22-year-old St. Louis native Spenser Mango was eleminated from medal contention after wrestling two matches today in the Bejing Olympics.
Mango, who wrestles at 121 lbs in the Greco-Roman competition, defeated Romanian Virgil Munteanu 6-3 to move onto the quarter finals, where he faced off against world silver medalist Park Eun-Chul. Park beat Mango 3-2, 6-1, which ended Mango’s quest for an Olympic medal.
“I’m a little down. It’s just the small mistakes I made.” Mango says.
Mango will be cheering on teammate, and Mizzou alumn, Ben Askren. Askren will be wrestling in the men’s freestyle competition at 163 lbs, which he earned after beating Tyrone Lewis in the final round of the 2008 Olympic Trials.
Freestyle differs from Greco-Roman due mainly to the use of the lower body. In Greco-Roman, a wrestler is not allowed to attack his opponent below the waist or use his own legs to trip, lift, or perform other holds against an opponent. Freestyle wrestling, on the other hand, allows the use of legs.
After the trials were finished, Askren wasn’t shy in letting the world know his aspirations,
“I’m going to win gold.” Askren says.
For now, he will have to wait and watch the rest of team USA compete until Aksren has his first shot in the prelimnary round, which is on August 19.