Times Square, New York City hosted the second annual USA vs Russia Freestyle Wrestling Dual meet, in support of the Beat The Streets Gala, an initiative to help the youth of New York get into sport as a positive, life building activity.
When it was all said and done, USA once again beat Russia, when Heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev of Columbus, Ohio pinned Eduard Bazrov, leaving the Americans with a result of 4 matches to 3. Dlagnev had shot in for a takedown attempt in the first period that was sprawled on by the Russian, and from what appeared to be a peek out and turn Dlagnev was able to get across Bazrov's chest and secure the fall.
The night was full of highlight reel throws, including a few period ending 5 pointers. Jared Frayer of Norman, Oklahoma, reversed the double underhooks of Dzhalaludin Kurbanaliev, by securing his own overhooks and launching his opponent over. Later on Russia's Andrey Valiev scored a beautiful back arch suplay on Keith Gavin of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Jordan Burroughs continues to show why he's Team USA's best hope for an Olympic Gold medal this Summer in London, with a takedown destruction of opponent Kamal Malikov. The first period may have been one of the most one sided displays ever seen at Olympic level Freestyle wrestling, as Burroughs double legged the Russian at will, making him look as helpless as James Toney in the grappling department, to the point where Burroughs had racked up 6 points for a tech fall in less than a minute.
It wasn't as much a blow out in the second period as Malikov attempted a sneaky takedown early on, but it wasn't enough to stop Burroughs from getting a 3 point takedown and a couple of pushouts with the period ending 5-0 in Burroughs favor. Burroughs mantra for a long time has been 'All I See Is Gold', and with a performance like that Olympic glory is surely his for the taking.
In Team USA's final Olympic Qualifier, Shawn Bunch of Columbus, Ohio, wrestled Coleman Scott of Stillwater, Oklahoma at 60kg / 132lbs in a best of 3 matches format. Last year Bunch was a part of the dual meet and lost on points to Rasul Murtazaliev in a fairly ho-hum affair. Bunch showed added intensity this time out, though with time running out in the first period it went to the ball pick for the first of many times during their matches that almost always favoured Scott.
Losing the first period but winning the second, Bunch met Scott for a third and final time for all the marbles. A period down, Scott scored a 3 point takedown that was immediately challenged by Bunch. This challenge would backfire on Bunch as after review, Scott was awarded a 5 point throw instead, ending the match on a tech fall. Scott goes on to the Olympic, while this is possibly the end of Bunch's wrestling career. Bunch had made his intentions clear last year that he would pursue MMA when his Wrestling career is up, and he will make an interesting addition to the Flyweight class should he go through with it.
Full dual meet results after the jump
55 kg / 121 lbs: Artas Sanaa (Russia) DEC Sam Hazewinkel (USA) 1-0, 2-0
60 kg / 132 lbs: Logan Stieber (USA) DEC Akhmed Chakaev (Russia) 1-3, 7-0, 5-4
66 kg / 145.5 lbs: Jared Frayer (USA) DEC Dzhalaludin Kurbanaliev (Russia) 5-0, 0-2, 1-0
74 kg/163 lbs: Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Kamal Malikov (Russia) 6-0, 5-0
84 kg / 185 lbs: Andrey Valiev (Russia) DEC Keith Gavin (USA) 5-0, 3-2
96 kg / 211.5 lbs: Shamil Akhmedov (Russia) DEC J.D. Bergman (USA) 0-2, 1-1, 2-0 (second period won on criteria)
120 kg/264.5 lbs: Tervel Dlagnev (USA) PINS Eduard Bazrov (Russia)