Micic wins 57kg freestyle bronze at World Championships
// Lea Howard
Belgrade, Serbia — Graduated from the University of Michigan Steve Micic won a 57kg/125lb bronze medal at the 2022 UWW World Wrestling Championships on Saturday, September 17 at Stark Arena. Micic, who wrestles internationally for Serbia, won the country’s first-ever world medal in men’s freestyle wrestling.
Micic defeated Cuba’s Reineri Andreu Ortega, 7-1, in the bronze medal match. He earned his first shot clock point before adding two points for the exhibition on a duck under and subsequent run in the first, then veered on two outs on one-legged shots in the second period. . Andreu Ortega is a two-time U23 world champion and five-time Pan Am medalist, including two gold medals, at 57kg.
It was Micic’s second career world bronze and first at the senior level. He previously won a medal at the 2015 World Junior Championships at 55kg while representing the United States. Micic, a 2020 Tokyo Olympian, also has three European medals, including the 57kg silver from the 2019 Games.
Micic went 4-1 in two days at the world championships. His only loss came in the semi-final, 6-1, to eventual champion Zelimkhan Abakarov of Albania. He earned the first point on the shot clock, but gave up a late out in the first and faced a rush in the second. Abakarov then defeated American Thomas Gilman, 7-2, in the gold medal match.
Micic opened the tournament with back-to-back technical superiority victories – 12-2 over Mexico’s Roberto Alejandro Blanco and 12-1 over Kazakhstan’s tech Rakhat Kalzhan – before claiming a 7-1 quarter-final win over Japan’s Toshihiro Hasegawa. Down at the break, scored seven unanswered points in the second period, including a four-point strikeout, against the Japanese wrestler.
Wolverine alumni Malik Amine and Myles Amine also represented San Marino at 74 kg and 86 kg, respectively.
Myles, the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and four-time European medalist, moved into eighth place after losing to Kazakhstan’s Azamat Dauletbekov 9-1 in the quarter-finals. Amine sacrificed an early four-point out while on offense and was forced to chase for the rest of the game. He went 2-1 in the tournament, rallying to claim a 5-3 win over China’s Zushen Lin in his first bout before beating Latvian Ivars Samusonoks 4-0 with two first-half eliminations.