Kennedy wins bronze, Dake is fifth in freestyle at FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals in Azerbaijan

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Nov. 24, 2013, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

Photos of Jimmy Kennedy at the 2013 World Team Trials by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers are Warriors.

BAKU, Azerbaijan – Jimmy Kennedy (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Michigan RTC) claimed a bronze medal at 60 kg/132 lbs., the top U.S. performance in men’s freestyle on the final day of the Heydar Aliyev FILA Golden Grand Prix on Sunday.

Kennedy finished with a 2-1 record, and defeated 2010 Junior World silver medalist Umud Mammadov of Azerbaijan, 6-1 in his bronze-medal bout.

He opened with a close loss to Gadji Aliyev of Azerbaijan, 6-7. When Aliyev reached the finals, Kennedy was drawn back into repechage, where he shut out 2009 Junior World silver medalist Rustam Ampar of Russia, 5-0, earning a spot in the bronze-medal round.

Kennedy won a combined $3,000 for the tournament, with $2,000 awarded by the event organizers to bronze medalists and an additional $1,000 bonus as part of the USA Wrestling National Team contract.

Kennedy, a star at Illinois in college who trains full-time at the Michigan RTC, has been very successful this fall. He won a gold medal at the Intercontinental Cup in Khasvjurt, Russia and a silver medal at the Ramzan Kadirov Cup in Grozny, Russia this fall.

Claiming a fifth-place finish at 74 kg/163 lbs. with an impressive performance was Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC), who finished with a 2-2 record.

Dake opened with two impressive victories, stopping 2013 World bronze medalist Ali Shabanau of Belarus, 7-1. In the quarterfinals, he got his offense going in a 10-5 win over two-time World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Tsargush of Russia, 10-5.

In the semifinals, he lost to 2012 FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals runner-up Gadzhi Gadzhiev of Russia, 1-7. When Gadzhiev reached the finals, Dake was drawn back into a bronze-medal match, where he lost by a 3-3 criteria decision to 2011 World bronze medalist Ashraf Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

Dake made history as the first wrestler to win four NCAA titles in four different weight classes, competing for Cornell. He is ranked No. 2 on Freestyle Team USA behind Olympic and two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs.

The U.S. had seven entries in the event, which is the final event of FILA’s Golden Grand Prix series, and only features athletes from nations which have qualified through the preliminary Golden Grand Prix events in 2013.

Americans winning a bout in the tournament included 2013 World Team member Angel Escobedo (Columbus, Ohio /New York AC/Ohio RTC), who was seventh at 55 kg/121 lbs., 2013 U.S. Open champion Kellen Russell (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Michigan RTC), who was eighth at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and 2013 World Team member Keith Gavin (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), who was 10th at 84 kg/185 lbs.

The United States placed fifth in the team standings with 22 points. The top three nations were host Azerbaijan in first, Russia in second and Georgia in third.

At Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 24

Men’s freestyle results

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Fumitaka Morishita (Japan)
Silver – Yashar Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Giorgi Edisherashvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Artem Gebekov (Russia)
5th – Bazar Zhalsapov (Russia)
5th – Mircal Husanzade (Azerbaijan)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Ahmengadi Qvarzatilov (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Gadji Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Jimmy Kennedy (USA)
Bronze – Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia)
5th – Umud Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
5th – Soslan Aziev (Russia)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold – Ilyas Bekbulatov (Russia)
Silver – Alibeggadji Emeev (Russia)
Bronze – Ruslan Dibergadjiev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Andriy Kvyatkovskyy (Ukraine)
5th – Magomed Muslimov (Azerbaijan)
5th – Mustafa Kaya (Turkey)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold – Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)
Silver – Gadzhi Gadzhiev (Russia)
Bronze – Ashraf Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Jabrail Gasanov (Azerbaijan)
5th – Kyle Dake (USA)
5th – Yakup Gor (Turkey)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold – Gamzat Osmanov (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Soslan Kotcoev (Russia)
Bronze – Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Abdulrashid Sadullaev (Georgia)
5th – Dauren Kurugliev (Russia)
5th – Alexsandr Gostiyev (Azerbaijan)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold – Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Nicolai Ceban (Moldova)
Bronze – Pavlo Oliinyk (Ukraine)
5th – Aref Mohammadi (Iran)
5th – Alikhan Jamayev (Kazakhstan)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold – Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi (Ukraine)
Silver – Ali Isayev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Mohammad Sajedi (Iran)
Bronze – Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan)
5th – Rares Chintoan (Romania)
5th – Yerzhan Duissenbekov (Kazakhstan)

U.S. men’s freestyle pairings for Sunday

55 kg/121 lbs. – Angel Escobedo, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC), 7th
WIN Ruslan Surkhayev (Azerbaijan), 4-4 (criteria)
LOSS Mircal Husanzade (Azerbaijan)

60 kg/132 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC), bronze medal
LOSS Gadji Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 6-7
WIN Rustam Ampar (Russia), 5-0
WIN Umud Mammadov (Azerbaijan), 6-1

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC), 8th
WIN Ayad Ibrahim (Egypt), tech. fall, 8-0
LOSS Andrei Kvyatkovskyy (Ukraine), tech. fall, 3-11

74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC), 5th
WIN Ali Shabanau (Belarus), 7-1
WIN Denis Tsargush (Russia), 10-5
LOSS Gadzhi Gadzhiev (Russia), 1-7
LOSS Ashraf Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 3-3

84 kg/185 lbs. – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), 10th
WIN Andrei Frant (Romania), tech. fall 8-0
LOSS Gamzat Osmanov (Azerbaijan), tech. fall, 0-8
LOSS Abdulrashid Sadullaev (Russia), tech. fall 0-8

84 kg/185 lbs. – Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Wyoming RTC), dnp/11th
LOSS Tamerlan Tagziev (Canada), 6-6

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC), dnp/11th
LOSS Paavlo Oliinyk (Ukraine), tech. fall 0-8

Team Standings
1. Azerbaijan, 133
2. Russia, 85
3. Georgia 33
4. Ukraine, 26
5. United States, 22
6. Turkey, 22
7. Iran, 16
8. Kazakhstan, 15
9. Romania, 13
10. Japan, 10
11. Uzbekistan, 10
12. Moldova, 8
13. Canada, 3
14. France, 2