Seven U.S. World Team members claim men's freestyle gold at Grand Prix of Spain

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | July 15, 2017, 7:13 a.m. (ET)
Photo: The U.S. men’s freestyle team with seven gold medalists at the Grand Prix of Spain.

MADRID, Spain – In their final tune-up for the World Championships, seven members of the U.S. World Team cruised to gold-medal finishes at the Grand Prix of Spain on Saturday morning.

As a whole, the seven World Teamers were dominant as could be, posting as 25-0 record with 17 technical falls and four pins between them all. Three athletes did not surrender a single point on their way to a championship.

"Today was a fun day for our World Team,” said U.S. National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick. “Anytime you can go seven-for-seven at an international event, you've got to like that.”

The duo of Olympic champions, Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) and Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC), both won four matches by 10-0 scores at the Pabellón Exterior del CSD in Madrid.

Receiving the wrath of Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs. were three-time Grand Prix of Spain champion Taimuraz Friev of Spain, 2016 Military World bronze medalist Nurgaliy Zholayev of Kazakhstan, Seyedali Mousavi of Iran and Canada Cup champion Jevon Balfour of Canada. The win pushes Burroughs Senior-level record to 146-5. He has made the last seven U.S. World or Olympic Teams, winning the 2012 Olympic gold, three World gold medals and one World bronze medal dating back to 2011.

Snyder imposed his will upon Nordic champion Sven Engstrom of Sweden, Adam Kariaev of Russia, 2016 Junior World champion and World No. 9 Hossein Shahbazigazvar of Iran and three-time African champion Martin Erasmus of South Africa at 97 kg/213 lbs. Snyder has made three-straight World or Olympic Teams. He won gold at the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Olympic Games, becoming the youngest American to win both of those events.

Reigning 61 kg/134 lbs. World champion Logan Stieber (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC) went 4-0 on the day with three technical falls, plus a 9-0 decision, outscoring his opponents by a combined 39-0 score. He downed 2016 Mediterranean champion Juan Pablo Gonzalez of Spain 10-0 in the championship bout. Stieber is now a two-time U.S. World Team member and was a four-time NCAA champion for Ohio State University.

2015 World bronze medalist James Green (Lincoln, Neb./Titan Mercury WC) put out three fantastic showings on his way to the 70 kg/154 lbs. gold medal. In the semifinals, he pinned Azamat Nurykau of Belarus, who has finished in fifth place at the World Championships twice, in 2:04. Green then went 11-0 over 2014 University World bronze medalist Zsombor Gulyas of Hungary to grab the gold. Green will compete at his third-straight World Championships in August.

Two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy recipient Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) was a force at 65 kg/143 lbs. He opened with three-straight pins before defeating Iran’s Vahid Ahangari 10-0 in the gold-medal match. Retherford was a Cadet World champion in 2012 and will compete at his first Senior-level World Championships this year.

Winning the 125 kg/275 lbs. title was first-time World Team member Nick Gwiazdowski (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC). The big man secured two technical fall wins before toppling Amin Jafar of Iran 5-2 in the finals. Gwiazdowski was a two-time NCAA champion for North Carolina State.

World Team newcomer Thomas Gilman (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC) posted three tough wins to take the 57 kg/125 lbs. bracket. His closest victory came in round one against World University bronze medalist Steven Takahashi of Canada, 10-5. Gilman then defeated two wrestlers who finished in fifth place at this year’s European Championships, Spain’s Levan Metreveli and France’s Zoheir El Ouarrage, to finish off the day.

“I saw our men perform some good skills as well as be challenged in some positions. They rose to the occasion every time. I feel like we made progress and have also identified areas where we can continue to improve. At the World Championships in five weeks there will be great challenges. We are all looking forward to the next step,” Zadick added.

The only other American to compete was Waylon DeCoteau (Belcourt, N.D.) at 97 kg. DeCoteau dropped his only match of the day to Russia’s Kariaev, 5-4.

The Greco-Roman competition was wrestled on Saturday afternoon following men’s freestyle action. The only U.S. entrant, Nick Tarpley (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), finished in fifth place at 75 kg/165 lbs. with a 2-2 record.

Tarpley opened with a wild victory by pin over 2016 Mediterranean champion Carlos Señaris of Spain before falling to 2013 Junior World bronze medalist and eventual champion Shohei Yabiku of Japan 10-0 in the quarterfinals. Tarpley rebounded in the repechage with an 8-0 technical fall over Guillermo Gasca of Spain, but ultimately fell one win short of the bronze. He was topped by 2016 European champion Varsham Boranyan of Armenia 12-0 in his final outing.

The Grand Prix of Spain will continue at 9 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) tomorrow with the women’s freestyle tournament. Draws for the U.S. women will be provided today as available.

A live stream and complete brackets from the Grand Prix of Spain can be found at http://www.felucha.com/noticias/gran-premio-de-espana-2017.

GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN
July 15-16 at Madrid, Spain


Men’s Freestyle Final Results

57 kg/125 lbs.
Gold – Thomas Gilman (United States)
Silver – Zoheir El Ouarrage (France)
Bronze – Levan Metreveli (Spain)
Bronze – Aso Palani (Canada)

61 kg/134 lbs.
Gold – Logan Stieber (United States)
Silver – Juan Pablo Gonzalez (Spain)
Bronze – Lurii Siemakin (France)
Bronze – Bek Zhaksylykov (Kazakhstan)

65 kg/143 lbs.
Gold – Zain Retherford (United States)
Silver – Vahid Ahangari (Iran)
Bronze – Mazime Fiquet (France)
Bronze – Norbert Lukacs (Hungary)

70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold – James Green (United States)
Silver – Zsombor Gulyas (Hungary)
Bronze – Jonathan Alvarez (Spain)
Bronze – Azamat Nurykau (Belarus)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold – Jordan Burroughs (United States)
Silver – Jevon Balfour (Canada)
Bronze – Carmelo Lumia (Italy)
Bronze – Seyedali Mousavi (Iran)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold – Zelimkhan Khadjiev (France)
Silver – Daniel Rama (Spain)
Bronze – Torniki Aladashvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Ilaldayev Itayev (Sweden)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold – Kyle Snyder (United States)
Silver – Martin Erasmus (South Africa)
Bronze – Hossein Shahbazigazvar (Iran)
Bronze – Ragnar Kaasik (Estonia)

125 kg/275 lbs.
Gold – Nick Gwiazdowski (United States)
Silver – Amin Jafar (Iran)
Bronze – Jose Cuba (Spain)
Bronze – Sean Molle (Canada)

Greco-Roman Final Results
59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold – Fumita Kenichiro (Japan)
Silver – Yasin Ozay (France)
Bronze – Shinobu Ota (Japan)
Bronze – Albert Baghymyan (Spain)

66 kg/145 lbs.
Gold – Mamutov Fevzi (Ukraine)
Silver – Hrachia Malkhasain (France)
Bronze – Clement Stephan (France)
Bronze – Oscar Parra (Spain)

71 kg/156 lbs.
Gold – Takeshi Izumi (Japan)
Silver – Oleksiy Kalinichenko (Ukraine)
Bronze – Evrik Nikoghosyan (France)
Bronze – Simon Erlandsson (Sweden)

75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold – Shohei Yabiku (Japan)
Silver – Sakabe Soh (Japan)
Bronze – Oldrich Varga (Czech Republic)
Bronze – Varsham Boranyan (Armenia)

80 kg/176 lbs.
Gold – Michael Wagner (Austria)
Silver – Anis Gharbi (France)
Bronze – Yuya Maeta (Japan)

85 kg/187 lbs.
Gold – Emil Sandahl (Sweden)
Silver – Kanta Shiokawa (Japan)
Bronze – Jesus Gasca (Spain)

98 kg/215.5 lbs.
Gold – Melonin Noumonvi (France)
Silver – Artur Omarov (Czech Republic)
Bronze – Narek Setaghyan (Spain)

130 kg/286 lbs.
Gold – Yasmani Acosta (Chile)
Silver – Arata Sonoda (Japan)
Bronze – David Stepan (Czech Republic)
Bronze – Nikolaos Leon (Greece)

U.S. men’s freestyle results
57 kg/125 lbs. – Thomas Gilman, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), Gold
WIN Steven Takahashi (Canada), 10-5
WIN Levan Metreveli (Spain), 15-2
WIN Zoheir El Ouarraque (France), 10-2

61 kg/134 lbs. – Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), Gold
WIN Mansour Abdellatif (Italy), 10-0
WIN Shakhbanau (Belarus), 10-0
WIN Lurii Siemakin (France), 9-0
WIN Juan Pablo Gonzalez (Spain), 10-0

65 kg/143 lbs. – Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), Gold
WIN Gabriel Janatsch (Austria), Fall 0:15
WIN Maxime Fiquet (France), Fall 4:31
WIN Ilman Mukhtarov (France), Fall 1:57
WIN Vahid Ahangari (Iran), 10-0

70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska WTC), Gold
WIN Andruse Aimar (Estonia), 12-2
WIN Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), Fall 2:04
WIN Zsombor Gulyas (Hungary), 11-0

74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids WC/Nebraska WTC), Gold
WIN Taimuraz Friev (Spain), 10-0
WIN Nurgaliy Zholayev (Kazakhstan), 10-0
WIN Seyedali Mousavi (Iran), 10-0
WIN Jevon Balfour (Canada), 10-0

97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), Gold
WIN Sven Engstrom (Sweden), 10-0
WIN Adam Kariaev (Russia), 10-0
WIN Hossein Shahbazigazvar (Iran), 10-0
WIN Martin Erasmus (South Africa), 10-0

97 kg/213 lbs. – Waylon DeCoteau, Belcourt, N.D.
LOSS Adam Kariarev (Russia), 5-4

125 kg/275 lbs. – Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC), Gold
WIN Sean Molle (Canada), 14-3
WIN Edgardo Lopez (Puerto Rico), 10-0
WIN Amin Jafar (Iran), 5-2

U.S. Greco-Roman results
75 kg/165 lbs. – Nick Tarpley, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 5th
WIN Carlos Señaris (Spain), Fall
LOSS Shohei Yabiku (Japan), 10-0
WIN Guillermo Gasca (Spain), 8-0
LOSS Varsham Boranyan (Armenia), 12-0