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Merrill grabs bronze helping Team USA to historic Greco-Roman finish at U17 Worlds

by Ellen Paddock, USA Wrestling

Cody Merrill after winning bronze at the U17 World Championships. Photo by United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan

ROME, Italy – Cody Merrill closed out Greco-Roman competition on Wednesday with a bronze medal at 92 kg, allowing Team USA to finish eighth in the final team standings, the highest in the discipline's history, at the U17 World Championships in Rome.

Merrill stopped Marcell Gyuricza of Hungary 3-1 in the bronze medal match, scoring with a takedown and a step out. Gyuricza finished fifth at the 2022 U17 European Championships.

The wrestler from Ontario, California stormed back from a semifinal loss to 2022 U17 European bronze medalist Darius Kiefer of Germany, 9-0.  

On Tuesday, Merrill posted two wins by fall over Arsen Ruslanov of Kyrgyzstan and Florin Manolache of Romania. In his opening round, Merrill defeated Ruslanov 9-0 with a feet-to-back move, two takedowns and a step out. In his second bout, he reversed Manolache to his back for a fall in the first period. Manolache placed thirteenth at the 2022 U17 European Championships.

Arvin Khosravy finished in fifth place at 71 kg after dropping his bronze medal match to Ibrahim Ozdemir of Turkey, 5-3 on Wednesday. Ozdemir hit an arm throw for four points, putting the match out of reach for Khosravy.

In his first match of the tournament, Khosravy defeated Marco Begle of Austria, 9-0. He fell in match two 10-0 to eventual World champion, Anri Putkaradze of Georgia.

After being pulled back into the tournament when Putkaradze made the finals, Khosravy topped Mihael Lukac of Croatia 3-1 in repechage with a passivity point and two step outs to advance to the medal rounds. Lukac placed fifth at the 2022 U17 European Championships.

The U17 Greco-Roman team will leave Rome with a gold medal from Joel Adams, a bronze from Cody Merrill and a top-five finisher with Arvin Khosravy.

Koy Hopke is another Greco-Roman athlete who had success on the World stage.

At 110kg, Hopke defeated Maxim Ukraintsev of Kazakhstan, 8-0 in his first bout. He fell short to Dmytro Stryzhekozin of Ukraine, losing 8-0, and was eliminated when Stryzhekozin lost to silver medalist Laszlo Darabos of Hungary.

At 48 kg, Christian Castillo wrestled eventual bronze medalist Said Khalilov of Azerbaijan in round one, falling 4-2. Castillo finished in in eighth place.

Zan Fugitt finished in thirteenth place at 60kg. He drew the eventual World champion, Gaspar Terteryan of Armenia, in round one and lost 9-0. Terteryan’s trip to the finals gave Fugitt a shot at Yussuf Ashrapov of Kazakhstan. He lost 14-5 to the 2022 U17 Asian bronze medalist.

Davis Motyka (45kg), Elyle Francisco (51 kg), Nick Treaster (55 kg) and Cole Han-Lindemyer (80 kg) each dropped their first matches and were eliminated when their opponents did not advance to the finals. See scores below.

Competition on Thursday will feature the women’s freestyle division. Erica Pastoriza wrestles in the 43kg gold-medal finals at noon U.S. ET. Shelby Moore (57kg), Sydney Perry (65kg) and Kaiulani Garcia (73kg) will compete in repechage starting at 5:30 a.m. ET. They are each one match away from a chance at bronze.

Fans can watch all the action live on FloWrestling and follow along with live updates @USAWrestling on Twitter.

