Ex-Hawks Williams, Schwab 5th at worlds
By Craig Sesker
For the Press-Citizen
BAKU, Azerbaijan -- It was a recurring theme in the post-match analysis of first-time World Team member Doug Schwab.
Not enough offense.
It was the difference, in Schwab's eyes, between a fifth-place finish at the World Championships and possibly returning home with a medal.
Schwab, an assistant coach at Iowa and past NCAA champion for the Hawkeyes, will fly home without any hardware, but he still will return home with much-needed experience and momentum he hopes will drive him to a medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Schwab definitely has something to build on after placing fifth at 145.5 pounds in the biggest tournament of his life.
"I need more offense, and I need to be more intense," Schwab said. "That's the way I've been coached from Day 1 and that's the way I was raised. I need to go to the legs more and attempt more shots. I need to get more attacks. I'm disappointed because I know that's how to win."
U.S. teammate and fellow Hawkeye alumnus Joe Williams also placed fifth in men's freestyle Thursday night. Williams competed at 185 pounds. He finished one win shy of his third World bronze medal.
Schwab went 3-2 in his first World Championships. He dropped a 4-1, 1-0 decision to Georgia's Otar Tushishvili in the bronze-medal match. Tushivili lost to American Bill Zadick in the finals of the 2006 World Championships.
Schwab beat Gentian Balashi of Australia 4-0, 7-0 in his first match before downing Pedro Soto of Puerto Rico in his second match.
Schwab then ran into a buzzsaw in the quarterfinals against World bronze medalist Geandry Garzon of Cuba. The slick, athletic Garzon, who beat Schwab at the Pan American Games, put on a show with a dazzling array of leg attacks and scrambling ability.
Schwab came back in his first wrestleback to down Buyanjav Batzorig of Mongolia 3-2, 1-0. Batzorig fired in on a pair of leg attacks for a pair of takedowns to lead 2-0, but Schwab bounced back by shooting in for a takedown with 35 seconds left and following with a two-point leg lace to win the period.
The second period was scoreless after two minutes and went to the leg clinch. Schwab won the flip, started with Batzorig's leg and quickly dumped him onto the mat. That put Schwab into the fifth-place match and assured the U.S. a spot in the Olympics.
"This was a good experience, but I came here for one reason and that was to win," Schwab said. "I didn't feel like I wrestled like I was capable from an offensive point of view. I think I fought and battled, but fighting and battling only goes so far. You want to win and I need more offense to do it. I've obviously made a lot of improvement over the last three months, but I still need to improve a lot more."
Schwab, who placed third at July's Pan American Games, continues to gain international experience.
Williams, a three-time NCAA champion for Iowa, turned in a courageous performance. He is nowhere near 100 percent physically. He had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle three months ago and didn't start wrestling live until a few weeks ago.
Williams was in deep on a number of early shots against 2006 World bronze medalist Reza Yazdani of Iran in the third-place match, but couldn't quite finish. Nobody was able to score in the first two minutes and the period went to a coin flip. Yazdani won the flip and then quickly dumped Williams to the mat to win the period.
In the second period, Williams was caught on his back 20 seconds into the period after a short scramble off Yazdani's leg attack. Yazdani locked his arms around Williams' lower legs and stacked him to his back while the Iranian was on his feet. He then held him there the remainder of the period to win the match.
"Joe battled hard today," said Mike Duroe, one of the U.S. coaches. "But the bottom line is Joe's got a lot of work to do. He really only had a very, very short time to prepare for this. He didn't even start going hard until that last Training Camp."
The third Hawkeye in Baku, 2006 World silver medalist Mike Zadick, dropped his first-round match Wednesday to eventual bronze medalist Sahit Prizreni of Albania. Prizreni clinched the win after winning the leg clinch in the second period.
"You have to bring the fight, and Mike knows that he didn't come with the intensity, energy and effort to really wrestle his best," USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson said. "That's why his matches came down to clinches and one-point periods, and that's not what we're trained to do."
Last edited by Schlottke; 09-22-2007 at 09:34 AM.