Sept. 16, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Greco-Roman brings the curtain down on the 2013 Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary and Wisconsin’s Jesse Thielke hopes to be the last man standing at 60kg. The Greco-Roman competition gets under way on Friday, Sept. 20, as the bantamweights (55kg) take to the mats before Thielke, a redshirt freshman on the Badgers’ squad, takes the mat at 60kg on Sept. 21.
International experience is nothing new for the Germantown, Wis. native. In 2012 Thielke won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championship in the same weight and style.
“Junior Worlds is great because you get to see a lot of the guys you are going to see at seniors,” Thielke said. “If they are good at the junior level, they are probably going to be good at the senior level.”
2012 marked Thielke’s fourth trip to the junior championships and first time on the medal stand. The Olympic hopeful spent the 2011-12 season at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in an attempt to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
“It (junior’s) really prepares you for the world championships, peaking for your tournament and wrestling perfect matches, making no mistakes, really having your head in the game, cutting your weight right, recovering after weigh ins.
“You literally have to do everything right because everyone else is,” Thielke continued. “If you don’t you are already fighting in a losing battle. No matter how good at wrestling you are if other people are doing everything that you are not, they are going to be ahead of you. You have to stack the odds in your favor as much as you can.”
For Thielke and the Wisconsin wrestling team, international experience is invaluable to his college success.
“Right now I am wrestling at the highest level in the entire world,” Thielke said. “NCAA’s is the highest level in the United States. I know I am training at a higher level, I know I am wrestling at a higher level and thinking at a higher level, just doing everything one step above that.
“It is going to be nice to relax and breathe, to come home and go to school and keep training from the world championships hopefully into an NCAA title.”
Head coach Barry Davis also sees the benefits of international experience.
“He is going to a different level,” Davis said of Thielke. “Last year wrestling at junior worlds and this year at senior worlds… he is going to get a lot of experience from it and in the long run it will help him out for his college season.”
I think he has really learned how to train. His training has gone from the junior level to senior level. I see a big change in him mentally and physically. It is going to be a great experience for him and will help out his college season.”
UWBadgers.com will provide updates throughout the international competition on Facebook and Twitter as well as a complete recap after the event.