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Three American in men’s freestyle finals at world championships

David Taylor is one of three Americans in the finals of the world championships on Sunday. (Photo courtesy USA Wrestling)

Courtesy USA Wrestling

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 2, 2021 – The United States came out strong and took the early team lead after going three-for-three in the men’s freestyle semifinals at the Senior world championships on Saturday night.

Advancing to gold-medal matches are 2020 Olympic champion and 2018 world champion David Taylor (State College, Pa.) at 86 kg, 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time world champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y.) at 74 kg and two-time world Team member Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla.) at 61 kg.

In addition, at 125 kg, two-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski (Ithaca, N.Y.) was pulled back into repechage, meaning all four of the U.S. entries today will be competing on Sunday, with at least three medals already clinched.

Taylor scored an impressive pin of Abubakr Abakarov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals, in 1:35. Although Abakarov opened the scoring with a takedown, Taylor scored a takedown, turned Abakarov two times, then ran him over for the pin.

Taylor will be in a rematch of the 2020 Olympic finals, as he faces 2016 Olympic champion Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran for the gold medal. Taylor defeated Yazdani, 4-3 in the Tokyo finals in August. Taylor has beaten Yazdani in all three of their previous meetings.

Taylor did not have to go a full match on Saturday, winning a pair of technical falls before his pin in the semifinals..

Dake controlled Azamat Nurykau of Belarus, 9-1 in a scrappy match in the semifinals.  Dake countered an arm throw with a takedown and then turned Nurykau on three gut wrenches for an 8-0 lead. Nurykau was repeated warned for striking Dake during the rest of the match.

Nurykau forced a stepout, and Dake got a point on a caution and one against Nurykau for his tactics in the second period. Nurykau has been fifth in the World Championships three previous times.

Dake has drawn 2019 world bronze medalist and 2021 European champion Tajmuraz Salkazanov of Slovakia in the finals

Fix came out on fire, for a quick 10-0 technical fall in 34 seconds over two-time Junior world bronze medalist Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia in the semifinals. Fix hit an inside trip then locked up a trapped-arm gutwrench and turned Hartunyan four straight times for the victory. It was Fix’s fourth straight technical fall victory on Saturday.

Fix will battle another young star in the finals, Abasgadzhi Magomedov of the Russian Wrestling Federation. Magomedov has had a strong 2021, winning the Russian Nationals, the European Championships and the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in order.

Gwiazdowski still has a chance to contend for a bronze medal on Sunday.

In the semifinals, 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Amir Hossein Abbas Zare of Iran upset 2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion Taha Akgul of Turkey, 4-0. Zare defeated Gwiazdowski in a 10-0 technical fall in the quarterfinals, and by reaching the finals, Gwiazdowski is back in the draw.

Gwiazdowski will battle Dzianis Khramiankou of Belarus in the repechage on Sunday morning. If Gwiazdowski wins, he will face Akgul in a bronze-medal match.

Four more U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers compete on Sunday, including 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs at 79 kg, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World champion J’den Cox at 92 kg, 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman at 57 kg, plus Yianni Diakomihalis at 65 kg.

At Oslo, Norway, October 2

Men’s freestyle semifinal results

61 kg
Daton Fix (USA) tech fall Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia), 10-0, 0:34
Abasgadzhi Magomedov (Russian Wrestling Federation) tech. fall Toshihiro Hasegawa (Japan), 10-0, 3:41

74 kg
Kyle Dake (USA) dec. Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 9-1
Tajmuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia) dec. Avtandil Kentchadze (Georgia), 5-0

86 kg
David Taylor (USA) pin Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan), 1:35
Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) dec. Artur Naifonov (Russian Wrestling Federation), 8-2

125 kg
Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) vs. Oleg Bolton (Kazakhstan), 10-0, 4:50
Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran) dec. Taha Akgul (Turkey), 4-0

Men’s freestyle Group One results
61 kg – Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla.)
WIN Giorgi Vangelov (Bulgaria), tech. fall 11-0, 6:00
WIN Arman Norik Eloyan (France), tech. fall 10-0, 0:54
WIN Ravinder (India), tech. fall 10-0, 1:54
WIN Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia), 10-0, 0:34
Gold Medal Finals – vs. Abasgadzhi Magomedov (Russian Wrestling Federation)

74 kg – No. 1 seed Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y.)
WIN Vasile Diacon (Moldova), tech. fall, 11-0, 1:11
WIN Fazli Eryilmaz (Turkey), 5-0
WIN Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 9-1
Gold-Medal Finals – vs. Tajmuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia)

86 kg – No. 1 seed David Taylor (State College, Pa.)
WIN Boris Makoev (Slovakia), tech. fall 11-0, 4:21
WIN Akhmed Aibuev (France), tech. fall 10-0, 0:28
WIN Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan), pin 1:35
Gold Medal Finals – vs. Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran)

125 kg – Nick Gwiazdowski (Ithaca, N.Y.)
WIN Amarveer Dhesi (Canada), 8-3
LOSS Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran), 10-0, 1:49
Repechage – Vs. Dzianis Khramiankou (Belarus)

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