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|One of strongest fields ever expected for Dave Schultz Memorial International|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - It has mushroomed into an event the late Dave Schultz certainly would be proud to have his name associated with.
The 2007 Dave Schultz Memorial International looks to have its strongest field ever as the ninth year of the event will include top competitors from dozens of foreign nations.
The event is set for Feb. 9-10 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The event was created in February 1999 as USA Wrestling, working with Nancy Schultz and the Dave Schultz Wrestling Foundation, created an international wrestling tournament in honor of the late Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz.
The field includes an abundance of wrestlers with sparkling credentials and features some of the top wrestling nations and athletes in the world. The strength of programs such as Russia, Bulgaria, China, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgysztan guarantees that winning a medal at this tournament in any of the three styles will be a great achievement.
The following World or Olympic champions are expected to compete:
Armen Nazarian of Bulgaria (Greco-Roman 60 kg/132 lbs.)
Nikolay Gergov of Bulgaria (Greco-Roman 66 kg/145.5 lbs.)
Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria (freestyle, 55 kg/121 lbs.)
Nicolai Paslar of Bulgaria (freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs.)
Stanka Hristova of Bulgaria (women 72 kg/158.5 lbs.)
Yanyan Li of China (Greco-Roman 66 kg/145.5 lbs.)
Karam Mohammed Gaber Ibrahim of Egypt (Greco-Roman 96 kg/211.5 lbs.)
Ji-hyun Jung of Korea (Greco-Roman 66 kg/145.5 lbs.)
Heiki Nabi of Estonia (Greco-Roman 96 kg/211.5 lbs.)
Brigitte Wagner of Germany (women 51 kg/112.25 lbs.)
Alena Kartashova of Russia (women 63 kg/138.75 lbs.)
Olga Smirnova of Kazakhstan (women 55 kg/121 lbs.)
Nazarian is a three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic Champion. Nazarian is scheduled to compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. and could meet 2006 World Champion Joe Warren of the United States.
The Greco-Roman field at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. is loaded. It includes past World Champions in Li, Gergov and Jung.
Velikov turned in an impressive showing in capturing the 2006 World title in freestyle wrestling. He beat past World Champion Sammie Henson of the U.S. in the semifinals before downing top young Russian prospect Besik Kudukhov in the finals.
Add to that as many as four U.S. World Champions, and the 16 World or Olympic Champions expected are the most in tournament history, making the competition one of the strongest in the world.
The following nations have notified USA Wrestling that they will send competitors to the Schultz Memorial: Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Central Africa, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Haiti, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan and the United States. A few other nations are possible participants.
Adult all-session tickets for the two-day event are $15 apiece. Adult tickets are $10 apiece on Friday and Saturday, or $5 per session. Adult tickets for medals and finals matches only are $8 each. Cost of tickets for high school students (with I.D.) and senior citizens (62 and over) is $5 per day. Youth (5-14 years old) tickets are $4 per day. Coaches are admitted free with five paid wrestlers.
The event is being sponsored by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation.
Due to the international wrestling rules, there will be gold-medal finals on both nights of the championships. These are the weight classes that will be contested each day:
Friday, Feb. 9: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
Saturday, Feb. 10: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg), Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg), Women (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg).
DAVE SCHULTZ MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE
Thursday, Feb. 8
Noon-3 p.m. - Registration (Freestyle, Greco-Roman)
3-3:30 p.m. - Weigh-ins: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
Friday, Feb. 9
9 a.m-2 p.m. - Session I: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
1:30-3 p.m. - Registration (Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Women's freestyle)
3-3:30 p.m. - Weigh-ins: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Women's freestyle (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg)
4 p.m.-conclusion - Session II: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
Saturday, Feb. 10
9 a.m.-2 p.m. - Session I: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Women's freestyle (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg)
4 p.m.-conclusion - Session II: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Women's freestyle (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg)