Video: U.S. coach Bill Zadick examines first day of freestyle action at Worlds
PARIS – The first four U.S. men’s freestyle athletes have weighed in and received their draws for the World Championships being held at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France.
Americans taking the mat on Friday are Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox (Titan Mercury WC/Missouri WF), World champion Logan Stieber (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) and first time World Team members Thomas Gilman (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) and Nick Gwiazdowski (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack WC).
“I know all of these guys are capable,” said Bill Zadick, U.S. National Freestyle Coach. “My hope for them is that they are smart and tough. I know they are well prepared, are physically prepared and they are good athletes. They have been winners at all levels. You still have to do it on the day, between the whistles. If we wrestle with great attitude, are exciting, and are smart and tough, we will be in a good spot.”
World No. 5 Cox will begin his first World Championships run against 2012 Junior World silver medalist Ahmed Dudarov of Germany at 86 kg/189 lbs.
Coming in at World No. 3 and the reigning 61 kg/134 lbs. World champion, Stieber will face the winner between 2016 European champion Gadzhimurad Rashidov of Russia and 2017 Grand Prix of Paris bronze medalist Joszef Molnar of Hungary.
2014 Junior World medalist Gilman will be tested by 2016 European silver medalist Andrey Yatsenko of Ukraine in his opener at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Gilman enters Paris as No. 19 in the UWW World Rankings.
Gwiazdowski is slated to face Moldova’s Andrei Romanov to open his first World Championships at 125 kg/275 lbs. Gwiazdowski boasts a No. 16 World ranking.
The first day of men’s freestyle competition will begin at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) on Friday. Medal matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET).
Complete brackets for the World Championships, as well as a live stream of the event, are available to U.S. residents at Trackwrestling.com.
U.S. men’s freestyle draws for Friday
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Thomas Gilman, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
Vs. Andrey Yatsenko (Ukraine), 2016 European silver medalist, two-time Cadet World champion
61 kg/134 lbs. - Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
Vs. Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Russia), 2016 European champion, 2017 U23 European champion or Jozsef Molnar (Hungary), 2017 Grand Prix of Paris bronze medalist
86 kg/189 lbs. - J’den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC/Missouri WF)
Vs. Ahmed Dudarov (Germany), 2012 Junior World silver medalist
125 kg/275 lbs. - Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack WC)
Vs. Andrei Romanov (Moldova), 2008 Junior European silver medalist