USA Greco

Jones’ Bid for Thor Masters Medal Comes Up Short

sammy jones, 2022 world championships, belgrade
Sammy Jones -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

Although he had competed well both days and managed to earn a significant victory this morning, Sammy Jones‘ (63 kg, Sunkist) appearance at Thor Masters saw him come up just short of a medal.

The second and final day of Thor Masters 2023 began at 10:00am local time from Nykobing Falster, Denmark (5:00am ET) and streamed live on the event’s official website.

not all roads lead to gold, jim gruenwald

The Nordic system’s pooled format allowed Jones’ first win on Saturday to carry extra significance. The two-time US World Team representative had overcome ’17 European Championships bronze Ivan Lizatovic of Croatia by a score of 8-1, which avenged a loss Jones suffered at the hands of Lizatovic last month at the Zagreb Grand Prix. But there was more.

With a record of 2-1 going into Round 4 of pool competition, the triumph put the American in position to potentially fight for gold. On Friday, Jones lost to William Reenberg (DEN) before downing Jozsef Andrazsi (HUN); then came the nod over Lizatovic, who had already beaten Jones’ fourth-round adversary Aker Schmid (AUT). Lizatovic got past Reenberg in Round 4. It all added up to this: if Jones could defeat Schmid, a spot in the finals would be his. If not, even a chance for bronze would evaporate.

Unfortunately for Jones, it was the latter outcome.

Long Schmid did not have to wait for a passivity/par terre opportunity, but Jones was able to float the lock before scrambling to his feet. The rest of the period saw both athletes mired in tense but ultimately unproductive ties, mainly at the wrists and forearms, and Schmid had himself a 1-0 advantage heading into the break.

They got a little chippy in the early stages of the second. Following a pause in the action to address head contact, Jones seemed to motion that Schmid was the one coming in and up with his brow. Not wishing to invite further discord, Jones gave the table a “thumbs-up” and they resumed jousting. Soon enough, Jones had Schmid backing up towards the edge when he burst forward to bully a step-out point. Schmid apparently did not enjoy the exchange very much as his chirping and motioning indicated. Passivity on Austria was called after the proceeding reset to give Jones a 2-1 lead. Nothing was doing and they were back to the feet — and this is when the match went off the rails for Jones in a hurry, in more ways than one.

Schmid had negotiated a body attack, finishing with a lift that yielded four; Jones was also penalized for a caution during the action, which put his deficit at 7-2 and resulted in a restart from par terre bottom. This decision by the officials was also perhaps made in error. According to United World Wrestling’s updated rules for ’23, under Article 28 it states that “all illegal actions in standing position such as fleeing the hold, fleeing the mat, faults or injuries, the bout shall continue in standing position.” Schmid’s attack was certainly from standing. Nevertheless, there was not a challenge from Jones’ corner, and Schmid made the most of the situation by executing two gutwrenches to end the match. Schmid was eventually defeated by Alex Bica (SWE) in the final, meanwhile Jones finished in seventh place.

Additional material surrounding Thor Masters 2023 that includes more details regarding the American squad along with full results (and notes) from each weight category will be available in the forthcoming Monday Roundup.

Thor Masters 2023

March 24-25 — Nykobing Falster, DEN


60 kg

Max Black (NYAC/NTS) — 8th
LOSS Giorgi Tibilov (SRB) 8-0, TF
WON Logan Savvy (NYAC) 9-3
LOSS Mateusz Szewczuk (POL) 3-1

Mitchell Brown (Air Force) — 13th
LOSS Logan Savvy (NYAC) 3-1
LOSS Georgi Tibilov (SRB) 8-0, TF

Logan Savvy (NYAC) — 9th
WON Mitch Brown (Air Force) 3-1
LOSS Max Black (NYAC/NTS) 9-3
LOSS Georgi Tibilov (SRB) 8-0, TF

63 kg

Sammy Jones (Sunkist/CTT) — 7th
LOSS William Reenburg (DEN) 4-3
WON Jozsef Andrasi (HUN) via fall
WON Ivan Lizatovic (CRO) 8-1
LOSS Aker Schmid (AUT) 11-2, TF

67 kg

Dominic Damon (NMU/NTS) — 13th
LOSS Zaur Kabaloev (ITA) 8-0, TF
LOSS Roman Pacurkowski (POL) 8-0, TF

Lenny Merkin (NYAC) — 10th
WON Rasmus Uriksen (DEN) via fall
LOSS Haavard Joergensen (NOR) 9-0, TF
LOSS Sebastian Nad (SRB) 6-1

Robert Perez III (Sunkist) — 12th
WON Tim Bergfalk (SWE) 4-1
LOSS Sebastian Nad (SRB) 6-3
LOSS Mateusz Bernatek (POL) 4-0

72 kg

Aaron Dobbs (NMU/NTS) — 11th
LOSS Erik Persson (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Giliani Dzortov (NOR) via fall

77 kg

Jesse Porter (NYAC) — 10th
WON Paulus Galkinas (LTU) 4-1
LOSS Patryk Bednarz (POL) 7-5
LOSS Aleksa Ilic (SRB) 8-7

82 kg

Fritz Schierl (Minnesota Storm) — 9th
LOSS Filip Sacic (CRO) 5-1
LOSS Zakarias Berg (SWE) 8-0, TF

87 kg

Rich Carlson (Minnesota Storm) –14th
LOSS Szymon Szymonowicz (POL) 5-2
LOSS Damien von Euw (SUI) via DQ

Lukas Poloncic (Minnesota Storm) — 15th
LOSS Hannes Wagner (AUT) 9-0, TF
LOSS Lukas Staudacher (AUT) 8-0, TF

97 kg

Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm) — 12th
LOSS Arvi Savolainen (FIN) 9-0, TF
LOSS Oskar Johansson (SWE) 8-0, TF

130 kg

Tom Foote (NYAC) — 12th
LOSS Oskar Marvik (NOR) 8-0, TF
LOSS Jello Krahmer (GER) via fall

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