USA Greco

FREIGHT TRAIN: Kaminski Pounds Out World Bronze in Croatia

jacob kaminski, 2018 cadet world bronze medalist
Photo: Sam Janicki

Receiving a second chance is nice, but it’s what you do with a second chance that matters the most. For Jacob Kaminski (92 kg, Ill), he turned it into a World bronze medal.

Kaminski began the third and final day of Greco action at the Cadet World Championships in Zagreb needing two wins to make the podium. Step 1 entailed getting past Ukraine’s Davyd Samsonov, which certainly wasn’t a given. Samsonov held a 4-3 advantage entering the second period and expanded it by two more with a takedown once the match resumed. But it was Kaminski who rose to the occasion as time started becoming a factor. The Illinois product surged ahead 7-6 when he popped Samsonov for a takedown that he quickly took advantage of to roll a gutwrench. Later in the period, Samsonov had no choice but to go big. A desperation throw attempt from the Ukrainian wound up his own undoing, as Kaminski adjusted to land on top for another two and an eventual  9-6 decision that put him one victory away from a medal.

Standing in his way, 2018 Cadet Euro bronze Richard Karelson (EST), who was awarded the first passivity/par terre opportunity of the contest. Karelson got his lock and looked to rotate over but the American defended well. Back on the feet and Kaminski began finding success moving Karelson around in the tie-ups, and this led to Kaminski forcing Karelson off the line for a point right before the break.

Most of the first minute of the second period saw Kaminski create a little more pressure and Karelson prod his way back inside. The Estonian wrestler found a lane and locked for a dump-over but Kaminski, as he had done in the match prior, adjusted in a timely fashion and converted the attempt into a takedown and a 3-1 lead. Now Karelson really had to come on, which he did by zipping a try at an arm throw. Once again, Kaminski stayed poised and snuffed it out, wrangling behind for two. 5-1.

A restart. At the whistle, Karelson looped his arms around Kaminski and arched back. When he did, Kaminski collapsed on top. One more reset with :11 to go. Once again, Karelson did not want to go down without a fight and loaded up for one more bodylock with his back to the edge, but Kaminski knew what to do. He sank his hips and kept his posture through the sum of the attempt and fell on top. It was two more points, a tech fall with just a few seconds remaining. Most importantly, it meant that Jacob Kaminski, in his first-ever World Championships appearance, had just become a bronze medalist.

With Kaminski’s win, the United States has its second medalist in consecutive years for the first time since Josh Etu (gold in 1997) and Matt Hasbrook (1998). Last year, Cohlton Schultz (100 kg) became the first champ for the US since Etu’s run in Slovenia.

Earlier in the day, Phillip Moomey (NE) was down 8-1 to Vladislav Karasev (RUS) in the second period of their 60-kilogram repechage contest when he engineered a rally on the strength of a four-point front headlock. Moomey did his best to range inside for one more score before the buzzer, but ultimately, Karasev managed to stay out of danger long enough to advance. In his next bout, Karasev fell to eventual third-place Adam Hajizada of Azerbaijan.


July 6th-8th — Zagreb, Croatia


45 kg — Cale Anderson (WI) — 17th
LOSS Khusankhon Yunuskhonov (UZB) 8-0, TF

48 kg — Brendan Chaowanapibool (WA) — 13th
LOSS Dmitri Khachidze (GEO) 6-5

51 kg — Jakason Burks (NE) — 18th
LOSS Merey Maulitkanov (KAZ) 9-3

55 kg — Hunter Lewis (WI) — 13th
LOSS Murad Abbasov (AZE) 11-9

60 kg — Phillip Moomey (NE) — 5th
LOSS Shahin Badaghi Mofrad (IRI) 6-2
LOSS Vladislav Karasev (RUS) 8-5

65 kg — Dominic Damon (WA) — 19th
LOSS Aleksander Ilic (SRB) 4-4 (criteria)

71 kg — James Burks III (NE) — 19th
LOSS Zhenish Zhumabekov (KGZ) 10-5

80 kg — Jonathon Fagen (ID) — 25th
LOSS Andrei Barbul (ROU) 10-1, TF

92 kg — Jacob Kaminski (Ill) — bronze
LOSS Aleksei Mileshin (RUS) 9-0, TF
WIN Davyd Samsonov (UKR) 9-6
WIN Richard Karelson (EST) 9-1, TF

110 kg — Luke Luffman (Ill) — 7th
WIN Nikolaos Ntounias (GRE) via fall
LOSS Marcel Albini (CZE) 7-3


Listen to “5PM17: Williams Baptist Greco coach Jonathan Drendel and past World Teamer Cheney Haight” on Spreaker.

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