IOWA CITY — The quest begins, and ends, Friday for former University of Iowa all-American Thomas Gilman.
A third-place finisher in the NCAA Championships last March, Gilman will wrestle for a world championship Friday in Paris.
The elimination round and repechage start at 3 a.m. and, if he survives, the finals are at noon. Gilman opens against 2016 European silver medalist Andrey Yatsenko of Ukraine at 125.5 pounds.
“I’m getting my mind ready and my body ready,” Gilman said earlier this month before leaving for training in Germany. “I feel good.”
Gilman said one of the things he will work on Friday is scoring early.
“It’s easy to hit an arm spin when a guy is dry,” he said.
He fell behind, 6-0, in a Last Chance Qualifier for the World Team Trials before rallying for a 7-6 win. He then dominated his five foes at the trials, beating another former Hawkeye, Tony Ramos, 4-3 and 7-2, for the right to represent the United States in Paris.
This will be even tougher.
“They play their own kind of game,” he said of the international competition he’ll face Friday. “They strategize a little bit.
“I need to solidify what I do best. I’m getting better every day.”
Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands, a two-time World champion, thinks Gilman is ready.
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“We don’t make predictions, but we feel good about where he’s at,” Brands said.
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