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Best in the World

Photo: Tony Rotundo Wrestlers are Warrirors 

Photo: Tony Rotundo Wrestlers are Warrirors 

They don't technically keep team scores in the Olympics, but the 1995 Men's Freestyle team that finished in 1st for all intents and purposes dominated the 1996 Olympics. Since then, it's been a long, troubling, and often strange road for USA Wrestling to get back on top of the Wrestling world. 

As if written in a script, it all came down to Kyle Snyder vs Abdulrashid Sadulaev for which country of their's would win the 2017 team title. Sadulaev struck first but both men traded scores as they were in uncharted territory of wrestling someone as strong and fast. With 30 seconds left, Snyder was able to get Sadulaev to the mat and spin behind for the score to win one of the most lauded matchups in Wrestling history and return the long-awaited team title back to America. 

USA Wrestling will fly home a lot heavier than when they arrived earning 6 medals, the most since 1995. Jordan Burroughs returned to the top of the podium after the heartbreak at the 2016 Olympics. He actually gave up the first takedown in all 5 matches, but found his timing on his shots to be unstoppable when he needed to be. The king is back on top and gets World/Olympic title number 5. 

Thomas Gilman completed his improbable and amazing summer with a silver medal, storming to the finals with incredible wins over Iran and North Korea. His length and ability to hit a deep single from space kept his opponents from getting to their own offense. It was USA's first medal at 57 kg since 2008. 

James Green earned his second medal when he made the finals on Saturday. Green had great wins over Georgia and Japan, but was unable to match the amazing movement from Frank Chamizo (Italy) in the finals. One thing is for sure, James Green is without doubt one of the best in the world. 

J'Den Cox expanded on his Olympic Bronze with a bronze in Paris this week. It was the first time Cox competed since the trials when he appeared to significantly hurt his knee. There were a lot of slow starts for J'Den and wasn't able to mount a comeback in the semis after giving up an early 4-point fireman. However, J'Den finished the day with an impressive 8-0 win for bronze over the Bulgarian who was a 2010 World Champion. 

Nick Gwiazdowski got a medal on his first appearance in the World Championships, taking over the heavyweight mantle in this quad for the retired Tervel Dlagnev. His attacks and level changes kept the big men off balance throughout the day and it was certainly an impressive feat to walk away with a bronze medal in his debut. 

It's sure fun to watch USA win in anything, but the action this week was incredible and impossible to cover all of it here. Can't wait for 2018 already!

At Paris, France, August 26

Men’s freestyle results

65 kg/143 lbs. 
Gold - Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia)
Silver - Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Poland)
Bronze –Alan Gogaev (Russia) 
Bronze –Alejandro Valdes Tobier (Cuba) 
5th - Mustafa Kaya (Turkey)
5th - Azamat Nurykau (Belarus)
7th - Adam Batirov (Bahrain)
8th - Franklin Gomez Matos (Puerto Rico)
9th - Aghahuseyn Mustafayev (Azerbaijan)
10th - Meisam Nasiri (Iran) 
Gold - Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia) dec. Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Poland), 2-1
Bronze –Alan Gogaev (Russia) dec. Mustafa Kaya (Turkey), 8-2
Bronze –Alejandro Valdes Tobier (Cuba) dec. Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 4-2

70 kg/154 lbs. 
Gold - Frank Chamizo Marquez (Italy)
Silver - James Green (United States)
Bronze –Yuhi Fujinami (Japan) 
Bronze – Akzurek Tanatarov (Kazakhstan) 
5th - Zurabi Erbotsonashvili (Georgia)
5th - Yakup Gor (Turkey)
7th - Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov (Russia)
8th - Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran)
9th - Adrian Ionut Moise (Romania)
10th - Ikhtiyor Navruzov (Uzbekistan)
Gold - Frank Chamizo Marquez (Italy) dec. James Green (United States), 8-0
Bronze –Yuhi Fujinami (Japan) tech. fall Zurabi Erbotsonashvili (Georgia), 11-0
Bronze – Akzurek Tanatarov (Kazakhstan) dec. Yakup Gor (Turkey), 4-2

74 kg/163 lbs. 
Gold - Jordan Burroughs (United States)
Silver - Khetik Tsabolov (Russia)
Bronze – Soener Demirtas (Turkey) 
Bronze – Ali Shabanau (Belarus) dec.
5th - Yabrail Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 5-0
5th - Bekzod Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan), 8-4
7th - Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba)
8th - Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)
9th - Zelimkhan Khadiev (France)
10th - Hanoc Rachamin (Israel)
Gold - Jordan Burroughs (United States) dec. Khetik Tsabolov (Russia), 9-6
Bronze – Soener Demirtas (Turkey) dec. Yabrail Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 5-0
Bronze – Ali Shabanau (Belarus) dec. Bekzod Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan), 8-4

97 kg/213 lbs. 
Gold - Kyle Snyder (United States)
Silver - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia)
Bronze – Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan) 
Bronze – Georgi Ketoev (Armenia)
5th - Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia)
5th - Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan)
7th - Nicolai Ceban (Moldova)
8th - Jaegang Kim (Korea)
9th - Satywart Kadian (India)
10th - Magomedgadji Nurov (FYR Macedonia)
Gold - Kyle Snyder (United States) dec. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia), 6-5
Bronze – Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan) dec. Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan), 3-2
Bronze – Georgi Ketoev (Armenia) dec. Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia), 2-2

