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Micic Captures Gold; Amine, Parris Take Bronze at World Championships

Micic Captures Gold; Amine, Parris Take Bronze at World Championships

BELGRADE, Serbia — University of Michigan wrestling alumnus Stevan Micic captured the 57kg freestyle gold medal, while fellow Wolverine alums Myles Amine and Mason Parris claimed bronze at 86kg and 125kg, respectively, at the 2023 World Championships over Sunday and Monday (Sept. 17-18) at Stark Arena. With three medals, it was the most successful world performance in the history of the Michigan program.

Micic became Michigan’s first ever freestyle world champion and the program’s first champion since Joe Warren claimed the 60kg Greco-Roman gold in 2006. It was Micic’s second straight world medal after claiming 57kg bronze last year. It was the first senior-level medal for both Amine and Parris. Amine previously captured 86kg Olympic bronze for San Marino at the Tokyo Games, while Parris is a junior world champion (2019).

Micic and Amine both qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics — and their second straight Olympic Games — with their performances, while Parris also qualified in the weight class for the United States and earned an automatic berth to the championship finals at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials next April.

Representing Serbia in front of a spirited home crowd, Micic posted a 5-0 record and defeated world champions in each of his last three bouts, including a 7-4 win over Japan’s Rei Higuchi — the 2022 61kg world champion and an Olympic silver medalist at 57kg — in the championship final. After trading takedowns in the first period and giving up an early single in the second, Micic scored five unanswered points, taking the lead with a single-leg takedown of his own before countering a Higuchi shot to go up 6-4. He avoided giving up points on the edge on a deep single shot in the waning seconds of the bout and tacked on another point after a lost Japanese challenge.

Micic defeated Albania’s Zelimkhan Abakarov, the reigning 57kg world champion, 6-2 in the semifinals. Trailing 1-1 on criteria late, he hit a four-point chest-lock throw with 75 seconds to take the lead and added another point on a failed challenge. His quarterfinal win was even more dramatic, with three takedowns in the second period, including a single leg at the buzzer, to earn a 9-7 win over Olympic and two-time world champion Zaur Uguev of Russia.

Myles Amine and Mason Parris (Tony Rotundo) Myles Amine and Mason Parris (Tony Rotundo)

Amine went 4-1 in the tournament and defeated Uzbekistan’s Javrail Shapiev, 8-4, in his 86kg bronze-medal match. He sacrificed a temporary late lead after giving up exposure in a scramble over the final 20 seconds of the match but earned it back with two sets of exposure points himself in the waning seconds. He also overcame an initial deficit to win his earlier repechage match, 8-2, over Mongolia’s Bat Byambasuren after Iran’s Aliazam Yazdani, himself an Olympic and three-time world champion, reached the finals after handing Amine his only loss in the quarterfinal round. It was the second time in four years that Amine and Micic qualified for the Olympics on the same day.

Parris, who was officially named the U.S. world team just 12 days earlier, earned a dominant 12-2 technical superiority over Russia’s Abdulla Kurbanov in his 125kg bronze-medal with five takedowns, including a first-period four-pointer on the edge and a double leg to end the bout midway through the second. Parris went 4-1 over two days and was leading Georgian Geno Petriashvili, a three-time world champion and nine-time Olympic/world medalist, in his semifinal before allowing a pair of late takedowns and dropping an 8-6 heartbreaker. He picked up three solid wins to open the tournament, including an 8-4 quarterfinal decision against China’s Deng Zhiwei, in which he gave up a four-point throw in the final 10 seconds only to earn a four-pointer of his own at the final buzzer.

Fellow Michigan alumni Malik Amine and Matt Finesilver also wrestled in the World Championships at 74kg and 86kg, respectively. It was Amine’s fourth world appearance and Finesilver’s first.

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