BUDAPEST, Hungary — Seven months after finishing his college wrestling career, Adam Coon (130 kilograms) stands one win away from wrestling for a world title in Greco-Roman.
Coon advanced to the semifinals at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with three falls.
Coon, a past junior world medalist in Greco-Roman, showed no signs of being new to the Greco scene after competing at the University of Michigan. He started with a bang. Wrestling against Rafal Krajewski of Poland, Coon went up 2-0 and then added to his lead with an enormous four-point throw to up the score to 6-0. Coon then planted Krajewski and earned the fall, just under two minutes into the match.
Coon continued his winning ways in his second match. His opponent, Lingshe Meng of China, held a slight margin on criteria (1-1) before Coon hip tossed him for four points and secured a fall with 1:47 remaining in the match.
In the quarterfinals, Coon was trailing Eduard Popp of Germany 3-1, when he adjusted his grip and perfectly timed a lateral drop, pinning Popp 2:22 into the match.
“I’m wrestling real well right now and looking to carry it through in the semis,” Coon said. “I’m just taking it one step at a time. It’s been a fun ride. I’m definitely happy with how things are going, just going to try and keep on going.”
Coon will face Min-Seok Kim of Korea in the semifinals at 130 kilograms.
Also competing for the U.S. Greco-Roman team on Saturday were Kamal Bey and G’Angelo Hancock. Both failed to reach the semifinals.
Bey, a 2017 Junior world champion, was making his debut at the Senior World Championships. Hused a breathtaking five-point throw 15 seconds into his first match against Ridong Zhang of China to go up early. Bey then scored a takedown to go up 7-0 and when Zhang when for a throw Bey landed on top of him for the final score and 9-0 technical victory in just under two minutes.
In his second match, this time facing Reiner Jimenez of Guatemala, Bey continued to be aggressive building a lead he would not relinquish. Bey used a reverse lift from the par terre position to go up 3-0 heading into the break. Jimenez would score one point on passivity, but the rest of the scoring was Bey. He used a lateral drop and another throw for a final score of 8-1, advancing him to the next round.
Bey had his hands full in his third match with two-time world bronze medalist (2014 and 2017), Elvin Mursaliyev of Azerbaijan. Bey fell behind 1-0 but used a smooth duck under to score a takedown and take a 2-1 lead into the break. Mursaliyev continued to score and eventually would go on to win 6-2.
“At this point [I] got to go back to the lab so this doesn’t happen,” said Bey.
G’ Angelo Hancock dropped his first match at 97 kilograms. Wrestling against Peter Oehler of Germany, Hancock found himself facing a 5-0 deficit at the break. He cut the deficit to 5-3 using a gut wrench to get him back into the match, but Oehler would score again and prevent Hancock’s offensive attacks for a final score of 6-3.
Hancock did not receive a repechage match as Oehler lost his ensuing match.
Ellis Coleman competed in his repechage match on Saturday morning and started strong, taking a 3-0 lead into the break against Mamadassa Sylla of France. But Sylla stormed back scoring on a few gut wrenches and taking a 5-3 lead which would be the final scoring.
“I [have] to finish these matches in par terre,” Coleman said. “It comes down to par terre, the Europeans and these other countries have it down pretty well. We’re still developing that and if we can get those extra points in par terre we’ll definitely come out on top in most of those matches.”