By Gary Abbott
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Only eight days after the International Olympic Committee selected wrestling as an additional sport for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, the most important international wrestling event of the year is being held in Budapest, Hungary, the 2013 World Wrestling Championships.
Competition will begin Monday, September 16 and run through Sunday, September 22 at the Laszlo Papp Budapest Sportarena. Three weight classes will be contested each day.
Competition will be in the three Olympic styles of wrestling, men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman, with seven weight classes in each of the disciplines. The United States is expected to have talented teams in all three styles.
The seven-day competition will start with the men’s freestyle tournament, followed by women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman.
In men’s freestyle, the United States will be led by 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs. Burroughs is shooting for his second straight World freestyle title after winning a gold medal at the 2011 Worlds in Istanbul, Turkey. Ranked No. 1 in the world, Burroughs is a perfect 60-0 in Senior competition since starting to compete on that level in 2011.
2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev is looking to return to the medal podium at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dlagnev was fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games and fifth at the 2011 World Championships.
Reece Humphrey is competing in his second World Championships at 60 kg/132 lbs., after he reached the quarterfinal round of the World Championships in freestyle in 2011 and placed ninth. Two other team members have previous World Championships experience, both with the 2010 U.S. World Team, Brent Metcalf at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and J.D. Bergman at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Competing on their first U.S. World Teams are Angel Escobedo at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Keith Gavin at 84 kg/185 lbs.
In women’s freestyle, the U.S. team features a pair of 2012 World Champions, Elena Pirozhkova at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Adeline Gray at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Gray won her World title last year down a weight at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Both athletes have won two World medals, with Pirozhkova adding a World silver medal in 2010 and Gray winning a World bronze medal in 2011.
Two other U.S. team members were World medalists last year, with Helen Maroulis winning a silver medal at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Alyssa Lampe at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. This year, Lampe has dropped back to her normal weight class and will compete at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.
The three other U.S. team members are on their first U.S. Senior World Team. All are past Junior World medalists, including two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., Junior World silver medalist Veronica Carlson at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. and two-time Junior World bronze medalist Alli Ragan at 59 kg/130 lbs.
In Greco-Roman, the U.S. is led by two-time World bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian Justin Lester at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. This will be Lester’s sixth World Championships appearance.
Two-time Olympian Spenser Mango is back at 55 kg/121 lbs. and is looking to medal for the first time on the Senior level. He is on his fourth straight U.S. Senior World Team as well.
Competing in his second World Championships, after wrestling at the 2011 World Championships, is Andy Bisek at 74 kg/163 lbs. The other four U.S. team members are competing at their first Senior World Championships: Jesse Thielke at 60 kg/132 lbs., Jordan Holm at 84 kg/185 lbs., Caylor Williams at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and Robbie Smith at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Thielke was a Junior World bronze medalist last year.
To follow the action, visit TheMat.com throughout the event.
WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary, September 16-22
U.S. World Team Athlete Rosters
55 kg/121 lbs. – Angel Escobedo, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska RTC)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC)
National Coaches – Zeke Jones, Brandon Slay, Bill Zadick (all of Colorado Springs, Colo.)
World Team Coaches – Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa; Cael Sanderson, State College, Pa.; Lou Rosselli, Columbus, Ohio
Colleges Attended: Ohio State (Humphrey, Bergman), Indiana (Escobedo), Iowa (Metcalf), Nebraska (Burroughs), Pittsburgh (Gavin), Nebraska-Kearney (Dlagnev)
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (Sunkist Kids)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Alli Ragan, Carbondale, Ill. (New York AC/King University)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Veronica Carlson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC)
National Coaches – Terry Steiner, Erin Tomeo (both of Colorado Springs, Colo.)
World Team Coaches – Kevin Black, River Falls, Wis.; Alex Conti, Fredonia, N.Y.
Colleges attended: Simon Fraser (Anthony, Maroulis), Missouri Baptist (Maroulis, Carlson), Northern Michigan (Lampe), King University (Ragan), UCCS (Gray), Pikes Peak CC (Pirozhkova), Devry (Carlson)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (Badger WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Justin Lester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Andy Bisek, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Minnesota Storm)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Caylor Williams, Greensboro, N.C. (U.S. Army)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Robbie Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
National Coaches – Steve Fraser, Momir Petkovic (both of Colorado Springs, Colo.)
World Team Coaches – Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn., Matt Lindland, Portland, Ore.
Colleges attended: Northern Michigan (Mango, Lester, Bisek, Smith), Wisconsin (Thielke), Northern Iowa (Holm), UNC-Greensboro (Williams), Bethel College (Holm)
World Championships Daily Schedule
Monday, September 16 – Men’s Freestyle, 55 kg, 66 kg, 96 kg (Escobedo, Metcalf, Bergman)
Tuesday, September 17 – Men’s Freestyle, 60 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg (Humphrey, Gavin, Dlagnev)
Wednesday, September 18 – Men’s Freestyle 74 kg, Women’s Freestyle 48 kg, 51 kg (Burroughs, Lampe, Anthony)
Thursday, September 19 – Women’s Freestyle 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg (Maroulis, Ragan, Pirozhkova)
Friday, September 20 – Women’s Freestyle 67 kg, 72 kg, Greco-Roman 55 kg (Carlson, Gray, Mango)
Saturday, September 21 – Greco-Roman 60 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg (Thielke, Holm, Williams)
Sunday, September 22 – Greco-Roman 66 kg, 74 kg, 120 kg (Lester, Bisek, Smith)