By Craig Sesker, For The Guillotine
RIO DE JANEIRO – Andy Bisek arrived in Brazil confident he could reach the top of the Olympic medal podium.
But the native of Chaska, Minn., will leave South America empty-handed.
Bisek dropped a tough quarterfinal match and failed to medal as the Olympic Games wrestling competition kicked off Sunday before 9,000 fans at Carioca Arena 2.
Bisek, 29, a two-time world bronze medalist, dropped a 2-0 quarterfinal match to Croatia’s Bozo Starcevic in Greco-Roman wrestling at 165 pounds.
Starcevic scored on a two-point gut wrench after a passivity call on Bisek early in the second period.
“My conditioning felt good and I was ready to go,” Bisek said. “I felt strong, but I made a few mistakes out there. I should’ve gotten a takedown in the match I lost, and I shouldn’t have gotten turned. Even after I gave up that takedown, I felt confident that I could come back and score some points.”
Bisek was eliminated when Starcevic fell to Olympic champion Roman Vlasov in the semifinals.
Vlasov appeared to be pinned late in the first period before it was ruled time ran out. Vlasov lay motionless on the mat for several seconds before he was able to continue.
“I think the ref ripped the Croatian guy off with time on the clock,” Bisek said. “Vlasov got a get out of jail free card there. And then he hung in there and that’s very impressive. Vlasov showed why he’s been a champion over and over again. It’s just unfortunate for my situation.”
Bisek, a first-time Olympian, won 1-0 over Cuba’s Yurisandy Hernandez Rios in his first bout. Bisek was the aggressor during the match as the Cuban wrestled defensively while backing up.
The quarterfinal defeat followed against the Croatian.
“It’s frustrating when you lose like this, but it’s extremely rewarding when you win. That’s what we’re doing this for,” Bisek said. “You have to be able to put everything together on that day you compete. I know I’m fully capable of getting the job done. It just didn’t happen today.”
Bisek said waiting to learn his fate while watching the semifinals in the warmup area was a helpless feeling.
“It’s incredibly hard,” Bisek said. “As soon as you lose, you know it’s not in your hands anymore. That’s tough to have to sit there and wait to see if you’re going to come back and wrestle again.”
Greco-Roman 75kg/165 lbs Bracket
Gold: Roman Vlasov (RUS) df. Mark Overgaard Madsen (DEN), 5-1
Bronze: Saeid Morad Abdvali (IRI) df. Peter Bacsi (HUN), 5-2
Bronze: Kim Hyeonwoo (KOR) df. Bozo Starcevic (CRO), 6-4
Repechage: Saeid Morad Abdvali (IRI) df. Viktor Nemes (SRB), 2-2
Repechage: Kim Hyeonwoo (KOR) df. Yang Bin (CHN), 3-1
Semifinal: Mark Overgaard Madsen (DEN) df. Peter Bacsi (HUN), 1-0
Semifinal: Roman Vlasov (RUS) df. Bozo Starcevic (CRO), 6-3
Quarterfinal: Peter Bacsi (HUN) df. Elvin Mursaliyev (AZE), 5-0
Quarterfinal: Bozo Starcevic (CRO) df. Andrew Thomas Bisek (USA), 2-0
Quarterfinal: Mark Overgaard Madsen (DEN) df. Viktor Nemes (SRB), 4-0
Quarterfinal: Roman Vlasov (RUS) df. Yang Bin (CHN) by TF, 8-0
1/8: Viktor Nemes (SRB) df. Dilshodjon Turdiev (UZB), 6-2
1/8: Andrew Thomas Bisek (USA) df. Yurisandy Hernandez Rios (CUB), 1-0
1/8: Elvin Mursaliyev (AZE) df. Doszhan Kartikov (KAZ), 5-1
1/8: Mark Overgaard Madsen (DEN) df. Saeid Morad Abdvali (IRI), 1-1
1/8: Yang Bin (CHN) df. Zied Ait Ouagram (MAR), 5-0
1/8: Peter Bacsi (HUN) df. Daniel Tihomirov Aleksandrov (BUL) by TF, 8-0
1/8: Bozo Starcevic (CRO) df. Selcuk Cebi (TUR), 2-1
1/8: Roman Vlasov (RUS) df. Kim Hyeonwoo (KOR), 7-5
Qualification: Elvin Mursaliyev (AZE) df. Mahmoud Fawzy Rashad Sebie (EGY), 2-1
Qualification: Peter Bacsi (HUN) df. Carlos Andres Munoz Jaramillo (COL) by TF, 9-0
Qualification: Doszhan Kartikov (KAZ) df. Zurabi Datunashvili (GEO), 2-0
Qualification: Daniel Tihomirov Aleksandrov (BUL) df. Arsen Julfalakyan (ARM), 3-2