Day of disappointment for USA Greco-Roman team at Worlds

Joe Rau went 1-1 Sunday at the World Championships (Photo/Mark Lundy,

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan -- It was a day of disappointment for the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team at the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Ellis Coleman (67 kilograms), Joe Rau (87 kilograms) and G'Angelo Hancock (97 kilograms) competed on Sunday, and all three failed to advance past the round of 16. The three Greco-Roman wrestlers eliminated from the tournament in the opening session.

Coleman got off to a strong start at 67 kilograms, beating returning world bronze medalist Meirzhan Shermakhanbet of Kazakhstan in his first match by technical superiority, 10-2. Coleman used a four-point throw in the first minute of the match to go up 4-0. Later in the period, an exchange saw the Kazakhstan wrestler get two points before Coleman turned the tables, getting four points and nearly securing the fall. With just under minutes remaining in the match, Coleman scored a takedown to close out the match.

Ellis Coleman won his first match before losing to Bulgaria's Devyid Dimitrov (Photo/Mark Lundy,

In his second match, Coleman faced Bulgaria's Devyid Dimitrov. The Bulgarian went up 4-0 in the first 20 seconds of the match after scoring four points off an arm spin. Dimitrov would add another point off a step out and shut down Coleman's offense on his way to a 5-0 victory.

Coleman was eliminated from the tournament when Dimitrov lost his next match to Fredrik Bjerrehuus of Denmark, 6-0.

Rau opened his tournament at 87 kilograms with a 6-0 shutout over Asian silver medalist Kumar Sunil of India. The American scored with a couple step outs before getting a takedown late in the first period, which he followed up with a gut wrench to go up 6-0 at the break. There would be no scoring in the final period and Rau would move on with a six-point victory.

He met Nikolai Stadub of Belarus in the round of 16. Rau scored a point off a passivity in the first period and led 1-0 at the break. A minute into the second period, Rau was called for passivity and the Belarusian had his chance in par terre. He took advantage of it, scoring with four turns with a gut wrench to earn a 9-1 technical superiority.

Rau's tournament ended when Stadub was defeated by Olympic silver medalist Zhan Beleniuk in the quarterfinals.

G'Angelo Hancock opened his tournament with a win over Nikolai Krysov of Ukraine (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Hancock, competing at 97 kilograms, cruised to a 6-0 victory in his first match against Nikolai Krysov of Ukraine. He led 3-0 at the break after scoring with a passivity and gut wrench. In the second period, Hancock added a step out and late caution and two.

Next up for Hancock was a meeting with 2014 world champion Melonin Noumonvi of France in the round of 16. Hancock took a 1-0 lead into the break. The American led 2-1 into the final minute of the match before the 36-year-old Noumonvi used a five-point throw to go up 6-2, and then held on for the final 45 seconds.

Noumonvi was defeated by Giorgi Melia of Georgia in his next match, eliminating Hancock from the tournament.

Max Nowry placed fifth at 55 kilograms (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Nowry places fifth

Max Nowry finished in fifth place at 55 kilograms. He won his first repechage match by technical superiority over Algeria's Abdelkarim Fergat, 11-3. Nowry was then dominated by returning world champion Eldaniz Azizli of Azerbaijan, 8-0, in the bronze-medal match.

John Stefanowicz competed in repechage at 82 kilograms, falling to China's Haitao Qian, 9-0.

The final three American Greco-Roman wrestlers will compete on Monday. Those wrestlers are Ildar Hafizov (60 kilograms), Pat Smith (77 kilograms) and Adam Coon (130 kilograms).


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Uiowa1996 (2) about 8 months ago
USA wrestling should hold Greco Roman world and Olympic team trials at least one month after the freestyle trials so that the guys that don’t make the freestyle team can double dip.
We have done this before and Adam coon won a silver medal. We did it another time around 2012 when Sam Hazewinkel was allowed to double dip. This should have been a no brainer.
When guys like Kyle Dake and David Taylor have been runner ups, I would like to see how the freestyle runner up would do in Greco if they expanded the talent pool.
They are not commit to Greco if they have a chance in freestyle. But once that chance is eliminated why wouldn’t they try out for Greco and take that opportunity? (especially if you get bonus money for winning a medal)
Whatever benefit there is to attract a few extra fans by holding the 2 events on the same day is miniscule.
BuckeyeWrestler2000 (1) about 8 months ago
Great recommendation, Uiowa1996! And this is coming from a Buckeye to a Hawkeye. :)
2xTCAA (1) about 8 months ago
Can't we just sh**-can the US Greco program? Let's quit wasting money on a program that just can't compete on the world stage. It's just not that interesting anymore anyway. Let's put the resources into the freestyle and women's teams so we can dominate in those styles. Greco just can't recruit any domestic talent. Nobody wants to be a great Greco wrestler when nobody cares about it or watches it. Hard to write... but true!
rohict008 (1) about 8 months ago
Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this website needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!