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maligned

So close at least once in all 5 missed weights....a rundown of our 20 event performances in 5 unqualified weights

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Here's a quick rundown of what happened in the 5 weights we missed out on for Rio:

 

Freestyle:

 

65kg: 

 

Worlds: Metcalf wins 2 before falling 5-4 to bronze medalist Mohammadi.  Mohammadi loses in the semi's to the champ Chamizo to eliminate us.  If we win that match, there's a very, very high probability we get one of the 6 world championship auto bids.  Also important: Franklin Gomez loses 6-4 in the first round to Safaryan, who immediately gets put out 8-2 by 5th place Asgarov.

 

Pan Ams: Metcalf infamously falls 9-7 to Gomez in the quarters.

 

1st world qualifier: Molinaro falls 6-4 to Gor of Turkey in the second round.  Gor goes on to qualify the weight in true 3rd, but loses to Batirov in the semi's to eliminate Frank.

 

2nd world qualifier: Molinaro falls 5-2 to Novachkov in the quarters.  Novachkov wins the weight and Frank takes bronze, but too little, too late.

 

Greco:

 

66kg:

 

Worlds: Bryce Saddoris loses 5-0 to Stabler of Germany who ends up with gold.  Saddoris falls 5-4 in a chippy "Olympics or bust" repechage round match to eventual 5th place Benaissa of Algeria

 

Pan Ams: Possibly looking forward to Cuba, Perkins gets inexplicably crushed by Cuero of Colombia in the first round.  Cuero loses easily to Martinez of Cuba later and never comes close to qualifying the weight at any event.

 

1st world qualifier: Perkins picks up 4 dominating victories on the day, but falls in the quarters to eventual 2nd place Vaelimaecki of Finland in a heartbreaker, 3-2, and 5-0 in a no-shame true 3rd place bout against a legit accomplished medal contender in Venckaitis of Lithuania.  If Perkins beats Vaelimaecki, he would have faced the Belarussian, Liakh in the semi's: Ravaughn beat him easily in a repechage match and must have been dying over the thought that he was that close to going through.

 

2nd world qualifier: Perkins again wrestles well, but falls in another quarterfinal heartbreaker, 4-3, to Tsarev of Kyrgyzstan, who then crushes his next opponent--again leaving us to think Perkins could have qualified if not for the nail-biter quarterfinal loss.

 

98kg:

 

Worlds: Caylor Williams wrestles at the best level of his career and ends up falling 4-4 to eventual 5th place Guri of Bulgaria in the round of 16.  Guri would win in the quarters very easily, suggesting Williams was tantalizingly close to qualifying this weight long ago.  Importantly, the beast Lugo of Cuba falls to silver medalist Razael of Iran in the R16 and forfeits out of the repechage rounds.

 

Pan Ams: Joe Rau handles Mejia of Honduras before getting flattened by Lugo of Cuba.  Had he been drawn in the other side of the bracket, there's a good chance he beats Perez of Venezuela to go through.  

 

1st world qualifier: Rau falls 4-1 in his first match to eventual true 3rd Schoen of Sweden.

 

2nd world qualifier: Rau gets teched quickly by Mejia in the second round in a baffling result.  Mejia is predictably eliminated in the next round.

 

Women's freestyle:

 

58kg:

 

Worlds: Ali Ragan falls 5-0 to eventual 5th place Renteria of Colombia.

 

Pan Ams: Alli Ragan drops a very disappointing 5-4 decision to Fazzari of Canada in the quarters.  Fazzari wins easily over a weak Venezuelan opponent in the semi's.  Fazzari ends up hammering the Brazilian in the finals also, meaning Ragan was arguably the second best at that event.  The Brazilian obviously qualifies, but the Ecuadorian that the Brazilian beat in her semi-final comes back in the 1st world qualifier and wins that event to qualify also.  All of these results seem to suggest Ragan may have had a much better shot at qualifying this weight at the world qualifiers than Campbell ended up putting forward.

 

1st world qualifier: Kelsey Campbell falls in the first round in her typical low-scoring style, 1-1, to Barka of Hungary, who immediately loses in the second round.

 

2nd world qualifier: Campbell drops a 4-1 decision to eventual event winner Koblova of Russia. Kelsey would end up 5th place.  

