GRUENWALD, LINDLAND WIN GOLD MEDALS AT GRECO-ROMAN OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, MARCH 18-19
Two U.S. wrestlers won gold medals, Jim Gruenwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds and Matt Lindland (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds during the Greco-Roman Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Alexandria, Egypt, March 18-19.
It was the final of five Greco-Roman Olympic Qualification Tournaments held across the world from January through March. The top three scores from each nation at each weight class will be counted towards the final total.
FILA, the international wrestling federation, will annouce the finals standings for the series this week. Seven more nations will qualify in each weight class for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Gruenwald won four matches during the tournament, including a 5-1 decision over Valeri Nicoronov of Russia in the gold-medal finals. With his victory, Gruenwald earned eight Olympic qualification points for the United States.
Gruenwald has been very successful on these qualification tours. He also won a bronze medal at 127.75 pounds in the qualifier in France, a bronze medal at 138.75 pounds in the qualifier in Italy and was ninth at 127.75 pounds in the qualifier in Uzbekistan.
Lindland also went 4-0 in the tournament. In the semifinals, he defeated 1998 World Champion Bakmitar Baiseitov of Kazakhstan, in a 2-2, overtime referee's decision. In the gold-medal finals, he stopped Evgueny Grofaylon of Uzbekistan, 4-0. With his victory, Lindland scored nine Olympic qualification points for the United States.
The U.S. also had a pair of fourth-place finishes from Shawn Sheldon (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 119 pounds and Chris Saba (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 152 pounds. Sheldon earned six Olympic qualification points, and Saba captured five Olympic qualification points.
The U.S. did not enter an athlete at 138.75 pounds, the other weight that the U.S. is attempting to qualify. The U.S. entered the event in strong position to secure the qualification position at 138.75 pounds, and did not need to enter here.
More complete results from this event will be posted when available.
As soon as the final qualifying information is provided by the international wrestling federation, USA Wrestling will report the final qualifying standings of the U.S. at each of the weight classes in question.
GRECO-ROMAN OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT at Alexandria, Egypt, March 18-19
54 kg/119 lbs. - Shawn Sheldon, Colorado Springs, Colo., 4th place, 6 qualification points - dec. Nefzi Walid (Tunisia), 9-0; lost dec. to Sergiy Sobokar (Ukraine), 3-0; dec. Khvdorberdiev (Uzbekistan), 3-0; dec. Sarbazi (Iran), 9-0; lost dec. to Alexander Baivlov (Belarus), 6-0; lost ref. dec. to Ercan Yildiz (Turkey), 1-0, ot, 9:00
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Jim Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1st place, 8 qualification points - dec. Tayeb Karmani (Iran), 8-0; won by tech. fall over Avnihasa (Albania), 10-0; won by tech. fall over Grzegorz Sysxka (Poland), 11-0; dec. Valeri Niconorov (Russia), 5-1
69 kg/152 lbs. - Chris Saba, Colorado Springs, Colo., 4th place, 5 qualification points - won by tech. fall over Rabiv Al Mavla (Libya), 13-1; won by tech. fall over Ismail Riadh (Tunisia), 10-0; lost by tech. fall to Ender Memet (Romania), 11-0; lost dec. to Magdy Mahmoud (Egypt), 6-1
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb., 1st place, 9 qualification points - won by tech. fall over Ali Chamas (Libya), 10-0; pin Eric Walucho (Kenya); won by ref. dec. over Bakmitar Baiseitov (Kazakhstan), 2-2, ot, 9:00; dec. Evgueny Grofaylon (Uzbekistan), 4-0
Complete weight-by-weight results will be posted when available