Coon and Porter Post Wins But Unable to Qualify for Olympics

Jesse Porter throws Marciano Ali for four points (Photo/Tony Rotundo;

On day three of the World Olympic Games Qualifier, it was the Greco-Roman wrestlers who took center stage. The United States sent two athletes to Sofia, Bulgaria, in search of a berth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Jesse Porter (77 kg) and Adam Coon (130 kg). The qualify for the Olympics, both needed to make the finals at their respective weights.

Porter had a difficult time just getting to compete in the event. His airline claimed Porter did not have the proper Covid documentation to make the flight. While Porter didn't arrive in an optimal time for a competition of this significance, he didn't show any signs of jetlag in his first bout. After his opponent, Marciano Ali (Puerto Rico), was hit for passivity, Porter hit a picturesque lift and throw to blow the match open, 5-0. He added another four-point throw to close the bout out, 9-0.

Porter's opening round victory set the stage for a meeting in the Round of 16 with Fatih Cengiz (Turkey). A 2017 World bronze medalist and U23 World champion, Cengiz was tabbed as one of the key contenders pre-tournament. Late in the first period, down 1-0, Porter attempted a throw and was countered by his Turkish counterpart. That sequence also resulted in a caution for Porter, who would trail 5-0 at the break. The American tried for a late throw attempt but was thwarted by Cengiz, who went on to win 7-0.

At 130 kg, Adam Coon was paired off with 2016 Olympian Murat Ramonov (Kyrgyzstan). Coon got on the board first with a point for a step-out. Ramonov then tried to go on the offensive with a headlock attempt. The 2018 World silver medalist, Coon, was able to stop the attack and put Ramonov on his back for the fall.

That initial win propelled Coon into the quarterfinals, where he would face Mykola Kuchmii (Ukraine). The Ukrainian was third at the European Championships in 2020 and the Euro Games the previous year. Just under a minute into the bout, Kuchmii took a commanding 4-0 lead with an arm throw. He added another point before the break as Coon was hit for passivity. In the second stanza, Coon came out aggressive and pushed the pace against the Ukrainian. Points for a step out and a caution put the American back in the match at 6-3, but he could not pull any closer.

Neither American was able to qualify for the Games, so the men's Greco-Roman team will only send four members to Tokyo. Ildar Hafizov, Alejandro Sancho, John Stefanowicz, and G'Angelo Hancock.


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ban basketball (2) about a month and a half ago
I understand Greco about as much as I understand physics, so, perhaps, my comment isn't so perplexing after all. I never cease to be amazed at how college wrestlers who are "Greco studs" DON'T use the throws that you see in the picture.

Again, probably my ignance of Greco, but why they don't wrestle to their strenghts is beyond me.
LILionBev (1) about a month and a half ago
Disappointed for both! We are proud of them and stand w them ! Thanks for their efforts ! But Earl: How is Adam Coon in Bulgaria in May having to qualify the wght? Are their less qualifying events for Greco? What happened at the Pan Am championships? How did it get to this point? Just seems crazy he won t be in Tokyo. Where do you rank him at 125 Greco worldwide? Tough spot to be in! A guy like Kuchmii is dangerous ( 3rd at Euros) anything can happen in a one off , no true second - boggles the mind here and FS - I d love to see JO v the Greek Pilidis!! etc? That arm throw turned the whole match imo. Thoughts?
Earl (1) about a month and a half ago
So the 2019 World Championships were the first qualifying event for the 2020 Olympics. If you placed in the top-five you qualified that weight for your country. The next qualifying event was the 2020 Pan-American Championships. Two top from that event qualified their country for the Olympics. Coon lost his opening bout to Acosta Fernandez (Chile). These UWW events don't do "true" seconds, so he had no chance to wrestleback for it and took bronze. Even with the Olympics being pushed back a year the qualifiers carried over to 2021. This event the Last Chance Qualifier was the only other qualifying event, so Coon, Porter, and Oliver are unable to do anything else to qualify.

Yes...arm throw was a match changer.

I'd say Coon is maybe between 8-15 internationally at the weight. But, that's just off the top of my head.
LILionBev (1) about a month and a half ago
Thank you Earl for the reply and as always your expertise ! The quality of content you have been providing is greatly appreciated! It really provides context and stimulates interest! Rough few days over in Bulgaria. Proud of our wrestlers. Thanks again.
Any thoughts on the U23 World Team trials and tournament. I have mixed feelings . The tournament is always so close to the kick off of the NCAA season , Wght management issues and possible limitations as to line ups , injuries etc. Esp after the Brady Berge situation. Great wrestler and guy , I wish him the best . Makes you wonder how college coaches and wrestlers feel about it. I am all for teams getting their wrestlers the highest level competition but the above issues raise doubts ? I admit I may be emotionally biased given Brady s injury . For some I m sure it s a great opportunity . Depends on the individual I guess. All the best, LIBevi