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|Warren vs. Bedinadze is the new “Bout of the Week” on USA Wrestling Audio/Video website|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on TheMat.com Audio/Video website .
The featured match this week is the 2006 Joe Warren vs. David Bedinadze gold medal finals at 60 kg/132 lbs. in men's Greco-Roman at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China.
This finals match featured two athletes who just recently burst upon the international scene. Both athletes competed in their first Senior World Championships in 2005, but did not win a medal. Both athletes had superb performances to qualify for the gold medal round in 2006, making them top Olympic medal hopefuls for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Joe Warren of the United States paid his dues within Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States for many years, prior to having his international opportunities the last two seasons.
Warren set a national takedown record as a high school star in Michigan, and attended an in-state college by choosing to wrestle for the Univ. of Michigan. He went on to place third in the 2000 NCAA Div. I Championships for the Wolverines.
After college, Warren decided to concentrate fully on Greco-Roman wrestling, and became a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. He had done some Greco-Roman wrestling while in college, but came into this training situation with much to learn.
For many years on the national level, he placed behind top international stars Dennis Hall and Jim Gruenwald, both who were Olympians. Warren continued to train and compete overseas on tours, but did not get the opportunity to wrestle at the World level for many years. He developed a wide open, aggressive style, and he wrestled with great emotion and intensity.
In 2004, Warren made a big leap, qualifying for the finals of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, where he was defeated by Gruenwald in the championship series. Gruenwald chose to retire from competition during the 2005 season, and became one of the coaches at the USOEC program at Northern Michigan Univ.
Warren quickly moved to the top of his weight class in 2005, winning both the U.S. Nationals and the World Team Trials. At his first World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Warren won his first two matches impressively. He lost in the third round to veteran Ali Ashkani of Iran, and was pulled back into the wrestle-backs when Ashkani made the finals. In his first wrestleback match, Warren was defeated by Vahan Juharyan of Armenia, and he placed ninth in the World.
Warren, then 29 years old, returned in 2006 to make his second World Team, a season in which he also captured a Pan American Championships gold medal. During training, he injured his foot and missed some preparation time during camp. However, when the World Championships came around, Warren was healthy again and looking for another chance to show his abilities.
Bedinadze quickly moved into the international ranks after success in the age-group levels. He was a 2001 European Cadet bronze medalist, then went on to capture a bronze medal at the 2003 Junior World Championships. In his first year on the Senior level, Bedinadze won a bronze medal at the 2005 European Championships.
At the 2005 World meet in Budapest, Bedinadze was placed in the same half-bracket as Warren. Bedinadze won his first match, then was defeated by Ashkani in the second round. Just like Warren, he was drawn into the wrestlebacks by Ashkani. His opening wrestleback was against Juharyan, who beat Bedinadze. In the next round, Juharyan beat Warren. Ultimately, Bedinadze placed 13th in the weight class.
This year, Bedinadze returned to the European Championships and made the gold-medal finals, losing to Karen Mnatsakanyan of Armenia.
Warren came out at the 2006 World Championships with power and passion and confidence. He opened with a 2-3, 3-1, 3-1 victory over past World champion Dilshod Aripov of Uzbekistan, then stopped past World medalist Ali Ashkani of Iran 2-1, 1-1. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Vyasheslav Djaste of Russia, 4-1, 2-0, then stopped two-time World medalist Euesebio Diaconu of Romania, 1-1, 2-1 in the semifinals.
In Guangzhou, Bedinadze was on the opposite side from Warren. He won four straight matches to reach the gold-medal match. His victims included Heinz Marnette of Germany, 2004 Olympic champion Istvan Majoros of Hungary and Oleksei Vakulenko of Ukraine. In the semifinals, Bedinadze stopped Emik Bunyamin of Turkey.
The championship match between Warren and Bedinadze was active and very competitive. It went down to the final seconds, when Warren scored a takedown to win the third period and become the new World Champion.
Warren became only the fifth U.S. wrestler to win a World Greco-Roman gold medal, joining Mike Houck, Dennis Hall, Rulon Gardner and Dremiel Byers as World Champions.
On the same day, two other U.S. wrestlers won bronze medals, Lindsey Durlacher at 55 kg and Harry Lester at 66 kg, and the USA went on to place third as a team in the final standings.
The video of this match was provided by WCSN, which posted daily internet broadcasts from the World Wrestling Championships in China. Those that wish to view archived footage of the 2006 World Championships should visit WCSN at
This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history. Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page was the 1997 Les Gutches vs. Eldar Assanov gold medal finals at 85 kg/187.25 lbs. at the 1997 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Krasnoyarsk, Russia Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.