U.S. wrestlers Kyle Dake and J’Den Cox became the first champions of the two new weight classes for men at the United World Wrestling World Championships at the Papp Laszlo Budapest Sportarena in Budapest (HUN).
Dake, who had wrestled in the shadow of four-time World Champion Jordan Burroughs, finally made the U.S. team and stormed through his bouts, winning 11-0, 11-0 and 13-0 in his 79 kg semi against Russia’s Akhmed Gadzhimagomedov. In the final, he out-fought Jabrayil Hasanov (AZE) with single points in each period for a 2-0 win. He ended the tournament outscoring his four opponents by 37-0!
“I feel like I wrestled really well,” said Dake, a four-time NCAA champ for Cornell. “I might have gotten a little too hyped last night. That was a huge match for me. This time, it was a different type of match. Stylistically, he was a little bit more reserved, and I was a little bit more reserved, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Cox also made history, but he’s no stranger to the medal rounds after winning bronze medals in the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 Worlds at 86 kg. This time, he moved up to 92 kg and had a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period in his final against Ivan Yankouski of Belarus.
In the second period, Yankouski tied it, but then lost a point by being unable to score in a shot-clock period and after Cox managed a late takedown, the final was 4-1.
“I feel weightless,” said Cox afterwards. “It’s awesome being on top of the ladder. Our team is doing so well, especially with the young talent and the guys who have been battling each other for years. Now we come out here and we get championship after championship after championship. We’re getting medals and titles, and that’s what we do. We’ve meshed as a team and it’s fun to be a part of this.”
The U.S. has some disappointments as well, with 2017 World silver medalist Tom Gilman finishing fifth at 57 kg and 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Champion Kyle Snyder having to settle for silver at 97 kg.
Snyder moved through his side of the bracket with 8-3, 10-0, 11-2 and 3-0 wins, to face 2016 Rio 86 kg champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia in the final. Snyder won the title last year at 97 kg over Sadulaev with a late score for a 6-5 victory. This time, it was different.
Sadulaev took a quick shot and scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead, then turned Snyder on his back and a pin was called at 1:11 of the first round. “Making it to the World finals is awesome,” said Snyder. “The finals ended quickly, so that stunk. Everybody knows that Sadulaev is a talented wrestler. He hit me in a good move, and it worked out well for him tonight.” This is a rivalry – now at 1-1 – which will only grow in the years to come.
After winning the men’s Freestyle team title last year, the U.S. ended up second in 2018, 178-150, to the Russian squad, which won four divisions, scored one silver and two bronze medals. The Americans also won seven medals: three gold, a silver and two bronzes, but the Russians scored points in all 10 weight classes, while the U.S. tallied points in eight.
Still, USA Wrestling communications chief Gary Abbott noted that the seven-medal performance in men’s Freestyle – albeit with two new weight classes – equals the second-best U.S. haul ever, with the 1979 and 1986 men’s squads and the 2003 women’s team. The U.S. record is eight medals, by the 1987 Worlds team.
The women’s Freestyle competition is underway and the U.S. has medals coming from Tamyra Mensah, who will fight for bronze at 68 kg, and 2012-14-15 World Champion Adeline Gray, at 76 kg, who will oppose reigning World Champion Yasemin Adar of Turkey in the final. In addition, Forrest Molinari has a chance to wrestle for a bronze medal at 65 kg.
It’s also worth noting that only Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili was able to repeat as World Champion in the men’s Freestyle competition. In the women’s Freestyle category, Japan’s Risako Kawai repeated her world title at 59 kg, after winning at 60 kg last year and in Rio in 2016 at 63 kg.
The remaining schedule:
∙ Women’s Freestyle: 24-25 October
∙ Men’s Greco-Roman: 25-26-27-28 October
NBC’s Olympic Channel has coverage scheduled daily of the UWW Worlds; summaries so far:
UWW World Championships
Budapest (HUN) ~ 20-28 October 2018
(Full results here)
-57 kg:1. Zavur Uguev (RUS); 2. Nurislam Sanayev (KAZ); 3. Suleman Atli (TUR) and Yuki Takahashi (JPN). Third: Atli d. Tom Gilman (USA), 5-4; Takahashi d. Reineri Andreu Ortega (CUB), 5-4. Final: Uguev d. Sanayev, 4-3.
-61 kg: 1. Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (CUB); 2. Gadzhimurad Rashidov (RUS); 3. Tuvshintulga Tumenbileg (MGL) and Joe Colon (USA). Third: Tumenbileg d. Beka Lomtadze (GEO), 6-3; Colon d. Mohammadbagher Esmaeil Yakhkeshi (IRI), 13-2. Final: Rodriguez d. Rashidov, 6-5.
