Olympians Hazewinkel, Thielke and Coleman advance to Greco-Roman worlds
Seasoned Greco-Roman wrestling veterans and World Team hopefuls gathered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week for the 2018 Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials, and the 10-man roster that will travel in Budapest, Hungary for the 2018 Senior World Wrestling October Championships are now set. Among the winners were three Olympians.
The 130 kg. The class saw a US Open rematch as Adam Coon took on 2016 Olympian Robby Smith. Smith beat Coon in the US Open final, but Coon won Game 1 on Friday by decision and then knocked out Smith in Game 2 to earn the World Team berth. Coon was scheduled to fly to Pennsylvania later in the day to compete in the third and final Final X on Saturday for a spot on the World Freestyle Team at 125kg.
It was another US Open rematch at 55kg, where 2012 freestyle Olympian Sam Hazewinkel took on US Open champion Max Nowry. Hazewinkel earned his spot on the World Team with an 11-0 technical over Nowry.
At 72kg, Jon Jay Chavez beat favorite RaVaughn Perkins, the 2016 Olympic trials champion, to earn his first trip to the world championships.
Kamal Bey has earned the redemption he was looking for at 77kg. by defeating Mason Manville in a rematch of the 2017 World Team Trials. Bey, who was the 2017 US Open and World Junior Champion and heavily favored to win last year, instead lost two matches and had to watch the gold medalist. 2014 Youth Olympic Silver Manville earn his place in the team. This year, however, Bey won the first two games to make his first world team.
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G’Angelo Hancock is heading for his second consecutive World Championships after winning his last match 6-3 on Friday. He beat US Open champion Daniel Miller at 97kg.
Ildar Hafizov was also aiming for his sixth trip to the world championships, but defending US Open champion Dalton Roberts edged out the 2017 world team member at 60kg. Hafizov was a 2008 Olympian for Uzbekistan.
At 63kg, 2016 Olympian Jesse Thielke will compete in the world championships for the first time since 2013 after beating US Open champion Ryan Mango, brother of 2012 Olympian Spenser, who was looking to make his first global team. Thielke beat Mango in the first two matches.
2012 Olympian and two-time World Team member Ellis Coleman will return for his third World Championships after beating 2017 World U23 Team member Alejandro Sancho. They also met at the World Team Trials of 2017, with Coleman also emerging as the winner in that match.
At 82kg, Cheney Haight came out of Thursday’s challenge tournament but couldn’t defend his place on the world team as US Open champion Geordan Speiller took the win.
Finally, two-time World Team member Patrick Martinez and two-time Olympian Ben Provisor met again at 87 kg., with Martinez picking up the win.
Karen Price is a Pittsburgh journalist who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is an independent contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.