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Roberts qualifies for quarterfinals, George and McMann lose bouts in women’s action at World Wrestli

Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

Sally Roberts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) won her opening match and has qualified for the quarterfinals at 59 kg/130 lbs. in women's freestyle wrestling at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 29.

Roberts was dominant throughout the match, winning both periods by technical fall, as she stopped Dorj Narmandakh of Mongolia, 7-0, 7-0.

Roberts scored an opening takedown, then hit three straight gut wrenches in both the first and second periods to score 7-0 leads and end the period. Under international rules, if a wrestler has a six-point margin in one period, the period ends by technical superiority.

Roberts will face Diletta Gianpiccolo of Italy in the quarterfinal round on Thursday afternoon. Roberts was a 2003 World bronze medalist.

Two U.S. wrestlers were defeated in the second round: two-time World silver medalist Tina George (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

George wrestled two matches in the opening session. She opened with a 2-0, 2-1 decision over Naidan Otgonjargal of Mongolia. George scored in the first period on a takedown and a caution point. In the second period, George had two takedowns and Otgonjargal scored one, for the 2-1 margin of victory.

In the second round, George faced long-time rival and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Tonya Verbeek of Canada, losing a 1-0, 6-0 decision.

Verbeek won the first period on a single leg attack. In the second period, Verbeek opened up her offense, scoring three takedowns, as a well as a turn and hold. The match ended on the final takedown with two seconds on the clock, a technical fall for the period.

McMann faced Japanese superstar Kaori Icho of Japan for the fourth straight year at the World and Olympic level. Icho, the 2004 Olympic champion, defeated McMann, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, by a 3-2, 2-1 margin.

Icho scored a three-point double leg takedown to exposure to open a 3-0 lead in the first period. McMann scored two points to make it close but lost the period 3-2. In the second period, McMann scored the first takedown, but Icho came back with two more takedowns for the 2-1 margin.

Icho is a two-time World champion as well as Olympic champion. At the Athens Olympic Games last year, Icho stopped McMann in the gold medal finals. At the 2003 World Championships in New York City, Icho defeated McMann in the gold medal finals. At the 2002 World Championships in Halkida, Greece, Icho won an early round match over McMann.

For George and McMann to qualify for the wrestle-back rounds, the opponent who defeated them must advance all the way to the gold-medal finals.

"Sally has been training hard. She has a great attitude and had an excellent training camp. She wrestled well," said U.S. Women's World Team coach Bill Scherr.

"I think both Sara and Tina have a good chance of getting drawn back into the wrestlebacks. Both of the wrestlers who beat them have a great chance of making the finals. We need to keep a positive attitude and be ready if we get a chance," said Scherr.
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