After all of the excitement on Day 2 in Sofia, when Aden Attao (130 kg, Suples) thumped and stomped en-route to a bronze medal, there was still one more American athlete who was preparing to suit up for the third and final day of action at the Junior Worlds. That young man was Northern Michigan fireplug Max Black (60 kg), who was pulled back into his bracket’s repechage round. It was to be a steep climb, since Black required three victories on Sunday in order to earn bronze. First he would have to get past Koto Gomi (JPN); and though the actual contest was closer than the scoreboard indicated, the outcome favored Gomi, as Black will now head home to continue working towards his bright future on the Senior level.
The repechage round on Day 3 of the 2022 U20 World Championships began at 4:00pm local time from Sofia, Bulgaria (9:00am ET) and aired live in the United States on FLOWrestling.
Black stuck a left-side underhook soon after the whistle. Gomi detached for the breakaway and both athletes reset their stances for more preamble. Additional feeling-out tie-ups were employed until Gomi darted to Black’s left and spun the arm. There was no chance for exposure, but Gomi kept the arm as a lever to amble behind for two. A gutwrench try was next and Black was ready. As Gomi attempted to elevate and roll, Black floated the lock to nearly step-over for a reversal. He was defending well — and it appeared as though a restart would be called but the official allowed Gomi one more chance for a turn. The second effort landed and put Black in a 4-0 deficit.
Poise was observed following the reset. Black remained committed to stalking for amenable positions without overextending through what were fleeting exchanges. Gomi’s strategy was similar, and his general in-fighting posture failed to betray the sort of openings Black might have wanted to exploit.
An increase in pressure from Black accompanied the start of Period 2, even if Gomi was not easy to budge. Manipulating movement via more physical machinations was largely off the table, so Black went to his fundamentals. He lassoed a left-side two-on-one; and when Gomi weaved out of that tie, Black switched to a left underhook and far wrist. The attempts to advance position belonged to the American, but the incoming passivity call benefited Gomi. This time, Black’s defense held true and they were back standing with under 1:30 to go in the match.
Needing to score, badly, Black swam into another left underhook that became a waist-bent over/under. The decision was made to loop the left arm over Gomi’s back and lock for a throw. Unfortunately for Black, Japan executed first to score a takedown. An actual folkstyle arm bar from Gomi subsequently delivered exposure along with the requisite points to end the match.
Gomi went on to defeat Volodymyr Voitovytch (UKR) in the proceeding repechage round before falling in the bronze-medal match to Nihat Mammadli (AZE), ultimately finishing fifth.
- Team USA finished the U20 Worlds in 12th place with 39 points — one spot behind Japan (40 pts) and one ahead of Germany (37 pts).
- Three US representatives fell to eventual ’22 U20 World bronze medalists: Jonathan Gurule (Nuristan Suiorkulov, KGZ); Robert Perez III (Din Koshkar, KAZ); and Christian Carroll (Nuranbet Raimaly Uulu, KGZ). Two were defeated by eventual World Champions — Black (Saeid Esmaeili Leivesi, IRI) and bronze medalist Attao (Mykhailo Vyshnyvetskiy, UKR).
- The Americans’ final combined individual record from the ’22 U20 World Championships was 9-12. All nine victories were recorded via stoppage (five VSU, four pins).
2022 U20 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
August 19-21 — Sofia, BUL
TEAM USA FULL RESULTS
55 kg: Jonathan Gurule (NMU/NTS) — 12th
LOSS Nuristan Suiorkulov (KGZ) 7-2
60 kg: Max Black (NYAC/NTS) — 18th
LOSS Saeid Esmaeili Leivesi (IRI) 9-0, TF
LOSS Koto Gomi (JPN) 9-0, TF
63 kg: Haiden Drury (UVRTC) — 15th
LOSS Ziya Babashov (AZE) 8-0, TF
67 kg: Robert Perez III (Sunkist) — 7th
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) — 11th
WON Matthias Hauthaler (AUT) via fall
LOSS Georgios Barbanos (SWE) 13-4, TF
77 kg: Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS) — 8th
LOSS Yuksel Saricicek (TUR) 9-1, TF
WON Diego Macias Torres (MEX) 8-0, TF
LOSS Khasay Hasanli (AZE) 3-1
82 kg: Adrian Artsisheuskiy (NYAC) — 7th
WON Odysseas Roungeris (GRE) via fall
LOSS Leon Rivalta (ITA) via fall
87 kg: Kodiak Stephens (Beaver Dam RTC) — 10th
WON Surgeet Singh (IND) 8-0, TF
LOSS Robin Uspenski (EST) 2-1
97 kg: Christian Carroll (Midwest RTC) —
LOSS Nuranbet Raimaly Uulu (KGZ) 9-7
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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