Lowney Bracken Lindland win their pools and advance to championship bracket
Three U.S. wrestlers won their pool competition and have advanced to the championship bracket of their weight divisions during the evening session on Sunday, Sept. 24th at the wrestling venue (Halls 1 & 2) at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour. Advancing into Monday's competition are Garrett Lowney of Appleton, Wis. at 97 kg/213.75 lbs. Kevin Bracken of Chicago, Ill. at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Matt Lindland of Lincoln, Neb. at 76 kg/167.5 lbs. Lowney pulled the upset of the session, stopping five-time World Champion Gogui Koguouachvili of Russia, 8-3 in overtime at the 7:50 mark. Lowney, just 20 years old and the youngest U.S. wrestler in Sydney, defeated the favorite to win the weight class. Lowney scored a takedown at 1:25, then quickly turned Goguouashvili for a two-point exposure at the 1:30 mark. Lowney led 3-0 at the break. In the second period, Lowney was hit for a controversial 2-point caution for using his legs at 5:13, then Koguouachvili turned Lowney on a hand-to-hand gut wrench. The match went to overtime tied at 3-3. He hit a spectacular five point throw in overtime, a back supplay, for the stunning 8-3 victory at 7:50. Earlier in the day, Lowney upset 1998 World silver medalist Marek Svec of the Czech Republic. Lowney will face Genadi Chkhaidze of Georgia in the quarterfinals. Chkhaidze defeated two-time Olympic champion Andrzej Wronski of Poland and former World champion Hakki Basar of Turkey in his pool. Bracken qualified for the quarterfinals without wrestling a bout in the session. In the morning session, Bracken went 1-1, defeating Choi Sang-Sun of Korea, 12-5, but losing to Riccardo Magni of Italy in a 2-2, overtime referee's decision. When Choi beat Magni in the final pool match, it made it a three-way tie in the round robin. All three athletes had 1-1 records. All three had four classification points. The tiebreaker went to the most technical points scored (actual points scored during the match) and Kevin had the most. Bracken will face Vartares Samourgachev of Russia in the quarterfinals on Monday. Lindland opened the session by beating Kader Slila of Algeria by injury default at 4:53. Lindland led 3-0, then scored three more points on the move that injured the Algerian. In his final match, Lindland scored a 1-1 referee's decision victory over Evgueniy Erofaylov of Uzbekistan. Lindland had a 3-0 record for the day, and won his pool outright. Lindland, by being in a pool of four athletes at the bottom of the bracket, advances directly into the semifinals, where he will battle David Manuykan of Ukraine. The lowest that Lindland could place in the Olympic Games is fourth. By progressing out of their pools, the lowest that Lowney and Bracken could place in the Olympics is sixth in their weight class. Steven Mays of Pensacola, Fla., the team captain, lost his third straight bout of the day, and was eliminated at 54 kg/119 lbs. Mays dropped a tight 5-3 match to Abou Elela of Egypt. Mays never led, but kept up the pressure, falling just short. Earlier in the day, Mays dropped his first two matches by technical fall, ending the day with an 0-3 record. U.S. results Sunday, September 24, 5:00 p.m. session 54 kg/119 lbs.
- Steven Mays, Pensacola, Fla. (U.S. Navy) lost dec. to Mohamed Abou Elela (Egypt), 5-3 63 kg/137.75 lbs.
- Kevin Bracken, Chicago, Ill. (New York AC) No matches this session 76 kg/167.5 lbs.
- Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids) won by inj. dft. over Kader Slila (Algeria) dec. Evgeniy Erofaylov (Uzbekistan), 1-1 OT, referees decision 97 kg/213.75 lbs.
- Garrett Lowney, Appleton, Wis. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Gogui Koguouachvili (Russia), 8-3, ot, 7:50