U.S. Greco-Roman results

45kg: Davis Motyka (Kingston, Pa./XCalibur Athletics) – twelfth  
LOSS Ionut Mereuta (Romania), 2-1

48 kg: Christian Castillo (Glendale, Ariz./Thorobred Wrestling Club) – eighth
LOSS Said Khalilov (Azerbaijan), 4-2

51kg: Elyle Francisco (Anchorage, AK./Anchorage Youth Wrestling Academy) – sixteenth
LOSS Peter Totok (Hungary), 12-3

55 kg: Nick Treaster (Newton, Kans./Newton Wrestling Club) – fourteenth
LOSS Halil Cinar (Turkey), 7-0

60kg: Zan Fugitt (Nixa, Mo.) – thirteenth
LOSS Gaspar Terteryan (Armenia), 9-0
LOSS Yussuf Ashrapov (Kazakhstan), 14-5

65 kg: Joel Adams (Omaha, Neb./The Best Wrestler) – GOLD
WIN Takaku Suzuki (Japan), 8-0
WIN Saya Brunner (Switzerland), 10-0 
WIN Aleksandre Rusitashvili (Georgia), 6-0
WIN Petro Shafranskyi (Ukraine), 6-0
WIN Ahoura Bouveiri (Iran), 6-0

71kg: Arvin Khosravy (Woodland Hills, Calif.) – fifth
WIN Marco Begle (Austria), 9-0
LOSS Anri Putkaradze (Georgia), 10-0
WIN Mihael Lukac (CRO), 3-1
LOSS Ibrahim Ozdemir (TUR), 5-2

80 kg: Cole Han-Lindemyer (Farmington, Minn./Pinnacle Wrestling Club) – fifteenth  
LOSS Taizo Yoshida (Japan), 8-4

92kg: Cody Merrill (Ontario, Calif./Daniel Cormier Wrestling Club) – BRONZE 
WIN Arsen Ruslanov (Kyrgyzstan), 9-0
WIN Florin Manolache (Romania), fall
LOSS Darius Kiefer (GER), 11-0 
WIN Marcell Gyuricza (HUN), 3-1

110 kg: Koy Hopke (Amery, Wis./Pinnacle Wrestling Club) – eighth  
WIN Maxim Ukraintsev (Kazakhstan), 8-0 
LOSS Dmytro Stryzhekozin (Ukraine), 8-0

Greco-Roman medals

Gold – Yevhen Pokovba (Ukraine)
Silver – Shakhzod Ruziokhunov (Uzbekistan)
Bronze – Payam Balootaki (Iran)
Bronze – Huseyn Savadov (Azerbaijan)

Gold – Ali Vafa (Iran)
Silver – Ronit Sharma (India)
Bronze - Said Khalilov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Arsen Zhuma (Kazakhstan)

Gold – Aytjan Khalmakhanov (Uzbekistan)
Silver – Mohammadreza Gholami (Iran)
Bronze – Vadat Gasimli (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Manish (India)

Gold – Suraj (India)
Silver – Faraim Mustafayev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Khurshidbek Normukhammadov (Uzbekistan)
Bronze – Saba Surmanidze (Georgia)

Gold – Gaspar Terteryan (Armenia)
Silver – Lucas Lo Grasso (France)
Bronze – Yussuf Ashrapov (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Omar Mohamed Mourad

Gold – Joel Adams (Usa)
Silver – Ahoura Bouveiri (Iran)
Bronze – Aleksandre Rusitashvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Bekhruz Barnoev (Uzbekistan)

Gold – Anri Putkaradze (Georgia)
Silver – Davud Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Ibrahim Ozdemir (Turkey)
Bronze – Ararat Varderesyan (Armenia)
Fifth – Arvin Khosravy (Usa)

Gold – Alperen Berber (Turkey)
Silver – Ismayil Rzayev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Seyed Azarshab (Iran)
Bronze – Luka Gelashvili (Georgia)

Gold – Gor Ayvazyan (Georgia)
Silver – Darius Kiefer (Germany)
Bronze – Hamidreza Morteza Keshtkar (Iran)
Bronze – Cody Merrill (USA)

Gold – Cemal Yusuf Bakir (Turkey)
Silver – Laszlo Darabos (Hungary)
Bronze – Mazaim Mardanov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Mohammad Jahangiri (Iran)

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