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USA wins four bronze medals at World Sombo Championships in Antalya, Turkey

ANTALYA, TURKEY - The United States won four bronze medals at the World Sombo Championships, the first event at the World Wrestling Games in Antalya, Turkey, September 7.

Capturing bronze medals were Phil Rizzo (St. Petersburg, Fla./Team Pursuit) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Scott Garcia (Mesa, Ariz./American Pankration) at 84 kg/185 lbs., Carlos Dolmo (Bronx, N.Y./Blast Double NY) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. and Ramon Diaz (Testin, Calif./No Limits) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

It was a strong recovery for the U.S. team, which had a difficult early round of competition that saw 11 of the 12 U.S. athletes lose their opening match.

"With the Russians, French and Bulgarians here this year, there was more talent in the field than last year. They are all taking this event more seriously," said U.S. coach Floyd Winter.

Of the four U.S. medalists, two won bronze medal matches, Garcia and Dolmo.

Garcia dropped his opening match to Sashi Yanev Evtinov of Bulgaria on a perfect throw submission. When Evtinov qualified for the gold-medal match, Garcia was brought back into the wrestlebacks, where he stopped Norijuki Kitauora of Japan, 6-1 in the bronze-medal round. Garcia hit three two-point throws, showing superior ability from the standing position.

"For my final match against Japan, I watched him in advance," said Garcia. "He did a lot of Grappling and was not a thrower. I wanted to do submissions and knew I could outscore him. My gameplan worked for me. I was able to execute my moves. I feel excellent about my performance. This was a great experience. Jeff Funicello, my coach with American Pankration, helped me out here and gave me good strategies."

Dolmo was the only U.S. wrestler to capture his opening match, defeating Jorge Eoghin Julian of Australia, 6-0. Dolmo opened up the match with a four-point lead, then added two more takedowns for the win.

In the semifinals, Dolmo lost a competitive match against Kayolan Iordanov Mihalev of Bulgaria, 4-8. Dolmo scored the first two points of the match, but saw Mihalev scored eight straight points on a series of throws. Dolmo held down Mihalev on his back for two points when time ran out. In the bronze-medal round, Domlo defeated Isa Namli of Turkey by default.

Dolmo is the only member of the U.S. team who competed at the 2006 Sombo World Championships. He placed seventh last year at this event.

"I competed well," said Dolmo. "I made a mental mistake that cost me the chance for the gold medal round. I didn't attack him with my best move, the blast double. Besides that, I wrestled well. The coaches and the team were behind me."

The other two wrestlers who won medals were defeated in the semifinals. They did not have any wrestlebacks in their bracket, and earned the bronze medal.

Rizzo lost to Alberti Guillome of France by submission in 3:28 of his match. Diaz was defeated in a wide-open match against Temirlan Isaev of Russia, 8-12. With the bout tied at 8-8, Isaev hit his second four-point throw, which automatically ends the match.

"It was disappointing," said Rizzo. "I could have performed better. We have work to do in the U.S. in Sombo. We need more mat time. We have the talent to compete here. We need to put more time into this style."

"I am disappointed," said Diaz. "I thought I won the match and then he threw me. I thought I had scored my second four-point move to win the match. I relaxed and then he threw me. I should have been in the finals wrestling the Bulgarian, who I feel I would have beaten."

Two U.S. wrestlers placed fifth after losing their bronze-medal matches:
Jake Bohn (Kentwood, Mich./unattached) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Rawle Shewprashad (New York, N.Y./Blast Double NY) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

There was no official team awards presented at the tournament this year. France won six medals, including three individual gold medals, while Turkey had four medals, including two individual champions.

The United States placed second at the 2006 World Sombo Championships in the men's division with seven medalists. That was the first year that FILA hosted a Sombo World event, since international wrestling abandoned Sombo in the mid 1980's.

