - Michael Madry, Saint Petersburg, Fla., 8th place

WIN Hussain A Daws (Saudi Arabia), tech fall 8-0

LOSS Domenico Piccinini (Italy), tech fall 9-0

78 kg – Louis Orr, Rochester, Minn., 15th place

LOSS Giancarlo Gibellini (Italy), pin 1:17

88 kg - Petros Petrosyan, Los Alamitos, Calif., no placement

LOSS Gert Pettersson (Sweden), pin 1:44

LOSS Petrica Dragomir (Romania), double forfeit

88 kg – James Miller, Houston, Texas, 7th place

LOSS Igor Dokuchaev (Individual Neutral Athlete), 3-0

100 kg – Erik Hinckley, Lansing, Kansas, 7th place

LOSS Detlef John (Germany), tech fall 9-0

LOSS Abdurashid Bagavdinov (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 8-0

100 kg – Charles Jones, North Las Vegas, Nev., Silver Medal

WIN Emirbek Magomedbekov (Individual Neutral Athlete), forfeit

WIN Cetin Boga (Turkey), forfeit

WIN Bernard Bauer (Germany), tech fall 8-0

LOSS Detlef John (Germany), 2-1

130 kg – Brian Jones, Los Angeles, Calif., 4th place

WIN Zoltan Pozsonyi (Hungary), inj. dft, 0:02

LOSS Eric Mittlestead (USA), pin 0:40

LOSS Asghar Marani (Iran), pin 0:49

LOSS Igor Polataev (Individual Neutral Athlete), pin 0:16

130 kg – Eric Mittlestead, Exeter, Calif., Gold Medal

WIN Asghar Marani (Iran), 5-0

WIN Brian Jones (USA), pin 0:40

WIN Igor Poletaev (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 11-2

WIN Zoltan Pozsonyi (Hungary), inj. dft.