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Prebish, Horton, Banko win Veterans World freestyle titles; USA adds nine more World medals on day two

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Nine U.S. Veterans freestyle wrestlers pose with their medals on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Chris Brown.

LOUTRAKI, Greece – The United States had a strong performance on the second day of men’s freestyle at the Veterans World Championships on Wednesday, securing nine more World medals, including three more individual champions.

Winning gold medals for Team USA today were Rob Prebish of Richmond, Va. (Div. C, 62 kg), Stephen Horton of Cibolo, Texas (Div. D, 70 kg) and Jon Banko of New Kensington, Pa. (Div. D, 78 kg). All three of these athletes have been successful in previous Veterans World events, but won their first Veterans World freestyle titles.

Prebish scored a pin in the finals against Pascal Jungo of Switzerland. He was dominant in his preliminary matches, with a 10-0 technical fall over American Gary Cook in his first bout, and a 10-0 technical fall over Valery Asafove of Israel in his second bout.

Horton won four matches on the way to his title, stopping Vadim Danilov of Russia in the finals, 3-2. Horton also scored a victory over Danilov in his first match at the 2017 Veterans Worlds, on the way to a silver medal that year.

Horton also had a tight semifinal victory, stopping Lorenzo Carieri of Italy by a 3-2 marching. He opened with an 11-0 technical fall over Stefan Bittman of German, then edged Shamshe Tlashadze of Georgia, 8-6. Horton has been winning Veterans World medals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman going back at least a decade, and his is his first freestyle title

Banko won four times as well, with an injury default win in the finals over Lech Witold Szczesniak of Poland. His semifinal win was a 4-0 shutout over Mohammad Ali Asghar Miri of Iran. He opened with a 10-0 technical fall over Osman Onder of Turkey, then pinned Dirk Statsny of Germany in 1:32.

The USA added three silver medals, from Brett Rainey of Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Div. C, 78 kg), Octavius Bellamy (Div. C, 88 kg) and Jeff Anderson (Zeeland, Mich., 88 kg).

All three powered into the finals with two preliminary victories, and were beaten in gold-medal matches. Rainey and Anderson lost to opponents from Iran in the finals, while Bellamy fell to a wrestler from Greece. Anderson has won Veterans World medals in freestyle, Greco-Roman and Grappling.

The three U.S. bronze medalists on Wednesday were Gary Cooke of Syracuse, N.Y. (Div. C, 62 kg), Thomas Donahue of Bethel, Ohio (Div. C, 78 kg) and Gregory Conn of Antelope, Calif. (Div. C, 120 kg). In their bronze-medal bouts, Cook beat an opponent from Israel and Donahue stopped a wrestler from Greece. Conn went 1-2 in a four-athlete round robin.

The nine medals won on Wednesday brings the American medal total up to 17 over the first two days of the freestyle competition, with eight medals won on Tuesday. The USA now has four Veterans World champions so far this year, with Dan Chaid (Div. E, 130 kg) also winning a gold on Tuesday to go along with the titles from Prevish, Horton and Banko today.

The freestyle tournament concludes on Thursday with competition in Div. A. The draws for U.S. team in Div, A is listed below.

All of the competition is broadcast live on FloWrestling


At Loutraki, Greece, October 20

Div. C men’s freestyle medalists

62 kg

Gold - Robinson Prebish (USA)

Silver - Pascal Jungo (Switzerland)

Bronze - Gary Lee Cook (USA)

Bronze - Dirk Methfessel (Germany)

70 kg

Gold - Reza Mohammadali Akbarpour Bahnamiri (Iran)

Silver - Mayis Ibadov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Alexey Tryyasunov (Russia)

Bronze - Stefan Pentschew (Germany)

78 kg

Gold - Mohammad Ahmadi Afshar (Iran)

Silver - Brett Rainey (USA)

Bronze - Farhad Ali Enjileh (Iran)

Bronze - Thomas Donahue (USA)

88 kg

Gold - Emzarios Bentinidis (Greece)

Silver - Octavius Bellamy (USA)

Bronze - Igor Gavrylets (Ukraine)

Bronze - Tomas Tobola (Czechia)

100 kg

Gold - Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia)

Silver - Ali Abdollah Ghassemi Sabour (Iran)

Bronze - Igors Samusonoks (Latvia)

Bronze - Aydin Halimoglu (Turkey)

130 kg

Gold - Mukerrem Yenici (Turkey)

Silver - Janos Szlavik (Hungary)

Bronze - Gregory Leo Conn (USA)

U.S. Div. C men’s freestyle results

62 kg – Gary Cook, Syracuse, N.Y., bronze medal

LOSS Robinson Prebish (USA), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Valery Asafoev (Israel), tech. fall 10-0

