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THE SEOUL GAMES : Wrestling : U.S. Super-Heavyweight Has to Settle for Silver

From Times Wire Services

Defending Olympic champion Bruce Baumgartner lost a 3-1 decision to David Gobedjichvili of the Soviet Union in the super-heavyweight gold-medal wrestling match here Saturday night.

Baumgartner, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist and 1986 world champion, trailed throughout and did not score until the final 10 seconds.

“I felt pretty good going in, but the techniques I used on him, he was blocking off on me,” said Baumgartner, 27, of Edinboro, Pa., who had defeated Gobedjichvili to win his world title. “I didn’t change to my secondary techniques and that backfired on me.”

Gobedjichvili, the 1985 world champion, used brilliant defense to stop the American’s single-leg takedowns time after time. The Soviet scored his first point on a single-leg takedown about 17 seconds into the 6-minute match. He took a 2-0 lead with another single-leg takedown in the second period and added a third point with 23 seconds left in the match.

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The Soviet Union won 3 of the 4 gold medals decided Saturday night and finished the 5-day competition with medals in 9 of 10 weight divisions.

The United States finished with 5 medals, including golds won by John Smith and Kenny Monday and a bronze by Bill Scherr Saturday morning.

But Saturday night, the United States had to settle for Baumgartner’s silver and Nate Carr’s bronze.

“We’ve got so much ability and we just haven’t put it all together in the same tournament,” U.S. Coach Jim Humphrey said.

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“We got two championships this year, two championships last year and two the year before, and all by different guys. I was just hoping for once we could get them to all peak and perform at the same time.”

Carr, who won 6 of 7 matches in the tournament, was kept from the gold-medal match by a 3-2 loss to South Korean Park Jang Soon, who was defeated, 6-0, in the final match by 5-time world champion Arsen Fadzaev of the Soviet Union.

Carr had no trouble winning the bronze, 5-1, against Kosei Akaishi of Japan.

“After that (loss to Park) I just went and wrestled to take home the bronze medal, but I’m not satisfied because I think I’m the best guy at that weight,” said Carr, a former Iowa State star. “I’m in the top two, for sure.”

Humphrey had protested Carr’s match with Park after the three officials refused to give Carr a point or hand a caution to Park after Carr controlled the South Korean to the edge of the mat and Park stepped out.

A commission of the International Wrestling Federation agreed that the officials made the error, but said the ruling could not be changed and that they would recommend the official involved be suspended.

In an earlier U.S. disappointment, Dave Schultz, the reigning 180 1/2-pound world and 1984 Olympic champion, lost consecutive matches during the morning session and was eliminated because of a knee injury.

Because of the injury, Schultz forfeited his match for fifth place and flew home to the United States. Schultz, 27, of Palo Alto, was injured while winning the first of five straight preliminaries.

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The 180 1/2-pound division was the only one in which a Soviet did not earn a medal. Han Myung Woo of South Korea won that division title with a 4-0 decision over Necmi Gencalp of Turkey. It was the first freestyle wrestling gold medal for the Olympic hosts.


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