2022 U20 World Championships

2022 U20 World Championships Greco-Roman Recap

2022 U20 World Championships Greco-Roman Recap

All the big news for Team USA's Greco-Roman wrestlers from the 2022 U20 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Aug 19, 2022 by Andrew Spey
2022 U20 World Championships Greco-Roman Recap

It's time to unleash the Greco bombs as the third of three styles gets underway inside the Ameets Arena in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Read on for a day-by-day summary of all the major happenings from the Ameets Arena and peruse brackets, results, and more inside FloArena.

For a list of all the American results, scroll to the end of the article. 

Quick and dirty session one recap.

55: Jonathan Gurule, 0-1, eliminated

63: Haiden Drury, 0-1, eliminated

77: Payton Jacobson, 0-1, in repechage

87: Kodiak Stephens, 1-1 eliminated

130: Aden Attao, 2-1, in bronze medal match

Day 5 Session 1

It was a rough outing for the lightest three weights, as all three dropped bouts in the round of 16, their first matches of the tournament. Gurule lost a grueling bout to a tough Kyrgyzstani 7-2. Haiden Drury got wrapped up in a hurry, losing by tech-fall in the first period. And Payton Jacobson lost to a 2022 U20 Euro bronze medalist. 

Gurule and Jacobson are still alive for repechage, as the wrestlers that beat them have advanced to the semifinals. Drury was eliminated when his Azeri opponent was headlocked to death in the quarters by Japan. 

The US found more success in the upperweights. Kodiak Stephens made short work of Singh of India in the 87kg round of 32, arm spinning and gutting the Indian for an 8-0 tech in 24 seconds. Stephens would fall to Estonia in the next round, however, in a frustrating 2-1 bout. Estonia would lose his quarterfinal bout to eliminate Stephens from medal contention. 

But saving the best for last, Aden Attao was a revelation at heavyweight. He bombed his way past India in the round of 16, then hit a clutch headlock hip toss to win via fall over Hungary while trailing late in the first period.

Enjoy the highlights of these Attao Greco bombs. 

Next session we see if there's a chance for repechage for some guys and to see if Attao can bomb his way into the finals and guarantee a medal for Team USA. 

Day 5 Session 2

Kyrgyzstan loses to Romania in one of the first two bouts of the session, which unfortunately ends the tournament for Jonathan Gurule at 55kg. However, at 77kg, Turkey beat 2021 U20 Euro champ and U20 World bronze, Gutu of Romania. That ensures Payton Jacobson will have another match tomorrow as his quest for a world medal stays alive. 

Things went marginally less swimmingly for Attao in the semifinals. His gargantuan Ukrainian opponent would not be denied and rolled to a 10-0 tech. Attao will wrestle for a bronze medal tomorrow against the repechage winner of South Korea vs Egypt. 

Day 6 Session 1

It's the second to last day of the event, but also the longest, as Greco has the largest brackets here in Sofia and we are only wrestling Greco-Roman from here on out. 

A quick and dirty breakdown of America's Greco wrestlers is below.

60: Max Black, 0-1, eliminated

67: Bobby Perez 111, 2-1 eliminated

72: Richard Fedalen, 1-1, eliminated

77: Payton Jacobson, eliminated

82: Adrian Artsisheuski, 1-1, eliminated

97: Christian Carroll, 0-1, eliminated

130: Aden Attao, Bronze medalist

Team USA got off to a fantastic start, winning the first four matches of the day, including the first repechage match for Payton Jacobson. Jacobson dispatched his Pan-Am rival 8-0, putting him one match away from a medal bout. 

Unfortunately, Jacobson would lose his next bout in the repechage to Hasanli of Azerbaijan, a Euro U23 champ from 2022, this ending Jacobson's quest for a 77kg U20 medal. 

At 60kg, Max Black drew Iran in the round of 32. Iran is one of the strongest nations when it comes to Greco-Roman wrestling, and it showed here, as Black dropped a 9-0 tech.

Bobby Perez 111 has been having himself a day at 67kg, beating his Israeli opponent 8-0 in the round of 32, followed by a win over Hungary in the round of 16 via 8-0 tech. Unfortunately, that day came to an end, at least from the perfection of the gold medal hunt. RP3 dropped a 3-3 heartbreaker to Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. 

Richard Fedalen also won his first bout, pinning his Austrian foe in dramatic fashion. The round of 16 would be the end of Fedalen's championship run at 72kg, as he then fell to Sweden, who pulled away late with some impressive throws. Fedalen was later eliminated from the tournament when Sweden lost in the quarters. 

