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Iris Smith named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for Aug. 10-16



Iris Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for Aug. 10-16.

Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level.

Smith won a gold medal at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. in women’s freestyle wrestling at the CISM World Military Championships on Aug. 14 in Lahti, Finland.

It was the first time that women’s freestyle has been contested at the CISM World Military Games. Competition was held in the four Olympic weights.

Smith, a 2005 World Champion in women’s freestyle, won three straight matches in a challenging four-athlete round-robin.

Smith’s toughest match may have come in her first bout when she defeated Lijun Yang of China, 1-1, 0-1, 3-0.

Trailing in the first period, Smith gained the deciding point when Yang was cautioned for passivity. Yang dropped Smith with an ankle grab for the only score in the second period. Late in the third period, Smith earned a takedown and a quick turn at the buzzer for the win. Yang eventually won the silver medal.

Among Smith’s key wins was a 1-0, 1-0 victory over 2008 Olympic silver medalist Agnieszka Wieszczek of Poland in her second bout. She was able to drive her opponent out of bounds with a high leg lift in the first period, and scrambled from a front headlock for a takedown at the 1:23 mark in the second period.

Smith won her final match against Volha Khilko of Belarus, 3-0, 5-3. She used a high double to take Khilko to her back in the first period, and broke a 3-3 tie with two takedowns in the second period.

Smith wrestles for the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program.

Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Craig Sesker at csesker@usawrestling.org
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