Diakomihalis, Steveson go for second-straight gold, Wittlake in for bronze at Cadet Worlds

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | Sept. 18, 2016, 7:46 a.m. (ET)
 
 Yianni Diakomihalis seeks second-straight Cadet World title
tonight in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: Sam Janicki.
VIDEO: 2016 Cadet World Championships Interviews

TBILISI, Georgia – Day two of the men’s freestyle competition at the 2016 Cadet World Championships yielded similar results as day one for the U.S. with three Americans advancing to a medal match at New Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Defending Cadet World champions Yianni Diakomihalis and Gable Steveson proved their mettle once more by advancing to the finals for the second-straight year in impressive fashion.

Diakomihalis cruised through his first three matches at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., scoring technical falls over Tobias Portmann of Switzerland, Daniel Markarashvili of Georgia and Ulan Tolegen of Kazakhstan. In the semifinals, the New York native was tested by Japan’s Jintaro Motoyama in a rematch of last year’s World final at 58 kg. Trailing by one point in the second period Diakomihalis executed a duck under to trapped arm gutwrench combination and pulled away for a 9-3 win.

Standing opposite Diakomihalis in the 63 kg gold medal match is two-time Cadet European medalist Stefan Tonu of Moldova.

Steveson opened his day with shutout technical fall wins over Ashot Rushanyan of Armenia and Samed Kurban of Turkey. He then downed Cadet Asian bronze medalist Viky Viky of India in the 100 kg/220 lbs. semifinals, 5-1.

The Minnesotan shoots for his second Cadet World title against Adam Beterbiev of Russia.

2016 USA Wrestling Cadet Triple-Crown winner Travis Wittlake battled his way to a bronze medal match at 76 kg/167.5 lbs. on Sunday morning.

Wittlake picked up a big 8-1 win over Iran’s Ali Shakouri before falling to eventual finalist Kamil Abdulzhamalov of Russia by fall in the second round. In the repechage Wittlake scored a 10-0 win over Moldova’s Grigori Carastoian and a 6-5 victory over Cadet European silver medalist Rashad Yusifli of Azerbaijan to book his spot in tonight’s session.

The phenom from Oregon will face Shutaro Yamada of Japan for the 76 kg bronze medal in his first trip to the Cadet Worlds.

The pair of four-time Fargo champions Malik Heinselman and Roman Bravo-Young both dropped early matches in the opening session for the U.S. squad and were not pulled into the repechage. Heinselman lost his opener to Rustambek Juraev of Uzbekistan, 11-2. Bravo-Young fell in the second round to Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia, 8-7.

Entering the final session of men’s freestyle at Cadet Worlds the U.S. has locked up a second place finish in the team race. They have guaranteed medals in six of the ten weight classes with an opportunity to bump up to seven pending Wittlake’s result.

The men’s freestyle medal matches at 46 kg, 54 kg, 63 kg, 76 kg and 100 kg will be contested at 10 a.m. (ET) today. 

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


Finals Matchups
46 kg/104.4 lbs.

Gold – Zagir Shakhiev (Russia) vs. Swapnil Shelar (India)
Bronze – Hirai Tanaka (Japan) vs. Marcell Budai Kovacs (Hungary)
Bronze – Akbar Kenzhebek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan) vs. Dogan Kara (Turkey)

54 kg/119 lbs.
Gold – Andrii Dzhelep (Ukraine) vs. Georgios Pilidis (Greece)
Bronze – Amiran Vakhtangashvili (Georgia) vs. Ravinder Ravinder (India)
Bronze – Abzal Okenov (Kazakhstan) vs. Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold – Stefan Tonu (Moldova) vs. Yianni Diakomihalis (United States)
Bronze – Jintaro Motoyama (Japan) vs. Ulan Tolegen (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Turgay Fevzi (Bulgaria) vs. Inal Dzhopua (Azerbaijan)

76 kg/167.5 lbs.
Gold – Miriani Maisuradze (Georgia) vs. Kamil Abdulzhamalov (Russia)
Bronze – Shutaro Yamada (Japan) vs. Travis Wittlake (United States)
Bronze – Arman Avagyan (Armenia) vs. Andrii Gyka (Ukraine)

100 kg/220 lbs.
Gold – Gable Steveson (United States) vs. Adam Beterbiev (Russia)
Bronze – Ashkab Hamzatov (Azerbaijan) vs. Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Viky Viky (India) vs. Ashot Rushanyan (Armenia)

U.S. men’s freestyle results

46 kg/104.4 lbs. - Malik Heinselman, Castle Rock, Colo.
LOSS Rustambek Juraev (Uzbekistan), 11-2

54 kg/119 lbs. - Roman Bravo-Young, Tucson, Ariz. 
WIN Stefan Coman (Romania), 10-0
LOSS Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia), 8-7

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Yianni Diakomihalis, Rochester, N.Y.
WIN Tobias Portmann (Switzerland), 15-3
WIN Daniel Markarashvili (Georgia), 10-0
WIN Ulan Tolegen (Kazakhstan), 10-0
WIN Jintaro Motoyama (Japan), 9-3

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Travis Wittlake, Myrtle Point, Ore.
WIN Ali Shakouri (Iran), 8-1
LOSS Kamil Abdulzhamalov (Russia), Fall 1:55
WIN Grigori Carastoian (Moldova), 10-0
WIN Rashad Yusifli (Azerbaijan), 6-5

100 kg/220 lbs. - Gable Steveson, Apple Valley, Minn. 
WIN Ashot Rushanyan (Armenia), 10-0
WIN Samed Kurban (Turkey), 12-0
WIN Viky Viky (India), 5-1