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|Ruiz wins bronze medal, Warren places ninth and Byers eliminated on final day of Greco-Roman World Championships|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Justin Ruiz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) won a bronze medal at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. on the final day of the Greco-Roman World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, October 2.
Ruiz displayed excellent par terre defense throughout the entire tournament, particularly in defeating Margulan Assembekov of Kazakhstan by disqualification at 1:30. Ruiz did not allow Assembekov to score an offensive point the entire bronze-medal match.
The first and second periods ended with neither wrestler scoring an offensive point. Ruiz and Assembekov split the periods as each wrestler won a period for scoring the last point off of a caution.
Ruiz won the third period and the bronze medal when he won the coin flip halfway through the third period and fought off Assembekov's par terre attack. Assembekov was disqualified when he received his third caution for failing to score from par terre.
Ruiz, competing in his second World Championships, won his first World Championship medal. He ended the competition with a 4-1 record. He was the only U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler to win a medal this year. Combined with the men's freestyle and women's freestyle teams, the United States won seven medals at the 2005 World Championships.
Ruiz lost a tight quarterfinal match to crowd favorite Lajos Virag of Hungary, 4-0, 1-1, but advanced to the repechage (wrestlebacks) when Virag qualified for the gold medal finals.
In the first period of Ruiz's quarterfinal bout, Virag was awarded a point at 1:30 when Ruiz was cautioned for failing to score from par terre. Virag added three more points when he scored with a reverse body lock from par terre to sew up the period.
In the second period, Ruiz and Virag battled to a 0-0 tie at the midway point. In the final minute of the match, neither wrestler was able to score from par terre. Virag was awarded the victory because he scored the last points of the period when Ruiz received a caution for not scoring from the top position.
In his repechage match, Ruiz toughed out a 3-1, 2-0 win over Shata Narmaniya of Belarus. At the midway point of the first period, Ruiz started on top in par terre and scored on an explosive three-point reverse body lock. All Narmaniya could muster was a one-point appreciation lift late in the period.
There was no score in the second period until Ruiz scored one-point when he drove Narmaniya out-of-bounds shortly after the halfway point. Showing great mat awareness, Ruiz scored when Narmaniya escaped from par terre, but failed to work towards the center. Ruiz added a second point when Narmaniya failed to score from par terre.
Joe Warren (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC ) at 60 kg/132 lbs. lost his quarterfinal match, but advanced to the repechage (wrestlebacks) when his opponent advanced to the gold medal finals.
Warren lost to two-time University World Champion, Ali Ashkani of Iran, 2-1, 7-0 in the quarterfinals. When Ashkani won his semifinal match, qualifying for the gold medal championship, Warren was drawn back into the repechage.
Ashkani scored at the 1:26 mark after escaping from par terre and earning a takedown when the two wrestlers scrambled for position. He earned an additional point at 1:30 when Warren was cautioned for failing to score from par terre. Warren scored a point at the end of the period when Ashkani also failed to score from par terre, but it wasn't enough as Ashkani won the period 2-1.
Ashkani scored 17 seconds into the second period when he hit a high dive for one-point during a flurry of action. He added a second takedown shortly before the midway point of the period and followed with a two-point gut wrench. Ashkani started in par terre first and sealed the win with an explosive three-point body lock to end the match halfway through the second period by technical fall.
In the repechage match, Warren lost a tight 2-0, 1-1 match to Vahan Juharyan of Armenia. Juharyan scored all the points in the first period, earning the first when Warren was cautioned for failing to score from par terre. Juharyan received a second point on a lift when Warren tried to earn an escape late in the period.
The second period was uneventful, as each wrestler received a point and caution against them for failing to score from par terre. Because Juharyan scored the last point of the period, he was awarded the period and the match.
Warren finished the tournament 2-2, placing ninth in his first World Championships.
In the evening session, Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was eliminated from medal contention when his second-round opponent, Georgiy Tsurtsumia of Kazakhastan failed to reach the gold medal finals. Byers won his first match of the morning, but then lost to Tsurtsumia in the second round. It was Byers second World Championships. He was a World Champion in 2002.