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Wrestling: Griffith grad Angel Escobedo finishes 5th in the world

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Updated: October 18, 2013 6:33AM



Reaching a world championship event would be enough of an achievement for most athletes.

But it wasn’t enough for Angel Escobedo.

The 2005 Griffith graduate and Indiana University alum took fifth place at 55kg/121 pounds at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday, falling short of his ultimate goal.

“It’s not what I wanted; I wanted a gold medal,” he said in an interview with USA Wrestling. “There are areas I have to focus on. These foreign wrestlers are really good with shutting down defense and playing a cat-and-mouse game. I just have to go out there and get my offense going.”

Escobedo opened the day with a pair of quick victories over Romania’s Andre Dukov in the first round match and Robert Kardos of Hungary in the second round.

“The guy I had in the first round actually beat me three weeks ago in Poland,” Escobedo said. “So that was a good match to come back and beat him 6-0.”

The quarterfinal round saw Escobedo run into his first obstacle, losing 6-0 to Amit Kumar of India. However, when Kumar advanced to the finals, Escobedo was placed in the repechage against France’s Zoheir El Ouarrage and earned a berth in the bronze medal match with an 8-2 win.

The final opponent was Sezer Akgul of Turkey — a 2009 world silver medalist. Escobedo scored an early passivity point in the first period for a 1-0 lead. But a second period takedown by Akgul with about 90 seconds remaining gave Akgul a 2-1 victory.

“I just didn’t score enough, like I was before. He’s a pretty defensive wrestler and basically all he wants to do is get to the last 30 seconds. I let him play his game and that’s how he beat me,” Escobedo said.

“I’m in tears right now because this sport is really hard. To put all of that work in and fall short of your goals … I made some small mistakes. I’ve got to look forward and try to win the world title next year.”



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