Iran dominant in win vs. U.S.; U.S. beats Russia at Rumble on the Rails in New York
By Gary Abbott
NEW YORK, N.Y. – It was a sellout crowd in historic Grand Central Terminal in New York City, to see two of the world’s best wrestling nations battle on national television provided by NBC Sports Channel.
When it was all over, the guests from Iran emerged with a 6-1 victory, edging Team USA on a number of very close matches.
The highlight for the USA was the debut of four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC/Finger Lakes RTC) at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Competing in his first major international event on the Senior level, Dake defeated Hassan Tahmasebi, 2-0, 1-0. Both periods went to the clinch. Dake won the first period in the defensive position, getting a two-point crotch lift. In the second, he won the ball draw, and lifted up and took him down for the winning point.
The other matches went to Iran, which were cheered loudly by a small but vocal cheering section of Iranian wrestling fans.
The first match at 55 kg/121 lbs. was a very close battle, going three full periods between World bronze medalist Hassan Rahimi of Iran and U.S. Open champion Obe Blanc of the USA. Blanc won the first period on a pushout, but Rahimi took the second with a takedown.
In the third period, Rahimi got a takedown then tried a gut wrench, which Blanc blocked and they went out of bounds. The original call was two for each athlete. The USA challenged and won, giving two to Blanc on the counter and a point to Rahimi. Tied 2-2, Blanc was winning on criteria. However, a late two-point gutwrench went to Rahimi, and a U.S. challenge was denied, ending the period 5-2 for the Iranian.
Next up was Masoud Esmailpour Joybari of Iran) who stopped two-time U.S. Open champion Reece Humphrey of the USA, 1-0, 6-0 Joybari scored in the first period on a pushout. In the second, Joybari got a takedown, then ran a series of gutwrenches to get a technical fall.
At 66 kg/145.5 lbs., two-time World champion Mehdi Taghavi battled 2013 U.S. Open champion Kellen Russell. Taghavi jumped to a 2-0 lead, but Russell closed with a takedown. Another Taghavi takedown made it 3-0 after the first period. The second period went to Taghavi with two takedowns, 2-0.
After Dake’s win at 74 kg/163 lbs., Iran closed the dual with three more victories.
Olympic bronze medalist Ehsan Lashgari stopped U.S. Open champion Keith Gavin, 1-0, 1-0 with takedowns in both periods at 84 kg/185 lbs.
The match at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. went to Hamed Tatari, who beat U.S. Open champion J.D. Bergman, 3-1, 1-0. Tatari scored a key gutwrench to win the first period, then scored a counter takedown with only 12 seconds to go to capture the second period.
The event closed out with an epic battle at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., as Olympic bronze medalist Khomeil Ghasemi edged Olympian and 2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev, 1-1, 1-0. Ghasemi won the first period after protesting an exchange in the closing seconds, receiving a takedown point after the review. In the second period, Ghasemi scored on a double leg takedown for the winning score.
When the match was over, the teams from Iran, the United States and Russia all posed together on the mat, in an act of solidarity and friendship, in their unified effort to help Keep Olympic Wrestling.
IRAN 6, USA 1
At Grand Central Terminal, New York, N.Y., May 15
55 kg/121 lbs. – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran) dec. Obe Blanc (USA), 0-1, 1-0, 5-2
60 kg/132 lbs. – Masoud Esmailpour Joybari (Iran) dec. Reece Humphrey (USA), 1-0, 6-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Mehdi Taghavi (Iran) dec. Kellen Russell (USA), 3-1, 2-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) dec. Hassan Tahmasebi (Iran), 2-0, 1-0
84 kg/185 lbs. – Ehsan Lashgari (Iran) dec. Keith Gavin (USA), 1-0, 1-0
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Hamed Tatari (Iran) dec. J.D. Bergman (USA), 3-1, 1-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Khomeil Ghasemi (Iran) dec. Tervel Dlagnev (USA), 1-1, 1-0
U.S. beats Russia 8-1 in three-style dual in New York City
By Gary Abbott
NEW YORK, N.Y. – It was a great night for Team USA, which won eight of nine matches against Russia in a dual meet with all three Olympic styles held in historic Grand Central Terminal. The event was broadcast live on Universal Sports and streamed on TeamUSA.org
The match was part of The Rumble On The Rails, an event which featured the USA, Russia and Iran. Earlier in the evening, Iran defeated the USA, 6-1 in a men’s freestyle dual in the same venue.