 

69kg:

 

Worlds: Perennial medal contender Pirozhkova drops a tight 5-3 decision to tough Swede, Fransson, in the round of 16.  Fransson goes on to lose 7-4 to the gold medalist and 6-5 to the bronze medalist.

 

Pan Ams: Yeats of Canada handles Mensah easily, 5-0--but handles her other opponents much more easily--suggesting Mensah was probably a victim of an unlucky draw to be on Yeats' side.

 

1st world qualifier: Mensah mostly controls the action in the semi's against eventual event champion Kratysh of Israel, but gets tossed for 4 off of a tie-up situation following a Mensah shot early in the 2nd period and can't make up the difference, dropping a 6-5 decision.  Kratysh doesn't get challenged in any other match, again suggesting Mensah was clearly second best but couldn't get past the stringent UWW qualification setup.

 

2nd world qualifier: Mensah is dominating another opponent--Makhynia of Ukraine--before again getting tossed off of a tie-up following her own shot, and this time gets pinned.  Makhynia is also not challenged in any other match and Mensah is seemingly once again a victim of both her own propensity to go to her back and the random draw nightmare she had faced twice before.

Edited by maligned

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Did I read right? There are only four Olympics qualifying events? I count them all up to 13 qualifying spots? I thought 32 wrestlers each weight class would go into the Olympics? It sure look like only 16 entries per class? Did I miss something ?

Edited by Buckeyebison

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Did I read right? There are only four Olympics qualifying events? I count them all up to 13 qualifying spots? I thought 32 wrestlers each weight class would go into the Olympics? It sure look like only 16 entries per class? Did I miss something ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrestling_at_the_2016_Summer_Olympics_%E2%80%93_Qualification

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nice work, very thorough review. lots of tough opponents, lots of suboptimal performances and lots of bad draws. plus one terrible call by a ref. really nothing that points to 1) the trials process or 2) coaching being the problem. what we needed is 1) more luck, which is outside anyone's control, and 2) better wrestlers, which requires a holistic approach for improvement. 

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Someone needs to do a counterpart  write up to how many weights we could have missed if things did not go our way (i.e. Thielke was lucky that he was on the opposite side of Souryan).

 

These arguments bring me back to the counter to my contention that Tom Brady is two plays way from being a 6-0 in the Superbowl, is that he is also three plays away from being 1-5.

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Someone needs to do a counterpart  write up to how many weights we could have missed if things did not go our way (i.e. Thielke was lucky that he was on the opposite side of Souryan).

 

These arguments bring me back to the counter to my contention that Tom Brady is two plays way from being a 6-0 in the Superbowl, is that he is also three plays away from being 1-5.

very important to keep in mind when there is so much random variance involved in the qualification process. 

 

and this is not to imply that people are "lucky" to have qualified, meaning they didn't earn it. if thing is earned, but there is luck involved in everything in life, and sport are no different, especially sports that have arbitrary processes like random draws. 

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Also some of the continental qualifiers are weaker than others.  I'd rank them in order.

 

1. Europe

2. Pan Ams

3. Asia

4. Africa/Oceania

 

Out of those you only get 8 qualifiers for the Olympics per weight.  I would say that Mongolia and Istanbul were both tougher than all of those with the possible exception of the Euro qualifier.  They really should split Africa and Oceania off and just give them one spot each though.  I think the Olympic field should expand to 24 too. 

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Women's freestyle:

 

58kg:

 

Worlds: Ali Ragan falls 5-0 to eventual 5th place Renteria of Colombia.

 

Pan Ams: Allison Mackenzie drops a very disappointing 5-4 decision to Fazzari of Canada in the quarters.  Fazzari wins easily over a weak Venezuelan opponent in the semi's.  Fazzari ends up hammering the Brazilian in the finals also, meaning Mackenzie was arguably the second best at that event.  The Brazilian obviously qualifies, but the Ecuadorian that the Brazilian beat in her semi-final comes back in the 1st world qualifier and wins that event to qualify also.  All of these results seem to suggest Mackenzie may have had a much better shot at qualifying this weight at the world qualifiers than Campbell ended up putting forward.

 

1st world qualifier: Kelsey Campbell falls in the first round in her typical low-scoring style, 1-1, to Barka of Hungary, who immediately loses in the second round.

