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|UPDATE: U.S. wins six medals at Haavisto Cup in Finland, placing second as a team|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
U.S. medalists Pete Kowalczuk, Ben sanchez, Marco Toledo, Paul Tellgren, Zac Nielsen and Jake Kettler. Photo by Brian Keck.
ILMAJOKI, Finland – The United States won six medals at the Haavisto Cup of Greco-Roman on Saturday.
The United States placed second as a team in the standings with 29 points, behind team champion Ukraine with 35 points. Host Finland was third with 14 points.
“The quality of wrestling at this tournament was again very high and the guys all wrestled very well. We had a training camp in between the Vantaa Cup and this tournament that was very beneficial to all of our athletes. Their improvement was marked and it showed against the opponents today at the competition. Every single one of the wrestlers improved greatly,” said U.S. coach Dale Oliver.
Claiming silver medals for Team USA were Paul Tellgren (Anoka, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Zac Nielsen (Zimmerman, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Pete Kowalczuk (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Tellgren opened with victories over Toufan Ahmadi of Finland and Mustafa Abdelaziz of Egypt. He was defeated by Sergiy Storozhenko of Ukraine, 0-7, 0-5 in the finals. Tellgren is ranked No. 2 on Team USA.
Nielson also had two victories to reach the finals, pinning Veli-Kari Souminen of Finland, then scoring a three-period win over Sergiy Prosckura of Ukraine in the semifinals. Nielson fell to Vitaly Lishchynskiy of Ukraine in the finals, 0-1, 0-1. Nielsen has recently dropped to 84 kg after competing in recent seasons at 96 kg.
Kowalczuk, a past University World medalist, scored two straight wins in three periods over Timo Kallio of Finland and Abdel Rahman Yehua Eltrab of Egypt. He was beaten in the gold-medal match by Taisto Lalli of Finland, 0-2, 0-1.
Claiming bronze medals were Ben Sanchez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Marco Toledo (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Jake Kettler (Ramsey, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Sanchez and Toledo ended with impressive 3-1 records. Sanchez defeated Jerry Pitkanen of Finland, 1-0, 6-0 in the bronze medal match. Toledo scored a 1-0, 0-1, 2-0 victory over Saverio Scaramuzzi of Italy to capture his bronze.
Kettler stopped Oskari Riihoija of Finland, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0 in the bronze-medal bout to finish the tournament with a 2-1 record.
Placing fifth after losing a bronze medal match was Pete Gounaridis (Leominster, Mass./Sunkist Kids) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Ilmajoki, Finland, Nov. 26
55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Sergiy Storozhenko (Ukraine)
Silver - Paul Tellgren (USA)
Bronze - Karwan Ahmadi (Finland)
Bronze - Toufan Ahmadi (Finland)
5th - Moustafa Abdelaziz (Egypt)
6th - Feredico Manea (Italy)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Sayed Abdelmonem Sayed Ha (Egypt)
Silver - Danylo Krymov (Ukraine)
Bronze - Vincenzo Macri (Italy)
Bronze - Ruslan Israfilov (Ukraine)
5th - Antti Lindgren (Finland)
5th - Ville Käki (Finland)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Tero Välimäki (Finland)
Silver - Jarkko Ala-Huikku (Finland)
Bronze - Ben Sanchez (USA)
Bronze - Matti Kettunen (Finland)
5th - Jerry Pitkänen (Finland)
5th - Tomosian Khoren (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Valdemadas Venckntis (Lithuana)
