| Gable Steveson (USA) after winning the 2015 Cadet World
Championships. Photo: Sachiko Hotaka, United World Wrestling.
Wrestling for the U.S. tomorrow will be Malik Heinselman (Castle Rock, Colo.), Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y.), Travis Wittlake (Myrtle Point, Ore.) and Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn.).
“These guys have watched how our day one Cadet World Team members wrestled today, and to see that we have four guys wrestling for medals, we almost had all five of our guys wrestling for medals, I think to see two of their teammates in the finals tonight, it’s got these guys excited,” said U.S. coach Brandon Slay.
Diakomihalis and Steveson return to the Cadet Worlds as defending champions and favorites to repeat in 2016.
Competing at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., Diakomihalis begins his quest for Cadet World gold number two against Tobias Portmann of Switzerland. Diakomihalis was USAW Cadet Freestyle Nationals runner-up in 2014 and has committed to wrestle in college at Cornell University.
Minnesota product Steveson opens his title defense at 100 kg/220 lbs. against Ashot Rushanyan of Armenia. Steveson won the USAW Cadet Freestyle Nationals in 2015.
Heinselman, a four-time Fargo champion, is set to face Cadet Asian champion Rustambek Juraev of Uzbekistan in his second trip to the Cadet World Championships at 46 kg/104.4 lbs. He was unable to place at the Cadet Worlds last year.
Fellow four-time Fargo champion, Bravo-Young will open his tournament at 54 kg/119 lbs. against Stefan Coman of Romania.
Wittlake, a three-time USAW Cadet Nationals champion, will battle Iran’s Ali Shakouri in the first round at 74 kg/163 lbs.
“I’m really sensing today there’s just a sense of team which I really love seeing. These guys are mutually encouraging each other. I’m just really happy with this kind of mutual accountability and the team approach that these guys are taking,” said Slay.
The men’s freestyle competition at the Cadet World Championships opens tomorrow with the qualification and repechage rounds at 2 a.m. (ET) followed by the medal matches at 10 a.m. (ET).
Flowrestling will provide a live stream and archived matches of the 2016 Cadet World Championships to U.S. spectators at Flowrestling.org. A Flo Pro membership is required to view the competition.
Complete brackets and match-by-match results can be viewed at unitedworldwrestling.org.
2016 CADET WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sept. 13-18 at Tbilisi, Georgia
U.S. men’s freestyle draws for Sunday
46 kg/104.4 lbs. - Malik Heinselman, Castle Rock, Colo.
Vs. Rustambek Juraev (Uzbekistan), 2016 Cadet Asian champion, 2015 Cadet Asian silver
54 kg/119 lbs. - Roman Bravo-Young, Tuscon, Ariz.
Vs. Stefan Coman (Romania)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Yianni Diakomihalis, Rochester, N.Y.
Vs. Tobias Portmann (Switzerland)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Travis Wittlake, Myrtle Point, Ore.
Vs. Ali Shakouri (Iran)
100 kg/220 lbs. - Gable Steveson, Apple Valley, Minn.
Vs. Ashot Rushanyan (Armenia)