There were a lot of ways Max Black (60 kg, NYAC/NTS) might have envisioned hurling himself into the medal picture at the Junior Worlds, and falling first round was likely not on the list. But Black — who is fast becoming a force inside of the United States — will take what he can get as he now prepares for another day at the office that he hopes will end with a bronze medal.
Day 2 of the 2022 U2o World Championships began at 11:00am local time from Sofia, Bulgaria (4:00am ET) and aired live in the US on FLOWrestling.
Black must have known that his work would be cut out for him when the draws were released, what with first-round opponent (and World decorated) Saied Esmaeili Leivesi (IRI) touching down in Sofia as a presumptive favorite. Not that Leivesi’s status or credentials made Black tentative. Right from the start, a sense of urgency was detectable, and if anything had Leivisi rethinking his own posture in the preamble.
Passivity on Black did not open the floodgates for Iran. Leivesi did attain a lock, but there was nothing doing. Back standing and it was showdown in the hand-fight. Leivesi tightened up on trying to wrest a two-on-one before weaving across to wail an arm throw. The action hauled in four points that translated to a 5-0 lead, with two more added from another Leivesi throw. Black, down by a substantial margin, kept his foot to the floor into the second period. But the lanes weren’t available, and Leivesi’s ability to navigate through the in-fighting and ward off advances proved too much to overcome. A takedown with just over 1:30 on the clock sealed the deal at 9-0.
Leivesi won his next three bouts — including a nail-biting semi against Nihat Mammadli (AZE) — to make the final and pull Black back into the tournament for the repechage on Sunday morning. Black’s opponent will be Koto Gomi of Japan. Should Black emerge victorious, he will then have to face Volodymyr Voitovytch (UKR); the winner of that match will then move onto the bronze-medal round.
Robert Perez III (67 kg, Sunkist) is widely recognized as an important piece of Greco’s future in America. And while this tournament will reach its conclusion without his presence on the podium, Perez still put forth an impressive effort.
Perez appeared eager to get started against qualification round opponent Shon Nadorgin (ISR) as he quickly engaged upon the whistle. It was Nadorgin who expressed the first action in the form of an arm throw attempt, to which Perez responded by countering and spinning behind for a takedown. A subsequent lift try from par terre top failed to elevate and a reset was called. Passive on Nadorgin delivered more scoring for the US when Perez went for a reverse lock that he pulled over for four points. Up 7-0, it seemed as though the end would arrive any moment, that is until Nadorgin managed to survive the remainder of the first period. Perez did eventually cut the string on Nadorgin in the second thanks to a hustle-friendly step-out point.
Next up was Zsolt Takacs (HUN) and, once again, it was the reverse lock on which Perez relied to do damage. Takacs was dinged after the opening minute of wrestling — and Perez immediately positioned himself for the reverse lift to waffle Takacs off the line. It was 5-0 just like that, with another point for the action ending out of bounds. Hungary challenged the call, the call was upheld, and Perez’s lead expanded to 7-0. Similar to his bout versus Nadorgin, the American seared forward off of an attack to knock Takacs out, thus collecting his second straight VSU.
Kazakhstan’s Din Koshkar stood across the line in the quarterfinal and nailed a zippy correct-throw-arm-throw for a quick 2-0 advantage. Perez was undeterred as he plowed ahead in the ties. A bit more tactical was the energy compared to the first two matches. Koshkar’s footing was not compromised as easily whenever Perez would switch off grips in the hand-fight. Passivity was soon declared in Koshkar’s favor. He locked for a lift and then decided on a gut, but Perez was unmovable. Shortly before the break was a familiar scene. As the combatants were mired in the pummel, Perez lunged towards the body and earned a step-out point.
He would grab another step-out :30 into the second frame to climb within one. After a reset, the pace was clearly being dictated by Perez, whose insistence on fighting for meaningful advances could not be ignored. The officials agreed, apparently, and deemed Koshkar passive. But on this occasion from par terre top for Perez, the reverse lock didn’t hit its mark. Nearly as soon as Perez ambled behind to clasp, Koshkar was on his knees and rising. The attempt had fallen apart, leaving Perez to fight it out on the feet. He was working Koshkar around the mat in search of a handle. In the meantime, Koshkar himself was simply hanging on. Nevertheless, there was no further involvement from the officials, nor was Perez able to compel a last-ditch score. The criteria decision belonged to Koshkar, who was downed by Kanan Abdulladze (AZE) in the semifinal to eliminate Perez from potential contention for bronze.
Wins by fall have been a thing for this year’s USA U20 World Team with Richard Fedalen (72 kg, Warhawks) joining the party in his first match. Facing off with Matthias Hauthaler (AUT), Fedalen scored his first points with a bodylock and added one more tick when Hauthaler was dinged for passive. The second period is when the game changed. Following a restart, Fedalen locked over the top of Hauthaler and swiveled for a folkstyle “cement mixer” that was responsible for the bout’s finish.
In the next round, Fedalen again acquired the first score. Sweden’s Georgios Barbanos had reached for a headlock that Fedalen countered by staying heavy and covering for two. Barbanos answered soon enough with a land-on-top on the heels of a throw attempt by the US. Back standing, and Fedalen was gaining ground in the tie-ups but unable to clear for an attack. That didn’t matter, for Barbanos would latch an arm throw in short order, which allowed for another Fedalen counter takedown.
