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|FLASH: Stoll reaches Greco-Roman heavyweight semifinals at Junior Worlds in Bulgaria|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
SOFIA, Bulgaria – The U.S. has its first Junior World semifinalist this year, as Sam Stoll (Kasson, Minn./Minnesota Storm) won his first two bouts at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the Junior World Championships on Wednesday.
Stoll will face Abas Abdullayev of Azerbaijan in the semifinals, which begin at 4:00 p.m. in Sofia. Abdullayev was eighth in the 2013 European Junior Championships.
Stoll, who is a high school star out of Minnesota, opened his day with a clutch 4-3 win over Alexandros Papadatos of Greece. Stoll trailed 3-0 in the second period, and had a big throw for three points. Papadatos protested the call, but the scoring was confirmed, giving Stoll an additional point for a failed challenge.
In the quarterfinal against hometown favorite Yanislav Kolev of Bulgaria, Stoll trailed again, but ran off 10 straight points for a 10-2 technical fall. Stoll scored a takedown then four straight gutwrenches, each worth two points, to end the match suddenly.
By reaching the semifinals, Stoll guarantees himself at least fifth place, and will be in either the gold medal match or one of the bronze medal matches.
Winning his first two matches, then losing in the quarterfinals was Isaiah Varona (Miami, Fla./USOEC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. Varona is competing in his second straight Junior World Championships.
Varona opened with an impressive 8-0 technical fall over Daniel Kocar of Slovakia, finishing it off in the first period at 2:20.
He had a battle in the second round with Ahmadjon Mahmudov of Uzbekistan. Mahmudov had two one-point lifts in the first period, but Varona tied it up in the second on a caution point and a pushout at 2-2. As time ran out , Mahmudov scored what could have been a winning takedown. Varona protest, and the referees ruled that time had run out. Varona won on criteria.
His quarterfinal bout was against Nika Tsetskhaladze of Georgia. Varona could not get his offense going, and ended up losing by technical fall, 0-7 in the second period. Tsetskhaladze was eighth in the 2011 Junior World Championships.
Winning his opening bout was Sahid Kargbo (Alexandria, Va./Patriot Elite WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Kargbo opened with a good mix of technique and quick reactions to earn a technical fall over Filip Sacic of Croatia in the second period, 8-0. An early takedown followed by a gut wrench gave him the lead, which he added to with pushouts and an takedown.
In his second match, Kargbo went tough with Shmagi Bolkvadze of Georgia. The match was tied 2-2 at break, but the Georgian scored on a stepout and a throw to emerge with a 6-3 win over Kargbo, who competes at George Mason Univ.
Dropping his only bout at 84 kg/185 lbs. was Lucas Sheridan (Concord Calif./CYC), who fell to Tarek Abd Elsalam Shibil of Egypt, 0-5. Sheridan, who competes for Indiana University, is competing in his second straight Junior World Championships. Sheridan was eliminated when the Egyptian was defeated in his next match.
Varona and Kargbo still have a chance to compete in the repechage if the athletes who beat them are able to win their semifinal bouts.
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sofia, Bulgaria, August 14
U.S. Greco-Roman performances so far today
55 kg/121 lbs. – Isaiah Varona, Miami, Fla. (USOEC/Northern Michigan University)
WIN Daniel Kocar (Slovakia), tech. fall, 8-0 (2:20)
WIN Ahmadjon Mahmudov (Uzbekistan), 2-2
LOSS Nika Tsetskhaladze (Georgia), tech fall, 0-7 (4:17)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Sahid Kargbo, Alexandria, Va. (Patriot Elite WC/George Mason University)
WIN Filip Sacic (Croatia), tech. fall, 8-0 (4:45)
LOSS Shmagi Bolkvadze (Georgia), 3-6
84 kg/185 lbs. – Lucas Sheridan, Concord Calif. (CYC/University of Indiana)
LOSS Tarek Abd Elsalam Shibil (Egypt), 0-5
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Sam Stoll, Kasson, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
WIN Alexandros Papadatos (Greece), 4-3
WIN Yanislav Kolev (Bulgaria), tech. fall 10-2
Semifinals vs. Abas Abdullayev (Azerbaijan)