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Post World Championships Update - IRTC

IRTC Members and Supporters,

We just got back from Bydgoszcz, Poland for the U23 World Championships and I just wanted to send out some key points from our trip so you could share in our experience. I hope you enjoy.

The “official” start to this journey was on November 20th. When most people were headed back home to enjoy time with friends and family for Thanksgiving we started our journey across the pond. But the real journey started 3.5 months before when preparations began for the trials and the subsequent world championships. It was known that in order for Isaiah to accomplish his very lofty goal of becoming a world champion we were going to have to be all encompassing with his training. I will save you a few hours of reading by omitting the details of the past few months but I do think we actively swept out each corner and can live with the satisfaction that the training was approached the correct way with the correct intentions.

Back to the trip: On November 20th we took off from Champaign and after a couple plane rides and a 4 hour bus ride we arrived in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Since he was going to be the last day of competition he had a couple days to train, make weight, and get acclimated to the climate and the time zone. I feel that the USA Wrestling staff did a great job of making sure all of the athletes had exactly what they needed to be successful. I think we all owe Teague Moore, Bill Zadick, Paul Kieblesz and Joe Russell a sincere thank you for taking care of all of the details from training facilities to dinner plans. They made sure everything was in order so the athletes could focus solely on doing well in the tournament. They even arranged for us to have a Thanksgiving meal together, complete with turkey and stuffing. They are all amazing individuals and are big reasons why USA Wrestling has gained so much momentum the last few years.

I think if you are reading this you already understand that Isaiah took 5th in the tournament. He dropped a very close and hard fought match to Russia's Gadzhi Nabiev, the eventual champ, 6-5 in the first round. After that match he defeated the Lithuanian and the Kazakhstan wrestlers, both by technical fall, to reach the bronze medal match. In the bronze medal match Isaiah was defeated by the European Champion Kentchadze from the Republic of Georgia. Most of the time in our sport we read results and they tell the majority of the story. I would say that is not the case with this trip. Everything from the travel, to the food, to the opponents, to the style and flow of the tournament were all new to Isaiah. While I can’t say that it went perfect I can say that he approached each step of the way with a perfect attitude. It is not easy to say that you want to be a world champion, a full time student, a captain of a big ten wrestling team and all the while doing everything possible to end at the top of the podium in March. But it is unfathomably not easy to do all of those things when you have such an unwavering internal expectation of your effort and results.

We have a strong role model for the youth of Illinois in Isaiah Martinez. He is a consummate worker, a student of the sport and a person with a steadfast value system that guides him to academic and athletic success. Elite athletes don’t become elite by winning they become elite by holding themselves to a superior standard than their competitors. While he didn't get the shiny gold medal that he wanted, he did get something that will allow him to build himself up for next time and that is more valuable for him at this point in his career.

Next up for the IRTC is the World Club Cup in Tehran, Iran next week. Isaiah will be competing for Titan Mercury Wrestling Club and will get to compete against four of the best wrestlers in the world while competing with some of the best wrestlers in America. After the World Club Cup, we will return for a few weeks and then IRTC athlete Zane Richards will be off to Vladikavkaz, Russia for a three week training camp that will officially start his bid for the 2018 USA World Team.

Finally, I want to send a special thank you to all that have joined the Illinois Regional Training Center by donating and I encourage anyone that hasn’t to please do so. Without the dedication from our loyal members, we would not be able to give these athletes the best training and competition opportunities possible.


Thank you all and until next time,


Coach Medlin

Website - www.illinoisrtc.com
Donation Page - click HERE
Twitter - @illiniRTC
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