That sequence of matches at 72kg was mirrored the American results at 82kg, as Adrian Artsisheuski pinned his Greek opponent in the round of 32, only to be pinned by his Italian opponent in the round of 16. Highly entertaining bouts, despite the unfortunate outcome in match #2. The Italian wrestler who beat Artsisheuski would lose his subsequent bout, eliminating Adrian from the tournament. 

Christian Carroll was the last American to start his tournament, as he had a bye to the round of 16 at 97kg. Carroll and his Kyrgyzstani foe battled back and forth, throwing each other all over the mat. In the end, it was Kyrgyzstan that prevailed, winning a close but high-flying bout 9-7. 

Day 6 Session 2

Our first set of semifinals is at 60kg and Iran's Esmaeili defeats his Azerbaijani opponent 1-1 on criteria to advance to the finals and pull Max Black into the repechage. Black will weigh in tomorrow and needs to beat Japan and Ukraine for a shot at Azerbaijan and a bronze medal. 

Unfortunately, the wrestler that last handed Robert Perez 111 a loss did not do as well in his semifinal bout, as Kazakhstan's Koshkar lost to Georgia's Broladze, ending RP3's tournament and eliminating him from medal contention. 

We were also unable to count on help from Kyrgyzstan at 97kg. Kazakhstan defeated his central asian rival to advance to the final, ending Carroll's medal hopes in the process. 

Medal Matches

Just one medal match for team USA at 130kg. Aden Attao has Egypt with a U20 bronze medal on the line. And if Attao had any nerves going into this match, he didn't show them. He hit a beautiful head pinch for four, followed up by a headlock hip toss for four more. This dude loves to throw and it rules. 

Attao eventually wins by 11-3, dominating the match and securing the medal via tech fall. A great way to cap off a long day of Greco-Roman wrestling here in Bulgaria!

Day 7 Session 1

Alas, our final day of wrestling Bulgaria produced but one lone match for America, in which Max Black lost to Japan in the 60kg repechage. 

Nonetheless, the Greco team finished in a respectable 13th place amidst numerous European and ex-Soviet countries with well-established Greco-Roman programs. 

And the entire American delegation produced a total of 11 medals, a massive haul! Russia and Belarus being present would have likely shaved off an award or two from that tally but no need to dwell on that. It's not up to the American wrestlers who take the mat and participates in international tournaments. Those team trophies the coaches James Green and Jessica Medina won are very real, and very valid. 

So bask in the glory of our American success and get ready to ratchet up the drama in higher for the senior world championships in Belgrade, Serbia. See you then!

Team USA match-by-match results

55 Round of 16: Nuristan Suiorkulov (Kyrgyzstan) VPO1 Jonathan Gurule (United States), 7-2

60 Round of 32: Saeid Esmaeili leivesi (Iran) VSU Maxwell Black (United States), 9-0 4:22

60 Repechage: Koto Gomi (Japan) VSU Maxwell Black (United States), 9-0 5:22

63 Round of 16: Ziya Babashov (Azerbaijan) VSU Haiden Drury (United States), 8-0 1:18

67 Round of 32: Robert Perez (United States) VSU Zsolt Takacs (Hungary), 8-0 2:01

67 Round of 16: Robert Perez (United States) VSU Shon Nadorgin (Israel), 8-0 3:45

67 Quarterfinal: Din Koshkar (Kazakhstan) VPO1 Robert Perez (United States), 3-3

72 Round of 32: Richard Fedalen (United States) VSU Matthias Hauthaler (Austria), 8-0 3:30

72 Round of 16: Georgios Barbanos (Sweden) VSU1 Richard Fedalen (United States), 13-4 2:30

77 Round of 16: Yuksel Saricicek (Turkey) VSU1 Payton Jacobson (United States), 9-1 5:44

77 Repechage: Payton Jacobson (United States) VSU Diego Macias torres (Mexico), 8-0 3:44

77 Repechage: Khasay Hasanli (Azerbaijan) VPO1 Payton Jacobson (United States), 3-1

87 Round of 32: Kodiak Stephens (United States) VSU Surjeet Singh (India), 8-0 0:24

87 Round of 16: Robin Uspenski (Estonia) VPO1 Kodiak Stephens (United States), 2-1

97 Round of 16: Nurmanbet Raimaly uulu (Kyrgyzstan) VPO1 Christian Carroll (United States), 9-7

130 Round of 16: Aden Attao (United States) VFA Adolf Bazso (Hungary), 8-7 3:00

130 Quarterfinal: Aden Attao (United States) VSU1 Parvesh Parvesh (India), 12-4 1:39