| | US wins World wrestling Games. 9 gold medals
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The United States had a dominant performance at the historic first World Grappling Championships, sweeping all nine gold medals in the final event of the World Wrestling Games in Antalya, Turkey, September 9.
Capturing gold medals in the women’s division were Lisa Ward (Lacey, Wash./United Fight Team) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Felicia Oh (Tarzana, Calif./JJ Machado/BJMUTA) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Tara LaRosa (Woodstown, N.J./unattached) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Valerie Worthington (Whittier, Calif./New Breed/Hollywood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Capturing gold medals in the men’s division were Darren Uyenoyama (South San Francisco, Calif./Fogtown Jiu Jitsu) at 62 kg/136.5 lbs., Ricky Lundell (Orem, Utah/Pedro Sauer Team) at 70 kg/154 lbs., Don Ortega (Albuquerque, N.M./No Limits) at 80 kg/176 lbs., Malcolm Havens (Parker, Colo./Grapplers Edge) at 92 kg/202.5 lbs. and JEFF MONSON(Coconut Creek, Fla./Victory Athletics) at 125 kg/275 lbs.
All nine World champions captured gold medals at the USA Wrestling Grappling World Team Trials in Las Vegas, Nev. in June.
The USA won 21 medals out of a possible 35 medals in the event. Included was a sweep of all four medals at the men’s 92 kg/202.5 lbs. division. In convincing terms, the USA has set the bar for the rest of the world in international Grappling competition.
“I really think have a training camp and bringing many of our people together helped. People perish without a vision. Our coaches developed a vision with this team. We didn’t want to just win the championship. We wanted everybody to be the most outstanding we could be, no matter the outcome,” said U.S. World Team Coach Bob Anderson.
It was a great day for the U.S. team, which entered 27 athletes in the field. In the men’s division, four of the five gold-medal finals featured all-USA matchups.
“The team performed at the highest level against great competition,” said U.S. World Team Coach Jason Townsend. “All the athletes had tough matches and pulled through with flying colors. This is the beginning of a new era for Grappling. It was a pioneering effort for USA Wrestling. We were excited to be a part of this historic event, and we will work hard to remain a dominant force for years to come.”