U.S. men’s freestyle performance on Sunday

65 kg/143 lbs. - Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), dnp/11th
WIN David Habat (Slovenia), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Adam Batirov (Bahrain), 6-4

70 kg/154 lbs. - James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC), silver medal
WIN Nestor Taffur (Colombia), 8-0
WIN Zurabi Erbotsonashvili (Georgia), 3-2
WIN Yuhi Fujinami (Japan)
LOSS Frank Chamizo (Italy),8-0

74 kg/163 lbs. - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska RTC), gold medal
WIN Ali Shabanau (Belarus), 7-5
WIN Sosuhe Takatani (Japan), tech. fall 12-2
WIN Zelimkhan Khadjiev (France), tech fall 13-2
WIN Khetik Tsabalov (Russia), 9-6

97 kg/213 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), gold medal
WIN Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Naoya Akaguma (Japan), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan), 9-2
WIN Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia), 6-5

Top 10 Team Standings
1.United States, 54
2.Russia, 53
3. Georgia, 40
4. Turkey, 39
5. Azerbaijan, 32
6. Japan, 28
7. Cuba, 23
8. Kazakhstan, 18
9. Iran, 16
10. Armenia, 16

At Paris, France, August 25

Men’s freestyle results

57 kg/125.5 lbs. 
Gold - Yuki Takahashi (Japan)
Silver - Thomas Gilman (USA)
Bronze –Andrey Yatsenko (Ukraine)
Bronze – Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia)
5th - Hak-Jin Jong (North Korea)
5th - Vladimer Dubov (Bulgaria)
7th - Sandeep Tomar (India) 
8th - Nodirjon Safarov (Uzbekistan)
9th - Sunggwon Kim (Korea)
10th - Givi Davidovi (Italy)
Gold - Yuki Takahashi (Japan) dec. Thomas Gilman (USA), 6-0
Bronze –Andrey Yatsenko (Ukraine) tech. fall Hak-Jin Jong (North Korea), 12-2
Bronze – Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia) dec. Vladimer Dubov (Bulgaria), 9-2

61 kg/134 lbs. 
Gold - Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Russia)
Bronze –Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia) 
Bronze – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba)
5th - Cengizhan Erdogan (Turkey), 3-0
5th - Rinya Nakamura (Japan), 10-0
7th - Daulet Niyazbekov (Kazakhstan)
8th - Ivan Guidea (Romania)
9th - Mykola Bolotnjuk (Slovakia)
10th - Ivan Bileichuk (Ukraine)
Gold - Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan) pin Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Russia), 5:31
Bronze –Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia) dec. Cengizhan Erdogan (Turkey), 3-0
Bronze – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) tech. fall Rinya Nakamura (Japan), 10-0

86 kg/189 lbs. 
Gold - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran)
Silver - Boris Makoev (Slovakia)
Bronze –Vladislav Valiev (Russia) 
Bronze – J’den Cox (United States)
5th - Aleksander Gostiev (Azerbaijan)
5th - Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria)
7th - Selim Yasar (Turkey)
8th - Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba)
9th - Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)
10th - Piotr Ianulov (Moldova) 
Gold - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) tech. fall Boris Makoev (Slovakia), 10-0
Bronze –Vladislav Valiev (Russia) dec. Aleksander Gostiev (Azerbaijan), 3-1
Bronze – J’den Cox (United States) dec. Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria), 8-0

125 kg/275 lbs. 
Gold - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)
Silver - Taha Akgul (Turkey)
Bronze –Nick Gwiazdowski (United States) 
Bronze –Levan Berianidze (Armenia)
5th - Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia)
5th - Anzor Khizriev (Russia)
7th - Korey Jarvis (Canada)
8th - Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan)
9th - Yadollah Mohebi (Iran)
10th - Taiki Yamamoto (Japan)
Gold - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) dec. Taha Akgul (Turkey), 10-8
Bronze –Nick Gwiazdowski (United States) dec. Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia), 6-1
Bronze –Levan Berianidze (Armenia) dec. Anzor Khizriev (Russia), 3-0

U.S. performances

57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Thomas Gilman, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), silver medal
WIN Andrey Yatsenko (Ukraine), 5-2
WIN Reza Ahmad Atrinagharchi (Iran), 3-0
WIN Nadirjon Safarov (Uzbekistan), tech. fall 12-1
WIN Hakjin Jong (North Korea), 5-4
LOSS Yuki Takahashi (Japan), 6-0

61 kg/134 lbs. - Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), dnp/12th
LOSS Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Russia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Joszef Molnar (Hungary), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia), tech fall, 10-0

86 kg/189 lbs. - J’den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC/Missouri WF), bronze medal
WIN Ahmed Dudarov (Germany), 6-1
WIN Ville Tapa Heino (Finland), 9-6
WIN Zbigniew Baranoski (Poland), 3-2
LOSS Boris Makoev (Slovakia), 6-3
WIN Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria), 8-0

125 kg/275 lbs. - Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack WC), bronze medal
WIN Andrei Romanov (Moldova), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Daniel Ligeti (Hungary), 10-1
WIN Yadolla Mohebi (Iran), 5-4
LOSS Taha Akgul (Turkey), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia), 6-1