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Americans earn 10 wins in Greco-Roman at world championships

Courtesy USA Wrestling
Xavier Johnson, the lone U.S. athlete competing in Greco-Roman on the final day of the 2023 Senior World Championships, dropped his 63 kg repechage match on Sunday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia.

He was defeated by technical fall by Hrachya Poghosyan of Armenia, 8-0. Poghosyan scored an early takedown, lifted and threw Johnson for four points, and ended the match with a gutwrench in the first period.

Johnson, who had a 1-2 record for the tournament, placed 10th in the standings, scoring two team points for the United States.

Two other U.S. wrestlers were eliminated on Saturday, Alejandro Sancho (67 kg) and Zachary Braunagel (87 kg).

The United States finished with 14 points in the final Greco-Roman team standings, which placed them at 22nd place. During the Greco-Roman world championships, Team USA had 10 wins, an improvement from the seven wins in 2022. Winning two bouts for the USA were Alejandro Sancho (67 kg) and Kamal Bey (77 kg).

Team USA athletes in the top 10 were Patrick Smith (8th at 72 kg), Xavier Johnson (10th at 62 kg), Brady Koontz (10th at 55 kg), Kamal Bey (10th at 77 kg) and Cohlton Schultz (10th at 130 kg).

The final three weight classes in Greco-Roman were completed Sunday at 63 kg, 67 kg and 87 kg.

Winning gold medals on the final night of Greco-Roman were Leri Abuladze of Georgia (63 kg), Luis Orta Sanchez of Cuba (67 kg) and Ali Cengiz of Turkey (87 kg).

Azerbaijan won the Greco-Roman title with 120 points, with Iran in second with 102 and Turkey in third with 93.

Overall, at the 2023 world championships, the Americans won 14 medals during the week, seven in men’s freestyle and seven in women’s freestyle.

World champions were men’s freestylers Vito Arujau (61 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg) and David Taylor (86 kg) as well as women’s freestyler Amit Elor (72 kg).

The USA qualified seven weight classes for the Olympic Games in Paris, men’s freestyle 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg, plus women’s freestyle 50 kg, 57 kg and 76 kg.

At Belgrade, Serbia, September 24

Greco-Roman results
63 kg
Gold – Leri Abuladze (Georgia) dec. Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan), 2-2
Bronze – Enes Basar (Turkey) dec. Stefan Clement (France), 9-6
Bronze – Georgij Tibilov (Serbia) dec. Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia), 4-0

67 kg
Gold – Luis Orta Sanchez (Cuba) dec. Hasrat Jafarov (Azerbaijan), 4-3
Bronze – Mate Nemes (Serbia) dec. Amantur Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan), 3-3
Bronze – Mohammedreza Geraei (Iran) disq. Slavik Galstyan (Armenia), 2:03
Olympic Playoff – Amantur Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan) tech fall Slavik Galstyan (Armenia), 8-0

87 kg
Gold – Ali Cengiz (Turkey) dec. David Losonczi (Hungary), 8-7
Bronze – Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine) dec. Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan), 7-2
Bronze – Semen Novikov (Bulgaria) dec. Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan), 6-3
Olympic Playoff – Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan) tech fall Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan), 8-0

Final Team Standings
1. Azerbaijan, 120; 2. Iran, 102; 3 Turkey, 93; 4 Cuba, 73; 5 Armenia, 65; 6 Kyrgyzstan, 60; 7 Georgia, 59; 8 Hungary, 52; 9 Uzbekistan, 52; 10
Serbia 49
Note: United States 22nd with 14 points

U.S. Greco-Roman results
63 kg –Xavier Johnson (U.S. Army WCAP), 10th place
WIN Vikram Krushnath Kurade (UWW), tech fall 10-0
LOSS Murad Mammedov (Azerbaijan), 3-1
LOSS Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia), tech. fall 8-0

67 kg –Alejandro Sancho (U.S. Army WCAP), 12th place
WIN Valentin Petic (Moldova), 5-1
WIN Husiyuetu (China), 3-1
LOSS Slavik Galstyan (Armenia), tech fall 9-0

87 kg –Zachary Braunagel (Illini WC/Illinois RTC), 17th place
WIN Azym Annamagomedov (Turkmenistan), 8-3
LOSS Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine), 5-1

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