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U.S. Greco-Roman team receives draws for Senior World Championships in Oslo, Norway

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

G'Angelo Hancock (USA) hits a gut wrench at the 2020 Olympics.

The draw was held for all 10 weight classes in Greco-Roman, for the Senior World Championships which will finish up this weekend in Oslo, Norway.

The United States Greco-Roman team is led by a pair of past Olympians and five past Senior World Team members. It features a mix of veteran stars and rising young talents.

Competing at 82 kg is Ben Provisor, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and is also on his second Senior World Championships team. Provisor received the No. 2 seed. He received a bye and will face the winner of Satoki Mukai of Japan, a 2021 Asian bronze medalist, and Petr Novak of the Czech Republic, who was eighth in the 2017 European Championships. The other seed in his half-bracket is No. 3 Radzic Kuliyeu of Belarus, a 2017 World silver medalist, plus 2016 World bronze medalist Laszlo Szabo of Hungary and 2017 U23 World champion Burhan Akbudak of Turkey.

2020 Olympian G’Angelo Hancock is entered at 97 kg and will be competing on his fourth Senior World team. As the No. 3 seed, Hancock received a bye, then will face the winner of Ibrahim Tigci of Turkey and Laokratis Kessidis of Greece. Tigci was a U23 European bronze medalist two times, and Kessidis was ninth in the 2018 World Championships. The other seed in his half-bracket is No. 2 seed Alex Szoke of Hungary, 2014 World champion Melonin Noumonvi of France and 2018 World silver medalist Kiril Milov of Bulgaria.

Three-time Senior World Team member Patrick Smith is wrestling at 72 kg. He opens against 2016 Cadet World champion and 2019 U23 World bronze medalist Valentin Petic of Moldova. Smith is in the top half-bracket, with No. 4 seed and 2018 World bronze medalist Gevorg Sahakyan of Poland in his quarterbracket, and No. 1 seed Robert Fritsch of Hungary, a 2017 U23 World silver medalist also there.

Max Nowry, who placed fifth in the 2019 Senior World Championships, returns at 55 kg, where he opens against 2018 Cadet World silver medalist Sajjad Abbaspourragani of Iran. Nowry is in the top bracket. No. 4 seed Fabian Schmitt of Germany is in his half-bracket, with No. 1 seed Emin Sefershaev of the Russian Wrestling Federation, a 2021 European champion also on his side, along with 2019 World champion Nugzari Tsurtsumia of Georgia.

Competing on his second Senior World Team is Dalton Roberts at 60 kg, who opens against 2020 European champion Gevorg Gharibyan of Armenia in his first match. Roberts is in the top half-bracket, and would face No. 4 seed Razvan Arnaut of Romania in the second round if he wins his opener. The No. 1 seed is in his half-bracket, Victor Ciobanu of Moldova, who was a 2018 World silver medalist. Also in his half is 2018 World champion Stepan Maryanyan of the Russian Wrestling Federation.

Five of the Greco-Roman team members will be on their first Senior World Team: Sam Jones at 63 kg, Peyton Omania at 67 kg, Jesse Porter at 77 kg, Alan Vera at 87 kg and Cohlton Schultz at 130 kg.

Porter won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April at 77 kg, but the USA did not qualify to compete in the Tokyo Olympics at that weight class. He will battle 2020 European bronze medalist Bogdan Kourinnoi of Sweden in the first round. Porter is in the top bracket and could face No. 1 seed Yunus Basar of Turkey in the quarterfinals or No. 4 seed Daler Reza Zade of Tajikistan in the semifinals.

Schultz, a Cadet World champion and Junior World finalist, has a difficult opening draw, facing No. 1 seed and 2020 Olympic silver medalist Iakobi Kajaia of Georgia. Others in Schultz’ half-bracket are No. 4 seed Zurabi Gedekhauri of the Russian Wrestling Federation, as well as Osman Yildirim of Turkey, a 2018 U23 World silver medalist. Schultz is a current student-athlete at Arizona State, where he was a 2021 All-American.