But the match soon veered towards Barbanos in a big way. A quick lateral drop plus a follow-up gutwrench put Fedalen behind by four points before a step-out made the score 9-4. They reset, with time a starting to become a factor in the first period. Fedalen, capable of a multi-point score on a moment’s notice, did not relent in feeling around for an attack. Problem was Barbanos, who roped the arm to garner four points towards the edge, resulting in a 13-4 tech loss for Fedalen. Irfan Mirzoiev (UKR) ousted Barbanos in the quarterfinal to halt Fedalen from re-entry into the event through the repechage.
Artsisheuskiy & Carroll
Adrian Artsisheuskiy (87 kg, NYAC) released any and all pre-Worlds jitters in exciting fashion mere seconds into his qualification round bout opposite Odysseas Roungeris (GRE). He had opted for an arm throw, with the net result a tumbling Roungeris and four points, though two points went to Greece for a front headlock on the back-end of the action. Another arm try, this one looser in grip than the first, put Roungeris down again. The call on the mat was four, but GRE challenged. A lengthy review then unfolded with Artsisheuskiy ahead 7-2. Those points would become inconsequential early in the second period. Seeking offense, Artsisheuskiy wedged double underhooks and escorted Roungeris directly to his back. The fall was thus promptly recorded.
With one win under his belt, Artsisheuskiy moved into the round-of-16 to stare down Leon Rivalta (ITA), who received the first passivity/PT chance and converted a gutwrench to go up 3-0. Rivalta tacked on two more from a land-on-top, after which Artsisheuskiy required a look from the training staff. Action resumed with Rivalta hunting the body. Artsisheuskiy wasn’t a bystander, as he was working to dig back inside for his own attacks. But it was Rivalta who struck by locking over/under and arching for a throw. Artsisheuskiy was in a bad spot as soon as he landed. An adjustment or two later, Rivalta had the pin, and Artsisheuskiy was on the hook until the next round’s result was discovered. The news wasn’t good. Rivalta had been routed by Ruslan Abdiiev (UKR), dashing the American’s hopes of appearing in tomorrow’s repechage.
He will head home having participated in only one match at the 2022 Junior Worlds, but Christian Carroll (97 kg, Midwest RTC) competed well in his overseas debut. His lone adversary, Nuranbet Raimaly Uulu (KGZ), offered the type of feel from which a promising US upper-weight can learn. Of course, Carroll flew to Sofia to score points and win a medal, and it was his offense that ignited this contest. Uulu, the taller of the pair, hawked over the top and Carroll lasered an arm spin attempt that he used to spin behind for a takedown. A second arm attack after a reset followed; it didn’t yield two or four, but it was good for a step-out as well as a 3-0 Carroll lead.
Later in the first period, Uulu reached over for a far headlock and thumped Carroll to collect four — but the American had exposed and reversed Uulu after the impact to limit the damage. Just prior to the break there was more. Uulu was close to throwing position until a scramble made it messy; from underneath, Carroll barrel-rolled and received two additional points along with a 7-4 cushion heading into Period 2.
Uulu chipped away from then on. First came a throw off the edge after a Carroll headlock went awry. Next was a step-out, which delivered the first lead change of the match. Ahead on criteria (7-7) with less than :20 remaining, Uulu spun behind for a final takedown and walked away the winner 9-7. He was defeated by Iussuf Matsiyev (KAZ) in the semifinal to wrap Carroll’s ’22 Worlds performance.
- Following two days at the 2022 U20 World Championships, Team USA’s record stands at 9-11 with all nine victories having been recorded either by fall or VSU (i.e., four pins and five tech’s).
- Earlier today, Payton Jacobson (77 kg, Sunkist/NTS) won his first repechage match by defeating Diego Macias Torres (MEX) but was decisioned by Khasay Hasanli (AZE).
- A full recap covering Aden Attao‘s World bronze victory as well as Jacobson’s two matches will be released later on Saturday.
2022 U20 World Championships
August 19-21 — Sofia, BUL
TEAM USA DAY 2 RESULTS
60 kg: Max Black (NYAC/NTS)
LOSS Saeid Esmaeili Leveisi (IRI) 9-0, TF
vs. Koto Gomi (JPN)
67 kg: Robert Perez III (Sunkist)
WON Shon Nadorgin (ISR) 8-0, TF
WON Zsolt Takacs (HUN) 8-0, TF
LOSS Din Koshkar (KAZ) 3-3 (criteria)
72 kg: Richard Fedalen (Warhawks)
WON Matthias Hauthaler (AUT) via fall
LOSS Georgios Barbanos (SWE) 13-4, TF
82 kg: Adrian Artsisheuskiy (NYAC)
WON Odysseas Roungeris (GRE) via fall
LOSS Leon Rivalta (ITA) via fall
97 kg: Christian Carroll (Midwest RTC)
LOSS Nuranbet Raimaly Uulu (KGZ) 9-7
TEAM USA DAY 1 RESULTS
55 kg: Jonathan Gurule (NMU/NTS)
LOSS Nuristan Suiorkulov (KGZ) 7-2
63 kg: Haiden Drury (UVRTC)
LOSS Ziya Babashov (AZE) 8-0, TF
77 kg: Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS)
LOSS Yuksel Saricicek (TUR) 9-1, TF
WON Diego Macias Torres (MEX) 8-0, TF
LOSS Khasay Hasanli (AZE) 3-1
87 kg: Kodiak Stephens (Beaver Dam RTC)
WON Surgeet Singh (IND) 8-0, TF
LOSS Robin Uspenski (EST) 2-1
130 kg: Aden Attao (Suples) — BRONZE
WON Parvesh Parvesh (IND) via fall
WON Adolf Bazso (HUN) via fall
LOSS Mykhailo Vyshnyvetskiy 10-0, TF
WON Fekry Mohamed Eissa (EGY) 11-3, TF
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