Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) dropped his semifinal match and will compete in the bronze medal match at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in the Olympic freestyle wrestling competition at the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall in Athens, Greece, August 29.
Cormier was defeated in the semifinals by European champion Khadjimourad Gatsalov of Russia, 5-0 in overtime at 6:08.
Gatsalov scored a takedown in the first period for a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Gatsalov added a single leg takedown for a 2-0 lead. Regulation ended at 2-0, and the required three points had not been scored. From the clinch in overtime, within eight seconds, Gatsalov was able to take Cormier down to his back, scoring three points for the 5-0 win.
Gatsalov had a previous win over Cormier in a tournament in Russia.
Cormier will face 2003 World silver medalist and past World champion Ali Reza Heidari of Iran in the bronze-medal match. Heidari defeated Cormier in the quarterfinals at the 2003 World Championships in New York City.
With a loss in the quarterfinals, Joe Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) was eliminated from medal contention at 74 kg/163 lbs. Williams, a 2001 World bronze medalist, was defeated by 2003 World bronze medalist Gennadiy Laliev of Kazakhstan, 3-2, in overtime at 6:02.
After a passivity call on Williams in the first period, Laliyev scored a two-point gut wrench turn for a 2-0 lead Williams came back with a double leg takedown, followed by a one-point ankle lace turn to tie the match at 2-2 at the break. There was no scoring in the second period. In the overtime clinch, Williams locked up first. The athletes went off the mat quickly with no takedown scored. Officials went to the video tape and gave the point to Laliyev, based upon Williams releasing his lock first.
Williams will wrestle in the fifth place match against 2003 World silver medalist Murad Gaidarov of Belarus.
The 2:00 session will feature fifth-place matches in all three weight division, then the bronze and gold medal matches in each division.
Cormier will go for the bronze
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