For Americans, expectations weren't very high heading into the 2017 World Championships for a heavy Greco-Roman medal haul after a rough 2016 Olympic performance. Yet, the sting today should be real as USA Wrestling searches for answers.
Let's not mix words and save the positivity for a second. USA Greco-Roman has been bad. In the last 8 World/Olympic tournaments, only one American has a medal (Andy Bisek with 2 bronzes). For the second straight year not one American wrestled in a medal match, that happened only one other time in the last 20 years.
On the positive side, with the ball draw era over it seems more talent is flocking to Greco-Roman. This was a young team we were sending on the heels of having the best Junior Greco World Championship performance in memory. Other high-level college talent: Hayden Zillmer, Gabe Dean, Adam Coon and others could certainly be useful weapons to Matt Lindland.
This will be an interesting quad for USA Wrestling who hasn't been able to crack the elite ceiling the upper-echelon has recently held. The increase to ten weight classes may help spread out this talent and give more Americans opportunity on the world level to close the gap more quickly. Until then, Paris won't be remembered fondly.
2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Paris, France, August 20, 2017
U.S. Greco-Roman results
71 kg/156 lbs. - Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
WIN Matous Morbitzer (Czech Republic), 5-0
LOSS Nurgazy Asangulov (Kyrgyzstan), 8-2
75 kg/165 lbs. - Mason Manville, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
WIN Manfred Edsberg (Sweden), 4-2
LOSS Mindia Tsulukidze (Georgia), 4-2
85 kg/187 lbs. - Ben Provisor, Stevens Points, Wis. (New York AC)
LOSS Oleksander Shyshman (Ukraine), 6-2
98 kg/215.5 lbs. - G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/New York AC/OTC)
WIN Fatih Baskoy (Turkey), 3-0
LOSS Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia), 10-1 tech. fall
LOSS Seyedmosta Salehizadeh (Iran), 3-1
59 kg/130 lbs. - Ildar Hafizov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
LOSS Vazgen Khachatryan (Armenia), 8-3
66 kg/145 lbs. - Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
WIN Diego Ribeiro Romanelli (Brazil), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Mate Nemes (Serbia), 3-1
80 kg/176 lbs. - Cheney Haight, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/OTC)
LOSS Laszlo Szabo (Hungary), pin 5:37
130 kg/286 lbs. - Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/OTC)
WIN Tamas Soos (Slovakia), 1:54
LOSS Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile), 3-1