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Kyle Dake Scores Historic Four-Peat Title At Wrestling World Championships

By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 17, 2022, 3:17 p.m. (ET)

Kyle Dake celebrates winning the men's 74 kg. title bout at the 2022 United World Wrestling Championships on Sept. 17, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.


Make that a four-peat championship for U.S. freestyle wrestler Kyle Dake.

The 2020 Olympic bronze medalist won his fourth consecutive world title Saturday at the United World Wrestling World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, defeating the same opponent he defeated in last year’s world championships finals.

Dake’s 3-1 win over Tajmuraz Salkazanov of Slovakia was his second world championship at 74 kg. after winning the 2018 and 2019 world titles at 79 kg. 

With the victory, Dake becomes just the second American to win four consecutive wrestling world titles, joining John Smith, who did so from 1987 to 1991 (while also winning Olympic gold in 1988 and 1992).

Dake joined two other U.S. wrestlers winning medals Saturday. J’den Cox won the silver medal in the 92 kg. weight class and Thomas Gilman won silver at 57 kg.

The U.S. has won six medals, including three gold, in three days of men’s freestyle competition after the women’s freestyle team won seven medals, including three gold. The men’s freestyle team has advanced wrestlers to the medal round in nine of 10 weight classes. The only medal round not featuring a U.S. wrestler was 125 kg.

Two Americans, 2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kg. and Yianni Diakomihalis at 65 kg., reached the finals Sunday in what has become a U.S. record run at a world championships. Eight U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers have made it to the gold medal match, a U.S. record.

Cox, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, won his fifth world championships medal with a runner-up finish to reigning world champion Kamran Ghasempour of Iran in the 92 kg. final. Cox has won two gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals at the world championships.

Gilman, a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, settled for the silver medal after losing 7-2 to Zelimkhan Abakarov of Albania in the 57 kg. final. It was the third world medal for Gilman, who was a defending champion.

Snyder, the No. 1 seed, will go after his third world title in Sunday’s 97 kg. gold-medal match against Batyrbek Tsakulov of Slovakia. Snyder, a two-time Olympic medalist, has clinched his eighth global medal at the Olympic and world championships levels.

Diakomihalis, a two-time world champion at the U17 level, is seeking his first senior world title against 2022 Asian champion Rahman Amouzad Khalili of Iran. Seth Gross, who is competing in his first world championships, is in the bronze-medal match at 61 kg. The U.S. won a record 15 medals at last year’s world championships, and with a Gross win Sunday could surpass that.

Paul D. Bowker

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.