Kjar wins Veterans World Greco-Roman gold, Dombkowski gets silver, Loescher, Grant add bronzes; USA wins team title

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

U.S. Veterans Greco-Roman medalists on Sunday: Ron Dombkowski (silver), Ben Kjar (gold), Mingo Grant (bronze), Scott Loescher (bronze) (Photo by Chris Brown)

LOUTRAKI, Greece – The final day of Greco-Roman at the 2023 Veterans World Championships featured competition in Div. A and the United States secured at least one World champion for the sixth straight day at the six-day event.

Claiming a Greco-Roman gold medal on Sunday was Ben Kjar of Utah (62 kg Div A).

Kjar won four straight matches to claim his gold medal, two by technical fall and two by decision.

Kjar won his second medal of the week, after claiming a silver medal at this weight class in freestyle on Thursday. Kjar won two matches to claim Group A, then scored a 9-0 technical fall over Saboic Futo of Serbia in the semifinals. In the gold-medal bout, Kjar won a competitive 3-1 match over Nikola Caradonna of Italy.

An All-American for Utah State, Kjar became the third Greco-Roman champion at this year’s Veterans Worlds, joining Eric Mittlestead of California (130 kg Div. E) and David Yi of California (62 kg Div. C), who won earlier in the week.

Capturing a silver medal was Ron Dombkowski of Pennsylvania (130 kg Div. A). Dombkowski opened his tournament with a pair of technical falls, beating U.S. teammate Mingo Grant, 8-0 in the quarterfinals and Serhat Saricicek of Turkey, 10-1. In the gold-medal finals, Dombkowski was pinned by Juszup Nunajev of Hungary in 42 seconds.

A pair of U.S. athletes added bronze medals on Sunday, Scott Loescher of California (78 kg Div. A) and Mingo Grant of Maryland (130 kg Div. A).

Loescher finished with a 2-1 record, including a 6-5 victory in the bronze-medal match against U.S. teammate Rashaad Saunders. His only loss came to eventual champion Eric Buisson of France in the semifinals.

Grant secured his bronze medal with a victory by injury default over Serhat Saricicek of Turkey in 3:24. His only loss came to teammate Dombkowski.

Two U.S. athletes finished fifth after falling in the bronze-medal round, Saunders and Kyle DeBerry of Arizona (88 kg Div. A).

The United States finished with 12 medals in Greco-Roman over the three days of the classical style.

The United States won the Greco-Roman team title in all five divisions, scoring 304 points, ahead of runner-up Hungary with 241 points and third place in a tie with Kazakhstan and Sweden at 222 points.

The USA was also the freestyle team champion. This is the third straight year the United States won the Veterans team title in freestyle and the second straight year the USA was the Veterans Greco-Roman team champion.

Adding it all up, that means the United States was once again the overall team champion at the Veterans World Championships, with 659 points, with Kazakhstan in second with 488 points and Iran in third with 444 points.

Over the six days, the United States had 26 medalists in both styles, including winning eight individual gold medals. Eric Mittlestead of California (130 kg Div. E) was the only double champion for the USA, winning golds in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.

Archived videos of the Veterans World Championships are available on FloWrestling.

2023 Veterans World Championships

At Loutraki, Greece, October 22

Div. A Greco-Roman champions

62 kg – Ben Kjar (United States)

70 kg – Jihyun Jung (Korea)

78 kg – Eric Buisson (France)

88 kg – Plamen Palev (Bulgaria)

100 kg – Ilias Boukis (Greece)

130 kg - Juszup Nunajev (Hungary)

U.S. Div. A Greco-Roman results

62 kg – Ben Kjar, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Gold Medal

WIN Michael Van Walle (France) 5-1

WIN Zhaslan Ismagulov (Kazakhstan), tech fall 8-0

WIN Saboic Futo (Serbia), tech fall 9-0

WIN Nicola Caradonna (Italy), 3-1

78 kg – Daniel Rodriguez, LaSalle, Ill., 8th place

LOSS Scott Loescher (USA), pin 0:53

78 kg – Rashaad Saunders, Pembroke, N.C., 5th place

WIN James Armstrong (USA), tech fall 8-0

LOSS Eric Buisson (France), 6-3

LOSS Scott Loescher (USA), 6-5

78 kg – James Armstrong, Tucson, Ariz., 10th place

LOSS Rashaad Saunders (USA), tech fall, 8-0

78 kg – Scott Loescher, San Francisco, Calif., Bronze Medal

WIN Daniel Rodriguez (USA), pin 0:53

LOSS Eric Buisson (France), 6-1

WIN Rashaad Saunders (USA), 6-5

88 kg – Kyle De Berry, Phoenix, Ariz., 5th place

WIN Aytac Demir (Turkey) forfeit

LOSS Elgiz Mammadov (Azerbaijan), tech fall 10-2

LOSS Bakytzhan Nuradinov (Kazakhstan), 11-8

100 kg – Michael Burke, Yorktown, Ind., 9th place

LOSS Zsolt Dajka (Hungary), 5-1

100 kg - DeAndre Nunn, Joliet, Ill., no placement

LOSS Nikolai Trishin (Individual Neutral Athlete), forfeit

130 kg – Mingo Grant, Baltimore, Md., Bronze Medal

LOSS Ronald Dombkowski (USA), tech fall 8-0

WIN Serhat Saricicek (Turkey), inj. dft 3:24

130 kg – Ronald Dombkowski, Waterford, Pa., Silver Medal

WIN Mingo Grant (USA), tech fall 8-0

WIN Serhat Saricicek (Turkey), tech fall 10-1

LOSS Juszup Nunajev (Hungary), pin 0:42

Greco-Roman Team Standings

1. United States ,304 points

2. Hungary, 241 points

3. (tie) Kazakhstan, Sweden, 222 points

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