World Semifinalist Max Nowry (photo courtesy of Kadir Caliskan/UWW)
The 2022 Senior World Championships got underway from Belgrade, Serbia this morning as the Greco-Roman portion of the tournament started competition at four weights.
Alan Vera, at 87 kg, was the first American to take the mat, as just the second match on Mat D. Vera got on the scoreboard first with a point for passivity in the opening period; however, he could not capitalize on the par terre position that followed and held a 1-0 lead going into the break. His opponent, Haitao Qian (China), benefitted from a passivity call in the second period and was able to take advantage of situation with a four-point gut wrench. That 5-1 lead turned out to be insurmountable for Vera, though he did add two points for a takedown late in the second period. Ultimately, it wasn't enough and Qian went on to win 5-3.
Just a few minutes after Vera hit the mat, the second American of the event, Benji Peak, was in action at 72 kg against Hungary's Robert Fritsch. Like Vera, Peak got on the scoreboard first with a passivity point. Also like Vera, Peak wasn't able to convert the par terre advantage into any additional points. In the second period, Fritsch scored a takedown after an arm drag, during some heavy hand fighting. He would later add an additional point via step out. Despite a late charge from Peak, Fritsch was able to hang out for the 3-1 victory.
After a four-year absence, Kamal Bey was back on the raised stage at the World Championships, taking on 2017 world champion Viktor Nemes (Serbia). Nemes got the scoring started with a point for passivity on Bey in the opening period. Nemes appeared to be ready to add to the lead as he pulled the American up to his feet and looked for a throw. Bey was able to turn the position into an advantageous one for himself and attempted his own throw. Though it didn't register with the judges, it made the best out of a potentially dangerous predicament. Just before the buzzer at the end of the second period, Nemes added to his lead with a step-out point.
In period two, Nemes was working with an underhook near the boundary and was able to obtain a bodylock. Bey chose to limit damage and conceded a takedown, rather than give up a four or five point throw. That extended the Serbian's lead to 4-0, which is where the match would end.
It was the wrestler who took the mat last that would end up with the most success on the day. 55 kg veteran Max Nowry advanced to the semifinals after notching falls in each of his first two matches. Nowry trailed 3-1 in the second period against his opening opponent Arjun Halakurki (India) when he hit a four-point arm throw. Eventually, he maneuvered the Indian onto his back for a fall.
In the quarterfinals, Nowry gained the upperhand after a passive call on Germany's Fabian Schmitt. In par terre, Nowry was able to get a set of exposure points, but kept Schmitt from rolling onto his stomach. After a prolonged fight, Nowry was able to sink in a deep half nelson and got the fall.
Nowry will have the top-seed, Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan), a 2018 world champion and two-time world bronze medalist in the semis.
2022 Senior World Championship Results
55 kg Greco-Roman
Round of 16: Max Nowry over Arjun Halakurki (India) Fall 5:02
Quarterfinals: Max Nowry over Fabian Schmitt (Germany) 4:58
72 kg Greco-Roman
Qualification Round: Robert Fritsch (Hungary) over Benji Peak 3-1
77 kg Greco-Roman
Round of 32: Viktor Nemes (Serbia) over Kamal Bey 4-0
87 kg Greco-Roman
Qualification Round: Haitao Qian (China) over Alan Vera 5-3