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USA wins University Freestyle Worlds, with four individual gold medalists



Led by four individual gold medalists, the United States claimed the team title at the 2000 World University Wrestling Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 5.

Claiming gold medals for the United States were Teague Moore (Pittsburgh, Pa./Sunkist Kids) at 119 pounds, Byron Tucker (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds, Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 187.25 pounds and Chad Lamer (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) at 213.75 pounds.

The United States scored 60 points to win the team title, edging second place Turkey with 59 points. Rounding out the top five teams were Russia with 56 points, Iran with 52 points and Japan with 44 points. A total of 19 nations participated in the tournament. It was an impressive team performance for the United States, which did not even have an entry at 130 kg.

Moore defeated Ramazan Demir of Turkey, 9-2 in the gold-medal finals. He qualified for the finals with a exciting 4-2 overtime win over Zaoudin Bajev of Russia in the semifinals. Moore, a former Oklahoma State NCAA champion, is currently ranked No. 3 in the United States on the Senior level.

Tucker edged Aznaour Adjiev of Russia, 5-4 in the gold-medal match. His semifinal victory was against Falih Koyuncu of Turkey, by a 6-0 margin. Tucker, a 2000 NCAA champion at the Univ. of Oklahoma, holds a No. 4 Senior-level ranking in the United States.

Sanderson claimed his gold medal with a 4-2 victory over Majid Khodaee of Iran in the championship finals. He scored a pin in 2:29 over Tamas Kiss of Hungary in the semifinals.

Sanderson lost his first match of the tournament to Alexei Kaziev of Russia and placed second in his pool, but won a repechage to qualify for the semifinals. Kaziev placed third in the final standings. Sanderson is a two-time NCAA champion for Iowa State, and is competing in his junior season. He was also a 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier.

Lamer dominated both of his opponents on Sunday to claim the title. In the semifinals, he pinned Kang Dong-Kuk of Korea in 4:18, then scored an 11-1 technical fall over Shahrokh Sadaghatizadeh of Iran in the gold-medal match. Lamer, a former star at South Dakota State, is ranked No. 4 in the USA on the Senior level.

Two U.S. wrestlers placed fourth in their weight class after losing in the bronze-medal match: Stephen Abas (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds and Eric Larkin (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 138.75 pounds

Abas lost to Luvsandamba Enkbayar of Mongolia, 3-1 in the bronze-medal match. Abas, a 1999 NCAA champion for Fresno State, is competing in his senior season in college after taking a redshirt year in 2000. He holds a No. 4 national ranking at 119 pounds on the Senior level, but has moved up a weight class in this tournament.

Larkin was beaten twice on Sunday. In the semifinals, he lost to eventual champion Leonid Spiridonov of Russia, 9-3. In the bronze-medal match, Larkin fell to Memhet Yozgat of Turkey, 4-2. Larkin, an Arizona State student, is currently ranked No. 3 in the United States on the Senior level.

Casey Cunningham (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), who did not compete on Sunday, placed fifth at 152 pounds. Cunningham was a 1999 NCAA champion for Central Michigan and was an 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier.

The freestyle athletes were coached by Freestyle Developmental Coach Mike Duroe and Freestyle Resident Coach Kevin Jackson, who work full-time at USA Wrestling's national headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.

To participate, an athlete must be 17-28 years old, must be a current college student, or be graduated from a university within a year of the competition.

The U.S. team was selected based upon performance on the national level, with National Team ranking, Olympic and Regional Trials and Resident athlete participation the top criteria. In addition, performance at USA Wrestling age-group national events was also part of the selection process.

The competition is being held at the Sports Hall at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo. The Greco-Roman portion of the tournament is set for November 6-8.

WORLD UNIVERSITY FREESTYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS at Tokyo, Japan, November 4

Medalists

54 kg/119 lbs. - Gold - Teague Moore (United States); Silver - Ramazan Demir (Turkey); Bronze - Zaoudin Bajev (Russia)

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Gold - Aliaksandr Karnitski (Belarus); Silver - Kirill Pavlov (Russia); Bronze - Luvsandamba Enkbayar (Mongolia)

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Gold - Leonid Spiridonov (Russia); Silver - Naoki Kurio (Japan); Bronze - Mehmet Yozgat (Turkey)

69 kg/152 lbs. - Gold - Ahmet Gulhan (Turkey); Silver - Mehdi Baraati (Iran); Bronze - Iskhak Boziev (Russia)

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Gold - Byron Tucker (United States); Silver - Aznaour Adjiev (Russia); Bronze - Ramazanali Olyaninejad (Iran)

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Gold - Cael Sanderson (United States); Silver - Majid Khodaee (Iran); Bronze - Alexei Kaziev (Russia)

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Gold - Chad Lamer (United States); Silver - Shahrokh Sadaghatizadeh (Iran); Bronze - Kang Dong-Kuk (Korea)

130 kg/286 lbs. - Gold - Zekeriya Guclu (Turkey); Silver - Justin David Beauparlant (Canada); Bronze - Bahman Tayebivakojozi (Iran)

Team Standings: 1. United States, 60; 2. Turkey, 59; 3. Russia, 56; 4. Iran, 52; 5. Japan, 44; 6. Korea, 39; 7. Canada, 37; 8. Hungary, 15; 9. Belarus, 13; 10. Mongolia, 13; 11. Switzerland, 8; 12. Poland, 6; 13. Italy, 6; 14. Azerbaijan, 5; 15. Estonia, 4; 16. New Zealand, 3; 17. Austria, 0; 17. Belgium, 0; 17. Ukraine, 0

U.S. Freestyle Team results - Day three

54 kg/119 lbs. - Teague Moore, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Sunkist Kids) - Semifinals - dec. Zaoudin Bajev (Russia), 4-2, ot, 6:44; Gold medal match - dec. Ramazan Demir (Turkey), 9-2

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif. (Sunkist Kids) - Bronze medal match - lost dec. to Luvsandamba Enkbayar (Mongolia), 3-1

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Eric Larkin, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) - Semifinals - lost dec. to Leonid Spiridonov (Russia), 9-3; Bronze medal match - lost dec. to Memhet Yozgat (Turkey), 4-2

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Byron Tucker, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) - Semifinals - dec. Falih Koyuncu (Turkey), 6-0; Gold medal match - dec, Aznaour Adjiev (Russia), 5-4

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) - Semifinals - pin Tamas Kiss (Hungary), 2:29; Gold medal match - dec. Majid Khodaee (Iran), 4-2

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Chad Lamer, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye) - Semifinals - pin Kang Dong-Kuk (Korea), 4:18; Gold medal finals - won by tech. fall over Shahrokh Sadaghatizadeh (Iran), 11-1, 2:05

Final U.S. placements

54 kg/119 lbs. - Teague Moore, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Sunkist Kids) - 1st

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif. (Sunkist Kids) - 4th

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Eric Larkin, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) - 4th

69 kg/152 lbs. - Casey Cunningham, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) - 5th

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Byron Tucker, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) - 1st

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) - 1st

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Chad Lamer, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye) - 1st

U.S. Coaches - Freestyle Developmental Coach Mike Duroe, Colorado Springs, Colo. and Freestyle Resident Coach Kevin Jackson, Colorado Springs, Colo.

For complete results of every match of the first day, visit TheMat.com, the Ultimate Source for Real Wrestling.

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