UPDATED: U.S. falls short of medal round in Greco-Roman at World Championships

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Craig Sesker (USA Wrestling)

Jesse Thielke went 2-1 during his first World Championships appearance on Saturday afternoon in Budapest. Tony Rotundo photo.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – The United States fell short of the medal round at the World Wrestling Championships on Saturday at Papp Laszlo Sports Arena.

American Greco-Roman wrestlers Jesse Thielke, Jordan Holm and Caylor Williams suffered losses and were not pulled back in for the repechage. All three wrestlers were competing in their first Senior Worlds.

Thielke overcame an early 3-0 deficit to roll to a 9-4 win over Greece’s Christos Theodorakis in his opening match at 60 kg/132 lbs.

Thielke followed by building a 3-0 lead before headlocking and pinning India’s Ravinder Singh in the second period of the second round.

Thielke then dropped a 7-4 decision to Korea’s Jae-Seung Woo in the quarterfinals. Thielke took a brief 4-3 lead with a gut wrench midway through the first period before Woo came back to regain the lead. Thielke tried two headlocks late in the match, but was unable to score.

“I would say I performed pretty well even though I didn’t get the outcome I wanted,” Thielke said. “The Korean basically stalled. He obviously knew if I got to his body I was going to throw him. He didn’t engage me at all.” 

Thielke, a Junior World bronze medalist, was eliminated when Woo failed to reach the finals.

“I could’ve won it today,” Thielke said. “I can win it on any day.”

Holm opened with a 4-1 win over Spain’s Pedro Garcia Perez at 84 kg/185 lbs. Holm scored a first-period takedown that led to a two-point gut wrench.

Holm dropped an 8-0 decision to 2011 World bronze medalist Rami Heitaniemi of Finland in the round of 16. Holm was eliminated when Heitaniemi fell short of the finals.

“I feel like I'm right there,” Holm said. “I know I can wrestle with any of these guys. I wasn't able to demonstrate that today. I'm going to fight really hard to get back here next year. I feel like I've been able to take noticeable steps in the last three years. I just need to continue to improve."

Williams was defeated by World bronze medalist Cenk Ildem of Turkey in a bizarre opening-round match at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Williams trailed 2-0 late in the second period before being called for a third caution that disqualified him from the match.

Williams countered a first-period lift attempt and Ildem’s back landed squarely on the mat, but Williams was not awarded any points. The U.S. challenged the call, but to no avail.

Williams was eliminated when Ildem fell short of reaching the finals.

“The Turk has a lot of experience,” Williams said. “There was a lot of head-butting going on and he just flopped at the end. There wasn’t much I could do about it. I just need to come back strong from this. The next time I get an opportunity like this one, I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m going to win this thing.”

Champions crowned on Saturday were Bulgaria’s Ivo Angelov at 55 kg/121 lbs., Iran’s Taleb Nematpour at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Russia’s Nikita Melnikov at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

The seventh and final day of the World Championships is set for Sunday in Budapest. Americans Ellis Coleman, Andy Bisek and Robbie Smith are set to compete for the U.S. in Greco-Roman.

Papp Laszlo Sports Arena, Budapest, Hungary

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria)
Silver – Ivan Kuylakov (Russia)
Bronze – Jae-Seung Woo (Korea)
Bronze – Elmurat Tasmuradov (Uzbekistan)
5th – Edward Barsegjan (Poland)
5th – Almat Kepispayev (Kazakhstan)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold – Taleb Nematpour (Iran)
Silver – Saman Ahman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Javid Hamzatau (Belarus)
Bronze – Viktor Lorincz (Hungary)
5th – Damian Janikowski (Poland)
5th – Rami Hietaniemi (Finland)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold – Nikita Melnikov (Russia)
Silver – Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia)
Bronze – Balasz Kiss (Hungary)
Bronze – Shalva Gadabadze (Azerbaijan)
5th – Mahdi Aliyarifeizabadi (Iran)
5th – Norikatsu Saikawa (Japan)

Gold-medal matchups


60 kg/132 lbs.
Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria) dec. Ivan Kuylakov (Russia), 3-2

84 kg kg/185 lbs.
Taleb Nematpour (Iran) dec. Saman Ahman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan), 5-3

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Nikita Melnikov (Russia) dec. Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia), 2-2 criteria

U.S. results


60 kg/132 lbs. – Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (Badger WC) – 8th
WIN Christos Theodorakis (Greece), 9-4
WIN Ravinder Singh (India), fall 4:40
LOSS Jae-Seung Woo (Korea), 4-7

84 kg/185 lbs. – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
WIN Pedro Garcia Perez (Spain)
LOSS Rami Heitaniemi (Finland), 0-8

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Caylor Williams, Greensboro, N.C. (U.S. Army)
LOSS Cenk Ildem (Turkey), disqualification 5:15