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Campos, Tipton win bronze medals for USA in men’s freestyle at Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial in Israel

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Six nations competed in the historic Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial. (flags left to right): Greece, Switzerland, Morocco, Israel, United States, Germany.
Six nations competed in the historic Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial. (flags left to right): Greece, Switzerland, Morocco, Israel, United States, Germany. Photo courtesy of Mike Houck

BEER SHEVA, Israel – U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers Roberto Campos at 65 kg and Drake Tipton at 86 kg won bronze medals, as men’s freestyle was featured on the final day of the Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial on Friday.

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.

Tipton won his second bronze medal of the week, as he also placed third in Greco-Roman on Thursday.

Tipton had a 1-1 record in his pool, which qualified him for the semifinals, where he was edged by Chengiz Soltanov of Israel, 2-2. He was a 3-3 criteria decision in the bronze-medal bout over Aziz Boualem of Morocco.

With six athletes entered in men’s freestyle, the United States placed third in the six-team tournament with 62 points. Host Israel won the freestyle title with 175 points, followed by nearby Morocco with 102 points.

Pat Smith, a three-time U.S. Senior World Team member, won the Greco-Roman title at the Slaven, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfruend Memorial on Thursday, the only U.S. champion during the two-day event. Smith entered in the men’s freestyle competition at 79 kg, placing fifth with a 1-2 record, with his first-round victory by technical fall. He and Tipton were the only U.S. athletes to compete in both styles.

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.

Olympic gold and silver medalists Ben and John Peterson, who competed in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich a half-century ago, were part of the U.S. delegation. Also part of the effort was Mike Houck, the first U.S. Senior World Champion in Greco-Roman with his 1985 title, and a former USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach.

at Beer Sheva, Israel, August 25

Men’s Freestyle medalists

57 kg
Gold - Holstein Karamjeet (Germany)
Silver - Grad Yan (Israel)

65 kg
Gold - El Bahja Otmane (Morocco)
Silver - Daniel Popov (Israel)
Bronze - Roberto Campos (USA)

70 kg
Gold - Josh Finesilver (Israel)
Silver - Mark Popov (Israel)
Bronze - Liran Benoguev (Israel)

74 kg
Gold - Mitchell Finesilver (Israel)
Silver - Raul Zarbaliev (Israel)
Bronze - Richard Schröder (Germany)

79 kg
Gold - Tsesarski Dan Tsesarski (Israel)
Silver - Tanguy Darbellay (Switzerland)
Bronze - Max Kasperovich (Israel)

86 kg
Gold - Chengiz Soltanov (Israel)
Silver - Saad Amandar (Morocco)
Bronze - Drake Tipton (USA)

97 kg
Gold - Assad Oussama (Morocco)
Silver - David Labkovsky (Israel)
Bronze - Hanan Haimov (Israel)

125 kg
Gold - Azamat Khosonov (Greece)
Silver - Anas Lamkabber (Morocco)
Bronze - Lior Altshuler (Israel)

U.S. men’s freestyle performance

65 kg- Roberto Campos, bronze medal
LOSS El Bahja Otmane (Morocco), tech fall 10-0, 0:38
WIN Genadi Benoguez (Israel), pin, 2:26
WIN Pavel Siniavski (Israel), pin 0:32
LOSS Daniel Popov (Israel), tech. fall 11-0, 3:00

70 kg– Aaron Galef, 5th place
LOSS Josh Finesilver (Israel), tech. fall 14-4, 2:34
LOSS Liran Benguev (Israel), 6-4
LOSS Mark Popov (Israel), tech. fall 11-0, 5:33
LOSS David Goncharenko (Israel)

74 kg- Jonavan Huggins, 4th place
LOSS Richard Schroder (Germany), tech. fall 10-0, 2:41
LOSS Mitchell Finesilver (Israel), tech fall 11-0, 2:02
LOSS Raul Zarbalaev (Israel), 17-13
WIN Vadim Goncharenko (Israel)

79 kg - Pat Smith, 5th place
WIN Leon Marchouk (Israel), tech. fall 11-1
LOSS Tanguy Darbellay (Switzerland), 12-10
LOSS Dan Tsesarski (Israel), tech. fall 10-0 1:07

86 kg- Drake Tipton, bronze medal
WIN Benjamin Sanchez (USA), tech. fall 11-0 1:09
LOSS Saad Manadar (Morocco), 10-5
LOSS Chengiz Soltanov (Israel), 2-1
WIN Aziz Boualem (Morocco), 3-3

86 kg- Benjamin Sanchez, 6th place
LOSS Saad Amandar (Morocco), tech. fall 12-2, 4:22
LOSS Drake Tipton (USA), tech. fall 11-0, 1:09

Freestyle Team Standings
1. Israel, 175 pts.
2. Morocco, 102
3. United States, 62
4. Germany, 40
5. Greece, 25
6. Switzerland, 20
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