|Thompson named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
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Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for the week of September 21-28.
Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday.
Thompson won a bronze medal in the 120 kg/264.5 lbs. division in men's freestyle wrestling at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 28.
Thompson was one of the U.S. freestyle wrestlers who won a bronze medal, joining Joe Williams (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) who captured a bronze medal at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Thompson was competing in his first World Championships. In the first round, he was defeated by 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Aydin Polatci of Turkey by a 1-0, 0-1, 5-1 score. Polatci went on to win the World Championships gold medal in the division.
When Polatci won his semifinal match, under the new international rules, Thompson became eligible for the wrestleback rounds for the bronze medals. He had to beat three very talented athletes in a row in a very short time span to come home with his bronze medal. It was over six hours after his loss when he finally emerged with a chance to battle back.
In his first round repechage (wrestleback) match, Thompson defeated Vadim Tasoev of Ukraine, 3-1, 4-1. In Thompson's second repechage match, he dominated Rares Chintoan of Romania, scoring seven points then pinning Chintoan in just 47 seconds.
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.
Thompson dedicated his bronze medal to his grandfather, Alvin Thompson, who passed away in May. His wife Tracy gave birth to a new daughter, Kendall Jo, on September 15, just two weeks prior to Thompson's bronze medal triumph.
Thompson was a 1998 and 2005 U.S. Nationals champion and placed second in the U.S. Nationals three times. He placed second in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. He was a NCAA champion for the Univ. of Nebraska, and was a state runner-up twice for Janesville High School in Iowa.
Thompson serves as an assistant coach for the Univ. of Northern Iowa.
Click here to view previous Athletes of the Week