Burroughs falls in clash of top contenders, Dennis knocked out in first men’s freestyle session at Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO – After Team USA posted an Olympic night for the ages, the tables were turned in the opening session of men’s freestyle. Reigning Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs was stunned in the quarterfinals and teammate Daniel Dennis was unable to get past his first round test.

One of the greatest wrestlers in U.S. history, Burroughs suffered his first Olympic loss at the hands of Russian rival Aniuar Geduev in his second match of the day at 74 kg.

Right out of the gate things got heated between the top two wrestlers at 74 kg with extracurricular shoving occurring less than 10 seconds into the match. As expected, the contest remained fierce throughout. Entering the second period Burroughs trailed by one after surrendering a shot clock point midway through the first. Geduev tacked on two step-outs to take a 3-0 lead late entering the final minute. Burroughs attacked relentlessly as the match counted down, but he could only muster a late takedown and fell 3-2. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Maroulis becomes 1st U.S. female wrestler to win Olympic gold

It took some time, but the United States now has a gold medalist in women’s wrestling.

And to earn it, Helen Maroulis had to beat a woman who knows a thing or two about gold medals: Japan’s Saori Yoshida, a 13-time world champion and three-time reigning Olympic champion.

It was a gold medal showdown that the wrestling world had been looking forward to for a long time. Maroulis, the reigning world champion at 55kg, versus Yoshida, the reigning world champion at 53kg.

The first period ended with Yoshida leading 1-0 after Maroulis failed to convert when put on the 30-second shot clock. The American came out strong in the second period though, getting two takedowns to earn a 4-1 victory on points. Continue reading at www.nbcolympics.com

Olympic champion Burroughs, along with Dennis, get draws for Olympic men’s freestyle on Friday

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – The United States kicks off its Olympic men’s freestyle efforts on Friday, with 2012 Olympic champion and three-time World champion Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC) competing at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Daniel Dennis at 57 kg/125.5 lbs.

Burroughs and Dennis have weighed in and received their first round draws for the Olympic Games, where they will compete in Carioca 2 Arena.

As returning World champion, Burroughs has the No. 1 seed in the top half of the bracket, in the first quarter-bracket, sitting in the No. 1 draw position. He will face Augusto Midana of Guinea Bissau. Burroughs beat Midana in the first round of the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a match where Burroughs hurt his leg and ultimately ended up taking a silver medal. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Maroulis aims for historic first Olympic gold, Pirozhkova in for bronze, Gray upset in women’s freestyle

RIO DE JANEIRO – On the fifth day of wrestling at the Olympic Games the U.S. has broken through and guaranteed itself at least one women’s freestyle medal with Helen Maroulis storming to the 53 kg gold medal match and Elena Pirozhkova wrestling for 63 kg bronze tonight.

Maroulis ran the gauntlet of top contenders on Thursday morning inside Carioca Arena 2. The 2015 World champion downed World No. 8 Yulia Khavaldzhy Blahinya of Ukraine, World No. 4 Xuechun Zhong of China, World No. 5 Myong Suk Jong of DPR Korea and World No. 2 Sofia Mattsson of Sweden to clinch a finals berth.

“Helen is wrestling awesome,” said U.S. head coach Terry Steiner. “She had to pull that match out against North Korea. She did a great job just fighting for points out there. Against Mattsson, who is a very talented girl, she had her completely off-balance the whole time. She dominated that match from start to finish.” Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Haley Augello falls in 48 kg repechage ending Olympic bronze medal bid

RIO DE JANEIRO – The Olympic dream came to a disappointing end for budding U.S. star Haley Augello in the repechage round against two-time World medalist Zhuidyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan.

In typical Augello fashion, she pressed the pace from start to finish against Eshimova, controlling the majority of the bout. Ultimately, an errant shot attempt leading to Eshimova points would be her downfall in the 3-2 decision.

“It’s a heartbreak, especially when you are training hard for something,” Augello said moments after her loss. “In the sport of wrestling, I like to look at it as a game of cat and mouse. If you want to be the mouse, that’s fine. If you want to run, that’s fine. I am young. I am not as experienced. Just the second time wrestling international at 48 kg. So you can be the mouse if you want. I am going to hunt you down. I’ll get you next time.” Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

World champs Maroulis, Pirozhkova, Gray get draws for Olympic women’s freestyle on Thursday

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – The United States enters three past World champions for the women’s freestyle wrestling competition on Thursday.

Helen Maroulis (Huntington Beach, Calif./Sunkist Kids) at 53 kg/116.5 lbs., Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 75 kg/165 lbs. have all weighed in and received their first round draws for the Olympic Games, which continue on Thursday in Carioca 2 Arena.

Maroulis in the bottom half of the bracket, in the fourth quarter-bracket. She has a pigtail match, and opens against Yulia Khavaldzhy of Ukraine. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Augello receives draw for first day of Olympic women’s freestyle on Wednesday

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – The first U.S. women’s freestyle wrestler, Haley Augello (Lockport, Ill./New York AC) weighed in and received her first-round draw for the Olympic Games, which continue on Monday in Carioca 2 Arena.

Augello is in the top half of the bracket, in the first quarter-bracket. She opens against 2015 World bronze medalist Jessica Blaszka of the Netherlands.

“I have been really impressed with Haley and her focus and just staying on track and doing what she can to get ready for this. She doesn’t seem like she is wide-eyed. It is just another competition for her, although we all realize it has great meaning, but at the same time it is just another wrestling tournament. She has done a great job doing what she does, staying in her routines, staying with her processes and readying herself for competition,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Provisor and Smith suffer first round defeats, out of medal running at Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO – The struggles continued for the U.S. Greco-Roman men at the Olympic Games with Ben Provisor and Robby Smith both dropping their first match to non-finalists, eliminating them from medal contention.

Provisor was first on the mat for the U.S. team, and competed admirably against 2015 World silver medalist Rustam Assakalov of Uzbekistan. Unfortunately, the two-time U.S. Olympian was unable to overcome a late four-point throw in the second period and was defeated, 6-3.

In the quarterfinals, World No. 4 Assakalov was ousted from the tournament by two-time World bronze medalist and current World No. 2 Viktor Lorincz of Hungary, 2-1, dashing Provisor’s hopes to enter the repechage rounds. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org