Two-time World silver medalist Tina George earns final spot on U.S. World Team
John Fuller/USA Wrestling
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Tina George (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) will compete at the World Championships for the sixth time after winning a Special Wrestle-Off against Marcie Van Dusen (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs. on Monday at the Olympic Training Center.
The second match came down to the final seconds, with a tired George scoring a takedown with just four seconds left in the bout to take the series instead of going to a third bout. George won the second match 1-0, 2-4, 2-2 and the first bout 2-1, 6-4.
"I was thinking 'I don't want to go to a third match. I better hurry up and score.' I didn't want her to gain momentum going into a third match and to get that confidence," George said after the bout.
The winning takedown tied the third period at 2-2 in the second bout, but due to the tiebreaking criteria of the last point scored wins the period, George was awarded the victory.
George took the first period, fighting off an aggressive Van Dusen to force her out of bounds and score the only point of the period.
In the second period, George opened with a takedown, but Van Dusen then added two takedowns and a two-point turn for a 4-1 lead. With only four seconds remaining in the period, George scored a takedown to cut the lead to 4-2, but she was unable to score from par terre.
In the decisive third period, Van Dusen scored the first takedown just 11 seconds into the period. George tied the score with a takedown midway through the period. Van Dusen then scored another takedown nearly 30 seconds later to take a 2-1 advantage before George scored the winning takedown.
"She feels that she can beat me. Part of her strategy was to press me a lot and get me out of position," George said. "She did a pretty good job of doing that."
George won a U.S. Nationals title in May, but did not compete at the U.S. World Team Trials due to injuries to her knee and hand. She took an extension on her championship series due to injury, something that only national champions may do.
"They felt fine. You can't really feel anything when your adrenaline is rushing," George said of her injuries during the matches against Van Dusen.
George will represent the United States at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 26-Oct. 2. The rest of the U.S. World Teams in all three styles were determined at the World Team Trials in Ames, Iowa.
George is a two-time World silver medalist, who placed second at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She has won three U.S. Nationals titles, and has qualified for five U.S. World Teams.