Monday, May 27, 2024

Match notes: Lee wins semifinals at World Olympic Games Qualifier, Retherford pulled into repechage

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57 kg – Spencer Lee

Semifinals – WIN Rakhat Kalzhan (Kazakhstan), tech. fall, 10-0

As the first Olympic qualification match of the evening session, Lee wasted no time in getting the crowd fired up. He connected on an outside fireman’s carry, dumping Kalzhan to his side, all the while locking up a lethal trapped-arm gut wrench. Four turns later and the rest, as they say, is history. Lee is on to Paris, with a 10-0 technical fall in 35 seconds.

Note: Kalzhan is two-time Asian Championships medalist.

Quarterfinals – WIN Vladimir Egorov (Macedonia), tech. fall, 12-2

Lee struck fast with a masterful inside arm/over-collar tie drag for a takedown, which he converted directly into a trapped-arm gut wrench. Picking up two turns from the trapped-arm, Lee was exposed himself on one of the turns, but floated his hips right back on top for a third set of exposure points, taking an 8-2 lead. Lee wrapped the match up with two quick leg laces to secure a 12-2 technical fall in 54 seconds.

Note: Egorov is a former Russian wrestling for Macedonia. He was a European champion in 2022. At the European Olympic Games Qualifier in Baku, Azerbaijan, Egorov lost to Aliabbas Rzazade of Azerbaijan in the semifinal/Olympic qualifying match, 4-3.

Round-of-16 – WIN Wanhao Zou (China), 10-9

Zou opened the scoring with an overhook throw-by takedown at the 25 second mark, ending up on top going out of bounds. Lee got on the board with a step out point. Zou came right back with a four-point single leg takedown on the edge of the mat to go up 6-1 halfway through the first period. Lee executed a gorgeous arm drag to cross-body single leg, right into his leg lace, which he nailed three times. Lee took a 10-6 lead into the second period. The second frame was a much slower pace. Zou wrestled from space, waiting until the end to take his shot. Zou converted a single leg, step out with 19 seconds left to cut the lead to 10-7. Zou came right back with a double leg takedown and ended the match on top without turning Lee. Final score, 10-9.

Note: Zou was the No. 1 seed in the 57 kg weight class. He was a U23 World bronze medalist in 2018 and has finished in the top ten at the last two Senior World Championships.

Round-of-32 – WIN Ben Tarik (Morocco), tech. fall, 10-0

Lee opened the scoring with a head-in-the-hole go-behind takedown. He transitioned the takedown directly into a leg lace, which he hit four time consecutively to end the match via 10-0 technical fall in 23 seconds.

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