Sanderson advances to finals

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Cael Sanderson finally beat a wrestler who has frustrated him for years, leaving him one victory from the Olympic gold medal he has long seemed capable of winning.

The surprise -- make that two surprises -- is two Americans who lack Sanderson's portfolio, Stephen Abas and Jamill Kelly, also are going for gold medals today.

Sanderson held off former world champion Yoel Romero of Cuba 3-2 at 185 pounds (84kg) -- his first victory in three career matches against Romero.

Kelly, who sneaked through his semifinal, meets three-time world champion Elbrus Tedeyev of Ukraine in the 145 pounds (66kg) final. Tedeyev won a bronze at Atlanta in 1996.


Abas beat Japan's Chikara Tanabe 3-0 to reach the 121 pounds (55kg) final against Russia's Mavlet Batirov, a 7-1 winner over Amiran Karntanov of Greece.

Sanderson didn't get his anticipated matchup with world champion Sazhid Sazhidov of Russia in a rematch of last year's world finals. Instead, Sanderson gets 2000 Sydney silver medalist Moon Eui-jae, who worked over Sazhidov 10-2 in the other semifinal.

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