-65 kg: 1. Takuto Otoguro (JPN); 2. Bajrang Bajrang (IND); 3. Alejandro Valdes Tobier (CUB) and Akhmed Chakaev (RUS). Third: Valdes Tobier d. Seung-Chul Lee (KOR), 10-0; Chakaev d. George Bucur (ROU), 9-4. Final: Otoguro d. Bajrang, 16-9.
-70 kg: 1. Magomedrasul Gazimegomedov (RUS); 2. Adam Batirov (BRN); 3. Zurabi Iakobishvili (GEO) and Franklin Maren Castillo (CUB). Third: Iakobishvili d. Byambadorj Bat Erdene (MGL), 10-0; Maren Castillo d, Andriy Kvyatkovskyy (UKR), 11-1. Final: Gazimagomedov d. Batirov, 7-6.
-74 kg: 1. Zaurbek Sidakov (RUS); 2. Avtandil Kentchadze (GEO); 3. Jordan Burroughs (USA) and Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (UZB). Third: Burroughs d. Chamizo, 4-4 (criteria); Abdurakhmonov d. Soner Demirtas (TUR), 3-2. Final: Sidakov d. Kentchadze, 2-2 (criteria).
-79 kg: 1. Kyle Dake (USA); 2. Jabrayil Hasanov (AZE); 3. Ali Shabanau (BLR) and Akhmed Gadzhimagomedov (RUS). Third: Shananu d. Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei (IRI), 8-8 (criteria); Gadzhimagomedov d. Davit Khutsishvili (GEO), 10-0. Final: Dake d. Hasanov, 2-0.
-86 kg: 1. David Taylor (USA); 2. Fatih Erdin (TUR); 3. Hassan Aliazam Yazdanicharati (IRI) and Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva (ESP). Third: Yazdanicharati d. Dauren Kurugliev (RUS), 11-5; Friev Naskidaeva (ESP) d. Gwanuk Kim (KOR), 7-2. Final: Taylor d. Erdin, 12-2.
-92 kg: 1. J’Den Cox (USA); 2. Ivan Yankouski (BLR); 3. Ali Karimimachiani (IRI) and Atsushi Matsumoto (JPN). Third: Karimimachiani d. Dato Marsagishvili (GEO), 12-1; Matsumoto d. Tortogtokh Luvsandorj (MGL), 6-5. Final: Cox d. Yankouski, 4-1.
–97 kg: 1. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (RUS); 2. Kyle Snyder (USA); 3. Elizbar Odikadze (GEO) and Abraham Contedo Ruano (ITA). Third: Odikadze d. Magomed Ibragimov (UZB); Conyedo Ruano d. Pavlo Oliinyk (HUN), 2-2 (criteria), Final: Sadulaev d. Snyder by pin, 1:11.
-125 kg: 1. Geno Petriashvili (GEO); 2. Zhiwei Deng (CHN); 3. Parviz Khodavirdi Hadibasmanj (IRI) and Nick Gwiazdowski (USA). Third: Hadibasmanj (IRI) d. Anzor Ruslanovitch Khizriev (RUS), 11-2; Gwiazdowski (USA) d. Sumit Sumit (IND), 7-2. Final: Petriashvili d. Zhiwei Deng (CHN), 6-0.
Team leaders (62 scored): 1.Russia, 178; 2. United States, 150; 3. Georgia, 105; 4. Cuba, 67; 5. Japan, 67; 6. Iran, 65; 7. Mongolia, 57; 8. Turkey, 53; 9. Azerbaijan, 44; 10. Belarus, 41.
-55 kg: 1. Mayu Mikaida (JPN); 2. Zaline Sidakova (BLR); 3. Myong Suk Jong (PRK) and Lianna Montero Herrers (CUB). Third: Jong d. Qi Zhang (CHN), 2-1; Montero Herrera d. Jacarra Winchester (USA), 5-4. Final: Mukaida d. Sidakova, 12-2.
-59 kg: 1. Risako Kawai (JPN); 2. Elif Yesilirmak (TUR); 3. Shoovdor Baatarjav (MGL) and Xingru Pei (CHN). Third: Baatarjav d. Alejandra Romero Bonilla (MEX), 4-2; Pei d. Svetlana Lipatova (RUS), 7-1. Final: Kawai d. Yesilirmak (TUR), 8-0.