HALL, GARDNER, HENDERSON REMAIN IN CONTENTION FOR BRONZE MEDALS AT GRECO-ROMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN POLAND
Three U.S. wrestlers remain in contention for bronze medals at the 1997 Greco-Roman World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland: Dennis Hall (Stevens Point, Wis./Sunkist Kids) at 58 kg/127.75 lbs., Rulon Gardner (Mesa, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 130 kg/286 lbs. and Dan Henderson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 85 kg/187.25 lbs.
Hall and Gardner were defeated in the semifinals on Friday, and must compete in the consolation rounds on Saturday.
Hall and Gardner have guaranteed a spot in the top six in their weight classes, and can place as high as third by winning all of their matches in the consolations. The opponents for Hall and Gardner on Saturday morning have yet to be determined.
Hall, the 1995 World Champion, won his first match of the day in the quarterfinals against Djamel Ainaoui of France, 3-2 in overtime, through a protest procedure.
On the mat, Ainaoui won a 2-2 overtime referee's decision. Hall apparently scored a winning takedown in the overtime period, but officials did not award him the point. The bout ended at 2-2 at the end of overtime. Ainaoui was declared the winner based upon having fewer passivity calls, three for Hall and one for Ainaoui.
The U.S. delegation protested the match, and FILA, the international wrestling federation awarded the match to Hall by a 3-2 score. It is the first time in as many as twenty years that the U.S. received a victory by protest.
In the semifinals, Hall was defeated by Rafik Simonian of Russia, 3-2. Simonian jumped to a 3-0 lead. Hall closed the gap with two points but could not make up the difference.
Hall won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics and a bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships.
Gardner, a 1996 World Cup champion, was defeated in the semifinals by three-time Olympic champion Alexander Karelin of Russia, 5-0 in overtime.
Karelin has never lost an international match, and will compete for another gold medal on Saturday. Along with his three Olympic titles, Karelin has also won a record six World Championships gold medals.
Gardner is competing in his first World Championships. He is a two-time U.S. Nationals champion, and competed for the Univ. of Nebraska.
Henderson, who was defeated on Thursday, continued his winning streak in the consolation brackets. He handled 1995 World silver medalist Gotcha Tsitsiashvily of Israel, 7-0 in his only match on Friday.
On Saturday morning, Henderson will face Igor Bugei of Ukraine. A victory for Henderson will guarantee him a place in the top six of the weight class. Henderson must win all of his matches on Saturday in order to claim a bronze medal.
Henderson is a two-time U.S. Olympic team member, and is competing in his second World Championships. He wrestled for Arizona State and Cal-Fullerton.
The U.S. team is led by head coach Dan Chandler of Minneapolis, Minn., assistant coach Rob Hermann of Pensacola, Fla., and National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser of Colorado Springs, Colo.
The top six place winners were determined in medal matches for the first four weight divisions on Friday evening. Turkey had two individual gold medalists - Ercan Yildiz at 54 kg/119 lbs. and Seref Eroglu at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. The other two champions were Marko Yli-Hannuksela of Finland at 76 kg/167.5 lbs. and Gogui Koguachvili of Russia at 97 kg/213.75 lbs.
*Press Releases and tournament results are also available in the Recent Results area on the USA Wrestling website. The address is http://www.usawrestling.org
The local organizing committee in Poland has set up a website for the championships. You can find results in the area called "wyniki walk." The address for the web site is http://www.internet-pro.wroc.pl/msstrgl.html
1997 Greco-Roman World Championships at Wroclaw, Poland, Sept. 12
U.S. Group Two Results
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis. - dec. Djamel Ainaoui, France, 3-2, ot; lost dec. to Rafik Simonian, Russia, 3-2
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Dan Henderson, Huntington Beach, Calif. - dec. Gotcha Tsitsiashvily, Israel, 7-0
130 kg/286 lbs. - Rulon Gardner, Mesa, Ariz. - lost dec. to Alexander Karelin, Russia, 5-0, ot
Final results Group One
54 kg/119 lbs.
1st - Ercan Yildiz, Turkey, won by ref. dec. over Vahan Juharyan, Armenia, 1-0, ot, 8:00
3rd - Alfred Ter Mkrchyan, Germany, won by ref. dec. over Marian Sandu, Romania, 1-0, ot, 8:00
5th - Simeon Milev, Bulgaria, dec. Ha Tae-Yeon, Korea, 6-4, ot
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
1st - Seref Eroglu, Turkey, dec. Nikolai Monov, Russia, 3-0
3rd - Wlodzimierz Zawadzki, Poland, pin Michael Beilin, Israel, 1:40
5th - Mkkhitar Manukyan, Kazakhstan, dec. Juan Maren, Cuba, 4-0, ot
76 kg/167.5 lbs.
1st - Marko Yli-Hannuksela, Finland, dec. Tamas Berzicza, Hungary, 3-1, ot
3rd - Filiberto Azcuy, Cuba, dec. Yvon Riemer, France, 5-3
5th - Bakhtiyar Baiseitov, Kazakhstan, dec. Nazmi Avluca, Turkey, 5-0
97 kg/213.75 lbs.
1st - Gogui Kogouachvili, Russia, dec. Anatoli Federenko, Belarus, 6-0
3rd - Andrzej Wronski, Poland, won by ref. dec. over Maik Bullman, Germany, 2-0, ot, 8:00
5th - Mikael Ljungberg, Sweden, dec. Vyacheslav Olieynik, Ukraine, 4-0