Snyder wins back-to-back titles and Taylor also gets his gold on last day of Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 28, 2018, 9:13 a.m. (ET)
Kyle Snyder and David Taylor receive their Yarygin Grand Prix gold medals listening to the U.S. national anthem.

KRASNOYARSK, Russia – It was a great day for Team USA as the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix wrapped up on Sunday, as two Americans captured gold medals in what is considered the toughest open tournament in the world.

2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) became the first U.S. man to win a two Yarygin gold medals with a victory at 97 kg/213 lbs.

David Taylor (State College, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) became only the 12th U.S. men’s freestyle wrestler to win a Yarygin title when he captured his gold medal at 86 kg/189 lbs. in stunning fashion.

In the final match of the tournament, Snyder defeated Rasul Magomedov of Russia, 4-1 in the gold medal bout. Snyder trailed 1-0 after being put on the shot clock in the first period, but forced a step out with just a few seconds left in the period to head into the break with a 1-1 tie. In the second period, Snyder added a single leg takedown, then forced a stepout on the edge to extend the lead and close out the victory.

It was a rematch of the 2017 Ivan Yarygin finals, won by Snyder by pin in 5:02.

Snyder was also named the Best Foreign Wrestler of the tournament, and given a special trophy and prize at the conclusion of concluding ceremonies.

He won his opening bout with a 10-0 technical fall over Shobet Belliyev of Turkmenistan, then controlled Yunus Dede of Turkey, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Snyder was trailing in the final minute of the semifinals, when he scored twice to defeat Vladislav Baitcaev of Russia, 5-1.

Snyder, a two-time NCAA champion and three-time finalist for Ohio State, will return to the USA to conclude his senior season competing for the Buckeyes.

It was the second day in a row that an American has won the Yarygin back-to-back years, as women’s freestyle star Tamyra Stock claimed her second straight Yarygin title on Saturday in the women’s 68 kg division.

Taylor finished his tournament with a flourish, pinning Fatih Erdin of Turkey in 2:00 in the finals. Erdin scored the first two points on a front headlock roll, but Taylor answered with a takedown to tie it at 2-2. Taylor then took Erdin down, turned him for two more points, then quickly drove him to the mat for the pin. Taylor raised both fists and flexed in celebration of his victory.

It was the second straight pin for Taylor, who also planted Artur Naifanov of Russia in 2:27 in the semifinals. Taylor got stronger as he went in the tournament. He opened a with 4-4 criteria win over two-time Pan American champion Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta of Cuba, then stopped 2016 Olympic silver medalist Selim Yasar of Turkey, 4-1 in the quarterfinals.

Taylor, who has been on the U.S. Freestyle National Team for a number of years, won his first medal at the Yarygin Grand Prix. He was a two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner for Penn State.

This was the fourth time that the USA had two men’s freestyle champions at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix. The previous years with two champions were 1991 (Dave Schultz and Chris Campbell), 1993 (Tom Brands and Kurt Angle) and 2005 (Joe Williams and Daniel Cormier).

"I am excited and happy for Kyle Snyder, David Taylor and all of our medalists. The Ivan Yarygin is known as the toughest tournament in the world outside of the World Championships or Olympic Games. It presents challenges on all fronts, from long travel to inhospitable climate to great depth and strength in the competition. I am proud of these accomplishments and we are inspired to look ahead at the future which will have more and greater challenges," said National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick.

Placing fifth at 92 kg/202 lbs. was former Ohio State star Nick Heflin (Norman, Okla./Titan Mercury WC), who fell to Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of Mongolia, 4-2 in the bronze-medal bout. Heflin led 2-0 late in the second period, when Luvandorj scored a takedown with 22 seconds to tie it at 2-2, holding the tiebreaker. Heflin tried a late throw which was countered, giving Luvsandorj one final takedown as time ran out.

The USA had six athletes competing in men’s freestyle on the final day, and had no women wrestlers on the mat on Sunday. The final four men’s freestyle weights and two women’s freestyle weights were held on Sunday.

