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Wrestling: James Green Takes Silver at Poland Open

Former Husker James Green, a favorite to represent Team USA at the World Championships at 70 kg, fell short of gold in Poland

Freestyle World Cup 2017 in Iran
James Green
Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Former 4-time All-American for the Huskers James Green fell just short of a gold medal at the 2021 Poland Open on Tuesday.

After winning Senior Nationals and qualifying for the 2021 World Team Trials, Green traveled to Poland to compete in the Poland Open against a small but talented field.

With just seven entrants at 70kg, the tournament started with pool play with two pools, one with four wrestlers and the other with three. Green was pooled up with Team USA’s Alec Pantaleo, who came in 0-2 against Green, and Ukraine’s Oleksii Boruta.

In his first match, Green took on Pantaleo and cruised to a 8-0 win after opening things up with a big four-point takedown late in the second period.

Against Boruta, Green struggled to get any offense going but earned a 2-1 win with both points due to Boruta being put on the shot clock for passivity.

In the semifinal round, Green faced 2017 World Champion Zurabi Iakobishvili of Georgia. Green rode two early takedowns to a 4-0 win and a finals matchup against Pantaleo.

In the final, Pantaleo was able to get in on a single-leg shot just 8 seconds in for a takedown before getting another shortly after to go up 4-0 just 25 seconds into the match. Forced to be more offensive, Green was able to get a takedown to cut his deficit to 4-2 at the break.

In the second, Green gave up a step-out point but really defended well against a possible takedown by Pantaleo with some incredible floating (see below). Green was able to fend off Pantaleo and scored another step-out point but eventually fell 5-3.