Most members of the 2022 United States Senior Greco-Roman World Team will depart for Europe in advance of the World Championships this coming Thursday (September 1). Those from Army’s World Class Athletes Program will enjoy a slight head start by taking to the skies on Wednesday.
The US delegation is “landing on the X”, which is to say heading directly to Serbia. With acclimation always a concern, as well as peripherals in the form of weight management and final tapering, a full eight days (not including the immediate adjustment to the time difference upon arrival) is thought to offer adequate space for the athletes prior to competition.
A few changes have been made to the roster recently. As most are of course aware, ’21 Junior World bronze Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC) is in for the presumably-retired G’Angelo Hancock. In addition, Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) has replaced his vanquisher from Final X: Stillwater, two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (NYAC). One more alteration to the lineup might appear in the coming days, though the hope is that won’t be the case.
The summer’s worth of training has been a memorable time for the ’22 World Team. It began with Matt Lindland being removed from the National Team head coaching position following an eight-year run; in the wake of that decision, USA Greco-Roman General Manager/Suples founder Ivan Ivanov assumed control over the World Team training block and quickly instituted a different schedule and system with which the athletes have had to comply. There was also Hancock’s decision to step away, numerous injuries on the part of several WT athletes, and enough consternation and confusion overall that has had no choice but to test the perseverance and adaptive abilities of nearly every athlete on the roster. Belgrade — and whatever happens inside of the Stark Arena beginning on September 10 — represents the end of what could best be described as an equally interesting and tumultuous summer’s journey; so much so, that the World tournament itself might very well feel like a vacation for the athletes compared to the past eight weeks. If accurate, and health among the American competitors is minimally tenable, then indeed they should be considered prepared.
2022 US World Team
*As of 8/29
55 kg: Max Nowry (Army/WCAP)
60 kg: Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP)
63 kg: Jesse Thielke (Army/WCAP)
67 kg: Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP)
72 kg: Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS)
77 kg: Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP)
82 kg: Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP)
87 kg: Alan Vera (NYAC)
97 kg: Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC)
130 kg: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist)
Coming up later this week is a fresh interview with ’22 World Team member Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP), some breadcrumbs of which were scattered for prospective readers in the August edition of Fort Greco with Army assistant Spenser Mango. Bey, 24, has undergone a significant amount of growth as of late. He is now a married man, about to close on a house, and still has zero difficulty endearing himself to wrestling fans everywhere thanks to his humorous and forthright brand of storytelling. Bey also shares his thoughts regarding how coaches should treat throw-happy young athletes and sheds some light on the World Team training process.
’23 Norwegian Nationals
The Norwegian Wrestling Federation made it abundantly clear last week, in no uncertain terms, that the annual Grand Prix Zagreb Open is of high priority to their Greco-Roman program.
The date for the Norway’s ’23 National tournament hinged on where Zagreb might land on the calendar. Once Croatia relayed the date range for Zagreb, Norway went ahead and settled on January 21 for their Senior domestic blowout. Fredrikstad Bryteklubb Atlas will host the event in Lislebyhallen. Streaming information is as of yet unavailable.
As for the Zagreb GP, organizers are identifying either the final week of January or the first week of February. Zagreb is set up as a hot spot next season. Along with the Grand Prix, the Croatian capital will also host the Senior European Championships.
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