It was originally thought that Patrick Martinez (NYAC, 80 kg) would be the only US Greco wrestler today at the Grand Prix of Spain in Madrid but instead, there will be a couple of friendly faces joining him, as JayShon Wilson (Marines, 75 kg)and Daniel Miller (Marines, 98 kg) are also competing. Wilson and Miller both hit the mats last weekend in Germany, so this was all a matter of logistical common sense, as the two athletes stayed over in anticipation of this weekend’s event.
Similar to the Poland Open and last week’s Grand Prix of Germany, this tournament also observes a two kilogram allowance. There are several heavy hitters from other countries who have thrown their hats into the ring, as well. Russia’s Minigiyan Semenov (world no. 4) is in at 59 kg; Miguel Martinez (CUB, world no. 13) at 66 kg; Tamas Lorincz (HUN, world no. 4 at 66 kg) at 71 kg; Roman Vlasov (world no. 1) at 75 kg; Gela Bolkvadze (GEO, world no. 17 at 75 kg) and Laszlo Szabo (HUN, world no. 18) are at 80 kg; David Chakvetadze (RUS, world no. 2) and Viktor Lorincz (HUN, world no. 4) are in at 85 kg; Nikita Melnikov (RUS, world no. 1) and Yasmany Lugo (CUB, world no. 9) at 98 kg; and five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Mijain Lopez (CUB, world no. 2) stands atop 130 kg.
Being that the Grand Prix of Spain represents the last Senior level competition ahead of next month’s Olympics, the event serves as a final tune-up for those going to Rio and also an opportunity for wrestlers filling up depth charts to get some valuable matches in before the close of the summer. In addition, an international camp is being held at the conclusion of this weekend’s tournament throughout next week.
Miller, who dropped a tough 2-0 decision to Cenk Ildem (TUR, world no. 6) last weekend, drew Melnikov first round today in Spain. Martinez’s first opponent will be Juan Jose Ruiz (ESP) and Wilson goes up against Ciro Russo (ITA).