Williams Places Fifth

Aug. 29, 2004

ATHENS, GREECE – Courtsey of Gary Abbott/USA Wrestling

Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) lost in the bronze medal match and placed fourth at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in the Olympic freestyle wrestling competition at the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall in Athens, Greece, August 29.

Cormier was defeated in overtime by 2003 World silver medalist and past World champion Ali Reza Heidari of Iran in the bronze-medal match, 3-2 at 7:47

Cormier won two clinch positions to lead 2-0 in the match. The first clinch came at the start of the second period, because there was no scoring in the opening period. The second clinch came at the start of the overtime period. In both clinches, Heidari released his lock and was penalized with a caution and one point to Cormier.

Trailing 2-0 in overtime, Heidari opened up his offense. He received a point on a fleeing the mat call against Cormier at the 6:47 mark. Heidari then hit a double leg takedown at 7:32 to tie the match at 2-2. A few seconds later, at the 7:47 mark, Heidari turned Cormier for a one-point gut wrench and a 3-2 win.

Heidari defeated Cormier in the quarterfinals at the 2003 World Championships in New York City, 6-3.

Joe Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) placed fifth. He was scheduled to compete against 2003 World silver medalist Murad Gaidarov of Belarus in the fifth-place match, but Gaidarov did not show up. Williams was awarded the match by forfeit.

With a loss in the quarterfinals, Williams was eliminated from medal contention at 74 kg/163 lbs. Williams, a 2001 World bronze medalist, was defeated by 2003 World bronze medalist Gennadiy Laliev of Kazakhstan, 3-2, in overtime at 6:02.

After a passivity call on Williams in the first period, Laliyev scored a two-point gut wrench turn for a 2-0 lead Williams came back with a double leg takedown, followed by a one-point ankle lace turn to tie the match at 2-2 at the break. There was no scoring in the second period. In the overtime clinch, Williams locked up first. The athletes went off the mat quickly with no takedown scored. Officials went to the video tape and gave the point to Laliyev, based upon Williams releasing his lock first.

The United States ended up with three medals in the freestyle competition, a gold from Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and silver medals from Stephen Abas (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Jamill Kelly (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Russia won themedal count with five medals, including three golds and two bronzes. The United States had three medals, a gold and two silvers, and Iran also had three medals, two silvers and a bronze. Japan, Uzbekistan and Cuba had two medals each.

In the unofficial standings, using team scoring from the World championships system, Russia was the team champions with 52 points, followed by the United States in second with 45 points, Cuba in third with 33 points and Iran in fourth with 32 points.

Medal Count
Russia 5 (3 gold, 0 silver, 1 bronze), United States 3 (1-2-0), Iran 3 (0-2-1), Uzbekistan 2 (1-1-0), Cuba 2 (1-0-1), Japan 2 (0-0-2), Ukraine 1 (1-0-0), Kazakhstan 1 (0-1-0), Korea 1 (0-1-0), Turkey 1 (0-0-1)