Jake weighed-in and received his draw today. He will open with Cuba (Daniel Humberto) and will then draw into the winner of the Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan) vs. Ibrahim Bolukbasi (Turkey) match. Sharifov was the 2011 World Champion and Jake's side of the bracket is loaded with past World and Olympic medalists. The complete bracket for 84 kg can be found here.
The atmosphere in the ExCeL Center was second-to-none today. We had a lot of the US group with us including our very own Jason Welch and his father. Watching the Olympic quarterfinals and semifinals while sitting next to Jason Welch and his dad (John) was a great experience. We were able to watch Jordan Burroughs wrestle Canadian Matt Gentry (2004 NCAA Champion) in a hard-fought match and see Burroughs qualify for the gold-medal match at 74 kg. Although Jake was busy preparing for his own day, I am sure that the US results will get him excited.
Jake is planning on grabbing dinner with his parents (Jim and Kelly Herbert) this evening. The current count of Herbert supporters was around 60 and is growing. Former NU wrestler and assistant coach Will Durkee made the trip out to watch Jake as did 2011 All-American Andrew Nadhir. As mentioned before, Jason Welch and his father are in London along with current NU wrestler David Helmer. The group also includes 2008 NU graduate Nick Hayes, who is accompanied by his parents (Curt and Kathy), 2005 Big Ten Champion Matt Delguyd also is in town with his brother Nick. The Northwestern contingent is strong and it will help Jake as he competes against the world's best.
The initial walk into the arena is crazy with about six different sports all going on in the ExCeL Center. As usual, the wrestling fans are a very unique group and most of them know exactly what is going on. Intermingled in this group are the people from the UK who are cheering on each and every wrestler. I am not sure if they know the scoring system, but they seem to be enjoying the experience.
Jake's big day is less than 24 hours away and we are all excited to watch him go for gold.
For those at home, there are a number of ways to follow Jake live. Here are a few links to bookmark for Saturday morning.
- www.NBCOlympics.com - Complete listing of Saturday's webstream links for the wrestling competition
- www.London2012.com Aug. 11 Schedule - Direct link to complete schedule and results for Jake's matches
Follow @USAWrestling and @Flowrestling. Both accounts have been providing bout-by-bout coverage live from London.