Minnesota Training Center athlete Joe Rau continued his solid season by taking a bronze medal at the Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid, Spain on July 11. A Division III champion from Elmhurst College in Illinois, Rau won his fifth medal of 2015 by defeating Poland’s Radoslaw Grzybicki 6-5 in the bronze medal match at 98kg.
Despite stumbling at the U.S. Open in May, which cost Rau a chance to represent the United States at the upcoming United World Wrestling Championships, he has medaled in every international tournament he has entered this season. The last U.S. wrestler to bring home five or more medals in a single season without missing a podium was MN Storm’s Andy Bisek who earned a bronze medal in the 2014 World Championships.
In Rau’s medal match, he jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but then gave up a pushout, a takedown and a two-point turn to fall behind 5-4 with less than a minute to go. Rau would score a winning takedown late in the bout to take a 6-5 lead. Rau’s only loss in the event was to reigning world champion Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia in the quarterfinals.
He opened up with a 7-2 win over German World Team member Fredrik Schoen and followed with a 5-3 win over Sweden’s Pontus Lund. He then fell 8-0 to Aleksanyan. Rau would defeat Turkey’s Ahmet Tacyildiz 6-4 in the repechage to earn a chance to wrestle for bronze.
It was a strong day for the United States across all three styles of the one-day event as American wrestlers claimed seven titles and 17 medals.
So far in 2015, Rau has claimed a silver medal at the Dave Schultz Memorial, golds at the Zagreb Open and Pan American Championships and a bronze at the Hungarian Open. It was Rau’s first medal up at 98kg. The previous medals came at 80kg, where he represented the United States at the World Championships in 2014.
Full Results can be found at: http://www.felucha.com/components/com_remository_files/downloads/gpe2015-results_1436650912.pdf
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