Two USA Greco-Roman athletes had opportunities for bronze medals this afternoon, as RaVaughn Perkins (77 kg, NYAC) and 2019 World Team member John Stefanowicz (82 kg, Marines) were back in action following a promising morning session. But unfortunately for both wrestlers, the evening’s assignment didn’t work out in their respective favors.
The medal rounds on Day 2 at the Matteo Pellicone Memorial began at 6:00pm (12:00pm ET) and aired live in the US on FLOWrestling.
2019 Pan Am Games silver Wuileixis Rivas Espinosa (VEN), who had earlier in the day defeated Kamal Bey (Sunkist), received a big boost against Perkins with the first passive chance. He was quickly able to trap Perkins’ right arm and roll a pair of trap-arm gutwrenches; and once that arm became freed, Rivas managed to rotate one more to pile on a 7-0 lead. On the restart, Perkins answered by hustling Rivas out of bounds following an attack. Instead of receiving just one point, Perkins netted two since the officials deemed Rivas to have fled off the mat.
In the second period, Perkins stayed patient and navigated the tie-ups, occasionally dipping levels. At one instance, he was close to a workable bodylock position, but Rivas hurriedly bailed out of that tie. The Venezuelan benefited from a step-out to tack on another point, which capped the scoring.
Perkins finished in 5th place and acquires 10 United World Wrestling “Ranking Series” points.
Also finishing in 5th place was John Stefanowicz (82 Marines), who greeted Florian Neumaier of Germany. Stefanowicz used a variety of two-on-one’s and snaps along with some hard pummeling in effort to open Neumaier up on the feet. Eventually, Stefanowicz was the recipient of the first passivity chance, which he used for a lift attempt that Neumaier defended.
The second period was very similar to the first. Stefanowicz pushed forward, and Neumaier made a concerted effort to look busy enough to get his own passive chance. Sure enough, it came, though Stefanowicz deftly defended Neumaier’s lock. Back standing and Stefanowicz was really fighting for openings, a task made even more daunting due to Neumaier using his bulky arms for elbow-deep blocks. In a last-gasp attempt, Stefanowicz actually leapt in the air for an apparent “Flying Squirrel” and landed directly on his back. Even though Neumaier had nothing to do with the action, the officials gave him four points, which pushed the final score to 5-1.
Like Perkins, Stefanowicz finishes in 5th place, and his ranking point total following the tournament stands at eight.
Team USA as a whole placed second in Greco-Roman competition behind Turkey. Egypt followed at third, and China finished fourth.
2020 Matteo Pellicone Memorial
January 15-16 — Rome, Italy
DAY 2 TEAM USA RESULTS
Ray Bunker (Marines) — 7th
LOSS Maksym Yevtushenko (UKR) 4-1
Kamal Bey (Sunkist) — 7th
WON Nurbek Kashimbekov (UZB) 14-5, TF
LOSS Wuileixis Rivas Espinosa (VEN) 7-5
RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) — 5th
WON Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) 4-0
LOSS Zoltan Levai (HUN) 5-0
WON Furkan Bayrak (TUR) 3-1
LOSS Wuileixis Rivas Espinosa (VEN) 8-2
Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) — 14th
LOSS RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) 4-0
John Stefanowicz (Marines) — 5th
WON Bin Hong Lin (TPE) 9-0, TF
LOSS Singh Gurpeet (IND) 5-0
vs. Florian Neumaier (GER)