62 kg – Carlos Montano, Oceanside, Calif., 9th place

LOSS Ersin Basar (Turkey), tech. fall 10-0

62 kg – Robinson Prebish, Richmond, Va., gold medal

WIN Gary Cook (USA), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Valery Asafove (Israel), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Pascal Jungo (Switzerland), pin

78 kg – Thomas Donahue, Bethel, Ohio, bronze medal

LOSS Mohammad Ahmadi Afshar (Spain), 2-2

WIN Jakub Krucky (Czechia), 10-3

WIN Emmanaouil Karavanos (Greece), pin 2:38

78 kg – Brett Rainey, Highlands Ranch, Colo., silver medal

WIN Piotr Calac (Moldova), 3-0

WIN Farhad Ali Enjileh (Iran), 3-2

LOSS Mohammad Ahmadi Afshar (Iran), 8-4

88 kg – Octavius Bellamy, Bollingbrook, Ill., silver medal

WIN Vaclav Silovsky (Czechia), pin 1:29

WIN Tomas Tobola (Czechia), 6-1

LOSS Emzarious Bentinidis (Greece), tech. fall 10-0

130 kg – Gregory Conn, Antelope, Calif., bronze medal

LOSS Mukerrem Yenici (Turkey), 5-1

LOSS Janos Szlavik (Hungary), 6-0

WIN Reza Rahmani (Iran), forfeit

Div. D men’s freestyle medalists

62 kg

Gold - Marat Kicheev (Russia)

Silver - Remzi Redzheb Osman (Bulgaria)

Bronze - Gheorghe Bistritchi (Moldova)

70 kg

Gold - Stephen Horton (USA)

Silver - Vadim Danilov (Russia)

Bronze - Umaraskhab Magomedov (Russia) -

Bronze - Shamshe Tlashadze (Georgia)

78 kg

Gold - Jon Walter Banko (USA)

Silver - Lech Witold Szczesniak (Poland)

Bronze - Osman Onder (Turkey)

88 kg

Gold - Hassan Ali Akbar Jafariyan (Iran)

Silver - Jeffery Anderson (USA)

Bronze - Karim Hammiche (France)

Bronze - Evgeny Lisitsa (Russia)

100 kg

Gold - Chynarbek Izabekov (Kyrgyzstan)

Silver - Adam Chojnacki (Poland)

Bronze - Farzad Hossein Helali (Iran)

130 kg

Gold - Abdurashid Bagavdinov (Russia)

U.S. Div. D men’s freestyle results

62 kg – Joseph Raia Jr., South Elgin, Ill., 5th place

WIN Saidmagomed Masiev (Russia), forfeit

LOSS Marat Kicheev (Russia), tech. fall 10-0

LOSS Philippe Maupin (France), 7-5

70 kg – Stephen Horton, Cibolo, Texas, gold medal

WIN Stefan Bittmann (Germany), tech. fall 11-0

WIN Shamshe Tlashadze (Georgia), 8-6

WIN Lorenzo Carieri (Italy), 3-2

WIN Vadim Danilov (Russia), 3-2

78 kg – Jon Banko, New Kensington, Pa., gold medal

WIN Osman Onder (Turkey), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Dirk Stastny (Germany), pin 1:32

WIN Mohammad Ali Asghar Miri (Iran), 4-0

WIN Lech Witold Szczesniak (Poland), inj dft.

88 kg – Jeffery Anderson, Zeeland, Mich., silver medal

WIN Azat Sheroyan (Armenia), 3-1

WIN Karim Hammiche (France), tech. fall 12-1

LOSS Hassan Ali Akbar Jafariyan (Iran), 10-3

88 kg – Kevin Pine, Aberdeen, Wash., 7th place

WIN Antonio Albanese (Italy), pin 0:37

LOSS Hassan Ali Akbar Jafariyan (Iran), 4-1

LOSS Peter Jankovics (Hungary), inj. dft.

100 kg – Erik Hinckley, Lansing, Kansas, 4th place

LOSS Adam Shojnacki (Poland), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Chynarbek Izabekov (Kyrgyzstan), pin 1:00

LOSS Farzad Helali (Iran), pin 0:42

U.S. Div. A men’s freestyle draws

70 kg – Michael George, Littleton, Colo.

Vs. Reece Humphrey (USA)

70 kg – Jordin Humphrey, Crestline, Calif.

Vs. Elman Guseinov (Russia)

70 kg – Reece Humphrey, Dayton, NJ

Vs. Michael George (USA)

78 kg – Michael Morgan, Sheridan, Ind.

Vs. Michael Martinke (Germany)

88 kg – James Medeiros II, Granada Hills, Calif.

Vs. Andris Ozolins Ozols (Latvia)

100 kg – Marko Bojkovic, Westmont, Ill.

Vs. Ahmed Said Mohamadi Ahmed (Egypt)

100 kg – Michael Harbison, Glen Carbon, Ill.

Vs. Kaan Kaya (Turkey)