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By Vinay Siwach, UWW Wrestling
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a United World Wrestling release.
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (November 28) — After a forced delay of two years, United World Wrestling’s end-of-year awards are back … and American wrestlers Thomas Gilman, Kyle Dake, Jordan Burroughs and David Taylor were UWW point leaders at their weight classes.
For the first time, wrestlers of all three styles and 30 weight categories will receive prize money with the top-ranked wrestler getting $10,000 followed by $7,000 for the second-placed wrestler and $3,000 for the third-ranked wrestler. Previously the Ranking Series award allocation went to the top three overall point-getters in each style.
Making a significant jump from the 2019 prize money, which was around $200,000, the UWW Bureau approved a generous $600,000 prize package at the beginning of the season.
The 2021 prize money combines the amount that was reserved for 2020 but was not distributed due to the impact COVID-19 had on the competition.
This season was unlike any other with Olympics and World Championships in the same year apart from the other ranking events which allowed wrestlers to collect ranking points. The point distributions are unchanged for all events except the Olympic Games, where medalists earned 20 percent more than they did for performances at the 2021 World Championships. All Tokyo Games gold medalists will get 10 additional points, silver will get 6 additional points and bronze will be awarded 3 additional points.
The following is a breakdown of American point winners and where they placed at their weight classes.
57kg – 1. Thomas Gilman (USA) 86 points
In the 2021 season, Gilman participated in only two ranking events – Olympics and Worlds – and collected 26 (15 + 3 + 8) points from Tokyo for his bronze medal and 60 (50 + 10) from Oslo for his gold medal.
61kg – 2. Daton Fix (USA) 40 points
Fix was the silver medalist at the Worlds.
70kg – 2. Alec Pantaleo (USA) 46 points
Pantaleo Alec was the runaway leader in the 70kg rankings but his absence from the World Championships in Oslo hindered his chances of winning $10,000. Before Oslo, the USA wrestler had accumulated 46 points by winning the gold medal at Matteo Pellicone (14 points), Pan Am Championships (18 points) and Poland Open (14 points). But he failed to make the USA team for Oslo after suffering an injury against Ryan Deakin (USA) in the Team Trials, stopping from a chance at adding any more points.
74kg – 1. Kyle Dake (USA), 106 points
Dake is one of three top-ranked point-getters across 10 freestyle weight classes, who managed to accumulate more than 100 points in the series. He took the top spot at 74kg after winning the gold medal at the World Championships, bronze at the Olympics and a senior Pan Am title.
The three-time world champion had 28 points from the Olympics as he finished with a bronze medal and 18 for the Pan Am gold medal. But he got 60 points for the gold medal at the World Championships which helped him move ahead of Olympic champion Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia) and Frank Chamizo (Italy).
“I’ll have to check with my wife and see what we have to buy,” Dake said after winning the gold in Oslo.
79kg – 1. Jordan Burroughs (USA), 60 points
If Burroughs absence from the 74kg rankings left the wrestling fans surprised, it is because he wrestled at 79kg internationally for the first time in his career. And he took the top spot instantly.
Winning his fifth world title in Oslo, Burroughs once again assured his fans that he is far from finished. His gold medal gave him 60 points and $10,000 in winnings.
86kg – 1. David Taylor (USA), 126 points
Taylor and Hassan Yazdani (Iran) took their rivalry to the next level with arguably the top bout of the Olympics (won by Taylor), then Yazdani avenging that loss in Oslo.. They were neck-to-neck in the rankings but it was Taylor who edged Yazdani by two points to be the top-ranked wrestler in the weight class with 126 points as his rival finished with 124 points.
Yazdani led mid-year as his gold at the Asian Championships gave him 20 points while Taylor’s Pan Am title was worth only 18 points. But at the Olympics, Taylor defeated Yazdani with a late takedown and the gold gave him 68 points while Yazdani got 44 points.
The medals were reversed in Oslo as Yazdani took home a gold and 50 points and the silver for Taylor fetched him 40 points.
97kg – 2. Kyle Snyder (USA), 102 points
With 128 points in just two tournaments, Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev locked up the top position at 97kg against his arch-rival Kyle Snyder (USA) who earned 102 points in three tournaments.
The two met in the Olympics and World Championships finals and Sadulaev came out on top both times which proved to be the difference between the two super-stars.
Sadulaev defeated Snyder 6-3 at the Olympics and collected 68 points for the gold medal. He then added 60 more points with another gold in Oslo.
Snyder had 18 points from his Pan Am gold before the Olympics where he got 44 points for his silver medal. He added 40 more from the silver in Oslo to sit at 102 points.
For the convenience of the fans, here’s a breakdown of how the points are distributed.