Wrestlers Steven Mays Kevin Bracken Matt Lindland and Garrett Lowney weigh in and receive their dr
Four members of the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team weighed in on Saturday, September 23, and received their draw for the pool competition on the first day of the tournament. Greco-Roman wrestling begins on Sunday, Sept. 24th at the wrestling venue (Halls 1 & 2) at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour. Session times for wrestling on Sunday, Sept. 24th will be at 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The four U.S. wrestlers in action on Sunday include Steven Mays of Pensacola, Fla. at 54 kg/119 lbs., Kevin Bracken of Chicago, Ill. at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., Matt Lindland of Lincoln, Neb. at 76 kg/167.5 lbs. and Garrett Lowney of Appleton, Wis. at 97 kg/213.75 lbs. All four athletes will be competing in their first Olympic Games. Based upon a drawing of lots at weigh ins, athletes are placed in their weight class pairings. In international wrestling, athletes must first compete in a pool of either three or four opponents. Only the winner of each pool advances into the championship bracket, with a chance to progress toward a medal. Therefore, winning the pool is mandatory in order to be in medal contention. Mays drew into a pool of four athletes which also includes Uran Kalilov of Kyrgyzstan, Mohamed Abou Elela of Egypt and Andriy Kalashnikov of Ukraine). Mays will face Kalilov first, then Kalashnikov, then Abou Elela. Kalashnikov was a bronze medalist in the 1996 Olympic Games. Bracken drew into a pool of three athletes, which also includes Choi Sang-Sun of Korea and Riccardo Magni of Italy. Bracken will battle Choi first then Magni. Lindland drew into a pool of four athletes, which also includes Kader Slila of Algeria, Evgeniy Erofaylov of Uzbekistan and Tarieli Melalashvili of Georgia. Lindland will face Melelashvili first, followed by Slila, then Erofaylov. Lowney, at 20 years old the youngest U.S. wrestler, drew into a pool of three athletes, including Marek Svec of the Czech Republic and Gogui Koguouachvili of Russia. Svec was a World silver medalist in 1998, and Koguouachvili is a five-time World Champion. Lowney battles Svec first, then Koguouachvili. "We knew we had to pull off some upsets to perform well," said head coach Dan Chandler. "We are going to have to get some upsets in during the pools. We have a few guys who have their gold medal bout in the early matches." The other four U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers will weigh in on Sunday, Sept. 24, and begin their competition on Monday, Sept. 25. They include Jim Gruenwald of Colorado Springs, Colo. at 58 kg/127.75 lbs., Heath Sims of Huntington Beach, Calif. at 69 kg/152 lbs., Quincey Clark of New Brighton, Minn. at 85 kg/187.25 lbs. and Rulon Gardner of Afton, Wyo. at 130 kg/286 lbs. This is the first day of the eight-day wrestling competition in Sydney, with Greco-Roman from Sept. 24-27 and freestyle from Sept. 28-October 1.