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|Thompson wins bronze medal at World Championships in Hungary; Wong, Murata eliminated, both taking 7|
By Travis Shives USA Wrestling
Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) won a bronze medal at 120 kg/264.5 lbs in freestyle wrestling at the World Championships of Wrestling in Budapest, Hungary, September 28.
After waiting nearly six hours after his first-round loss, Thompson won three straight matches in his first trip to the World Championships to claim his first World medal. He capped his medal winning performance with a 1-0, 1-0 win over past 1997 World champion Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov of Russia.
Thompson scored both period winning points when he drove Kuramagomedov out of bounds. Under the new FILA rules, the offensive wrestler receives a point when his opponent steps out of bounds.
In his first round repechage (wrestleback) match, Thompson defeated Vadim Tasoev of Ukraine, 3-1, 4-1. In the first period, Thompson set the pace scoring early on a 3 point double leg, driving Tasoev to his back only 15 seconds into the match. The only scoring the rest of the period was a 1 point single leg by Tasoev late in the period.
In the second period, Thompson again scored first, this time on a 1 point single leg. Tasoev responded with 1 point of his own when the two wrestlers scrambled for position. Thompson sealed the victory late in the match, scoring a 3 point double leg with only seconds remaining in the period.
In Thompson's second repechage match, he dominated Rares Chintoan of Romania. Thompson scored 7 points on the Romanian before earning the fall only 47 seconds into the first period.
Thompson scored a 1 point double leg, a 3 point bear hug and a 3 point double leg that eventually earned him the fall. Earlier in the day, Chintoan recorded possibly the biggest upset of the men's freestyle tournament when he defeated 2003 World Champion and defending Olympic Champion Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan.
Aydin Polatci of Turkey, Thompson's first round opponent, closed out the competition earning a gold medal with a win against former World Champion, Alexis Rodrigues of Cuba. When Polatci earned his spot in the gold-medal match, Thompson became eligible to enter the wrestleback rounds.
Thompson's rally to the bronze propelled the Americans to an 8th place finish in the freestyle competition. Overall, the U.S. team ended the competition with two bronze medals, Thompson along with Joe Williams (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg/163 lbs.
The other two U.S. wrestlers competing on Wednesday were unable to advance in the competition after they lost their first match in the evening session. Jenny Wong (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Stephanie Murata (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. both lost quarterfinal matches and were eliminated when there opponents failed to reach the championships matches.
Both Wong and Murata finished the tournament in 7th place after going 2 and 1 on the day.
Wong was defeated in the quarterfinals by eventual bronze medalist Makiko Sakamoto of Japan, 6-0, 6-2. Sakamoto scored quickly on a 1 point single leg and controlled the rest of the first period with a 2 point turn and a hold and 2 more single legs. The second period continued with Sakamoto scoring first off of a double leg. She added another takedown followed by a turn with hold to take a commanding 5-0 lead. Wong was able to score a 2 point crotch lift before Sakamoto closed out the match with a 1 point go behind.
Wong was a 2003 World bronze medalist at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Murata lost her quarterfinal match to Erica Sharp of Canada, 0-1, 6-0, 4-0. Murata scored the only points of the first period on a 1 point go behind 35 seconds into the match.
Sharp scored 38 seconds into the second period off a tilt in defending Murata's single leg attack. She finished off the second period on a 1 point go behind followed by a tilt and a hold. There was no scoring in the third period until late, when Sharp scored a 3 point double leg and followed it up with a 1 point go behind for a 4-0 3rd period win.
Murata was a 2001 World silver medalist.
The U.S. women's team continues tomorrow with Tina George at 55 kg, Sally Roberts at 59 kg and Sara McMann at 63 kg.