Gophers senior Dustin Schlatter had a rough day on Wednesday at the World Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark.
Schlatter, an NCAA champion as a freshman and a three-time All-America finisher, narrowly lost his opening match in the round of 32.
Ramesh Kumar of India edged Schlatter 0-1, 2-0, 1-1 at 163 pounds in the freestyle competition. Even though the third period ended in a tie, Kumar advanced because he scored the last point.
Kumar was an experienced first opponent. He finished third in the Asian Championship in May and fourth in the 2004 Olympics.
After his loss, at about 7 a.m. Minneapolis time, Schlatter had to hope Kumar reached the final for a spot in the consolation bracket. He nearly did.
Kumar won his next two matches but then was pinned by Chamsulvara Chamsulvaraev of Azerbaijan in 1:21 in the semifinals. Kumar had to settle for one of the two bronze medals that were awarded.
Gophers coach J Robinson, who was in Herning with two of his assistants, has said he will give Schlatter at least a month off now before he joins the team for preseason training. The Gophers’ first competition is not until mid-November.
Schlatter red-shirted last season to heal from injuries and try to qualify for the U.S. freestyle team competing in these World Championships.