The men’s division at the Ivan Yarygin is a UWW ranking tournament, which will help determine the seeds at the 2018 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The United States finished the 2018 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix with seven medals, including the gold medals by Snyder, Taylor and Stock. Winning silver medals were Kyle Dake at 79 kg, Frank Molinaro at 70 kg and Alli Ragan at 59 kg. Winning a bronze medal was Nick Gwiazdowski at 125 kg.

At Krasnoyarsk, Russia, January 28, 2018

Men’s freestyle medalists

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Khetik Tsabolov (Russia)
Silver - Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia)
Bronze – Dovletmyrat Orazgylyjov (Turkmenistan)
Bronze -. Kakhaber Khubezhty (Russia)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold - David Taylor (USA)
Silver - Fatih Erdin (Turkey)
Bronze –Vladislav Valiev (Russia)
Bronze - Artur Naifonov (Russia)

92 kg/202 lbs.
Gold - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia)
Silver - Anzor Urishev (Russia)
Bronze –Yury Belonovskiy (Russia)
Bronze - Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Mongolia)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold - Kyle Snyder (USA)
Silver - Rasul Madomedov (Russia)
Bronze –Vladislav Baitcaev (Russia)
Bronze - Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan)

U.S. men’s freestyle performances

74 kg/163 lbs. - Joe Tavoso (Ridgewood, N.J./Princeton WC)
LOSS Dovletmyrat Orazgylyjov (Turkmenistan)

86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), gold medal
WIN Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba), 4-4
WIN Selim Yasar (Turkey), 4-1
WIN Artur Naifanov (Russia), pin 2:27
WIN Fatih Erdin (Turkey), pin 2:00

86 kg/189 lbs. – Travis Stefanik, Nazareth, Pa. (Princeton, WC)
LOSS Unurbet Purevjav (Mongolia), pin

92 kg/202 lbs. – Jacob Warner, Washington, Ill. (Hawkeye WC)
WIN Ulziisaikhan Baasantsogt (Mongolia), 6-6
LOSS Yuri Belonovskiy (Russia), tech. fall 10-0

92 kg/202 lbs. – Nick Heflin, Norman, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC), 5th place
WIN Beka Jvaridze (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Abdimanap Baighenzheyev (Kazakhstan), 14-8
LOSS Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Mongolia), 4-2

97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), gold medal
WIN Shobet Belliyev (Turkmenistan), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Yunus Dede (Turkey), 6-1
WIN Vladislav Baitcaev (Russia), 5-1
WIN Rasul Magomedov (Russia), 4-1

97 kg/213 lbs. – Nathan Burak, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
LOSS Rasul Magomedov (Russia), 8-0
LOSS Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan), 4-0

Women’s freestyle medalists

72 kg/158 lbs.
Gold - Juan Wang (China)
Silver - Masako Furuichi (Japan)
Bronze – Nasanburmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia)
Bronze - Zhamila Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan)

76 kg/167 lbs.
Gold - Qian Zhou (China)
Silver - Ekaterina Bukina (Russia)
Bronze – Paliha (China)
Bronze - Epp Mae (Estonia)

U.S. Champions at Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix

Men’s Freestyle
1990 – Jim Scherr (198)
1991 – Dave Schultz (163), Chris Campbell (198)
1992 – Kendall Cross (125.5)
1993 – Tom Brands (136.5), Kurt Angle (220)
1998 – Lincoln McIlravy (152)
2005 – Joe Williams (163), Daniel Cormier (211.5)
2009 – Steve Mocco (264.5)
2017 - Kyle Snyder (213)
2018 – David Taylor (189), Kyle Snyder (213)

Women’s Freestyle
2004 – Tela O’Donnell (121), Iris Smith (158.5)
2005 – Sally Roberts (130)
2006 – Marcie Van Dusen (130)
2008 – Sally Roberts (130)
2010 – Kelsey Campbell (130)
2017 – Tamyra Stock (152)
2018 – Tamyra Stock (149)