Provisor, Arendt win Greco golds at SA Lavrikov in Russia

Ben Provisor, shown here at the 2012 Olympics, won a gold medal at 80 kg at the S.A. Lavrikov Championships in Russia. Photo by John Sachs,

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The U.S. claimed two gold medals on the final day of the S.A. Lavrikov Greco-Roman Championships on Sunday.

Americans winning gold medals were 2012 Olympian Ben Provisor (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 80 kg/176 lbs. and David Arendt (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marines) at 130 kg/286 lbs.

Provisor finished 4-0 for the day, with a 5-0 win over Radik Kuliev of Belarus. He scored a pair of technical falls, including a semifinal victory over American Patrick Martinez, 8-0 in 1:41.

“Ben wrestled hard all day, and didn’t make any mistakes. He beat a tough Belarusian in the finals,” said U.S. coach Jay Antonelli.

Arendt, a 2013 U.S. Open champion, had a 3-0 record, including a tight 9-8 win in the finals over Russia’s Nikita Skarin. He opened with a 13 second pin over Stanislov Andrealovich of Russia, then dispatched Jusso Hulvinen of Finland in the semifinals by technical fall, 11-2.

“Dave Arendt looked great. His first two matches he came out very aggressive and won decisively. In his final match, he jumped out to an early lead. He had to fight off a couple takedowns to secure the victory,” said Antonelli.

Two Americans lost bouts, but bounced back to win bronze medals, Bo Beckman (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 71 kg/156 lbs. and Patrick Martinez (Oviedo, Fla./Florida Jets) at 80 kg/176 lbs.

Beckman dropped his first match, but rallied to win in the bronze-medal round over Alek Tsyrulnikov of Russia by pin in 4:02. Martinez finished with a 3-1 record, losing only to Provisor. In his bronze-medal bout, Martinez beat Igor Kosenkov of Belarus by technical fall, 9-0.

“Bo had a tough first match but came and wrestled hard his second match to win the bronze,” said Antonelli. “Pat Martinez wrestled tough. He fought hard all is matches. His only loss was to fellow American Ben Provisor. It was nice to win two medals in the same weight class.”

Dropping their only bouts were 2014 World Team member Bryce Saddoris (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marines), who wrestled up a weight class at 71 kg/156 lbs. and Toby Erickson (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/USOTS), who was fifth at 130 kg/286 lbs.

Bryce jumped out to an early 4-0 lead then made a couple mistakes which cost him the match. Toby wrestled a little tentatively in his first match which cost him. In his bronze medal match he got caught off balance and thrown to his back,” said Antonelli.

The USA won six medals during the two-day event. Ryan Mango (Stanford, Calif./Stanford WC) won a silver medal at 59 kg/130 lbs. and Geordan Speiller (Oviedo, Fla./Florida Jets) won a bronze medal at 75 kg/165 lbs. on Saturday.

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