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Wrestling at Tokyo 2020: David Taylor wins Gold; Maroulis and Gilman claim Bronze

In one of the most anticipated matches of the Olympic Games, David Taylor of the US wrestled two-time World Champion and 2016 Olympic Champion Hassan Yazdani of Iran at 86 kg.

In the first minute of the match, the referees placed Taylor on the thirty-second shot clock. Unable to score, Yazdani took a 1–0 lead into the break. Taylor was hit with a caution penalty in the second period, which added another point to Yazdani’s lead. Taylor answered with a leg attack to take a 2–2 lead on criteria. Yazdani forced a step out late in the second to take a 3–2 lead. With short time left, Taylor pummeled a left-hand underhook. Yazdani posts his hand on Taylor’s shoulder to clear the tie. However, the underhook set the post up perfectly. Taylor snapped his hands down and cleared the post, giving him free entry to attack. Taylor exploded through with a double leg, an attack that Taylor isn’t known for, securing the takedown and his first Olympic Gold Medal.

After his repêchage win over Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan, Thomas Gilman earned a spot in the 57 kg Bronze Medal match against Reza Arti of Iran. Gilman scored on three different single-leg takedowns and only gave up a single point off a step out to win his first Olympic Medal 9–1. Gilman, an NCAA Champion from the University of Iowa, recently moved to Penn State’s Nittany Lion Wrestling Club program to train with Cael Sanderson and Casey Cunningham. Taylor, a Penn State alum, also trains with the NLWC, giving the club two Olympic Medals.

2016 Olympic Champion Helen Maroulis rebounded from her heartbreaking and controversial loss to Kawai of Japan. Maroulis dominated Khongorzul Boldsaikhan of Mongolia 11–0. Since winning the Games in 2016, Maroulis has openly talked about her concussions and mental health struggles. Her Bronze Medal win is a massive step for a competitor who many thought was done in the years leading up to the Olympics.

Myles Amine, who wrestles for the University of Michigan claimed the Bronze for San Marino at 86 kg.

Gable Stevenson

In last night’s opening rounds, 2021 Heavyweight NCAA Champion Gable Steveson of the University of Minnesota earned an opening-round technical superiority over Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan. Steveson, who has attracted interest from WWE, faced the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Taha Akgul of Turkey in the quarterfinals. The 21-year-old Steveson casually scored 8 points, all on takedowns, on Akgul, while giving up zero. In the semis, Steveson won 5-0 over Mönkhtöriin Lkhagvagerel of Mongolia. The win secured his position in tomorrow morning’s 130 kg Gold Medal match against Georgia’s three-time World Champion Geno Petriashvili.

At 74 kg, two-time World Champion Kyle Dake was upset in the quarterfinals by Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau of Belarus 11–0. Shockingly, Kadzimahamedau defeated two-time World Champion Frank Chamizo, Italian-by-way-of-Cuba. Chamizo and Jordan Burroughs competed in a storied rivalry that many expected to play out in these games. Burroughs loss to Dake in the Olympic Trials put a stop to that. Kadzimahamedau will now face two-time World Champion Zaurbek Sidakov of the Russian Olympic Committee in the Gold Medal match. Kadzimahamedau’s win over Chamizo pulls Dake back into repechage, where he’ll have to defeat Geandry Garzón of Cuba to face Chamizo for the Bronze.

Jacarra Winchester, 53 kg, defeated Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia 7-0 before falling to Pang Qianyu of China 6–2 in the quarters. Qianyu’s victory over Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus pulls Winchester back into the repechage. Winchester will have to defeat Laura Hérin of Cuba to face Kaladzinskaya for Bronze.

Tonight, Kyle Snyder, two-time World Champion at 97 kg, begins his quest for his second Olympic Gold. Standing in his way is four-time World Champion and another 2016 Olympic Champion at 86 kg Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia. The two are no strangers to each other, having split matches in previous meetings. Sadulaev has to get through Azerbaijani Sharif Sharifov, who won Gold in London in 2012 in the first round. No weight class is so stacked with talent as 97 kg.

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