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Impressive Olympic debut for Steveson, who advances to semifinals

American Gable Steveson won his first two matches at the Olympic Games and advanced to the semifinals. ( Martin Gábor photo courtesy United World Wrestling)

Gable Steveson, the 21-year-old rising senior from the University of Minnesota, won two impressive matches in his Olympic Games debut at 125 kg (275 pounds) and has advanced to the semifinals set for Thursday night or early Friday morning on the East Coast.

Thomas Gilman won his repechage match Thursday and will wrestle for a bronze medal at 57 kg (125 pounds). Two-time world champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y.), competing in his first Olympic Games at 74 kg (163 pounds), went 1-1 in his matches.

2019 world champion Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won her opening bout at the Olympic Games but was defeated in the 53 kg (116 pounds) quarterfinals.

Steveson made big news on the international level with his dominant 8-0 quarterfinal win over 2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion Taha Akgul of Turkey. Steveson scored four takedowns, one in the first period and three in the second period.

He was just as dominant in his first round against Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan in his first match, scoring five quick takedowns for a 10-0 technical fall. Lazarev had little chance in defending against the quickness of Steveson’s attacks.

He will wrestle against Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur of Mongolia in the semifinals, which are scheduled for 6:15 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 5:15 a.m. in the U.S. Eastern time zone. All of the action is live on The Olympic Channel.

Steveson won the NCAA Div. I title this year in March, then made the U.S. Olympic Team in April with a win over two-time Senior world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski in the finals.

Gilman to wrestle for bronze medal
In a repechage match at the start of the session, 2017 world silver medalist Thomas Gilman (State College, Pa.) won his Thursday morning repechage match, and has earned a spot in the 57 kg (125 pounds) bronze-medal match against Reza Atrinagharchi of Iran.

Gilman make quick work of Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in his repechage match, with an 11-1 technical fall. The wrestlers traded stepouts for a 1-1 tie, then it was all Gilman. He scored a takedown and three ankle laces for a 9-1 lead. Another takedown closed it out at 11-1 in the first period.

Gilman dropped a heartbreaking 5-4 decision to two-time defending world champion and No. 2 seed Zaur Uguev of the Russian Olympic Committee in the opening round. The match was not decided until the end, when Ugaev scored an exposure with five seconds left to win.

Dake goes 1-1
Two-time world champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y.), competing in his first Olympic Games at 74 kg (163 pounds), went 1-1 in his matches on Thursday morning.

Dake controlled the action in a 4-0 opening win over the No. 4 seed, Mostafa Hosseinkhani of Iran. Dake scored on two step outs in the first period, then added a second period takedown for the shutout win.

He was shocked in the quarterfinals by Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau of Belarus, who scored an 11-0 technical fall over Dake. Kadzimahamedau scored a big four point move in the first period, and led 9-0 at the break. In the second period, Kadzimahamedau finished off the technical fall with a takedown.

Kadzimahamedau, a 2020 European champion at 79 kg, must defeat two-time world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy in the semifinals in order to pull Dake back into Friday’s repechage rounds.

Dake is a two-time world champion at 79 kg, and beat 2012 Olympic champion and four-time world champion Jordan Burroughs to make the U.S. team.

Winchester falls in quarterfinals
2019 world champion Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won her opening bout at the Olympic Games, but was defeated in the 53 kg (116 pounds) quarterfinals.

Winchester opened with a 7-4 win over 2019 World bronze medalist Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia. Winchester scored first on a step out, but fell behind 4-1 when Khoroshavtseva scored a takedown and gut wrench turn. Winchester scored a takedown to make it 4-3 at the break. In the second period, Winchester added a pair of takedowns to secure the victory.

In the quarterfinals, Winchester dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 4 seed Pang Qianyu of China. Pang got all of her points in the first period on a takedown and two turns, and went into the break with a 6-0 lead. Winchester was able to get a point in the second period when Pang was placed on the shot clock and could not score. Winchester was unable to crack Pang’s defense in that second period.

Pang must beat two-time world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus in the semifinals for Winchester to get drawn back into Friday’s repechage rounds.

Content from USA Wrestling used to compile this report.

Olympic Games
At Tokyo
Men’s freestyle results

74 kg – Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y.)
WIN Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran), 4-0
LOSS Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau (Belarus), 11-0

125 kg – Gable Steveson (Minneapolis, Minn.)
WIN Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Taha Akgul (Turkey), 8-0
Semifinals – vs. Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)

57 kg – Thomas Gilman (State College, Pa.)
LOSS Zaur Uguev (Russia), 5-4
WIN Gulomjon Abdullaev (Uzbekistan), tech fall 11-1
Bronze medal bout – Reza Atrinagharchi (Iran)

Women’s freestyle results
53 kg – Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
WIN Olga Khoroshavtseva (Russia), 7-4
LOSS Pang Qianyu (China), 5-1


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