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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Sport-By-Sport Report : WRESTLING

Paulson Finds There Is a Silver Lining

July 24, 1996

It wasn't to be for Brandon Paulson of Anoka, Minn., who reached the Greco-Roman 114 1/2-pound finals in his first major international tournament before losing to Armen Nazaryan of Armenia, 5-1. It was Armenia's first Olympic medal.

"I achieved a lifelong goal for millions of people by getting an Olympic medal," said Paulson, who upset Bulgaria's Yordan Anev, 6-2, in the semifinals. "I hate losing. . . . But it's amazing I got a medal."


Matt Ghaffari of Colorado Springs, determined to pull off the greatest upset in wrestling history, pushed Alexander Karelin into overtime but the Russian great prevailed, 1-0, for his third, and by far toughest, 286-pound Greco-Roman gold medal. Ghaffari entered the mat to the theme from "Rocky" before losing to Karelin, unbeaten internationally for 10 years. . . . Finnish officials protested Marko Asell's 3-2 loss to Cuba's Feliberto Ascuy at 163 pounds, arguing he deserved at least three points, not one, for a lift and throw. Officials rescored the match by video--and changed the winning score to 8-2. . . . Wlodzimierz Zawadski produced one of the most impressive rollovers to beat Cuba's Juan Luis Maren Delis in the 137-pound class. The second Polish finalist, Jacek Fafinski, was comprehensively out-fought and out-pointed by Vyacheslav Oleynyk of Ukraine in the 198-pound class.


Medalists / Greco-Roman Wrestling


Gold: Alexander Karelin, Russia

Silver: Matt Ghaffari, United States

Bronze: Sergei Moureiko, Moldova


Gold: Vyacheslav Oleynyk, Ukraine

Silver: Jacek Fafinski, Poland

Bronze: Mak Bullman, Germany


Gold: Feiberto Ascuy, Cuba

Silver: Marko Asell, Finland

Bronze: Josef Tracz, Poland

136 1/2 POUNDS

Gold: Wlodzimierz Zawadzki, Poland

Silver: Juan Luis Maren, Cuba

Bronze: Mahmet Pirim, Turkey

114 1/2 POUNDS

Gold: Armen Nazaryan, Armenia

Silver: Brandon Paulson, United States

Bronze: Andriy Kalashnikov, Ukraine

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