Hafizov, Smith, Coon eliminated early at Worlds

Ildar Hafizov lifts Germany's Etienne Kisinger in his first mach at the World Championships (Photo/Mark Lundy,

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan -- The United States Greco-Roman team posted a 1-3 record on Monday at the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, failing to advance a wrestler beyond the round of 16.

Ildar Hafizov (60 kilograms) picked up a win, while both Pat Smith (77 kilograms) and Adam Coon (130 kilograms) lost their first match.

Hafizov, a 2008 Olympian for Uzbekistan, rolled to a 6-1 victory in his first match at 60 kilograms against Germany's Etienne Kisinger. The first point was scored by Kisinger off a passivity, but Hafizov dominated the rest of the way. He used a pair of throws to build his lead to 4-1 at the break. Hafizov added a takedown in the final 30 seconds of the match to win by five.

In the round of 16, Hafizov met returning world bronze medalist Lenur Temirov of Ukraine, and fell 8-2. Hafizov led 2-1 with two minutes remaining before Temirov turned it up. The Ukrainian countered a throw attempt by Hafizov and earned a reversal before following it up with a gut wrench to go up 4-2. Hafizov continued to press forward and look for opportunities to score, but the Ukrainian would use a body lock to score four points in the closing seconds to seal the victory.

Hafizov was eliminated from the tournament when Temirov lost by technical superiority in the quarterfinals to world champion Sergey Emelin.

Pat Smith walks out with coaches for his first match at the World Championships (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Smith dropped his first match at 77 kilograms to Germany's Roland Schwarz, 5-3. The 28-year-old American was in control for most of the match. He led 2-0 at the break. In the second period, Schwarz scored off a passivity to cut the deficit to 2-1. With just over a minute remaining in the match, the German then lifted Smith and scored with a four-point throw to go up 5-2. Smith would score a step out with 40 seconds left, but ultimately fall short.

Schwarz dropped his next match to Paulius Galkinas of Lithuania, eliminating Smith from the tournament.

Adam Coon looks to score with gut wrench against China's Lingzhe Meng (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Coon, a returning world silver medalist, was defeated in his opening match at 130 kilograms by China's Lingzhe Meng, 3-1. Meng was hit for passivity eighty seconds into the match, giving Coon a 1-0 lead and a chance in par terre. Coon attempted a gut wrench, which Meng countered and picked up a reversal in the process. Meng then scored with a gut wrench to go up 3-1. Ultimately, the scoring sequence would decide the match as no more points were scored in the final four minutes.

Coon's tournament officially came to a close when Meng was defeated in his next match by Turkey's Rıza Kayaalp, a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist.

The United States Greco-Roman team failed to win a medal at the World Championships and compiled a combined record of 8-12. Max Nowry (55 kilograms) was the highest American finisher in Greco-Roman, placing fifth.

Women's wrestling gets underway on Tuesday at the World Championships. Whitney Conder (50 kilograms), Sarah Hildebrandt (53 kilograms), Jacarra Winchester (55 kilograms) and Victoria Francis (72 kilograms) will compete for the United States.


Login or Register to post a comment

Willie (1) about 2 months ago
A perfect example to show why a true Double Elimination tournament should be held rather than this silly "the guy who beat me did well so I advance" crap.
All that way and "one and done" rather than actually get to wrestle back to place.
An asinine system - so stupid the French are surely involved.
coolbeans (1) about 2 months ago
Looks like Coon needs to raise his bar a bit if he plans on the 2020 Olympics