Silver- Beka Karkarashvili (Ukraine)
Bronze - Marco Toledo (USA)
Bronze - Jussi Talvitie (Finland)
5th - Saverio Scaramuzzi (Italy)
5th - Petteri Kukkola (Finland)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold- Vitaly Lishchynskiy (Ukraine)
Silver - Zac Nielsen (USA)
Bronze - Sergiy Proskura (Ukraine)
Bronze - Ruslan Isakov (Russia)
5th - Veli-Karri Suominen (Finland)
5th - Marko Kivimäki (Finland)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Daigoro Timoncini (Italy)
Silver - Volodymyr Vasyliev (Ukraine)
Bronze - Vilius Laurinaitis (Lithuania)
Bronze - Rami Hietaniemi (Finland)
5th - Pete Gounaridis (USA)
5th - Alo Toom (Estonia)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Taisto Lalli (Finland)
Silver - Pete Kowalczuk (USA)
Bronze - Jake Kettler (USA)
Bronze - Timo Kallio (Finland)
5th - Abdel Rahman Yehua Eltrab (Egypt)
5th - Oskari Riihioja (Finland)
U.S. Greco-Roman performances
55 kg/121 lbs. - Paul Tellgren, Anoka, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 2nd
WIN Toufan Ahmadi (VaaToo-Finland), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
WIN Mustafa Abdelaziz (Egypt), 1-0, 0-3, 6-0
LOSS Sergiy Storozhenko (Ukraine), 0-7, 0-5
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Patrick Smith, Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), dnp
LOSS Jarkko Ala-Haikku (IK-Finland), 0-2, 0-1
LOSS Jerry Pitkanen (HaTa-Finland), 0-1, 3-0, 1-3
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Ben Sanchez, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN Ando Lehmets (Estonia), 1-0, 1-0
WIN Makkvan Amirkhani (VaaTo-Finland), 2-2, 5-0
LOSS Jarkko Ala-Haikku (IK-Finland), 0-1, 0-2
WIN Jerry Pitkanen (HaTa-Finland), 1-0, 6-0
74 kg/163 lbs. - Corey Hope, Carol Stream, Ill. (USOEC), dnp
WIN Aki Polkki (AH-Finland), 2-0, 3-0
LOSS Beka Karkarashvili (Ukraine), 0-1, 0-1
LOSS Jussi Talvite (IK-Finland), 0-1, 0-1
74 kg/163 lbs. – Marco Toledo, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3rd
WIN Mohammed Seddik Ahmed (Egypt), 3-0, 1-0
LOSS Valedemadas Venckaitis (Lithuania), 1-1, 0-7
WIN Jusso Ukkola (HaHe-Finland), 1-1, 2-0
WIN Saverio Scaramuzzi (Italy), 1-0, 0-1, 2-0
84 kg/185 lbs. - Travis Rutt, Jackson, Minn. (Badger WC), dnp
LOSS Mustafa Hassan Ghanem (Egypt), 2-1, 0-3, 0-1
84 kg/185 lbs. – Zach Nielsen, Zimmerman, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 2nd
WIN Veli-Kari Souminen (UV-Finland), 1-1, pin in 2nd
WIN Sergiy Prosckura (Ukraine), 1-0, 0-2, 1-0
LOSS Vitaly Lishchynskiy (Ukraine), 0-1, 0-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Pete Gounaridis, Leominster, Mass. (Sunkist Kids), 5th
WIN Ansi Kuivamaki (NJ-Finland), 3-0, 6-0
LOSS Daigoro Timonici (Italy), 0-2, 0-2
LOSS Vilius Laurinaitis (Lithuania), 0-1, 0-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Pete Kowalczuk, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 2nd
WIN Timo Kallio (TWM-Finland), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
WIN Abdel Rahman Yehua Eltrab (Egypt), 0-1, 1-0, 2-0
LOSS Taisto Lalli (Finland), 0-2, 0-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Jake Kettler, Ramsey, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 3rd
WIN Jusso Huovinen (LoVo-Finland), 0-2, 1-0, 2-0
LOSS Taisto Lalli (Finland), 0-3, 0-2
WIN Oskari Riihoija (PeTo-Finland), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0
1st - Ukraine - 35
2nd - USA - 29
3rd - Finland -14
4th - Italy -13
5th - IK Club (Finland) – 11
6th - Egypt – 10
7th - Vaato Club (Finland) – 8
8th - Russia – 6
8th – Lithuania – 6
10th (tie)- PTI, NJ and TWM clubs of Finland - 4