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Americans Lose Wrestling Matches

October 9, 1999

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ Americans Cary Kolat and Joe Williams lost their matches Saturday, failing to win medals in the World Freestyle Wrestling Championships.

Uzbekistan’s Ramil Islamov beat Kolat 5-0 at the 138 3/4-pound class. Kolat was upset 2-1 by 1995 World Champion Elbrus Tedeev of Ukraine earlier in the day.

``What is disappointing is that what happened to Cary,″ said Rich Bender, event director of the U.S. team. ``Cary Kolat was a favorite to win the gold medal.″

Bender said Kolat, Madison, Wis., injured his shoulder on the first day of the games on Thursday, which affected his performance. Kolat was a 1997 World silver medalist and 1998 World bronze medalist.

Minutes later, the U.S. team lost another bronze medal chance when Williams, of Iowa City, Iowa, was beaten by Turkey’s Adem Bereket 3-2.

Williams was competing at an international event for the first time in his career.

By clinching the fourth spots, Kolat and Williams qualified the United States to compete in their weight classes at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

It was not clear if the United States would improve on its 1998 third place finish at the end of the championships on Sunday, when a total of 64 Olympic berths will be determined.

Four Americans still remain in the competition. Eric Guerrero, the No. 2 wrestler in the U.S. at 127 3/4 pounds, Lincoln McIlravy at 152 pounds, Les Gutches at 187 pounds and Stephen Neal at 286 pounds will all compete in the quarterfinals and semifinals on Sunday.

Tedeev won the gold medal by upsetting Korea’s Kim Woo-Young 4-0. In Williams’ weight class, the winner was Russia’s Adam Saitiev, who defeated Germany’s Leipold Alexander, 6-3.

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