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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Parris Wins Hungarian Ranking Series Event

    With the Olympic Team set and all of the quotas determined, one of the only things left in the run up to the 2024 Olympic Games is the Ranking Series event. Budapest, Hungary was the host for the Polyak Imre & Varga Janos Memorial Ranking Series event which will be used to determine seeds in Paris. 

    At the Olympic level, not everyone necessarily cares about the seeds, which you can tell by the fact that not all countries or individuals have decided to participate. Some like the event as a tune-up or trial run for the real competition. 

    On Thursday, the only US Olympian in action was men’s freestyle heavyweight Mason Parris at 125 kgs. The 2023 World bronze medalist proved he is ready for Paris by winning the gold medal against some quality competition. 

    In the quarterfinals, Parris squared off with Givi Matcharashvili (Georgia) who has bounced between 97 and 125 kg over the last few years. Earlier this year, Matcharashvili won a European title at the lower weight. Additionally, he’s claimed World bronze medals at 97 kg in each of the last two years and has qualified for the Olympic Games at that weight. Parris controlled the action and cruised to a 9-2 victory. 

    In the semifinals, Parris crushed Puerto Rico’s Jonovan Smith 10-0 in under a minute. 

    That set up a finals matchup against Yusup Batirmurzaev of Kazakhstan. Batirmurzaev is the same opponent who Parris defeated in the opening round at the 2023 World Championships. The Kazakh big man made the finals after pinning 3x world champion and 10x World/Olympic medalist Geno Petriashvili (Georgia). 

    As is typically the case, Parris got to his offense first and was in on a single leg. Batirmurzaev attempted to counter and expose the American, but ended up putting himself on his back and never was able to escape and gave up a fall in only :34 seconds. 

    Parris wasn’t the only American in action on Thursday. Nahshon Garrett (61 kg) and Evan Henderson (70 kg) also took the mat. Garrett posted a 13-3 tech over Nika Zakashvili (Georgia) to earn a bronze medal. Henderson went 0-2 on the day and was fifth.

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