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Coon and Porter go 1-1 in first session of World Olympic Qualifier, falling short of earning Olympic berths

by Mike Willis, USA Wrestling

Feature photo of Adam Coon courtesy of Justin Hoch.

Despite a great start to the Greco-Roman World Olympic Qualifier, the U.S. was unable to earn Olympic berths at the final two unqualified weight classes, 77 and 130 kg. Olympic Team Trials champions Jesse Porter and Adam Coon both opened their tournaments with wins before dropping their second matches. While both wrestlers remain eligible for repechage, only the finalists earn berths to the Olympic Games.

In his opening match at 77 kg, Jesse Porter dominated Puerto Rico’s Marciano George Ali, a 2020 Pan Am Championships bronze medalist at 82 kg. Ali was called for passivity first, and Porter made the most of his opportunity in par terre with a massive lift for four points. Shortly after, Porter took Ali straight to his back from neutral, resulting in another four points and a 9-0 technical fall victory.

In his second bout, Porter fell to 2017 World bronze medalist and U23 World champion Faith Cengiz of Turkey, 7-0. Cengiz took a 5-0 lead into the second period after earning a passivity point and countering a Porter throw with short time on the clock. Cengiz shut Porter’s offense down in the second period, picking up two points on a last-ditch attempt by Porter in the waning seconds. This was the third time the pair have wrestled.

Coon opened his tournament in impressive fashion as well, pinning 2016 Olympian Murat Ramonov of Kyrgyzstan in 57 seconds. Ramonov, who finished seventh at the 2019 World Championships, went for a headlock attempt, which Coon countered, taking him to his back for the fall.

In the quarterfinals, Coon lost to Ukraine’s Mykola Kuchmii, a 2020 Individual World Cup and 2019 European Games bronze medalist. Kuchmii put Coon in a hole early, quickly scoring on a four-point arm throw. He tacked on a passivity point to take a 5-0 lead into the break. The pair traded step out points early in the second period to push the score to 6-1. Coon remained on the offensive, picking up another step out point and a caution-and-one to cut the lead to 6-3, which is how the match would end.

The semifinals take place at 12:00 EST, and should Cengiz and Kuchmii win, Porter and Coon will be pulled back in to wrestle for third place tomorrow.

WORLD OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIER

At Sofia, Bulgaria

77 kg – Jesse Porter (Ballston Lake, N.Y./New York AC/Northern Michigan OTS)
WIN Marciano George Ali (PUR), 9-0
LOSS Faith Cengiz (TUR), 7-0

130 kg – Adam Coon (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
WIN Murat Ramonov (KGZ), FALL :57
LOSS Mykola Kuchmii (UKR), 6-3

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