The 2017 World Wrestling Championships was held in Paris, France from August 21 – 26, 2017. Representing Palau was heavyweight Florian Skilang Temengil and Cristian Etpison Nicolescu.
Florian Temengil wrestled in the mens freestyle 125kg division against Fatjon Baro of Albainia. In the first period, Baro was able to score 2 points from the standing position and while on the ground he tried to roll Temengil but unable to do so.
[restrict] Temengil got back up and shot in for a single leg but Baron sprawled and countered by getting behind Temengil while on the ground for 2 points. Baro rolled Temengil for another 2 points to make the score 6-0. With 1 minute remaining in the first period of the match, Temengil shot in for single leg but Baron countered and got behind for another 2 points.
During the 2nd period, it was much more exciting as Temengil shot in for an explosive single leg takedown and took Baron down but Baron was able to grab Temengil’s ankle to hold it and defend without letting Temengil score a point. After 2 minutes of wrestling hard it was obvious that Temengil was wearing out his opponent. Temengil shot in for the leg but his opponent defended as Temengil held on to the leg. It was a tough match with less than a minute to go before the referee brought them back up to the standing position. Temengil shot in on the leg and Baron sprawled and got behind to earn 2 points for the win with 15 second remaining in the match. This was a good match up for Temengil but well worth it. Florian ranked 22nd overall.
In the mens freestyle 61kg division, Palau’s Cristian Etpison Nicolescu wrestled Vladimer Khingchegashvili of Georgia. The Georgian is currently the European Champion with much experience who has won all of the last 6 tournaments that he has entered in the past. In fact, Vladimer was the 57kg wrestler that won the gold medal in the 2016 RIO Olympic Games. The less experienced Nicolescu who has been training very hard over the past year was able to fight hard and get a few good moves on the Georgian. During the first period of the match, Nicolescu shot in for a single leg takedown but Vladimer countered by exposing Nicolescu to his back earning 2 points. Nicolescu was able to get out of the hold and secure an ankle before the official brought them back up to the feet. Nicolescu shot in for a double leg takedown but the Georgian was able to counter and score 2 more points for a takedown. Nicolescu was aggressive during the whole match and shot in for the ankle taking Vladimer to the ground but the more experienced Georgian would escape and counter by taking Nicolescu to the ground score 2 more points. Eventually, Vladimer would win with the match in the 2nd period by a score of 10 – 0. Vladimer would end up winning the bronze by defeating Turkey. Nicolescu ranked 27 out of 31 wrestlers.
Although both athletes from Palau lost their match, they had an impressive match and wrestled tough. Both Temengil and Nicolescu were aggressive and impressive on the mat. They were able to get their shots but agreed that they need to both return and train harder, work on their finishes as they will be a part of the Team Palau Delegation in September at the Ashgabat Games in Turkmenistan. Both athletes would like to thank their sponsors and families for assisting them and allowing them this opportunity to compete at the World Championships. [/restrict]