Tervel Dlagnev, two-time NCAA Division II heavyweight champ for University of Nebraska-Kearney, placed fifth at the 2013 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary Tuesday.
Dlagnev, who also placed fifth at the 2012 London Olympics, missed out on earning a second bronze medal – having won one at the 2009 Worlds -- by losing to Taha Akgul of Turkey, 0-3, in men’s freestyle competition at 120 kilos/264.5 lbs.
The four-time NCAA Div. II All-American – and back-to-back heavyweight titlewinner in 2007 and 2008 for the UNK Lopers – racked up three straight shutout wins over wrestlers from Brazil, Japan and Iran before failing to Alen Zaseev of Ukraine, 2-6. That sent Dlagnev into the bronze-medal match with Akgul.
“I just got to get better,” Dlagnev said. “It’s hard to put my finger on it. I felt like I was wrestling well, but I didn’t have a lot in the tank in the semis and I don’t know if it carried over.”
Three other former top college wrestlers competing on Tuesday also failed to earn medals.
Reece Humphrey, a two-time NCAA All-American for Ohio State, lost in the 60 kilos/132 lbs. men’s freestyle quarterfinals, placing eighth.
The former Buckeye won his first two matches in spectacular style, pinning his Ukrainian opponent at 1:37 in the first bout… then getting a 7-0 win over the two-time Cadet World champion from Turkey. In the quarterfinal match, Humphrey had been leading 5-0 before Iran’s Masoud Esmailpourjouybari came from behind to win the match with a takedown in the closing seconds, 8-9. When the Iranian lost in the semifinals, Humphrey’s medal hopes vanished.
Keith Gavin, a 2008 NCAA champ for the University of Pittsburgh, went 1-1 in his first appearance at a World Championships, wrestling freestyle at 84 kilos/185 lbs.
The Pitt Panther mat alum got a 9-2 win over an opponent from Israel… only to be shut out by Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia, 0-8. Gavin was eliminated when Marsagishvili lost in the third round.
Franklin Gomez, a 2009 NCAA champ for Michigan State wrestling for his native Puerto Rico, won his first two matches before falling to Russia’s Bekhan Goigereev 5-13 in the quarterfinals at 60 kilos/132 lbs. Gomez fell one match short of the bronze-medal match. He came back to win a match in the repechage before falling 6-4 to Armenia’s Artur Arakelyan.
Humphrey, Gavin soon to be seen on film: Both Reece Humphrey and Keith Gavin play wrestlers in the new Hollywood movie “Foxcatcher” starring Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as brothers Mark and Dave Schultz who won Olympic gold medals in 1984. “Foxcatcher” will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles Dec. 20, and nationwide sometime in January.
Want to know more? For a more detailed analysis of the first day of the 2013 World Wrestling Championships, visit TheMat.com. For your one-stop source for live streaming coverage, photos, blogs and more, check out InterMat.
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