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Snyder, Dake Among Four U.S. Men’s Freestyle Winners At Henri Deglane Grand Prix

By Chrös McDougall | Jan. 16, 2021, 5:46 p.m. (ET)

Kyle Snyder competes against Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan during the Men's Freestyle 97kg Gold medal match on Day 16 of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 at Carioca Arena 2 on Aug. 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Kyle Snyder and Kyle Dake were among four U.S. men’s freestyle wresters who won their weight classes Saturday at the Henri Deglane Grand Prix in Nice, France, which marks the first major competition for the Americans since COVID-19 shut down the sport last March.

In total the U.S. men’s freestylers won eight medals, adding to the eight medals — four of them gold — that the American women’s freestyle wrestlers won Friday. The Henri Deglane Grand Prix wraps up Sunday with the men’s Greco-Roman competitions.

Snyder, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion, met Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan in the 97 kg. semifinals. Sharifov, the 2012 Olympic champion, upset Snyder at the 2019 world championships, but this time Snyder was victorious by forfeit. In the final he went down early to Georgia’s Givi Matcharashvili but came back to win 14-3.

Dake is also a two-time world champion but in the non-Olympic 79 kg. weight class, so he is competing at 74 kg. in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April. He won via forfeit over Georgia’s Daviti Tlashadze in the final.

Also winning was Yianni Diakomihalis, who beat fellow American James Green 5-0 in the final of the 65 kg. weight class. Nick Suriano was the other U.S. winner, beating Islam Bazarganov of Azerbaijan 7-1 to win at 57 kg.

Two other Americans also won bronze medals: Zahid Valencia (86 kg.) and Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kg.).

Chrös McDougall

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.