Friday, August 10, 2012

OU Wrestler Sam Hazewinkel Falls in Olympic Debut

NORMAN, Okla. – Sooner wrestler Sam Hazewinkel (Pensacola, Fla.) was eliminated from Olympic competition Friday. The U.S. 55kg freestyler lost his first match of the 2012 London Olympic Games Friday morning to last year’s 2011 World Wrestling Championships 55kg bronze medalist, Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan, 2-0 (3-1, 2-0).

“I’ve loved every minute of my time in London,” said Hazwinkel. “I came here to win, so the loss has put a dampener on it, but I’ve got a taste for it now that I’ve been here. I’ll keep on training. I’m coming back,” stated the three-time Sooner All-American.

Niyazbekov executed a front headlock roll through for a 2-0 lead in the first period. Following his two-point lead, both wrestlers recorded one-point maneuvers before the two-minute period timed out, and handed the Kazakhstanian wrester a 1-0 lead via a 3-1 scoring advantage in the first period.

Neither Hazewinkel nor Niyazbekov recorded a point during the second period, to go to a ball draw, and warrant an extra 30 seconds on the clock. Niyazbekov claimed the preliminary victory off of a two-point move that drove Hazewinkel out of bounds for the deciding score.

"Niyazbekov got the offensive attack in early, and the point,” explained Hazewinkel. “It's very upsetting because I feel like I should have beaten him.”

Olympic matches are scored by a best of three – Niyazbekov claimed the opening two periods to sweep the preliminary round and leave Hazewinkel’s Olympic fate in his hands.

Hazewinkel’s chance to medal in a repechage round came to a close when Niyazbekov dropped a decision to Russia’s Jamal Oltarsultanov in the semifinals.

Hazewinkel and his father, Dave, are the only father and son duo from the U.S. to wrestle in the Olympics.

"It's frustrating," Hazewinkel said. "I felt like I should've made it to the semis. I'm upset but I'm going to keep my head up. It just didn't go my way. I feel like I let down the USA. I went out there and battled, but I made one mistake and the guy capitalized.”

On Sunday, August 12, the final day of the 2012 Olympic Games, Oklahoma assistant wrestling coach Jared Frayer will take to the mat in the 66kg freestyle.

///SoonerSports PR
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