 

2nd world qualifier: Campbell drops a 4-1 decision to eventual event winner Koblova of Russia. Kelsey would end up 5th place.  

 

Thanks @maligned - this is great.

 

Just a point of clarification, for WFS 58kg "Allison Mackenzie" is Alli Ragan - I think Mackenzie is her middle name.  Kelsey Campbell beat her twice in a row at the OTT finals, and Ragan probably wasn't the second best at Pan Ams...  she lost in the bronze match to the weak Venezuelan (Jimenez) that Fazzari beat in the semis. Her offense is also somewhat limited and she needs to learn to adjust in-match, as John Smith mentioned during OTTs.  And AR relies on catching opponents off-guard with her inside trip a bit too much and I don't think it would be effective against smarter international opponents.  So I'm not sure if AR would have been able to qualify the weight.

 

I was on Team Teshya, but do think that KC was our best rep at 58.

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Also some of the continental qualifiers are weaker than others.  I'd rank them in order.

 

1. Europe

2. Pan Ams

3. Asia

4. Africa/Oceania

 

Out of those you only get 8 qualifiers for the Olympics per weight.  I would say that Mongolia and Istanbul were both tougher than all of those with the possible exception of the Euro qualifier.  They really should split Africa and Oceania off and just give them one spot each though.  I think the Olympic field should expand to 24 too. 

 

True for all the qualifiers.  I would rank them:

World Championships

...

Europe

World Qualifiers

Asia

Pan Ams

...

Africa/Oceania

Edited by GoNotQuietly

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Thanks @maligned - this is great.

 

Just a point of clarification, for WFS 58kg "Allison Mackenzie" is Alli Ragan - I think Mackenzie is her middle name.  Kelsey Campbell beat her twice in a row at the OTT finals, and Ragan probably wasn't the second best at Pan Ams...  she lost in the bronze match to the weak Venezuelan (Jimenez) that Fazzari beat in the semis. Her offense is also somewhat limited and she needs to learn to adjust in-match, as John Smith mentioned during OTTs.  And AR relies on catching opponents off-guard with her inside trip a bit too much and I don't think it would be effective against smarter international opponents.  So I'm not sure if AR would have been able to qualify the weight.

 

I was on Team Teshya, but do think that KC was our best rep at 58.

Yes, I watched those OTT matches and I follow Miracle closely, so I track 58...not sure what I was thinking!  Corrected.  

 

To your point about the best rep: sometimes there's a difference to me between 1) who "deserves" a bid, 2) who is really "the best", and 3) who might give us the best puncher's chance internationally.  With men's 65kg, I'm not sure Metcalf doesn't win the most matches if we do a full round-robin of all our top guys.  But Molinaro "deserved" our bid because he won the matches he needed, fair and square.  But then I'm not sure either of those guys' game translates the best to the international scene where people will score on you, no matter your phenomenal defense.  I think a guy like Pico or a guy like Stieber would have given us a better shot to run off a row of victories.  Both have shown that they can push the pace with high-octane offense against highly skilled guys who might lag behind in conditioning and pull out those 12-8 sorts of matches that M & M will never win because they don't have the technical offensive prowess to dig out of a 7-2 hole.  Styles matter.  Pico and Stieber don't get to flash their high-octane late-game offense in-country as often because most guys' conditioning is very high.  But overseas they can stand toe-to-toe with these all-world gunslingers because they'll have plenty in the tank when other nations' gunslingers fade late.  Tank and Metcalf simply don't have the arsenal to fight the kind of fight that demands a burst of 6 points in 2 minutes.

 

I think it's possible women's 58 could have been the same.  KC didn't come close to qualifying the weight and I think a girl with more offense like Ragan may have given us a better puncher's chance to make a run even though KC clearly deserved the spot and might be the "best" when everyone goes head-to-head domestically.

Edited by maligned

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This is funny to even compare the level of Asian Qualifier with Pan-Am qualifier. take a look at those wrestlers who failed to qualify in continental qualifeirs but later qualified in Mongolia and Istanbul, in men's freestyle 9 from Asia, 3 for Pan-Am , in men's Greco-Roman 8 to 1 for Asia, only in women's freestyle Pan-Am wrestlers qualified more 4 to 3.

