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|Quotes from U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers Dantzler, Clark and Ruiz, and Coach Fraser after Tuesday morning session at World Championships|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
74 kg/163 lbs. - T.C. Dantzler, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
"That match (against Marco Yli-Hannuksela), I got into some positions I'm used to being in, common positions for me. Marco is strong in those positions. I thought I was better than him there. He was better than me in that situation. I let my ego get in the way. I should have bailed out of some of those positions."
"I felt I was right on target. I got into some unfamiliar situations with the top wrestlers in the world. I can get away with that with the top in the USA. I was wrestling somebody with a World title and two or three medals. It's a different ball game against him."
"Hopefully, (Yli-Hannuksela) will win. If not, I go home and on October 7 have surgery on my knee."
"I feel I have represented my abilities, to some degree. In the last match, I don't feel that I did. It is not only physical and mental, but it also includes mat savvy. In saavy, I did not. I let my ego get in the way of getting a medal."
84 kg/185 lbs. - Jake Clark, Okinawa, Japan (U.S. Marines)
"I made some mistakes on my part. After the match, I look back and think what if I could do that? I think I could have stopped him. Really, it is a bunch of whats and ifs. That is just the way it went. It is better to have the control in my hands than to wait it out and see if I can get it done. There is a lot of confusion now."
"I know he is a tough guy. I feel I could beat him. You should feel that way. Now he gets to control my fate to see if I have a chance to go for a medal. I was his biggest enemy a minute ago, and now I'm his biggest fan."
"I had some anger going into the second period. The start call is different here. I was called for jumping, then the next thing, he was in deeper. After the first period, I said if I lose one more, I am done. All the guys will agree with the difference in the start. They change things so much. They are letting people get away with so much. It's not like the Americans are the only ones who have to change. They all do."
"To be here is great. The other day, I was in the elevator with (two-time Olympic champion Hamza) Yerlikaya. All of these people I read about and see are in the tournament. I am on the mats with them. It is a great experience. It showed me that I belong here. This is where I belong. I was hoping that some day I could wrestle in their shoes. It is pretty awesome. You can't be satisfied with that, though."
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Justin Ruiz, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
"In my first match, I won both flips. I was also able to score a point in one of those periods. Against the Korean, I didn't get it done. It went to the coin flip. It is usually a 50-50 proposition, but unfortunately for me, it didn't flip for me. I didn't get it done on my feet. A couple of times, I got into good positions and he was wearing down. But I didn't get it into a scoring position. From the top, I couldn't get my lift, and I didn't get my lock. There were some mistakes that cost me the match."
"I think my preparation went well. I felt good going into the tournament. I just didn't have a strong scoring attack on top. It cost me. That is something I have to work on this year."
National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser
"Justin Ruiz lost all three flips. It didn't seem he could get something going on top. The Korean wrestler had good defense. He couldn't take him down. He wrestled sound. But in this game, you really have to be willing to outfight the guys. Do you rest your hopes on a coin flip? When you need it, you need to fight it out and score a point on your feet, so you can be on top first. He tried to get that, but it was not enough to take him down. He lost all three coin tosses. Neither wrestler turned each other the last two rounds. Justin prepared well. He did everything he could in his preparation. He, and the whole U.S. team, we need to be better. Better wrestlers, better skills, with better power."
"I thought Jake Clark wrestled well. Avluca is tough. Jake front headlocked him and got him tired. He made a mistake in the last period and got reversed. You take that away and all he needs is to stop him in the third period to win. I was pretty happy with how he wrestled. It was a close match. Avluca is a former World champion and a many-time medalist."
"The guy (Marko Yli-Hannuksela) countered T.C.'s par terre attack real well. T.C. tried hard to lift him and the guy snuck underneath him and got deep in a bear hug, catching T.C. off guard. I think T.C. was wrestling well, with good intensity and confidence. He was keeping his wits about himself. What do you do?"
"For us to be in the hunt for the team title, we had to have a good day today. It wasn't the way we wanted it. We have a long road back, but we still have some possibilities. It just didn't go the way we wanted it to go."