Pat Smith Beats Kamal Bey, Half The Greco World Team Set At Final X
It wasn't always pretty, but Pat Smith of the Minnesota Storm beat 2018 Junior World Champion Kamal Bey in two straight matches in a best of three to secure the 77 kilogram spot on the US Greco-Roman wrestling world team. Smith, who is a previous world team member in his own right, scored wins on mat positioning, aggressive footwork, and always managing space properly against the wrecking ball that is Kamal Bey's high energy style. After slowing the matches down and lowering Bey's offensive output, Smith used step outs and more straight-on attacks to score and win. Kamal continues to be a bright spot for Team USA, with a high international ranking, but this now adds a ton of momentum to Pat Smith's quiet campaign for gold.
Learn From America's Last Greco Olympic Medalist, Adam Wheeler!
Four other world team members were crowned, among them "The Flying Squirrel" Ellis Coleman, a 2012 Olympian who was a viral hit for his jumping carthweel chest wrap a few years back. He's now evolved into a five-time US Open champion who will compete at his fifth World or Olympic Championship. Coleman was dominant at Final X, winning 9-1 and 6-0 over Jamel Johnson at 67 kilograms. His work on top was significant, with over half his points coming from the gutwrench. Having never medaled, Coleman is a world-level veteran who can crack through in a big way this year.
After a decade of trying, Max Nowry is the US rep at 55 kilograms. For his first world team, Nowry beat Brady Koontz 3-0 in a straight-forward first match, before a wild second match saw Nowry battle back from being down 5-2 early with an eventual 11-5 win. Max's five point throw was the only one of the event, with huge exposure in that move being a deciding factor in the match.
Joe Rau beat Olympian Ben Provisor in two straight matches to take the title at 87 kilograms, 2-1 and 5-1. Joe won that crucial first match with four seconds left on the clock, scoring a step out that gave him the deciding point. The second match was won on top, with two exposures coming for the Chicago RTC athlete.
John Stefanowicz joins the World Team for the first time, beating Kendrick Sanders 8-5 and 3-2 at 82kg. The US Marine scored with top work, stepouts, and penalty points on his way to the two straight wins.
Olympic Bronze Medalist Adam Wheeler shows the grecoroman wrestling attacks he used to win big!