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Israeli wrestler narrowly loses match for Olympic spot

CM 06/05/2021

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Israel’s top wrestler Mitch Finesilver won a string of matches on Thursday in Bulgaria before suffering a close defeat to a Ukrainian wrestler at the World Olympic Qualifiers and pretty much eliminating his chance of securing a spot in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.Vasyl Mykhailov ousted Finesilver by a 4-2 score in the 74kg freestyle wrestling weight category after the Israeli was leading 2-0. The Ukrainian advanced to the finals.  Only the top two placers in each weight class qualify for the Olympics.Finesilver went ahead with two points because Mykhailov was penalized for lack of activity.The Ukrainian scored a single-leg takedown in the second three-minute period, catapulting himself into the lead because of the takedown. The score remained tied at two, but the takedown carries more value in the criteria decision making. Finesilver took a shot to take down Mykhailov, who countered with a two-point move to pull ahead 4-2.In his first match, Finesilver soundly beat  South Korean opponent Byungmin Gong by a 7-0 score. Finesilver secured a 12-4 victory over Julio Rodriguez Romero of the Dominican Republic in his second match.The American-born Israeli prevailed 9-2 over Greek competitor Georgios Kougioumtsidis to land a spot in the semifinals against the Ukranian.The twitter handle for weekly podcast and blog Bloodround Wrestling wrote after Finesilver’s semifinal loss:

“Mitch Finesilver drops a close 4-2 to Ukraine. What a tournament by him, falling just short.”Finesilver’s match was broadcast on United World Wrestling. The announcer said prior to Finesilver’s loss that Finesilver “has not missed a beat today” after his winning streak.Last month, Finesilver  won a  bronze medal at the European Championships in Warsaw, Poland – the first wrestling medal for an Israeli since 1991.The last Israeli wrestler to compete at the Olympics was Max Geller in 1992. Geller secured a silver medal at the 1991 European Championships in the 68kg weight class.Intermat, a wrestling website in the US, tweeted “Duke All-American Mitch Finesilver (ISR) is only one win away from an Olympic berth after a 9-2 win in the quarters at 74 kg.”Finesilver attended Duke University in North Carolina where he placed fourth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 wrestling competition.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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