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Also some of the continental qualifiers are weaker than others.  I'd rank them in order.

 

1. Europe

2. Pan Ams

3. Asia

4. Africa/Oceania

 

Out of those you only get 8 qualifiers for the Olympics per weight.  I would say that Mongolia and Istanbul were both tougher than all of those with the possible exception of the Euro qualifier.  They really should split Africa and Oceania off and just give them one spot each though.  I think the Olympic field should expand to 24 too. 

Everybody obviously qualifies 36 people in the 18 weight classes at their continental event.

 

Pan Am's qualified 20 additional people across all 3 styles in the 3 "open" events (worlds and the 2 world qualifiers).  5 in freestyle, 5 in greco, and 10 in women's.

 

We can see how this compares to others by ranking the continents by qualifiers added in the 3 "open" events:

Europe: 114--60% of all non-continental qualifiers

Asia: 54--28% (way more difficult than Pan Am's)

Pan Am: 20--11%

Africa/Oceania: 2--1%

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Someone needs to do a counterpart  write up to how many weights we could have missed if things did not go our way (i.e. Thielke was lucky that he was on the opposite side of Souryan).

 

These arguments bring me back to the counter to my contention that Tom Brady is two plays way from being a 6-0 in the Superbowl, is that he is also three plays away from being 1-5.

Yeah, there aren't too many of these to write about.  Most of ours who qualified were pretty cut and dried.

 

The clear ones:

 

Men's Freestyle:

74: World Champ...only one nation's guys clearly challenge him, so he'll never be in danger of being outside the top 5 in a world event

86: Cox wins the 1st world qualifier without being challenged.  If Herbert doesn't get a bad draw, his win over Ceballos suggests he would have already qualified this weight anyway.

97: World Champ

125: Tervel wins Pan Am qualifier very easily over guys whose success he's dwarfed for numerous years

 

Greco:

75: 2-time defending medalist would be unlucky not to qualify the weight at world's

85: Holm wins the Pan Am weight very easily after Cuba forfeits out.  Even if Cuba wrestles, head-to-heads suggest Holm was better if they'd met.

130: Smith gets 5th at worlds and comes an eyelash from knocking off world champ

 

women's freestyle:

53: world champ comes down in weight to maul everyone at 1st world qualifier

63: Clodgo wins Pan Am qualifier very easily, crushing her biggest threat in the semi's

75: world champ

 

The 3 that could have had issues:

 

Freestyle 57: Ramos is lucky not to draw Bonne at Pan Am's and be put into the world qualifier pool.  But countries he's beat qualified the weight, so we could still assume Dennis would have found a way to qualify.

 

Greco 59: If Thielke doesn't get the fall in the quarters or had drawn into Soryen's side, he may not have qualified.  But the guy who beat Soryen in Mongolia was on his side of the bracket, so who knows how things would have played out with a different draw.  More than that though: Hafizov should have qualified the weight at Pan Am's.  He loses to Takahashi who doesn't come close to doing anything in the world events.  Meanwhile, the Mexican, Soto, loses only 8-5 to the Moldovan that took bronze behind Thielke. Hafizov killed that guy at Pan Am's.  I really think the Takahashi loss was earned by Takahashi, but a fluke of a result nonetheless, and this weight we've been strong at for a lot of years would be qualified by Pan Am's in most circumstances if the cycle were re-wrestled.

 

Women's 48: Augello could have gotten draw into the same side as Kim of North Korea, who beat her 9-2 in the final of the 1st OG qualifier.  This would have forced her to compete in Turkey, where common opponent scores suggest it would have been very close between her and the 2 girls who qualified.  Still...Lampe got a bad draw and lost to the event champ when seeming to be clearly the 2nd best girl at Pan Am's weeks earlier.  In other words, we were probably more likely to have qualified the weight earlier rather than not qualifying it at all.

Edited by maligned

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The random draw is such a joke. Are you telling me that the top four cant at least be ranked and separated accordingly. Especially at a seemingly simple event like the pan-am qualifier? Should an Olympic berth really be determined by luck of the draw? Maybe in track and swimming we shouldn't seed the heats and just allow the top two to advance from each heat. It's stupid and antiquated.

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