Kyle Dake competing in the 79 kg. gold-medal match at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships on Sept. 22, 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Two years in a row, Kyle Dake has gone to the World Wrestling Championships and landed in a gold-medal matchup against Jabrayil Hasanov of Azerbaijan in the finals at 79 kg.
And now, for the second year in a row, Dake is a world champion.
The 28-year-old from Ithaca, New York, scored his first two points on step-outs and went into the break with the lead in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Back on the mat he executed his first takedown of the match. Despite Hasanov getting on the scoreboard with a step-out in the last minute and then scoring again after Dake was hit with a caution, moments later Dake was wrapped in the U.S. flag after his 4-2 win.
Dake, a four-time NCAA champion at Cornell, was still recovering from an injury back in June when most of the U.S. wrestlers punched their tickets to the world championships at the Final X competition. He requested and received a delay until August, when he wrestled Alex Dieringer for the world team spot at 79 kg. and won, 3-2.
Download the Team USA app today to keep up with wrestling and all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.
Dake won his NCAA championships in four different weight classes and has continued to shift weights competing for Team USA. Competing in the 74 kg. class, he lost out on world championship berths to Olympic and four-time world champion Jordan Burroughs in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Moving to 86 kg., he missed a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, falling to eventual Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
United World Wrestling then expanded the world championship field to 10 weight classes, and Dake has found a world of success at 79 kg. However, to make the 2020 Olympic team, he would presumably once again have to drop to 74 kg. and take on Burroughs.
En route to wrestling for his second consecutive world title, Dake beat 2019 Asian bronze medalist Oibek Nasirov of Kyrgyzstan by technical fall, 12-2, and topped 2015 junior world champion and 2018 U23 world silver medalist Gadzhi Nabiev of Russia, 5-1. He then defeated 2013 world bronze medalist Rashid Kurbanov of Uzbekistan in the semifinals, 6-1, using a first-period takedown and two gut wrench turns.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.