|UPDATE: Kennedy wins bronze medal, Humphrey is fifth at Ramzan Kadyrov Cup in Russia|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
GROZNY, Russia – Jimmy Kennedy (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC) won a bronze medal and 2011 World Team member Reece Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio /New York AC) placed fifth, both at 60 kg/132 lbs. at the Ramzan Kadyrov Cup on Sunday.
Kennedy finished the tournament with a 4-1 record. He opened up with victories over two Russian opponents, Saidmagomed Masiev and Akhmed Chakaev and a forfeit win over 2012 University World champion Vasyl Shuptar of Ukraine.
His only loss came in the semifinals, when he was defeated by Alexander Bogomaev of Russia, 0-1, 0-5. Bogomaev went on to win the gold medal. Bogomaev has already won five international tournaments in 2012, and was third at the 2012 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix.
Kennedy bounced back to win his bronze-medal match 1-0, 1-0 over a Russian opponent.
"After a tough loss at the University Worlds in Finland 12 days ago, Jimmy Kennedy came to Chechnya with fire in his belly and something to prove. He beat some tough Russians with the FILA cards stacked against him and was Team USA's outstanding wrestler at this tournament. By the way, the University World Champion from Ukraine at 60K didn't medal here, but Jimmy did! I am very proud of him," said Assistant National Freestyle Coach Brandon Slay.
Kennedy won his first medal at a major international event.
"I thought I wrestled extremely tough this tournament. I got on my attacks right away and was able to score. It was a real big ego booster winning that quarter final match the way I did coming back after losing that first period. In the second I was winning 1-0 and hit a real nice single that I changed off to a double when he went to body lock me and I planted him right on his back. After that score, I really started feeling it. I knew in my head I could win the tournament and I was right there with these guys so that's what I wanted to make sure I did. I didn't want to get comfortable losing to foreigners and being okay with it so after universities. I told myself I wasn't coming home empty handed and this tournament was more of a test against myself than anything else," said Kennedy.
Humphrey ended up 3-2 for the day, including wins in his first two matches over an athlete from Tajikistan and an athlete from Russia. In the third round, he was defeated by two-time European champion Opan Sat of Russia, 0-1, 0-5. When Sat reached the finals, Humphrey was drawn back into the repechage.
Humphrey won a bout over a Russian in his first repechage match, 3-3, 1-0, 1-0. He was edged in his bronze-medal match by Vadim Dzgoev of Russia, 0-1, 0-3.
"Team USA had a much better second day in Gronzy by starting out 7-0 and building much needed momentum. Reece Humphrey and Jimmy Kennedy battled hard to the bronze medal matches at 60K where Jimmy earned the bronze, which is his first medal in a competition outside the North America. As a whole today, I was pleased with our team effort and desire to fight the entire match. Our guys are realizing that ties they hang out in against Americans will cost them against the best guys in the world, and this tournament was filled with many of the best guys on the planet. Our guys are also realizing how crucial the last 15 seconds of every period is, especially with the lead," said Slay.
Slay was pleased that both of the U.S. wrestlers who reached medal matches came from the same weight class, showing some needed depth in the American program there.
"After the stress we had qualifying 60K at the 2012 Olympics, it's is very encouraging to have Coleman Scott bring home the Olympic bronze and two months later have two different guys at 60K both wrestle for the bronze in a tournament of this caliber. Needless to say, we are excited about Team USA's medal potential at 60K going into this next quad," said Slay.
Updates on opponents for the U.S. athletes will be posted when available.
RAMZAN KADYROV CUP
At Grozny, Russia, Oct. 14
Men’s freestyle results
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Alexander Bogomoev (Russia)
Silver - Opan Sat (Russia)
Bronze - Vadim Dzgoev (Russia)
Bronze - Jimmy Kennedy (USA)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Muslim Dadayev (Russia)
Silver - Tamar Khubezhty (Russia)
Bronze - Muslim Dudayev (Russia)
Bronze - Kamal Malikov (Russia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Shamil Akhmedov (Russia)
Silver - Teimuraz Tigiev (Kazakhstan)
Bronze - Yuri Belonovsky (Russia)
Bronze - Batraz Gazzaev (Russia)
U.S. men’s freestyle performances
60 kg/132 lbs. - Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC), 5th
WIN Tojiddin Khodjaev (Tajikistan), 5-1, 1-2, 1-0
WIN (Russia), 3-2, 4-4
LOSS Opan Sat (Russia), 0-1, 0-5
WIN (Russia), 3-3, 1-0, 1-0
LOSS Vadim Dzgoev (Russia), 0-1, 0-3
60 kg/132 lbs. - Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Saidmagomed Masiev (Russia), 6-0, 6-0
WIN Vasyl Shuptar (Ukraine), forfeit
WIN Akhmed Chakaev (Russia), 0-3, 4-3, 5-2
LOSS Alexander Bogomaev(Russia), 0-1, 0-5
WIN (Russia), 1-0, 1-0
74 kg/163 lbs. - Colt Sponseller, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC)
WIN Ioanis Fserakhiev (Greece), 3-1, 4-0
LOSS Akhmed Aybuev (France), 0-2, 1-1, 1-3
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Les Sigman, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
WIN Rustam Urusov (Russia), 1-0, 1-0
LOSS (Russia), 0-3, 0-6