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|Rough day for U.S. in Greco-Roman wrestling at the World Championships|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Dremiel Byers hits a gut wrench against Nurmankhan Tinaliyev of Kazakhstan that he was not awarded points for en route to suffering a controversial loss at the World Championships on Tuesday. Larry Slater photo.
ISTANBUL, Turkey – The U.S. fell short of winning a medal on Day 2 of the World Championships on Tuesday at the Sinan Erdem Dome.
American Greco-Roman wrestlers Dremiel Byers, Joe Betterman and Cheney Haight each lost their opening matches in Greco-Roman wrestling and came up short of placing.
“It was a sad day for us, for sure,” U.S. National Coach Steve Fraser said. “We feel like we can still compete with the best in the World. We need to get better obviously. It’s been a rough World Championships. We have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how we can get better.”
Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) dropped a controversial, three-period decision to 2010 World bronze medalist Nurmankhan Tinaliyev of Kazakhstan at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Byers was eliminated when Tinaliyev fell one win short of the finals. Tinaliyev won a bronze medal on Tuesday.
Byers won the first period against Tinaliyev 1-0, but dropped the next two periods 1-0, 2-0. Byers appeared to have scored with a gut wrench late in the second period, but no points were awarded to him. Tinaliyev then turned Byers with a gut wrench with two seconds left in the third period to win the match.
In the second period, Byers turned Tinaliyev with a gut wrench and appeared to expose his opponent’s back to the mat. Tinaliyev also went out of bounds after being turned, which could have given Byers another point for a pushout. They continued to wrestle and Tinaliyev pushed Byers out of bounds, and Tinaliyev was given a point for the stepout.
“In that particular situation, Byers gut-wrenched the Kazakh wrestler,” Fraser said. “The referee said no points, the judge said two and the chairman did nothing. Nothing, not one, not zero, not two. We were waiting to see the score. In the meantime, the scoreboard is out. It’s not working, so we don’t know the score. Plus we were going to challenge it. I turned around to the female judge and asked her the score. She said she gave two and one. I looked at the chairman, who is Bulgarian, and he didn’t look at me. We didn’t know the score. They ended up giving only one point for the Kazakh. Once we realized the score, we threw in the challenge but it was too late.”
Byers crouched down on the mat for about 10 seconds following the strange sequence to end the second period.
“I thought I scored two points,” Byers said. “That happens sometimes.”
Byers has won World gold, silver and bronze in this event. He was fifth last year.
“I’m not pleased with it at all,” Byers said of his performance on Tuesday. “One and done, there’s not much to say about it.”
Betterman dropped a first-round match to Luis Liendo of Venezuela at 60 kg/132 lbs. Liendo won 3-0, 1-0. Liendo defended in par terre in the first period before gaining a pushout in the second period to prevail.
Liendo went on a strong run, winning his next three matches before falling in the semifinals. He fell short of the finals, knocking Betterman out of the tournament. Liendo finished fifth.
Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) was competing in his second World Championships.
“I know Joe was very disappointed," Fraser said. "He was excited for the tournament. He didn’t take the Venezuelan lightly. We knew he was very tough.”
Haight fell to Janarbek Kenjeev of Kyrgyzstan 0-1, 1-0, 0-1 in the first round at 84 kg/185 lbs. Kenjeev won the match 1-0, 0-1, 1-0. Kenjeev defended in par terre in the third period to prevail. Kenjeev was a 2010 Asian Games bronze medalist and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games.
Haight was eliminated when Kenjeev lost his next match in the tournament.
Haight (Boise, Idaho/New York AC) was appearing in his first World Championships.
Iran's Omid Haji Noroozi won the World title at 60 kg/132 lbs. Alim Selimau of Belarus won the gold medal at 84 kg/185 lbs. Turkey's Riza Kayaalp won at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Kayaalp beat four-time World champion and 2008 Olympic champion Mijain Lopez of Cuba in the finals.
Day 3 of the seven-day event is set for Wednesday in Istanbul. Greco-Roman wrestler Andy Bisek (Colorado Springs, Colo./Minnesota Storm) will compete along with women’s wrestlers Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) and Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC).
Bisek competes at 74 kg/163 lbs., Chun is at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Conder is at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. Chun won a World title in 2008.
Wrestling is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 13
60 kg/132 lbs.
1 Omid Haji Noroozi (Iran)
2 Almat Kebispayev (Kazakhstan)
3 Zaur Kuramagomedov (Russia)
3 Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria)
5 Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea)
5 Luis Liendo (Venezuela)
7 Hasan Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
8 Vahan Juharyan (Armenia)
9 Tonimir Sokol (Croatia)
10 Manuel Lopez Salcero (Mexico)
84 kg/185 lbs.
1 Alim Selimau (Belarus)
2 Damian Janikowski (Poland)
3 Nazmi Avluca (Turkey)
3 Rami Heitaniemi (Finland)
5 Alan Khugaev (Russia)
5 Saman Ahman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan)
7 Nenad Zugaj (Croatia)
8 Andrea Minguzzi (Italy)
9 Se-Yeol Lee (Korea)
10 Marian Mihalik (Slovakia)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
1 Riza Kayaalp (Turkey)
2 Mijain Lopez (Cuba)
3 Nurmakhan Tinaliyev (Kazakhstan)
3 Bashir Asgari Babanjazadeh Darzi (Iran)
5 Mihály Deak-Bardos (Hungary)
5 Lukasz Banak (Poland)
7 Xenofon Koutsioumpas (Greece)
8 Ivan Ivanov (Bulgaria)
9 Yuri Patrikeev (Armenia)
10 Aleksandr Anuchin (Russia)
U.S. GRECO-ROMAN RESULTS FROM TUESDAY’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
60 kg/132 lbs. – Joe Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), dnp/35th
LOSS Luis Liendo (Venezuela), 0-3, 0-1
84 kg/185 lbs. – Cheney Haight, Boise, Idaho (New York AC),, dnp/26th
LOSS Janarbek Kenjeev (Kyrgyzstan), 0-1, 1-0, 0-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), dnp/24th
LOSS Nurmankhan Tinaliyev (Kazakhstan), 1-0, 0-1, 0-2