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Gold medalists Burroughs and Snyder lead USA to historic Worlds team title

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Updated: August 26, 2017

There is no question that Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder are considered the strength of the United States men’s freestyle team and both Americans came through as each won gold medals at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, Saturday … and helped the USA capture its first World team championship since 1995.

The 1995 Worlds, which consisted of 10 weight classes, marked the last time the United States men’s freestyle team won six World medals. (The USA record for World medals is 7, set in 1979 and duplicated in both 1986 and ’87.)

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Snyder’s second World championship — following a 2015 World and a 2016 Olympic gold medal — provided an exciting end to this year’s World championships as the two-time NCAA champion and senior at Ohio State scored the deciding takedown with 24 seconds left to edge Russia’s equally-talented World and Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev, 6-5, in the 97-kilogram final.

Both wrestlers scored takedowns and step-outs in the first period before the Russian scored a takedown at the 3:54 mark to take a 5-3 lead. Snyder cut that margin to 5-4 on a stepout with 40 seconds left, then spun around for the gold-medal-deciding takedown 14 seconds later.

Burroughs, who won three previous Worlds (2011, ’13, ’15) and a 2012 Olympic gold medal may have produced his finest World championship yet as he twice rallied to beat Russia’s Khetik Tsabolov, 9-6, for the 74-kilogram title.

Burroughs, who also needed to rally to beat both Ali Shabanau of Belarus in a first-round match and Bekzod Abdurakhmonov of Uzbekistan in the semifinals, gave up two takedowns in the first 1:35 to trail the Russian 6-4. But the former NCAA champion from Nebraska scored a two-point leglace at the end of the first period and a step-out to lead 5-4 at the 3:52 mark. The Russian battled back to score a third takedown and led 6-5 with 4:30 left before Burroughs scored two takedowns in the final minute for the championship.

Green, who also earned All-American honors at Nebraska, and captured a World bronze medal in 2015, settled for a silver medal at 70 kilograms, when he could not match the quickness of World champion Frank Chamizo of Italy. Chamizo, a 2015 World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist at 65 kilos, scored three of his four takedowns in the second period to win 8-0 and several times slipped out of takedown attempts by Green.

On Friday, the first day of the Worlds for men’s freestyle, three Americans also claimed medals: a silver by Thomas Gilman at 57 kilograms, and a bronze by both J’den Cox (86k) and Nick Gwiazdowski (125k).

Gilman, the former NCAA All-American from Iowa who was competing in his first Worlds, scored plenty of points to reach the finals, but was shutout by Yuki Takahashi of Japan, 6-0.

“I was a little racy, as we say,” said Gilman, who got to Takahashi’s legs several times, but could not score. The final points by the Japanese wrestler came when it appeared that Gilman might score a four-pointer in the final 30 seconds but lost control and gave up a takedown. “I didn’t score on any of his attacks or his reattack. I can only wrestle so hard against the best guys in the world. I have to wrestle smart, too.”

Cox, a three-time NCAA champ and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, came back to finish third with an 8-0 shutout vs. Mihail Petrov Ganev of Bulgaria, after Cox got thrown to his back and lost 6-3 in the semifinals to Boris Makoev of Slovakia.

“Today was awful for me,” said Cox. “I wrestled really bad. My body was feeling bad, I was hurting. No excuses though. When I show up to the mat, I am ready to go. Sometimes, the other guys out did me in the battles. At the end of the day, I had fun.”

Gwiazdowski, the two-time NCAA champ from NC State, was also competing in his first Worlds and defeated Zolboo Natsagsuren of Mongolia, 5-1, in the bronze-medal bout.

“At the World Championships, it feels good leaving with something,” said Gwiazdowski. “I don’t know if it was what the staff was telling me and I started believing it, or if it was true. But every day they said I was looking good. I don’t know about that. But it showed out there in the ones I won. I did good.”

In the other two weights, where the United States did not place, Logan Stieber, the 2016 World champ and four-time NCAA champ from Ohio State, went 1-2 at 61 kilograms, while current Penn State senior Zain Retherford, a two-time NCAA champion and 2017 Hodge winner competing in his first Worlds, split two bouts at 65 kilograms.

 

United States’ Men’s Freestyle World Championship Results

 

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Thomas Gilman, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), silver medal

Round 1 — dec. Andrii Yatsenko (Ukraine), 5-2

Round 2 — dec. Reza Ahmadali Atrinagharchi (Iran), 3-0

Quarterfinal — won by TF over Nodirjon Safarov (Uzbekistan), 12-1

Semifinal — dec. Hakjin Jong (People`s Republic of Korea), 5-4

Gold Medal — lost to Yuki Takahashi (Japan), 6-0

 

61 kg/134 lbs. – Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), dnp

Round 2 — lost by TF to Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Russia), 11-0

Repechage 1 — won by TF over Jozsef Molnar (Hungary), 10-0

Repechage 2 — lost by TF to Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia), 10-0

 

65 kg/143 lbs. – Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), dnp

Round 1 — won by TF over David Habat (Slovenia), 10-0

Round 2 — lost to Adam Batirov (Bahrain), 6-4

 

70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)

Round 2 — dec. Nestor Joaquin Tafur Barrios (Colombia), 8-0

Quarterfinal — dec. Zurabi Erbotsonashvili (Georgia), 3-2

Semifinal — dec. Yuhi Fujinami (Japan), 5-3

Gold Medal — lost to Frank Chamizo Marquez (Italy), 8-0

 

74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska RTC)

Round 1 — dec. Ali Shabanau (Belarus), 7-5

Round 2 — won by TF over Sohsuke Takatani (Japan), 12-2

Quarterfinal — won by TF over Zelimkhan Khadjiev (France), 13-2

Semifinal — dec. Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan), 6-5

Gold Medal — dec. Khetik Tsabolov (Russia), 9-6

 

86 kg/189 lbs. – J’den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC/Missouri WF), bronze

Round 2 — dec. Ahmed Ruslanovic Dudarov (Germany), 6-1

Round 3 — dec. Ville Tapani Heino (Finland), 9-6

Quarterfinal — dec. Zbigniew Mateusz Baranowski (Poland), 3-2

Semifinal — lost to Boris Makoev (Slovakia), 6-3

Bronze Medal — dec. Mihail Petrov Ganev (Bulgaria), 8-0

 

97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)

Round 2 — won by TF over Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan), 10-0

Quarterfinal — won by TF over Naoya Akaguma (Japan), 10-0

Semifinal — dec. Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan), 9-2

Gold Medal — dec. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia), 6-5

 

125 kg/275 lbs. – Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack WC), bronze medal

Round 1 — won by TF over Alexandr Romanov (Moldova), 10-0

Round 2 — dec. Daniel Ligeti (Hungary), 10-1

Quarterfinal — dec. Yadollah M Mohebi (Iran), 5-4

Semifinal — lost by TF to Taha Akgul (Turkey), 10-0

Bronze Medal — dec. Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia), 5-1

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