It will be his story to tell, even if the odds of him actually telling it are extremely low. Which, is fair. There are no excuses on the mat, after all. When an athlete agrees to compete, it should be seen as an indication that, despite whatever is ailing them, they nevertheless feel equipped to achieve victory. Most wrestlers are banged up, particularly late in the season. Comes with the job description.
Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP) was more than “banged up” entering the World Championships this year, yet that failed to stop him from winning a pair of exhilarating matches on Saturday — nor were his physical limitations enough to cast doubt upon how he might fare in the bronze-medal round today. Nowry, 32, deserved at least that much from those who were supporting him in this latest effort to arrive home brandishing hardware.
The medal round on Day 2 of the 2022 World Championships began at 6:00pm local time (12:00pm ET) live from the Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia and aired in the US on FLOWrestling.
Nowry was expected to have quite the challenge waiting for him in the bronze-medal match courtesy of young Japanese star Yu Shiotani, which is precisely what occurred. Shiotani, 11 years Nowry’s junior, exploded onto the scene this year after previously biding his time somewhere behind ’21 World champ Ken Matsui on Japan’s depth chart. But Shiotani opened plenty of eyes in ’21 himself by winning the Asian Championships; this season, he again won that tournament before proceeding to run the table at Pytlasinski in July.
As the bout got underway, Nowry prowled forth to engage in the hand-fight. A feeling-out process it was, though static was inevitable. When they did become entangled, Shiotani leveraged Nowry’s right arm for an inverted arm throw that tallied four points. Follow-up on the tarp saw Shiotani work towards Nowry’s head and consider a reverse lock; when that option disappeared, he wrested head-and-arm until a reset was ordered. Back standing, and a fleeting exchange saw Shiotani take command of the edge to force Nowry out of bounds, thus making the score 5-0 in his favor.
It was not the start Nowry had envisioned for himself, and he needed to somehow put a dent in Shiotani’s armour. A clamp on Shiotani’s right side nearly produced a throw, which if successful likely would have been two points via correct hold. Alas, it fell by the wayside, leaving Nowry to soon work from a loose over/under position. He took a chance by dipping to arch, but mid-sequence Shiotani got heavy and followed the action to garner two more points along with a 7-0 lead just before the break.
The second period didn’t invite the onset of “desperation mode”, for it had already been established given the size of Nowry’s deficit. He needed to score, either in bunches or by chipping away in fractions. Nowry’s sense of urgency was rendered in the form of head-hunting. He started to gain a feel for Shiotani’s deviations in posture, allowing him to snap for front headlock positions, perhaps in the hopes that the upwards counter-pressure might open up body attacks. Nothing was doing but Shiotani remained, for the most part, a willing participant. Nowry flung a headlock try that had promise, though it frayed on the back-end. Another was on its way, and that too was a slip. Nowry gripped over the head again until switching off to a regular headlock. One more slip, and by now Shiotani was ready for each attempt. There was no fading or retreating. Nowry still managed to slice over the top and under Shiotani’s chin as time became a factor. But there would not be a score, of any size. Shiotani had piled up his bounty in the first period and reached the finish line with the 7-0 decision in conjunction with a World bronze medal.
More coverage of Day 2 featuring full results from Team USA is forthcoming.
2022 World Championships
September 10-13 — Belgrade, SRB
TEAM USA DAY 2 RESULTS
55 kg: Max Nowry (Army/WCAP) — 5th
WON Arjun Halakurki (IND) via fall
WON Fabian Schmitt (GER) via fall
LOSS Eldaniz Azizli (AZE) 9-0, TF
LOSS Yu Shiotani (JPN) 7-0
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