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Cook drops opening 70 kg bout at Beach World Series in Sanxenxo, Spain, with final pool match on Sunday

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Mitchell Cook at the Beach World Series venue in Sanxenxo, Spain. Photo courtesy of Mitchell Cook.

SANXENXO, Spain - Mitchell Cook of Orland Park, Ill., the lone U.S. entry at the Beach World Series on Silgar Beach in Sanxenxo, Spain, dropped his only Group A match at 70 kg on Saturday.

Cook was defeated in the sand by Levan Kelekhsashvili of Georgia, 3-0 in the first round of Group A competition. Kelekhsashvili was second at the 2022 Beach World Series event in Sarigerme, Turkey in May. Kelekhsashvili is also a current international freestyle wrestler for Georgia, with a top career performance of fifth place at the 2013 Senior World Championships.

Cook is in a three-athlete round robin in Group A, and he received a bye in the second round. His third-round opponent is Marwane Ahmed Yezza of France, who also lost to Kelekhsashvili in the second round.

If Cook defeats Yezza in their bout on Sunday morning, he will qualify for the semifinals at the weight class. Yezza is also a current international freestyle wrestler, having represented France in both the Senior World Championships and Junior World Championships. The top two wrestlers in each pool at 70 kg will advance to the knockout round.

Cook placed second at the 2022 U.S. Beach National Championships at 70 kg. He is scheduled to compete in the next two Beach World Series events, in Saint Laurent du Var, France, July 1-2, and in Katerini-Pierria, Greece, July 9-10.


At Silgar Beach, Sanxenxo, Spain

U.S. performance

70 kg – Mitchell Cook, Orland Park, Ill. (Natural Athlete WC)
Group A matches

LOSS Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia), 3-0, 1:20

Vs. Marwane Ahmed Yezza (France) on Sunday