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Olympic Medalists Burroughs, Cox, Snyder Highlight Men’s Freestyle Wrestling World Team

By Thomas Neumann | June 10, 2017, 11:27 p.m. (ET)

Jordan Burroughs celebrates at the 2017 U.S. Men's Freestyle World Team Trials on June 10, 2017 in Lincoln, Neb.


If there was any doubt whether Kyle Snyder is in peak form, it was erased Saturday night.

The 2016 Olympic gold medalist at 97 kg. emphatically claimed a berth at the upcoming world championships with two dominant wins over challenger Kyven Gadson at the 2017 U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team Trials in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The 21-year-old Snyder, who also won at the Freestyle World Cup and NCAA championships last year, earned both victories by technical fall, 10-0 and 13-2. The 5-foot-11 Ohio State Buckeye claimed his third consecutive spot on Team USA. He also won the 2015 world championship in Las Vegas.

The 2017 world championships will be held Aug. 21-26 in Paris.

Snyder was one of five competitors to sweep his opponent in the best-of-three finals format, as winner-take-all matches were contested at 65, 74 and 86 kilograms.

Two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs survived a stern challenge from Kyle Dake at 74 kg. Burroughs, a two-time NCAA champ at Nebraska, was competing in familiar surroundings at the Devaney Sports Center. Nevertheless, he lost the first match on criteria after a 6-6 result. Burroughs was in danger of losing the second match in similar fashion, but a successful challenge with 23 seconds left helped propel him to an 8-4 win. In the final match, with the crowd firmly behind him, Burroughs locked up a world team berth with a 6-2 win.

J’den Cox, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time NCAA champ at Mizzou, faced a gut check in the 86-kg. class and came through impressively. After losing the opening match 9-3 to David Taylor, Cox bounced back with a 4-3 win. In the decisive third match, Cox suffered a leg injury when Taylor drove him from the mat in the second period. He was able to continue but was clearly in pain. Nevertheless, he outlasted Taylor 5-3 to claim the world team spot.

At 65 kg., Zain Retherford overcame an opening-match loss to Olympian Frank Molinaro to earn his first spot on the senior world team. Molinaro won the opener 7-6, but Retherford rebounded with a 6-0 win and outlasted Molinaro 7-4 in the rubber match.

Three months after settling for third place at the NCAA championships, Thomas Gilman earned his first senior world team berth at 57 kg. The Iowa alum ousted top-ranked Tony Ramos, earning a 4-3 victory in the first match and following that up with a 7-2 win.

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At 70 kg., James Green earned his third world team berth by sweeping challenger Jimmy Kennedy. Green, another Nebraska alum, enjoyed the support of a partisan crowd on his way to 6-0 and 8-5 victories.

At 61 kg., Logan Stieber outlasted Kendric Maple 9-8 in the first match and earned a world team berth when he won the second match 10-0 by technical fall. The four-time former NCAA champ from Ohio State will try to defend his 2016 world championship in Paris.

At 125 kg., Nick Gwiazdowski was the first competitor to clinch a spot on the world team, scoring 5-1 and 3-1 victories over Dom Bradley.

The roster of the U.S. Greco-Roman team for the world championships, which qualified at the April team trials in Las Vegas, is as follows: Ildar Hafizov (59 kg.), Ellis Coleman (66 kg.), Pat Smith (71 kg.), Mason Manville (75 kg.), Cheney Haight (80 kg.), Ben Provisor (85 kg.), G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg.) and Robby Smith (130 kg.).

The roster of the U.S. women’s freestyle team for the world championships, which also qualified at the April team trials in Las Vegas, is as follows: Victoria Anthony (48 kg.), Haley Augello (53 kg.), Becka Leathers (55 kg.), Helen Maroulis (58 kg.), Alli Ragan (60 kg.), Mallory Velte (63 kg.), Tamyra Mensah (69 kg.) and Victoria Francis (75 kg.).

Thomas Neumann is a Florida-based writer and journalist who previously worked at ESPN and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.