WRESTLING: Taylor headlines sensational start for U.S. at UWW Worlds

David Taylor: World Champion!

A world championship for David Taylor and bronze medals for Joe Colon, Jordan Burroughs and Nick Gwiazdowski are just the start of a tremendous performance by the United States to open the United World Wrestling World Championships at the Papp Laszlo Budapest Sportarena in Budapest (HUN).

The American squad won the men’s Freestyle team title last year and thus far, the additional two weight classes have worked to the U.S.’s advantage as the squad already has three more medals possibly coming on Monday! The highlights:

• David Taylor’s path to the World Championships was always blocked by another American star, whether Burroughs or Kyle Snyder or someone else. With the new weight classes, he found his place at 86 kg and didn’t miss his opportunity.

No problem that he had to face Iran’s Rio Olympic champ Hassan Yazdani in the first match, winning 11-6, and the went on to win four more matches for the world title. “I’ve wanted this for a long time,” he said. “I’m a World Champion, and it feels really good! I’m excited to be a part of this team and to be a part of this team race. It’s exciting to be able to win this individually and to be contributing to what could be one of the best team races of all time. It’s super exciting.”

• At 74 kg, Jordan Burroughs was going for his fifth world title, but was upset by Russia’s Zaurbek Sidakov, 6-5, in his quarterfinals match. But Burroughs came back to club Bulgaria’s Miroslav Kirov, 9-0, in the repechage and then defeated Italy’s two-time World Champion, Frank Chamizo on criteria after a 4-4 tie. It’s Burroughs’ second Worlds bronze; he also won one in 2014. Sidakov went on to win the title in this class.

• Joe Colon was a replacement for the injured Nahson Garrett at 61 kg, but wrestled brilliantly, losing only to eventual champion Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (CUB) and then winning the bronze medal with a 13-2 technical fall thrashing of Mohammadbagher Yakhkeshi (IRI).

• Heavyweight Nick Gwiazdowski was the reigning bronze medalist and scored another bronze in the 125 kg division. He lost in the quarterfinals to Zhiwei Deng (CHN), 5-4, who ended up winning the silver medal in the class. Gwiazdowski dispensed with Amar Dheshi of Canada (9-0) and went on to claim bronze by defeating Sumit Sumit (IND) by a 7-2 score.

In addition, the U.S. has more medals coming:

• The 2017 World silver medalist, Tom Gilman, will wrestle for bronze at 57 kg;

• Kyle Dake goes for the gold medal at 79 kg – another new weight class – against Jabrayil Hasanov (AZE);

• J’Den Cox will also wrestle for the world title against Ivan Yankouski (BLR) at 92 kg.

Still to come is the 97 kg class, in which American Kyle Snyder is the reigning Olympic and World Champion. The U.S. has the lead, 70-65, over Russia in the team race, but the situation is far from decided. Georgia is third at 55 and Iran has 40.

It’s also worth noting that so far, only Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili has repeated his world title from 2017. The remaining schedule:

• Men’s Freestyle: 22-23 October
• Women’s Freestyle: 22-23-24-25 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)


-61 kg: 1. Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (CUB); 2. Gadzhimurad Rashidov (RUS); 3. Tuvshintulga Tumenbileg (MGL) and Joe Colon (USA). Final: Rodriguez d. Rashidov, 6-5; Third: Tumenbileg d. Beka Lomtadze (GEO), 6-3; Colon d. Mohammadbagher Esmaeil Yakhkeshi (IRI), 13-2.

-74 kg: 1. Zaurbek Sidakov (RUS); 2. Avtandil Kentchadze (GEO); 3. Jordan Burroughs (USA) and Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (UZB). Final: Sidakov d. Kentchadze, 2-2 (criteria); Third: Burroughs d. Chamizo, 4-4 (criteria); Abdurakhmonov d. Soner Demirtas (TUR), 3-2.

-86 kg: 1. David Taylor (USA); 2. Fatih Erdin (TUR); 3. Hassan Aliazam Yazdanicharati (IRI) and Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva (ESP). Final: Taylor d. Erdin, 12-2; Third: Yazdanicharati d. Dauren Kurugliev (RUS), 11-5; Friev Naskidaeva (ESP) d. Gwanuk Kim (KOR), 7-2.

-125 kg: 1. Geno Petriashvili (GEO); 2. Zhiwei Deng (CHN); 3. Parviz Khodavirdi Hadibasmanj (IRI) and Nick Gwiazdowski (USA). Final: Petriashvili d. Zhiwei Deng (CHN), 6-0; Third: Hadibasmanj (IRI) d. Anzor Ruslanovitch Khizriev (RUS), 11-2; Gwiazdowski (USA) d. Sumit Sumit (IND), 7-2.