Patrick Martinez (NYAC) went 1-1 at the 2016 Grand Prix of Spain while his three fellow US Greco Roman competitors fell in the first round. The tournament took place earlier today and began at around 4pm local time (10am EST). Martinez got past Juan Jose Ruiz (ESP) in the first round with a statement-making tech fall victory. Standing in his way in the semifinals was 2016 African Championship gold medalist Mahmoud Fawzy Rashad (EGY). The Egyptian didn’t over-extend and preferred to react to Martinez’s attacks. It wasn’t a terrible strategy. Martinez managed to pick up steam eventually but it wasn’t enough, dropping a 6-2 decision. However, Martinez earned a bronze medal without having to wrestle another time.
If Daniel Miller (Marines, 98 kg) is going to break through and eventually rise to become a top contender, he’s going to remember this summer later on. Last week he was stifled 2-0 by Cenk Ildem (TUR, world no. 6). This week, he had the pleasure of doing battle with another big name, 2013 World Champion Nikita Melnikov (RUS, world no. 1). Unlike Ildem, Melnikov poured it on offensively and piled on the points from par terre all the way for an 8-0 tech. Because Melnikov advanced through the tournament, Miller was given another chance in the repechage. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t as if the task ahead would get a whole lot easier. Italy’s Daigoro Timoncino, a two-time Olympian who placed fifth at the World Championships in 2007, represented yet another much more experienced foe for the American. Miller couldn’t get anything going in this one and was once again on the wrong side of an 8-0 technical fall.
Both JayShon Wilson (Marines, 75 kg) and Raymond Bunker (Marines, 71 kg) didn’t have it much better. Wilson, a durable, powerful prospect, lost to Cirro Russo (ITA) 12-3. Bunker tangled with Kabyn Bohdan (UKR) and went down 11-2. It was a rough day for the Marine wrestlers, but this tour demonstrated more of a desire to pick up meaningful matches and training overseas. Do they want to win medals? Absolutely. But it’s a process and one they will continue to improve upon.
As for Martinez, this all sets the stage for the rest of his season. He’ll have the World University Championships towards the end of October in Turkey and will be ramping up his training once again in Colorado Springs. The 2016 University Worlds make it two different World Championships Martinez will be competing in within the same year.
US Greco Roman Results – Spanish Grand Prix
Raymond Bunker (Marines)
LOSS – Kabyn Bohdan UKR), 11-2 TF
JayShon Wilson (Marines)
LOSS – Cirro Russo (ITA), 12-3 TF
Patrick Martinez (NYAC)
WIN – Juan Jose Ruiz (ESP), 9-0 TF
LOSS – Mahmoud Fawzy (EGY), 6-2
Daniel Miller (Marines)
LOSS – Nikita Melnikov (RUS), 8-0 TF
LOSS – Daigoro Timoncino (ITA), 8-0 TF