TAMPERE, Finland – The four remaining U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers have received their draws for the 2017 Junior World Championships in Tampere, Finland.
2016 Junior World bronze medalist Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla./Titan Wrestling WC) drew African Championships gold medalist Salah Kateb of Algeria.
Should Fix advance, he’ll have the winner of Afgan Khashalov of Azerbaijan and Salim Naim of Bulgaria. Khashalov is the returning Junior World champion at 55 kg and owns a Cadet World silver from 2014. Naim, who was second Khashalov at this year’s European Championships, finished seventh at the 2016 Junior World Championships.
Making his World debut tomorrow is Ryan Deakin (Broomfield, Colo./Northwestern), who will have a first-round bye. To start his tournament, Deakin will face Aziz Ryskeldi of Kyrgyzstan. Ryskeldi has no international credentials.
Three-time World Team member Zahid Valencia (Bellflower, Calif./Sunkist Kids) will battle for his first World medal on Wednesday. Valencia drew Junior European champion and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Gadzhimurad Magomedsaidov of Azerbaijan. Both will enjoy a bye in the first round at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Rounding out the Junior men’s freestyle team is two-time Cadet World champion Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn./Minnesota Storm). Steveson, who still has a year of Cadet eligibility, has decided to take on the Junior level, where he seek his third-straight World title.
Competing at 120 kg/264 lbs., Steveson will take on Khasanboy Rakhimov of Uzbekistan in his opening bout. Steveson wrestled Rakhimov in the 2015 Cadet World finals, where the American earned a dominant 9-0 win. Making his third trip to the Junior World tournament, Rakhimov is the 2017 Junior Asian champion.
The first session, which includes preliminary rounds through semifinals and repechage, will begin at 10 a.m. local time. The medal matches will take place at 6 p.m. local time.
Tampere, Finland is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, meaning those wishing to watch live can tune in at 3 a.m. (ET). A live stream of the event, as well as brackets, can be found at Trackwrestling.com.
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug. 1-6, 2017
Wednesday, Aug. 2
10 a.m. – Preliminaries and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches
U.S. men’s freestyle draws
55 kg/121 lbs. - Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla./Titan Wrestling WC)
vs. Salah Kateb (Algeria), 2017 Junior African champion, 2016 Junior Mediterranean champion
66 kg/145 lbs. - Ryan Deakin (Broomfield, Colo./Northwestern)
vs. Aziz Ryskeldi (Kyrgyzstan)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Zahid Valencia (Bellflower, Calif./Sunkist Kids)
vs. Gadzhimurad Magomedsaidov (Azerbaijan), 2016 Junior World bronze medalist, 2017 Junior European champion
120 kg/264 lbs. - Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
vs. Khasanboy Rakhimov (Uzbekistan), 2015 Cadet World silver medalist, 2017 Junior Asian champion