Hancock to go for bronze in Greco-Roman at Senior World Championships; Roberts, Schultz not eligible for repechage

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

G’Angelo Hancock (USA) has his hands on his hips at the 2021 Senior Worlds. Photo by Tony Rotundo/United World Wrestling

OSLO, Norway – 2020 Olympian G’Angelo Hancock will compete for a bronze medal on Saturday night, after losing his 97 kg Greco-Roman semifinal match on Friday evening at Jordal Amfi.

Hancock, who is competing in his fourth Senior World Championships, lost a heartbreaking 4-4 criteria decision to Alex Szoke of Hungary in his semifinals match.

Hancock got out to an early lead after a passivity call against Szoke made it 1-0. Hancock worked a hard-fought gut wrench for two points and a 3-0 lead which he took into the break. A passivity call against Hancock in the second period made it 2-1. Hancock defended off the whistle and created action to get back to their feet. Szoke’s corner challenged, believing there was exposure, but the call was confirmed and Hancock’s lead went up to 4-1.

As the action progressed in the second, Szoke was able to force action out of bounds for a point on a step out to cut the lead to 4-2. After Hancock was called again for passivity with less than one minute left, Szoke worked a gut wrench turn to take the lead 4-4 on criteria. Hancock pushed for a score late, but Szoke held on to advance to the finals.

Szoke was fifth in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and was a 2016 Cadet World champion. Szoke was seeded second in the tournament and Hancock was seeded third.

Hancock will face the winner of the Saturday morning repechage match between Yevhenii Saveta of Ukraine and Peter Oehler of Germany.

Semifinals were held in the three weight classes in Group Two: 60 kg, 97 kg and 130 kg. The semifinal results determined the fates of the other two U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers who also competed in Group Two.

Both Dalton Roberts at 61 kg and Cohlton Schultz at 130 kg were eliminated when the athlete who defeated them on Friday morning was defeated in the semifinals round. Only athletes who lose to a gold-medal finalist are able to enter the repechage.

Earlier in the day, Dalton Roberts was defeated by 2020 European champion Gevorg Gharibyan of Armenia, 8-4. In his semifinals match, Gharibyan was leading 6-0 over No. 1 seed and 2018 World silver medalist Victor Ciobanu of Moldova. Gharibyan needed injury time after Ciobanu choked him. Later, Gharibyan was hit for passivity and put down. Ciobanu scored a massive five-point reverse lift, then a turn, and defeated Gharibyan, 9-6.

In his first Senior World Championships match, Schultz lost a tight 5-3 loss to No. 1 seed and 2020 Olympic silver medalist Iakobi Kajaia of Georgia at 130 kg. In the semifinals, Kajaia lost a close 2-1 battle to Zurabi Gedekhauri of the Russian Wrestling Federation.

The final group of U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers will begin their competition on Saturday: Sam Jones (63 kg), Peyton Omania (67 kg) and Alan Vera (87 kg). All of the action will be live on FloWrestling.


At Oslo, Norway, October 8

Group Two Greco-Roman finals pairings

60 kg – Zholaman Sharshenbekov (Kyrgyzstan) vs. Victor Ciobanu (Moldova)

97 kg – Mohammadhadi Saravi (Iran) vs. Alex Szoke (Hungary)

130 kg – Zurabi Gedekhauri (Russian Wrestling Federation) vs. Aliakbar Yousofiahmadchali (Iran)

Group Two Greco-Roman semifinal results

60 kg

Victor Ciobanu (Moldova) dec. Gevorg Gharibyan (Armenia), 9-6

Zholaman Sharshenbekov (Kyrgyzstan) dec. Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan), 4-2

97 kg

Alex Szoke (Hungary) dec. G’Angelo Hancock (United States), 4-4

Mohammadhadi Saravi (Iran) dec. Nikoloz Kakhelashvili (Italy), 5-0

130 kg

Aliakbar Yousofiahmadchaliâ (Iran) dec. Yasmani Acosta fernandez (Chile), 2-1

Zurabi Gedekhauri (Russian Wrestling Federation) dec. Iakobi Kajaia (Georgia), 2-1

U.S. Greco-Roman Group Two results

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

LOSS Gevorg Gharibyan (Armenia), 8-4

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

WIN Ibrahim Tigci (Turkey), 5-0

WIN Kiril Milov (Bulgaria)

LOSS Alex Szoke (Hungary), 4-4 criteria

Bronze Medal Match – vs. winner of Yevhenii Saveta (Ukraine) vs. Peter Oehler (Germany)

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

LOSS Iakobi Kajaia (Georgia), 5-3

Group Three U.S. Greco-Roman draws

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

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