Sept. 12, 2010
MOSCOW, Russia - The U.S. men's freestyle team went 1-3 on the final day of the 2010 World Championships on Sunday at the Olympiysky Sports Complex, falling short of the medal stand at the event. Former University of Iowa wrestler Brent Metcalf (66 kg/145.5 lbs) and former Iowa State University competitor Travis Paulson (74 kg/163 lbs) each lost their first round matches. Former University of Nebraska-Omaha wrestler Les Sigman (120 kg/264.5 lbs) lost in the second round. It was the first World Championships for each of them.
Metcalf shot in on leg attacks repeatedly, but was unable to finish as he suffered a 0-1, 2-2 loss to past World silver and bronze medalist in freestyle Otar Tushishvili of Georgia. Metcalf, who won two NCAA and Big Ten titles for the Hawkeyes, was eliminated when Tushishvili lost by fall in his next match.
"You come to the big show and you work your whole life for this, you've got to be ready to go come whistle one," Metcalf said. "I felt like I was ready, but I wasn't scoring points like I needed to. I did have a pretty tough guy, but you've got to be ready for that in this tournament because you can draw the best guy in the first round."
Paulson lost in the first round to Kazakhstan's Abdulhakim Shapiyez 4-0, 1-0. Paulson, who had knee surgery after being injured in July, was unable to finish in the leg clinch in the second period. Paulson was eliminated when Shapiyez failed to reach the finals.
Sigman lost in the second round to 2009 World bronze medalist Ioannis Arzoumandis of Greece by scores of 0-1, 1-0, 0-1. Sigman was eliminated when Arzoumandis lost in the semifinals to two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan. Sigman finished ninth.
The U.S. lost seven of the 11 matches it competed in during the men's freestyle competition in Moscow. The U.S. did not win a freestyle medal in a World Championships it has competed in for the first time since 1975. The 1975 tournament was in Minsk, Soviet Union.
"It's terrible," said U.S. National Coach Zeke Jones said when asked about the U.S. freestyle performance. "We just didn't have enough fight. We need to go home and make some changes. We just weren't tough enough in the right moments. We need to make practice and training tougher, and we need to get technically better."
India's Sushil Kumar won the title at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Kumar became India's first World champion. Russia's Denis Tsargush repeated as champion at 74 kg/163 lbs. Russia's Bilyal Makhov won his third straight title at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Russia won the team title with 66 points. Azerbaijan was second with 42 and Cuba third 37. The U.S. tied for 22nd with five points.
U.S. MEN'S FREESTYLE RESULTS FROM SUNDAY'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Brent Metcalf (New York AC)
LOSS Otar Tushishvili (Georgia), 0-1, 2-2
74 kg/163 lbs. - Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Abdulkahim Shapiyez (Kazakhstan), 0-4, 0-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Les Sigman (Nittany Lion WC)
WIN Nicholas Lane (New Zealand), fall 0:55
LOSS Ioannis Arzoumandis (Greece), 0-1, 1-0, 0-1