The main event is still to come -- the FILA Wrestling World Championships are just over a month away (September 8-14 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) -- but like his fellow World Teammmate, Tony Ramos, former Iowa great Brent Metcalf is wrestling in some other competitions to warm up for the World Championships. And, like Ramos, Metcalf isn't just competing -- he's winning. Tony Ramos took home a gold in the Canada Cup earlier this month and Brent Metcalf claimed another gold medal for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club at the FILA Golden Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.
Metcalf didn't quite demolish the competition the way he did at the U.S. Open or the U.S. World Team Trials earlier this summer, but the competition here was also a bit stiffer. Metcalf's easiest match came in the quarterfinals, handling Russia's Murad Abdusalamovitch Nuhkadiev via a 9-2 decision. In the semifinals, Metcalf ground out a 2-0 win over Canada's Haislan Garcia (originally from Cuba). This was a tight match, but that wasn't a huge surprise -- Garcia is a strong defense wrestler and he's had past success against Metcalf. He also placed 5th at the 2012 Olympics and just won this weight (65 kg) at the Canadian Open. He's certainly a guy Metcalf could encounter again at the World Championships.
In the finals, Metcalf dispatched Azerbaijan's Magomed Muslimov to claim gold. The final scoreline was 6-6, but Metcalf won the match via tiebreaking criteria -- he was able to land the biggest scoring move of the match (4 points off a front headlock roll in the second period). He actually went down 6-0 in the first period behind a trio of takedowns from Muslimov, most of which occurred off re-shots after Muslimov had countered Brent's initial shots. Metcalf will likely need to shore up his defense if he wants to bring a medal home from Uzbekistan.
Metcalf wasn't the only U.S. wrestler in competition at the Golden Grand Prix, either. Nico Megaludis finished 5th at 57 kg, Ed Ruth claimed a bronze medal at 86 kg, Jake Varner earned a bronze medal at 97 kg, and Tervel Dlagnev added another bronze at 125 kg.
QUARTERFINAL: Brent Metcalf DEC (9-2) Murad Abdusalamovitch Nuhkadiev (Russia)
SEMIFINAL: Brent Metcalf DEC (2-0) Haislan Garcia (Canada)
FINALS: Brent Metcalf DEC (6-6*) Magomed Muslimov (Azerbaijan)
There's also video footage of all three matches.
Congratulations to Metcalf on another strong showing -- and here's hoping that he's able to keep the winning going at the World Championships in Uzbekistan in September. He certainly seems to be peaking at the right time.