Omania, a 2019 Junior World bronze medalist, will open against 2021 Junior World champion Hasrat Jafarov. Omania is in the top half-bracket and could face No. 1 seed and 2020 Olympic champion Mohammadreza Geraei of Iran in the third round or No. 4 seed and 2016 Junior World champion Ramaz Zoidze of Georgia in the semifinals. Omania is a current student-athlete at Michigan State.

Vera is a naturalized U.S. citizen who emigrated from Cuba and is competing on his first U.S. Senior World Team. He will open against Turpal-Ali Bisultanov of Denmark, a 2021 European Junior champion and a 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist. Vera is in the top half-bracket. He has 2018 Asian champion Ramin Taherisartan of Iran, Artur Shahinyan of Armenia and No. 4 seed Daniel Vicente Gomez of Mexico in his quarterbracket. No. 1 seed and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Zurabi Datunashvili of Serbia, Milad Alirzaev of Russian, a 2019 U23 World champion, 2016 Junior World champion Islam Abbassov of Azerbaijan and 2019 World champion Lasha Gobadze of Georgia.

Jones kicks off his first Senior World appearance against 2014 Military World bronze medalist Deniz Menekse of Germany. Jones is in the bottom half-bracket. If he wins his first bout, he will draw No. 2 seed Meysam Dalkhani of Iran, a 2019 U23 World champion. The No. 3 seed, Taleh Mammadov of Azerbaijan and Ibragim Labazanov of the Russian Wrestling Federation is also on his side of the bracket.

Group One in Greco-Roman includes Nowry, Smith, Porter and Provisor, who wrestle on Thursday and Friday.

Group Two features Roberts, Hancock and Schultz, who compete Friday and Saturday.

Group Three closes out the tournament with Jones, Omania and Vera, with competition on Saturday and Sunday.

All of the competition will be broadcast live by FloWrestling.

U.S. Greco-Roman draws at Senior World Championships

55 kg – Max Nowry (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP)

Vs. Sajjad Abbaspourragani (Iran), 2nd in 2018 Cadet Worlds, 2018 Asian Cadet champion

60 kg – Dalton Roberts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP)

Vs. Gevorg Gharibyan (Armenia), 2020 European champion, 2nd in 2018 Pytlasinski Cup (POL)

63 kg – Sam Jones (East Lansing, Mich./New York AC)

Vs. Deniz Menekse (Germany), 3rd in 2014 Military Worlds, 2020 Thor Masters champion (DEN)

67 kg – Peyton Omania (Concord, Calif./New York AC)

Vs. Hasrat Jafarov (Azerbaijan), 2021 Junior World champion, 3rd in 2018 Cadet Worlds

72 kg – Patrick Smith (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm)

Vs. Valentin Petic (Moldova), 3rd in 2019 U23 Worlds, 2016 Cadet World champion

77 kg – Jesse Porter (Clifton Park, N.Y./NMU-OTS/New York AC)

Vs. Bogdan Kourinnoi (Sweden), 3rd in 2020 European Championships, 2021 Nordic champion

82 kg – No. 2 seed Ben Provisor (Des Moines, Iowa/New York AC)

Bye, then winner of Petr Novak (Czech Republic) vs. Satoki Mukai (Japan)

Novak – 3rd in 2018 Grand Prix of Spain, 8th in 2017 European Championships

Mukai – 3rd in 2021 Asian Championships, 8th in 2019 Junior Worlds

87 kg – Alan Vera (Jersey City, N.J./NYC RTC/New York AC)

Vs. Turpal-Ali Bisultanov (Denmark), 2021 European Junior champion, 3rd in 2018 Cadet Worlds

97 kg – No. 3 seed G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)

Bye, then winner of Ibrahim Tigci (Turkey) and Laokratis Kessidis (Greece)

Tigci – 3rd in 2016 and 2019 European U23s, 10th in 2019 U23 Worlds

Kessidis – 9th in 2018 Worlds, 10th in 2017 Worlds, 5th in 2018 European Championships

130 kg – Cohlton Schultz (Parker, Colo./Sunkist Kids)

Vs. Iakobi Kajaia (Georgia), 2020 Olympic silver medalist, 3rd in 2019 Worlds, 3rd in 2012 Junior Worlds