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USA places sixth in World Freestyle Military Championships, Oct. 15-16



U.S. TEAM PLACES SIXTH IN WORLD MILITARY CHAMPIONSHIPS IN FREESTYLE WRESTLING IN OSTIA, ITALY, OCTOBER 15-16

The United States placed sixth as a team at the 1997 CISM World Military Freestyle Wrestling Championships, held in Ostia, Italy, October 15-16.

Four members of the U.S. team placed sixth in their weight classes: Eric Strunk of the U.S. Navy at 54 kg/119 lbs., Paul Gagich of the U.S. Air Force at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., Mark Fiore of the U.S. Army at 85 kg/187.25 lbs. and Greg Gibson of the U.S. Marines at 97 kg/213.75 lbs.

Strunk opened the tournament with a 4-1 loss to Ylmaz Sukruoglu of Turkey, then rebounded by pinning Dominik Waag of Germany at 3:58. He dropped his next two matches to place sixth.

Gagich started with a solid 7-2 win over Miroslav Vojkovic of Slovakia, then dropped a 10-0 technical fall to Aslan Fidarov of Ukraine in the semifinal round. Gagich lost his next two matches to place sixth.

Fiore scored a pin over Khoshim Khakimov of Uzbekistan in 3:55, then was defeated by Daniel Strumpf of Germany, 9-0. He was pinned by Jalal Baker of Syria at 2:34 in the next match, then lost a 10-2 decision to Strumpf in the sixth-place match.

Gibson was the only U.S. wrestler to claim two wins in the tournament. He started off with a 10-0 technical fall loss to Sergei Priadun of Ukraine at 3:48, then rebounded with wins over Josip Pavi of Croatia, 6-3 and V. Alliegro of Italy, 3-0. He lost his next two bouts by 10-0 technical falls, including a defeat to 1988 Olympic silver medalist Heiko Balz of Germany.

Gibson is the greatest U.S. military athlete in history. He was an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman at the 1984 Olympic Games and a two-time World medalist in freestyle. He made a comeback last season, well after passing his 40th birthday.

Although the other four U.S. wrestlers did not place among the top six, all scored team points for the United States. Three wrestlers placed seventh: Duaine Martin of the U.S. Marines at 58 kg/127.75 lbs., Glenn Nieradka of the U.S. Army at 69 kg/152 lbs., and Miguel Spencer of the U.S. Army at 76 kg/167.5 lbs. Matt Lamb of the U.S. Navy placed eighth at 130 kg/286 lbs.

Iran, with four individual champions, won the team title with 73 points. Russia, which had three champions, placed second with 68 points. Ukraine, Turkey, and Syria rounded out the top five teams. A total of 12 nations participated in freestyle.The Greco-Roman competition will follow, with action on October 17-18. The U.S. sent a strong team for the Greco-Roman tournament.

Rob Hermann, the head coach of the U.S. Navy team, is serving as the team's head coach, and Derrick Waldroup, the head coach of the U.S. Army team, is serving as the assistant coach. Hermann will concentrate on the freestyle team, while Waldroup, a 1996 Olympian, will work with the Greco-Roman athletes.

The qualifying event for the U.S. team at the tournament was the 1997 Armed Forces Championships, which was held at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., March 20 and 22.

The U.S. Army team is based at Fort Carson, Colo. The U.S. Marine Corps team is based in Quantico, Va. The U.S. Navy team is based in Pensacola, Fla. and the U.S. Air Force team is based at Peterson AFB in Colo.

CISM WORLD MILITARY FREESTYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

at Ostia, Italy, October 15-16

U.S. Freestyle team results

54 kg/119 lbs. - Eric Strunk (U.S. Navy), 6th - lost dec. to Ylmas Sukruoglu (Turkey), 4-1; pin Dominik Waag (Germany), 3:58; lost by tech. fall to Majid Chghini (Iran), 12-2, 4:58; lost dec. to Firas Alriface (Syria), 9-1

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Duaine Martin (U.S. Marines), 7th - lost dec. to Lubos Cekel (Slovakia), 7-1; lost by tech. fall to Leonid Tchouchounov (Russia), 12-2, 2:44

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Paul Gagich (U.S. Air Force), 6th - dec. Miroslav Vojkovic (Slovakia), 7-2; lost by tech. fall to Aslan Fidarov (Ukraine), 10-0, 3:08; lost dec. to Gurcel Uzunca (Turkey), 10-0, 3:03; lost dec. to Christian Graupeter (Germany), 8-0

69 kg/152 lbs. - Glenn Nieradka (U.S. Army), 7th - lost dec. Ahmed Ali Asta (Syria) 4-0; lost by ref. dec. to Danilo Bignone (Italy), 2-1, ot, 8:00

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Miguel Spencer (U.S. Army), 7th - lost dec. to Adam Barakhoev (Russia), 5-2; lost dec. to Majid Khodaej (Iran), 4-2

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Mark Fiore (U.S. Army), 6th - pin Khoshim Khakimov (Uzbekistan), 3:55; lost dec. to Daniel Strumpf (Germany), 9-0; lost by pin to Jalal Baker (Syria), 2:34; lost dec. to Daniel Strumpf (Germany), 10-2

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Greg Gibson (U.S. Marines), 6th - lost by tech. fall to Sergei Priadun (Ukraine), 10-0, 3:48; dec. Josip Pavi (Croatia), 6-3; dec. V. Alliegro (Italy), 3-0; lost by tech. fall to Heiko Balz (Germany), 10-0, 2:33; lost by tech. fall to Petre Pecha (Slovakia), 10-0, 1:34

130 kg/286 lbs. - Matt Lamb (U.S. Navy), 8th - lost dec. to Ajdin Polatci (Turkey), 8-0; lost dec. to Dirk Winterfeld (Germany), 3-0

Team standings - 1. Iran, 73 pts.; 2. Russia, 68 pts.; 3. Ukraine, 56 pts.; 4. Turkey, 55 pts.; 5. Syria, 38 pts.; 6. United States, 34.5 pts.; 7. Germany, 33 pts.; 8. Italy, 26.5 pts.; 9. Slovakia, 18 pts.; 10. Uzbekistan, 13 pts.; 11. Croatia, 7 pts.; 12. Finland, 3 pts.

Freestyle medalists

54 kg/119 lbs. - Gold - Voutchar Okaudsov (Russia); Silver - Ylmaz Sukruoglu (Turkey); Bronze - Majid Chghini (Iran)

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Gold - Kanjabi Mohammali (Iran); Silver - Damir Zahartdinov (Uzbekistan); Bronze - Michail Chernov (Ukraine)

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Gold - Shabazi Bahman (Iran); Silver - Aslan Fidorov (Ukraine); Bronze - Zelimkhan Akhmadov (Russia)

69 kg/152 lbs. - Gold - Velikhan Alakhverdiev (Russia); Silver - Albert Basaev (Ukraine); Bronze - Jamshidi Masod (Iran)

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Gold - Sedf Dumlu (Turkey); Silver - Alan Mzokov (Ukraine); Bronze - Majid Khodaej (Iran)

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Gold - Ali Reza Heydari (Iran); Silver - Mamed Agaev (Russia); Bronze - Ali Reza Keser (Turkey)

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Gold - Karekev Abdolhreza (Iran); Silver - Nikolaj Teleguine (Russia); Bronze - Heiko Balz (Germany)

130 kg/286 lbs. - Gold - David Musulbes (Russia); Silver - Ali Reza Rezai (Iran); Bronze - Ajdin Polatci (Turkey)

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