Members of the world champion U.S. men’s freestyle wrestling team went into this weekend’s Yasar Dogu international tournament in Istanbul hoping to gauge their preparedness for the world championships this fall.
Their results proved a mixed bag for what’s to come.
Three U.S. wrestlers were crowned champions as the team took home a total of six medals – and the team trophy – from the challenging tournament.
On Saturday, two-time Wrestling World Cup champion David Taylor, who’ll be competing at his first senior world championships this fall, had four pins in four matches to win the title at 86 kilograms. He put away Murad Suleymanov of Azerbaijan in just 1:22 to win the gold.
Thomas Gilman, the 2017 world silver medalist, earned the gold medal at 57 kg. He defeated Dzmichyk Rynchynau of Belarus 12-5 in the final. Gilman won all four bouts by decision.
Then on Sunday, Kyle Dake – also on his first world team this year – won gold at 79 kg. with an 11-0 win over Ibrahim Yusubov of Azerbaijan. His victories also included a win over 2016 Olympic and two-time world bronze medalist Jabrail Hasanov, also of Azerbaijan.
Two Olympic champions had a tougher time on Saturday.
Two-time Olympian and 2012 gold medalist Jordan Burroughs lost to two-time world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy – who moved up to Burroughs’ weight class this year – on a controversial 10-10 criteria decision. The two are now 1-1 in their series; Burroughs won their match at the Beat the Streets benefit earlier this year. Burroughs, the defending world champion at 74 kg., will be looking for his fifth world title this year.
While Burroughs took the silver medal, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder lost on a 3-3 criteria in the semifinals to 2017 world bronze medalist Azerbaijan’s Aslanbek Albarov and came back to win the bronze medal at 97 kg. He defeated Riza Yildirim, of Turkey, in an 11-0 technical fall.
In Sunday’s final match, Nick Gwiazdowski won the bronze medal at 125 kg. with a 6-4 win over Germany’s Nick Matuhin.