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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Foils Baumgartner's Triple Bid

ATLANTA -- U.S. freestyle wrestler Bruce Baumgartner's bid for a third Olympic gold medal was terminated by an old nemesis.


Andre Shumilin of Russia smothered Baumgartner 6-1 in a preliminary match in the 286-pound (130-kilogram) weight class at the Georgia World Congress Center. Shumilin is 4-1 lifetime against Baumgartner.


Baumgartner -- who carried the U.S. flag during opening ceremonies -- is still in contention for the bronze medal. He advanced to Friday's consolation round by defeating Zaza Turmanidze of Georgia 14-2.


"I came here to try to do my best," Baumgartner said. "I don't think I did that against Shumilin. My goal still is to come down here and do my best. ... Hopefully, that will be third place."


A little more than a minute into the match, Shumilin, the 1993 world bronze medalist, scored on a three-point throw and earned one additional point for a five-second exposure. Shumilin followed up with two one-point takedowns. Baumgartner scored his only point on a spin behind takedown with 16 seconds left in the five-minute match.


After the match, Baumgartner, his head down, walked toward the locker room, stopping briefly to hug his wife, Linda. "On any given day, he could beat any wrestler in the world," Linda told reporters. "Today wasn't that day."


Baumgartner said later he had made some mistakes in the match against Shumilin.


"I slipped off his arm, hit my hip in the mat, [and] he drove into me, scoring his four points," he said. "I thought I could still come back and win. I was still fighting ... but I couldn't get close to stop him very well. ... It's just real difficult for me to get going on a guy who had a four-point lead."


Baumgartner said he is disappointed he won't be competing for the gold medal.


But, he also added, "every time you compete, you go out there and challenge yourself in wrestling. Every match is very meaningful, and every medal is very meaningful."


Baumgartner, who won gold medals in 1984 and 1992 and a silver in 1988, is the wrestling coach at Edinboro (Pennsylvania) University. He is a three-time world champion. The 35-year-old Baumgartner is the winner of the 1995 Sullivan Award for the top amateur athlete in the country.


In the semifinal round Friday, American Kenny Monday, a 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the 163-pound (74-kilogram) category, will face Buvaysa Saytyev of Russia, a 1995 world champion.


Tom Brands of Iowa City, Iowa, a 1993 world champion in the 136 1/2 (62-kilogram) class, will take on Magomed Azizov of Russia, a 1994 world champion.