Angel Escobedo, 2008 NCAA wrestling champ for Indiana University, placed fifth at the 2013 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary Monday.
In his first appearance at a World championship, Escobedo just missed earning a medal in men’s freestyle at 55 kilos/121 pounds, losing to Turkey’s Sezer Akgul in a match for a bronze medal. The former Hoosier mat champ lost to Akgul, a 2009 World silver medalist, 1-2.
Escobedo started the day with shutout victories over opponents from Romania and Hungary before being held scoreless by Amit Kumar of India, 0-6. In his next match, Escobedo got an 8-2 win over France’s Zoheir El Ouarraqe to find himself in the bronze-medal match with Akgul.
“I thought I wrestled decently, but this is obviously not what I wanted,” Escobedo said. “I wanted to win a gold medal. I’ve made improvements and I’m going in the right direction. I want to come back and win a World title next year.”
Other wrestlers with U.S. college wrestling credentials who competed in Day One of the 2013 World championships did not fare as well.
Brent Metcalf, a two-time NCAA champ for the University of Iowa, lost to two-time World champion Mehdi Taghavi of Iran, 2-5, in his first match at the Worlds at 66 kilos/145.5 lbs. in men's freestyle. The former Hawkeye was eliminated when Teghavi lost his next match and fell short of reaching the finals.
J.D. Bergman, a three-time NCAA All-American for Ohio State, also lost his opening-round match. The former Buckeye had been ahead 3-0 in his match at 96 kilos/211.5 lbs. when he was pinned by Alexey Krupnyakov of Kyrgyzstan at 3:58. Bergman failed to advance when Krupnyakov did not make it into the finals.
Boris Novachkov, a past NCAA finalist for Cal Poly who was wrestling for Bulgaria, dropped a first-round decision to Japan’s Takahiro Inoue at 66 kilos/145.5 lbs. The match finished with a 5-5 score, but Inoue won on a tiebreaker.
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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