PECS, HUNGARY – Brown All-American wrestler Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) took home a bronze medal in the 86 kg freestyle at the 11th World University Wrestling Championship in Hungary on Wednesday. Representing Israel, Bernstein fell in the opening match to eventual-champion Piotr Ianulov of Moldova but rebounded with two wins in the repechage to tie for third place.
Bernstein surrendered to Ianulov 11-1 in opening round action and went on to face Naoya Akaguma of Japan in the wrestlebacks. Bernstein opened up a 4-3 first period lead into a 6-3 victory with two points in the second frame. Moving on to the repechage finals, Bernstein took on Russia's Oleg Ktsoev and battled for nine second-period points to run away with the 13-6 victory.
A rising senior captain, Bernstein earned a silver medal at the 2013 Junior Wrestling World Championships while representing Israel in Sofia, Bulgaria. Before that, he wrestled for the United States at the 2013 World Maccabiah Games, claiming a gold medal in freestyle and silver in Greco-Roman.
Co-winner of Brown's 2014 Fritz Pollard Trophy presented to the outstanding male varsity athlete of the year, Bernstein assembled one of the finest seasons in Brown wrestling history when he became the program's fourth All-American and its first in 16 years. As the 12th seed, he placed eighth in the 184-pound weight class at the NCAA Championships to earn a spot on the podium and complete the 2014 season with a 36-11 record, just one win shy of tying Brown's single-season record for victories.