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Valencia and Pantaleo win gold, and Green takes silver on day one of the Poland Open

by Mike Willis, USA Wrestling

Feature Photo of Zahid Valencia courtesy of Kadir Caliskan/ United World Wrestling

Three out of four Americans are bringing home medals on the first day of the Poland Open. Alec Pantaleo (70 kg) and Zahid Valencia (86 kg) both claimed titles, while James Green finished with a silver medal. Kollin Moore, the fourth American, finished fifth at 97 kg.

In the 70 kg finals, Alec Pantaleo, a former Junior and U23 World Team member, reversed the result from his 8-0 loss in the round robin to defeat two-time World medalist James Green for the first time in his career. Pantaleo wasted no time getting on the board, striking quickly with two head inside single leg shots, converting on both of them to go up 4-0 only 30 seconds into the match. Green responded with a blast double to cut the lead to 4-2 going into the break.

In the second period, Pantaleo found more success with his single leg, getting in deep twice and lifting Green high in the air. However, Green showed his superb defensive balance, only allowing one step out point during the exchanges. Green continued to pressure Pantaleo, eventually getting his own step-out point. Green was unable to convert on any more of his takedown attempts, and Pantaleo claimed the title with a 5-3 win.

It was a great tournament for both wrestlers, who each defeated a World champion in the semifinals to set up the all-U.S. finals.  Pantaleo downed Azerbaijan’s three time World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Haji Aliyev, 6-6, while Green bested Georgia’s 2017 World champion and 2018 World bronze medalist, Zurabi Iakobishvili, 4-0.

In the 86 kg finals, Zahid Valencia dismantled 2015 World bronze medalist Sandro Aminashvili of Georgia. Aminashvili, who recently finished runner-up at the 2021 European Championships, had no answer for Valencia’s offense. The match wrapped up in under two minutes, with Valencia scoring five takedowns to record a 10-0 technical fall.

Kollin Moore fell in the 97 kg bronze medal match to Iran’s Alireza Karimimachiani in a tight, 2-2, bout decided by criteria. Moore scored first early in the opening period with a two-point dump. With about 30 seconds remaining in the match, Karimimachiani earned his own takedown on the edge of the mat. Moore pressured hard, but was unable to score again on the three-time Senior World medalist.

Tomorrow’s action will feature the 61 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 92 kg and 125 kg men’s freestyle weight classes. It can be streamed live on FloWrestling beginning at 5:00 a.m. EST.

2021 Poland Open

Warsaw, Poland

U.S. Men’s Freestyle Results

70 kg: James Green (SERTC/TMWC) - SILVER
WIN – Alec Pantaleo (United States), 8-0
WIN – Oleksii Boruta (Ukraine), 2-1
WIN – Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia), 4-0
LOSS Alec Pantaleo (United States), 5-3

70 kg: Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen WC/TMWC) – GOLD
WIN – Oleksii Boruta (Ukraine),
LOSS – James Green (United States), 8-0
WIN – Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 6-6
WIN. James Green (United States), 5-3

86 kg: Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids) - GOLD
WIN – Sebastian Jezierzanski (Poland), 6-5
WIN – Deepk Punia (India), INJ DEF
WIN – Myles Amine (San Marino), 7-1
WIN – Sandro Aminashvili (Georgia), 10-0

97 kg: Kollin Moore (Ohio RTC/TMWC) – 5th
LOSS –  Mohammad Hossein Askari Mohammadian (Iran), 11-0
WIN –  Serik Bakytkhanov (Kazakhstan), 8-2
LOSS – Alireza Mohammad Karimimachiani (Iran), 2-2

Final Results

57 kg (round robin)
GOLD – Stevan Micic (Serbia)
Silver –  Beka Bujuiashvili (Georgia)
Bronze – - Makhmudjon Shavkatov (Uzbekistan)

70 kg
Gold – Alec Pantaleo (United States) DEC James Green (United States), 5-3
Bronze – Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan) DEC Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia), 2-1

79 kg
Gold – Akhsarbek Gulaev (Slovakia) DEC Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan), 2-2
Bronze – Mateusz Dariusz Kampik (Poland) DEC Vadim Petrauskas Babuskin (Lithuania), 16-13
Bronze – Vasyl Mykhailov (Ukraine) DEC Aimar Andruse (Estonia), 5-2

86 kg
Gold – Zahid Valencia (United States) TF Sandro Aminashvili (Georgia), 10-0
Bronze – Myles Amine (San Marino) DEC Sebastian Jezierzanski, 6-1
Bronze – Cezary Marek Sadowski (Poland) DEC Pool Ambricio Greifo (PERU), 8-4

97 kg  

Gold - Mohammad Hossein Askari Mohammadian (Iran) DEC Ali Khalil Shabanibengar (Iran), 1-1

Bronze – Alireza Mohammad Karimimachiani (Iran) DEC Kollin Moore (United States), 2-2

Bronze – Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan) DEC Magomedgadji Omardibirovich Nurov (North Macedonia), 11-7