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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

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NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

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Rulon Gardner wins gold medal, upsetting superstar and previously unbeaten Alexandre Kareline of Rus



Rulon Gardner (Afton, Wyo./Sunkist Kids) scored the biggest victory in the history of Olympic wrestling, defeating three-time Olympic Champion and previously unbeaten Alexandre Kareline of Russia in the gold medal finals at 130 kg/286 pounds in Greco-Roman wrestling on September 27 at the Sydney Exhibition Center in Darling Harbour. Gardner won the match, 1-0 in overtime, scoring the only point in the match from the clinch position at the beginning of the second period. Kareline released his lock from the position first, giving Gardner a point and a caution against Kareline. No other points were scored during the match, as Gardner wore down the Russian star with his constant pressure attack. A key to the victory was Gardner's ability to stop Kareline's patented and powerful reverse body lift. Kareline had won three Olympic gold medals and nine World Championship gold medals. He had never lost an international wrestling match ever, beginning his career in 1985 with a gold medal at the Junior World Championships. Many consider him the greatest Olympic athlete of modern times. Gardner was fifth in the World Championships in 1997. During that event, he faced Kareline for the first time, losing a 5-0 match in overtime. It was the only meeting ever between these star wrestlers. Gardner becomes only the third U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal, joining Steve Fraser (198 lbs./90 kg) and super heavyweight Jeff Blatnick, both 1984 Olympic champions. Ironically, both were there to participate in Gardner's historic victory, Fraser as the USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman coach and Blatnick as the NBC color commentator calling the action. Gardner is competing in his first Olympic Games. He won five matches on the way to the gold medal. Gardner is a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo. and a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete. He was an NCAA All-American from the Univ. of Nebraska, and also was an NJCAA Junior College national champion at Ricks College. He attended Star Valley High School in Wyoming. Other individual champions were Armen Nazarian of Bulgaria at 58 kg, Filiberto Azcuy of Cuba at 69 kg and Hamza Yerlikaya of Turkey at 85 kg. All three were also gold medalists at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Medal results, September 27, 2000 58 kg Gold medal - Armen Nazarian (Bulgaria) pin Kim In-Sub (Korea), 2:34 Bronze medal - Zetian Sheng (People's Republic of Korea) won by ref. dec. over Rifat Yildiz (Germany), 2-1, ot, 9:00 69 kg Gold medal - Filiberto Azcuy (Cuba) won by tech. fall over Katsuhiko Nagata (Japan), 11-0, 1:44 Bronze medal - Alexei Glouchkov (Russia) dec. Valeri Nikitin (Estonia), 5-0 76 kg Gold medal - Hamza Yerlikaya (Turkey) vs. Sandor Bardosi (Hungary), 3-3, ot, 9:00 Bronze medal - Mukhran Vakhtangadze (Georgia) dec. Fritz Aanes (Norway), 4-0 130 kg Gold medal - Rulon Gardner (USA) won by ref. dec. over Alexandre Kareline (Russia), 1-0, ot, 9:00 Bronze medal - Demitri Debelka (Belarus) won by ref. dec. over Juri Yevseychyc (Israel), 1-0, ot, 9:00
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