I think it is fair to say that when Sanderson won the gold he was more than just a bit gifted when Sajidov got upset by a Korean, had the case not been i expect Sajidov would have defeat Sanderson.
Now sanderson has his gold it does not serve him to risk his reputation, it is clear to see a few of the top 185lbers stand in his way to ever achieving a gold again at the world champs or olympics.
Smart move by Sanderson.
Cael was steadily improving in Freestyle and beat wrestlers he had previously lost to in the trials and the Olympics (Fullhart & Romero).
Sajidov did not just lose to the Korean, he got tooled. The Korean (Moon?) was already a silver medalists in 2000 with his only loss to Liepold which was, of course, overturned.
Could have Sajidov beaten Cael if they met? Of course that is possible, but it is almost at least as likely that Cael would have won too. Sajidov did not blow him away in their previous meetings and Cael was still learning how to wrestle international Freestyle.
In the end it does not matter. They both entered the same tournament and Cael got it done while Sajidov did not.
It is also silly to argue Cael retired to protect his legacy. It was clear his drive was not the same after he graduated. He was able to give one last push for the Olympic but then was done, having achieved everything he set out to do. Athletically, his best years internationally should have been ahead of him. He won gold basically wrestling Folkstyle. If he had the same drive and continued to improve he would have been one of the best US freestylers of all time. His retirement may be the best for him, but really hurts US international wrestling.
Last edited by ODH; 02-26-2008 at 05:47 PM.
Cael has nothing to prove in wrestling. Anyone who says otherwise is just trying to stir the pot.
He's got a family and he's got a job of great responsibility. Obviously he felt it was his time to move on--a decision all competitors have to come to at one point or another. Should he continue to wrestle for the gratification of wrestling fans or to boost the laurels of USA wrestling (which he already did)? No.
Actually, you have to give it up for Sanderson that he got it done basically wrestling folkstyle. He never really did learn freestyle very well (it almost cost him against the Iranian).
As far as Sadijov goes.... yeah he matched up well against Sanderson. But that is the funny thing about wrestling, you actually have to make the finals in order to go for the Gold. Sadijov didn't have whatever it takes mentally to get there - I mean a wrestler of his ability getting caught in a trapped arm gut is basically a choke under pressure. Which is what makes the Olympics a little different than a World Championships, and special...... that extra bit of pressure has some do their best, and others will have the pressure get to them.
I am 49, bald, ugly, and don't own a single cool thing. Kids like me though.
He's got a family and he's got a job of great responsibility.
So do millions of other Americans. Sounds pretty boring with the talent he has.
sgallan, its Sajidov, not Sadijov.
There is an old saying those that can do and those that can't teach.
I find it very odd for a guy who is in his prime to just quit to become a coach, maybe he could not handle the stress or perhaps he does not fancy a match with Ketoev.