USA Greco

’22 U23 Worlds Day 2: Boykin Enters Repechage; Omania Flashes Brilliance Before Exit

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Nick Boykin -- Image: UWW

Another morning session at the U23 World Championships did not fare much differently than Day 1, but the US does have an athlete with a possible pathway to bronze.

Day 2 of the 2022 U23 World Championships began at 10:30am local time from Pontevedra, Spain (4:30am ET) and streamed live in the United States on FLOWrestling.

not all roads lead to gold, jim gruenwald

Two-time National champ/returning U23 World Teamer Nick Boykin (97 kg, Sunkist/Ohio RTC) had drawn a most appropriate name for his opposition in the qualification round, ’21 World silver Alex Szoke (HUN). Static did not materialize straight away, as they jostled early on through mostly loose, fleeting ties, although the Hungarian was managing to dictate activity in the zone. Passivity rang, as it tends to, and the first call was on Boykin. Szoke capitalized with a gutwrench, and then another, to put the US in a 5-0 deficit. A reset, with Boykin urgently looking to create a bit more pressure. However, Szoke was still able to weave his right underhook, which he threw by to snare a takedown and follow-up gut to end the match.

Szoke marched forth all the way to the final, thus delivering Boykin a potential chance to wrestle for bronze on Wednesday. In his first repechage match, Boykin will face Luka Katic of Serbia; if successful, he will then square off against Nitesh Nitesh (IND). Already waiting in the bronze round is the man who Szoke defeated in the semifinal, Brazilian Igor Alves de Queiroz.

Omania Explosive But Falls Short

’19 Junior World bronze Peyton Omania (67 kg, NYAC/CYC) garnered wins in two fast-twitch-friendly matches. Omania — who was on both the Senior and U23 World Teams a year ago — and Aleksander Mielewczyk (POL) were clashing hard from the whistle, bellowing the promise of an intense six-minute showdown — but their bout lasted just over :30. After an off-balance that goaded Mielewczyk into stepping back inside, Omania greeted him with a blasting headlock that, in short order, resulted in a pin.

Abdelrahman Mohamed Omar (EGY) did in fact survive long enough to see the sixth minute against Omania — but the outcome had not been in doubt. It was only a 2-0 advantage for the CYC product entering the second period, that is until a sequence near the edge. Omania attacked, Omar tried to counter-throw, and a four-point land-on-top was the call. Egypt tossed the brick so that the officials could give it another look; when the review process concluded, Omania had his four plus an additional tick to go up 7-0, which capped the scoring.

The quarterfinal provided Omania with Kyotaro Sogabe (JPN), who seemed to have all of the answers in this affair, despite in one instance falling victim himself to a multi-point score.

The key for Sogabe was timing, and by extension counter-pressure, which greatly disrupted Omania’s tactics. He had laced an arm drag to put the first points on the board before cranking two gutwrenches. A moment was to be had for Omania on the heels of a restart. Sogabe bulled forward and then hawked over the top, allowing Omania to consider the body before snaring a headlock. It was four points immediately, but Sogabe reversed position and hastily executed another gut to race ahead 10-4. Sogabe would tack on two more via front-headlock correct throw early in the second period, thus earning the VSU. Gagik Snjoyan (FRA) downed the Japanese prospect in the semifinal to definitively end Omania’s tournament.

Moomey, Peak, & Cunningham

Phillip Moomey (60 kg, NYAC/Spartan RTC) staged a dazzling comeback in the round-of-16 to overcome Georgios Scarpello (GER) 7-5. Behind 5-0 heading into Period 2, Moomey’s power, and hips and timing, helped to close the gap. A clawing underhook on the part of Moomey had Scarpello caught in between. He was leg-driving, perhaps in search of a step-out. But Moomey not only refused to yield ground, he instead bit down on the underhook and hipped Scarpello to his back to collect four critical points. Passivity was then called on Germany, making the score 5-5 in Moomey’s favor, though follow-up from par terre would not be realized. With :44 remaining, Scarpello locked to throw at the boundary, only to have Moomey adjust for the land-on-top as well as an additional pair of points to ice what officially became a 7-5 decision.

Nurmukhammet Abdullaev(KGZ) defeated Moomey in the quarterfinal — and was ousted by Nihat Mammadli (AZE) in the next round, resulting in Moomey’s elimination from the bracket.

Reigning Senior World Team member Benji Peak (72 kg, Sunkist/NTS) ran into an athlete operating with momentum in the form of recent U20 World bronze Irfan Mirzoiev (UKR). Peak was dinged first for passive, of which Mirzoiev took full advantage by securing both a lift and gut. Things simmered down in spaces, and Peak ardently worked for meaningful tie-ups until the break. But not longer the second period got underway, Mirzoiev uncorked a headlock to grab the points necessary for an early stoppage. The Ukrainian did advance to the semifinal but was shut down Gurban Gurbanov (AZE).

Making his World-level debut on Tuesday was “Turbo” Ty Cunningham (82 kg, MWC), and right out of the gate was mired in an odd exchange. Semion Brekkeli (MDA) had locked double underhooks and went to arch, with Cunningham landing on top but receiving no points. Then, in virtually the same sequence, Cunningham found his feet and attempted to throw Brekkeli, whose land-on-top was not ignored by the officials. Passivity ushered in another opportunity for Brekkeli, who scored again, this time with a correct hold.

Down 7-1 late in the match, Cunningham opted for a headlock. Brekkeli was ready, and sat back on the attempt for a takedown along with the 9-1 technical fall. Well-traveled Georgian Beka Guruli defeated Brekkeli in the proceeding round to rule out repechage for Cunningham.

Wrestling resumes on Wednesday with Boykin the lone remaining medal hope for Team USA. The repechage round is slated to begin at 10:30am (4:30am ET) and will air live in the US on FLOWrestling.

2022 U23 World Championships

October 17-19 — Pontevedra, Spain


60 kg: Phillip Moomey (TMWC/Spartan RTC)
WON Georgios Scarpello (GER) 7-5
LOSS Nurmukhammet Abdullaev (KGZ) 8-0, TF

67 kg: Peyton Omania (NYAC/CYC)
WON Aleksander Mielewczyk (POL) via fall
WON Abdelrahman Mohamed Omar (EGY) 7-0
LOSS Kyotaro Sogabe (JPN) 13-4, TF

72 kg: Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS)
LOSS Irfan Mirzoiev (UKR) 9-0, TF

82 kg: Ty Cunningham (MWC)
LOSS Semion Brekkeli (MDA) 9-1, TF

97 kg: Nick Boykin (Sunkist/Ohio RTC)
LOSS Alex Szoke (HUN) 9-0, TF


55 kg: Camden Russell (MWC) — 8th
WON Abduvali Rahimbayev (TKM) 11-5
LOSS Ken Matsui (JPN) 8-2

63 kg: Mason Hartshorn (West Coast Greco RTC) — 15th
LOSS Ahmed Hussein Baghdouda (EGY) 6-0

77 kg: Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP) — 16th
LOSS Lamjed Maafi (TUN) 10-1, TF

87 kg: Michial Foy (Minnesota Storm) — 18th
LOSS Filip Smetko (CRO) 4-0

130 kg: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist) — 7th
WON Jonovan Smith (PUR) 9-0, TF
LOSS Sarkhan Mammadov (AZE) 5-1

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Listen to “5PM52: Two-Time Olympian Jim Gruenwald” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM51: Lining up with Tanner Farmer” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM50: Mr. Fantastic Benji Peak” on Spreaker.

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