The USA men’s freestyle team got things rolling by sweeping all five of their matches.
The dual opened well for the USA, as 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott emerged with a 1-0, 0-1, 3-0 win over Artas Sanaa. Scott had a first period takedown, and Sanaa scored his second with a takedown from the clinch. The third period was very close, but Scott broke it open with a three-point takedown with just 25 seconds left.
Three-time European champion Opan Sat and Junior World silver medalist Logan Stieber locked up at 60 kg/132 lbs. Steiber came out strong in the first period, leading 3-0, but Sat rallied with some wide-open offense to win that period 7-5. The second period was all Stieber, with two three-point throws for a 6-0 technical fall. The third period was scoreless and went to the clinch. Stieber won the ball draw but Sat was able to counter effectively. In a wild scramble, which was challenged by the Russians, Stieber got three points on a crotch lift for the win.
The USA made it three straight freestyle wins with a strong comeback effort by 2010 World Team member Brent Metcalf, who beat Soslan Ramanov, 0-2, 1-0, 7-0. Ramonov won the first on two pushouts, but Metcalf came back to win the second on a caution when Ramanov did not line up properly in the clinch. In the deciding third period, Metcalf opened up the floodgates, scoring takedowns and exposures, to get a 7-0 technical fall.
The USA freestyle wrestlers closed the door with two big wins at 74 kg/163 lbs., clinching the dual meet before the other styles even stepped on the mat.
U.S. Open runner-up David Taylor scored a second period pin over Magomed Kurbanaliev, 7-2, 0:16. The first period had a lot of action, with scrambles which ended up in Taylor’s favor. The second period was ended quickly as Taylor hit a three-point takedown and scored a fall in stunning fashion.
World and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs ran his winning streak to 53 matches, with a challenging three-period win over Saba Khubezhty, 1-1, 5-0, 7-3. Burroughs dropped the first period, when Khubezhty scored on a front headlock takedown late in the period. Burroughs got things rolling in the second period with a big three-point double leg. The third period started after a delay for Khubetzhty who needed medical treatment. The Russian scored the first takedown of the period, but Burroughs turned the tide with a three-point takedown and ran the lead to 7-3 with more offense.
Next up was a women’s freestyle match, which featured 2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis against Junior World silver medalist Irina Kisel at 55 kg/121 lbs. Maroulis won the first period, and finished it off with a second period fall.
The USA finished off with wins in two of the three Greco-Roman matches. At 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Kendrick Sanders beat Asker Orshokdugov, 1-0, 1-0. 2012 Olympian Ben Provisor defeated past World champion Ambako Vachadze, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0 on a lift in the closing seconds of the final period.
Russia won its only match at 84 kg/185 lbs. in Greco-Roman, as Evgeni Saleev edged U.S. Open champion Jordan Holm, 0-1, 1-0, 1-0. Saleev received the winning point in the third period when Holm jumped the whistle twice from the par terre position.
USA 8, RUSSIA 1
at Grand Central Terminal, New York City, May 15
60 kg/132 lbs. – Coleman Scott (USA) dec. Artas Sanaa (Russia), 1-0, 0-1, 3-0
60 kg/132 lbs. – Logan Stieber (USA) dec. Opan Sat (Russia), 5-7, 6-0, 3-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) dec. Soslan Ramanov (Russia), 0-2, 1-0, 7-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) pin Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia), 7-2, 0:16
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Saba Khubezhty (Russia), 1-1, 5-0, 7-3
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) pin Irina Kisel (Russia), 2-0, 0:35
66 kg/145,5 lbs. – Kendrick Sanders (USA) dec. Asker Orshokdugov (Russia), 1-0, 1-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Ben Provisor (USA) dec. Ambako Vachadze (Russia), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0
84 kg/185 lbs. –Evgeni Saleev (Russia) dec. Jordan Holm (USA), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0