Wood Loses First Two Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling Matches
By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service
ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 24, 2004 Army Sgt. Oscar Wood lost his first two matches in pool competition for the 66-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling division today, ending his chance of advancing to the semifinals in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
Wood lost his opening match 9-3 to Greece's Konstantinos Arkoudeas. Wood tried to throw the Greek in the opening 22 seconds, but the move backfired, costing him a quick two-point deficit.
"I came out and tried a junior high (school) move, and it don't work at the Olympics," said Wood, 29, of Gresham, Ore.
Arkoudeas turned Wood for two points 22 seconds later, and the rout was on.
"He caught me while I was still dry, and he scored several points because of my attempt in the first seven seconds," Wood said. "That's one thing you never do in international wrestling, and I found a way to do it. I don't know what I was thinking."
By the end of the three-minute first period, the Greek led 7-0, much to the delight of the crowd at Ano Liossia Olympic Hall. Wood rallied for three points in the second period, but the damage was done.
In his second match, Wood lost 5-2 to Germany's Jannis Zamanduridis, who took a 2-0 lead 1 minute, 48 seconds into the fray. Wood pulled into a 2-2 tie 1:16 into the second period, but Zamanduridis posted three more points in the final two minutes.
"It was a loss, so I don't know what that matters if I was in it or not," Wood said. "I just got beat twice, so I really don't know what to say."
Wood, a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colo., will wrestle Kazakhstan's Mkkhitar Manukyan in his final pool match tonight.
"I've still got one more match, so I'll just try to save face a little bit," he said. "He's already beat both the guys I just lost to, so I might be able to take something out of it."
(Tim Hipps is assigned to the Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs Office.)