Nov. 7, 2003
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – Steve Mocco (N. Bergen, N.J./New York AC) captured a silvermedal and Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) captured a bronzemedal at the prestigious Ivan Yarygin Cup in Moscow, Russia, Nov. 7.
Mocco lost to 1998 World Champion and five-time World and Olympic medalistAlexis Rodriguez of Cuba 4-0 in the 120 kg/264.5 lbs. gold-medal final.
The two were scoreless after one period, but Rodriguez scored one point inthe clinch to start the second period after one minute ran out and neitherwrestler had scored.
In the par terre action that followed, Rodriguez scored two points on a gutwrench to take a 3-0 lead.
“That turn took me out of the match. If I would have stopped that turn, Iwould have had a lot better chance. But that’s what I need to work on – parterre and scoring in the first period,” Mocco said.
In the first round, Mocco defeated Aleksi Modebadze of Georgia, who placed10th in the 2000 Olympic Games, by a 4-0 score.
Mocco then downed 1997 World Champion Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov of Russia inthe semifinals, 4-1 to advance to the gold-medal match against Rodriguez.
Overall, Mocco feels he has a lot of work to do before the U.S. Olympic TeamTrials in May.
“I think I have a lot of stuff to work on. This tournament really pulled outmy weaknesses. What’s good is that I have five months to fix it. Par terreis a lot different in practice than in the match.” Mocco said.
“It just shows that I am pretty far away from my goals. I have a lot of workI have to do. I didn’t wrestle up to the standards I am used to wrestling,”he added.
In the first round at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., Cormier defeated EnkhtuyaTuvinshintur of Mongolia, 4-0. Tuvinshintur placed fourth at the 2003 WorldChampionships.
Cormier then dropped a 7-6 decision to 2001 World Champion GeorgiGogchelidze of Russia in the semifinals. In the bronze medal match, Cormierdowned two-time World medalist Krassimir Kotchev of Bulgaria, 4-2 inovertime.
Down 1-0 in the match, Cormier scored a reversal and took to Gogchelidze hisback for a 5-1 lead.
In the second period, Gogchelidze locked Cormier in a bear-hug and scoredexposure points off the move. Gogchelidze then added a leg lace for a 7-5advantage. Cormier scored a takedown to cut the lead to 7-6, but could notbreak Gogchelidze out of a tri-pod defense to finish another takedown astime expired.
“It’s good to get that hard competition in. As for my performance, I wasreal sporatic. I wasn’t consistent all through the tournament,” Cormiersaid.
“(The tournament) lets me know that I can compete with those top guys and Ishould be winning those matches. I should have beaten the Russian guy. Istill have some work to do, though.”
FILA, the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling,the Wrestling Federation of Russia and the International Ivan YaryginCharitable Organization have cooperated in hosting this tournament. Theevent is held in honor of the late Ivan Yarygin, an Olympic and WorldChampion and former President of the Russian Wrestling Federation.
Wrestlers from two weight classes, 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs.,competed for the title of FILA Absolute Champion. Only eight wrestlers perweight class were invited to compete, most of whom placed in the top 10 atthe 2003 World Championships.
The total prize money for the tournament is $55,000. Champions from eachweight class won $10,000, silver medal winners earned $3,000 and bronzemedal winners won $2,000. All other competitors received $1,000.
The champions at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs. then competedagainst each other for the title of FILA Absolute Champion. The winner ofthat match won an additional $15,000, bringing the total purse for the FILAAbsolute Champion to $25,000.
For winning a bronze medal, Cormier will be awarded $2,000. Since Mocco isstill an NCAA athlete, he will be unable to accept any prize money. Mocco istaking an Olympic redshirt year from the Univ. of Iowa, where he was the2003 NCAA champion at 285 lbs.