USA Greco

ZAGREB DAY 2 UPDATE: USA Still Waiting for Breakthrough

peyton omania, 2024 grand prix zagreb open
Peyton Omania -- Photo: UWW

It was not one, not two, but three United States Greco-Roman athletes in action on Saturday morning in Zagreb.

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Day 2 of the 2024 Grand Prix Zagreb Open began at 10:00am local time from Zagreb, Croatia and is streaming live in the US on FLOWrestling.

Entering the arena on the second day of Greco competition for Team USA were three competitors occupying the same weight class of 67 kilograms: ’20 Olympian/two-time World Team member Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP), ’19 Junior World bronze/’21 Senior World representative Peyton Omania (Orange County RTC), and multiple-time age-group World Teamer Robert Perez III (Sunkist).

Due to the tournament serving as the first United World Wrestling “Ranking Series” event of the Olympic Year, the field in each of the brackets thus far have been both highly-populated and highly-competitive.

Omania and Perez began their tournaments in the qualification round. Omania was defeated by ’21 U23 European Championships bronze Aleksey Masyk (UKR) 6-2, whereas Perez was downed by Lei Lui (CHN) 5-3.

One round later, Sancho (who won this tournament in ’17) took on 21-year-old Hasrat Jafarov (AZE) — runner-up at the ’23 Worlds, bronze in ’22, and a World Champion at both U20 and U23 (’21). In as tight of a contest as it practically could be, it was Jafarov who prevailed 3-1. What materialized in the aftermath was of noted concern to Sancho and Omania, as Jafarov and Masyk were paired together in the quarterfinal. The bout was not filled with suspense. Jafarov exploded with a swirl of offense from par terre to dispose of Masyk 9-0, and now the Azerbaijani wrestler faces ’21 Olympic silver Parviz Nasibov (UKR). A win for Jafarov means that Sancho will be pulled into the 67-kg repechage on Sunday morning with a chance to eventually earn bronze. UPDATE: Nasibov defeated Jafarov via fall to eliminate Sancho from returning tomorrow for repechage.

To Whom Belongs the Glory graphic

Day 1

On Friday, the US sent three athletes out onto the Zagreb mat — ’22 World Team member Benji Peak (77 kg, Sunkist/NTS), ’18 World Team member RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC), and two-timer Spencer Woods (87 kg, Army/WCAP). Peak surrendered a takedown and step-out en-route to a 3-0 decision loss at the hands of Ricardo Abbrescia (ITA), and Woods was on the wrong end of a 9-1 VSU to former Russian star (and two-time Junior World champ) Aleksander Komarov, who now competes for Serbia.

As for Perkins, clearly pain from injury affected his result. He had executed an early four-point front headlock to go up 4-0 on Vikas Vikas (IND) but had stepped-out twice in following the score, the second of which came attached to an extra caution point. After the break, Vikas was awarded the passivity/par terre chance but was unable to budge Perkins. However, back standing, Perkins was forced out of bounds twice more; Vikas did not relent, and each subsequent time they jousted near the boundary — try as he might — Perkins could not avoid stepping over the line for his posture was badly compromised. With less than a minute remaining, Vikas was declared the winner via disqualification.

All of the vanquishers of US athletes on Day 1 were defeated prior to the final round, thus none of the three aforementioned Americans qualified for this morning’s repechage.

Day 3 — Sunday

The United States has __ competitors who are scheduled to compete on Sunday. Their weight categories and draws are listed below. Interesting is ’23 US National runner-up Mahmoud Sebie (NYAC) opting to enter at non-Olympic 82 kg. The former Egyptian and ’16 Olympian was second to Woods last month in Fort Worth at 87 kg, and 82 kg (with its classification as a non-Olympic weight) is not being contested domestically this season. Wrestling resumes at 10:00am local time tomorrow (4:00am ET) and can be streamed live in the US on FLOWrestling.

60 kg: Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) — round of 16
vs. the winner between Nugzari Tsurtsumia (GEO) and Denis Mihai (ROU)

60 kg: Hayden Tuma (NYAC) — qualification round
vs. Liguo Cao (CHN)

82 kg: Mahmoud Sebia (NYAC) — qualification round
vs. Roland Schwarz (GER)

97 kg: Joe Rau (TMWC) — qualification round
vs. Peter Oehler (GER)

97 kg: Alan Vera (NYAC)
vs. Sergei Omelin (UKR)

130 kg: Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen WC) — qualification round
vs. Oleksandr Chernetskyy (UKR)

2024 Grand Prix Zagreb Open

January 12-14 — Zagreb, CRO


67 kg

Robert Perez III (Sunkist)
LOSS Lei Lui (CHN) 5-3

Peyton Omania (Orange County RTC)
LOSS Aleksey Masyk (UKR) 6-2

Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP)
LOSS Hasrat Jafarov (AZE) 3-1


77 kg

Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS) — 40th
LOSS Riccardo Abbrescia (ITA) 3-0

RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) — 39th
LOSS Vikas Vikas (IND) via DQ

87 kg

Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) — 27th
LOSS Aleksander Komarov (SRB) 9-1, TF


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