Home News Kyle Snyder Rebounds...

Kyle Snyder Rebounds After Shocking Defeat, Wins Bronze At World Wrestling Championships

By Karen Price | Sept. 22, 2019, 11:57 a.m. (ET)

Kyle Snyder competing in the 97 kg. bronze-medal match at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships on Sept. 22, 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.


Reigning Olympic champion Kyle Snyder suffered a surprising defeat in the semifinals at the World Wrestling Championships, but he isn’t going home empty-handed.

Wrestling for something other than gold in an Olympic or world meet for the first time in his career, Snyder defeated Georgia’s Elizbar Odikadze, 5-0, to win the bronze medal at 97 kg. in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Snyder didn’t know who his opponent would be until the repechage matches on Sunday, and in Odikadze he faced a familiar foe. Snyder’s comeback against Odikadze in the semifinals at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 led to his spot in the final and, eventually, the gold medal.

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.

The 23-year-old from Woodbine, Maryland, forced a step-out and then earned two points on a low double leg shot takedown in the first period, and that lead would hold the remainder of the match. With the win, Snyder secured a world or Olympic medal for the fifth year in a row.

Snyder won the world title in 2015 and 2017 and then won silver in 2018 after losing to fellow Olympic gold medalist Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia in the gold-medal match. He was hoping to reclaim gold at this year’s meet, but lost in the semifinal bout to Olympic bronze medalist Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan, 5-2. Snyder took a 1-0 lead but then fell behind and could not recover.

By reaching the semifinals, however, the three-time NCAA champion for Ohio State did ensure that the U.S. would have a spot at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in the weight class. 

Snyder dominated for the first two rounds of competition, defeating Mausam Khatri of India, 10-0, and Magomed Idrisovitch Ibragimov of Uzbekistan, 13-3.

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.