"For everyone here except for Dolmo, this was their first World tournament," said Winter. "Internationally, this is a young U.S. team. We are weak in our jacket techniques and our submissions. These are things we can work on. Our team is young and inexperienced. There is much for us to do if we are going to win several medals."

The U.S. delegation entered two women athletes at 55 kg/121 lbs., Tanya Miyasaki (Kaneohe, Hawaii/Missouri Valley College) and Courtney Martell (New Haven, Vermont/Missouri Valley College). After initial approval by the international federation, the athletes weighed in and warmed up to compete. After objection from the Turkish federation, the U.S. women were not permitted to participate.

At Antalya, Turkey, Sept. 7

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Erdinc Kirbiyik (Turkey)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Sekcuk Sahin (Turkey)
Silver - Dressy Bastien (France)
Bronze - Daniel Ruiz (Spain)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Alberti Guillaume (France)
Silver - Boris Hristov Borisov (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Phillip Rizzo (United States)
Bronze - Atabiev Dik (Russia)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Arnaud Blanc (France)
Silver - David Ducanovic (France)
Bronze - Cemali Kucukguglu (Turkey)
Bronze - Norimiko Cemali (Japan)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - Oscar Fernandez (Spain)
Silver - Sashi Yanev Evtinov (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Scott Garcia (United States)
Bronze - Bernard Nicolas (France)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Truffy Mathias (France)
Silver - Hasan Ergin (Turkey)
Bronze - Savas Bas (Turkey)
Bronze - Anzor Sokurov (Russia)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Temirlan Isaev (Russia)
Silver - Kayolan Iordanov Mihalev (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Ramon Diaz (United States)
Bronze - Carlos Dolmo (United States)

U.S. performances

60 kg/132 lbs. - Eric Albarracin, Colorado Springs, Colo. (EA Kombat - Modern Army Combatives), 5th by injury withdrawl
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Phil Rizzo, St. Petersburg, Fla.(Team Pursuit), 3rd
LOSS Alberti Guillome (France), submission, 3:28

74 kg/163 lbs. - BJ Adams, Daytona Beach, Fla. (Embry Riddle WC), 9th
LOSS Cemali Kucukguglu (Turkey), 0-8 - two four-point throws

74 kg/163 lbs. - Jake Bohn, Kentwood, Mich. (unattached), 5th
LOSS Arnaud Blanc (France), submission (arm bar), 1:24
LOSS Cemali Kucukguglu (Turkey), 0-12, technical fall

74 kg/163 lbs. - Bryce Santaniello, Santa Ana, Calif. (No Limits), 8th
LOSS Stoiko Deymon Gashirov (Bulgaria), submission - perfect throw, 0:45

84 kg/185 lbs. - Scott Garcia, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration), 3rd
LOSS Sashi Yanev Evtinov (Bulgaria), submission - perfect throw, 1:22
WIN Norijuki Kitauora (Japan), 6-1

84 kg/185 lbs. - Jeff Funicello. Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration), 7th
LOSS Bernard Nicolas (France), submission - perfect throw at 3:12

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Douglas Fournet, Denham Springs, La. (Gladiators Academy), 9th
LOSS Anzor Sokurov (Russia), 0-10

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Rawle Shewprashad, New York, N.Y. (Blast Double NY), 5th
LOSS Hasan Ergin (Turkey), 2-2
LOSS Anzor Sokurov (Russia), submission - knee lock, 3:30

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Ryan Gillespie, San Diego, Calif. (The Boxing Club), 8th
LOSS Ali Rudji Madundji (Bulgaria). 8-1 - two four point throws

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Carlos Dolmo, Bronx, N.Y. (Blast Double NY), 3rd
WIN Jorge Eoghin Julian (Australia), 6-0
LOSS Kayolan Iordanov Mihalev (Bulgaria), 4-8
WIN Isa Namli (Turkey), default

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Ramon Diaz, Testin, Calif. (No Limits), 3rd
LOSS Temirlan Isaev (Russia), 8-12 - two four-point throws
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