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Smith wins Greco-Roman gold as U.S. takes three medals at Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial in Israel

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Pat Smith (USA) receives gold medal at Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial in Israel
Pat Smith (USA) receives gold medal at Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial in Israel. Photo courtesy of Mike Houck

BEER SHEVA, Israel – Three-time U.S. Senior World Team member Pat Smith (Minnesapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) claimed a gold medal, one of three U.S. medals won on the first day of the Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial on Thursday.

This tournament is held in commemoration of the fallen Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, which occurred 50 years ago, and is named in honor of the four wrestling victims of the Munich Massacre: Yossef Gutfreund (referee), Moshe Weinberg (coach) and wrestling athletes Eliezer Halfin and Mark Slavin.

Smith won his two bouts in a round-robin competition, with a pair of 8-0 technical falls, defeating Niko Nikladze of Israel and Aziz Boualem of Morocco.

A pair of U.S. athletes also won bronze medals in their round-robin weight classes, Reggie Lowery (60 kg) and Drake Tipton (87 kg). The U.S. was third in the standings with its three entries. 

The second day of the tournament is on Friday, August 26, and includes men’s freestyle competition.

Also going on week is an informal training camp program for youth athletes. Included will be U.S. youth wrestlers from Hope Academy and Beat the Streets Chicago, as well as Beat the Streets Cleveland. A big focus is building connections between the athletes from the nations involved.


at Beer Sheva, Israel, August 25

60 kg

Gold - Melkamu Fetene (Israel)

Silver - Ismail Ettalibi (Morocco)

Bronze - Reggie Lowery (USA)

63 kg

Gold - Abere Fetene (Israel)

Silver - Fouad Ajari (Morocco)

67 kg

Gold - Shon Nadorgin (Israel)

Silver - Bilal El Bahja (Morocco)

72 kg

Gold - Shay El Masandilov (Israel)

77 kg

Gold - Pat Smith (USA)

Silver - Aziz Boulem (Morocco)

Bronze - Niko Nikoladze (Israel)

82 kg

Gold - Erik Loser (Germany)

Silver - David Zhytomyrsky (Israel)

Bronze - Vasyl Iurkivsky (Israel)

87 kg

Gold - Saad Amandar (Morocco)

Silver - Radik Rakmatulin (Israel)

Bronze - Drake Tipton (USA)

97 kg

Gold - Anton Vieweg (Germany)

Silver - Assad Oussama (Morocco)

Bronze - David Labkovsky (Israel)

4th - Artur Urtaev (Israel)

130 kg

Gold - Lior Altshuler (Israel)

Silver - Anas Lamkabber (Morocco)

U.S. performance

60 kg – Reggie Lowery

LOSS Melkamu Fetene (Israel), 8-0

LOSS Ismael Ettalibi (Morocco), 8-0

77 kg – Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)

WIN Niko Nikladze (Israel), 8-0

WIN Aziz Boualem (Morocco), 8-0

87 kg – Drake Tipton, Grain Valley, Mo.

LOSS Saad Amandar (Morocco), 8-1

LOSS Radik Rakmatulin (Israel), 10-1

Greco-Roman Team Standings

1. Israel, 195

2. Morocco, 145

3. United States, 55

4. Germany, 50