David Taylor competes at World Wrestling Championships on Oct. 20, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.
They call David Taylor “The Magic Man,” but what he did at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, was no illusion.
In his first trip to the world championships the No. 2 seed and two-time NCAA champion from Penn State faced off against top-seeded Fatih Erdin of Turkey for the gold medal at 86 kilograms on Sunday and the American is now the world title-holder.
It was the first gold medal awarded a U.S. athlete at these world championships, which run through Sunday.
It was a spectacular finish to a dominating run through his opponents.
Taylor defeated defending world and Olympic champion Hassan Yazdani or Iran in the first match 11-6, then rattled off wins against Hajy Rajabau of Belarus 10-0 by technical fall, Yurieski Torreblanca of Cuba 8-0 and Russian national champion Dauren Kurugliev 7-5 in a come-from-behind victory to reach the gold-medal match.