Taylor wins World freestyle gold, Burroughs, Colon and Gwiazdowski add bronzes to put USA in first place

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 21, 2018, 4:43 p.m. (ET)
David Taylor of the USA displays the American flag after his World gold medal victory at 86 kg in freestyle wrestling. Geoff Riccio photo.

BUDAPEST, Hungary - David Taylor (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) capped off a dominant performance at 86 kg/189 lbs. with a gold-medal victory for the United States on Sunday night at the World Wrestling Championships at the Papp Laszlo Arena.

In a battle of the top two seeds in the tournament, Taylor was in control from the opening whistle, scoring a 12-2 technical fall over Fatih Erdin of Turkey, capturing a World title in his first Senior World appearance. Erdin had a No. 1 seed and Taylor No. 2 in the UWW Ranking Series standings coming into Budapest.

Taylor came out on fire, scoring two takedowns in the first minute for a 4-0 lead. Erdin was able to convert a double leg for a takedown to close it to 4-2. Taylor answered with another leg attack takedown late in the first period to make it 6-2 at the break. In the second period, Taylor scored a takedown to make it 8-2. He added a go-behind takedown, then turned Erdin with a gut wrench for two more and closed out the technical fall.

“I’ve wanted this for a long time. I’m a World champion, and it feels really good! I’m excited to be a part of this team and to be a part of this team race. It’s exciting to be able to win this individually and to be contributing to what could be one of the best team races of all time. It’s super exciting,” said Taylor.

Taylor had a great tournament, winning five matches and giving the fans a great show. Taylor opened his tournament in the morning session with a big 11-6 win over Olympic and World champion Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran, 11-6. He shut down his next two opponents, beating Hajy Rajabau of Belarus in a 10-0 technical fall and then stopping Yurieski Torreblanca of Cuba, 8-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he took out Russian National champion Dauren Kurugliev in a come-from-behind 7-5 win.

Taylor was competing in his first Senior World Championships, after many years of competing at a high level. He was a two-time NCAA champion, four-time NCAA finalist and two-time Hodge Trophy winner for Penn State in college.

The United States, which won the World Team title in 2017, won all four of its World medal matches on Sunday, claiming three bronze medals to go with Taylor’s gold.

In the first four weight classes completed, the USA had 70 points in the team standings, with Russia in second place with 65 points. The USA has put two wrestlers in the finals on Monday night, J’den Cox at 92 kg and Kyle Dake at 79 kg, plus Thomas Gilman is in a bronze bout at 57 kg and the USA is guaranteed at least 50 more points from those three athletes. In 2017, the USA beat Russia by one point in the team race.
 
Claiming bronze medals with big victories on Sunday night were Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC) at 74 kg/163 lbs., Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC) at 125 kg/275 lbs. and Joe Colon (Fresno, Calif./Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC) at 61 kg/134 lbs.

Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion, won a big rivalry match to close out his tournament. Burroughs edged two-time World champion and Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy in the bronze-medal match in a 4-4 criteria decision. Burroughs-Chamizo III lived up to the hype.

The first period was a back-and-forth battle, with neither athlete able to get a deep attack. Chamizo was put on the shot clock and could not score, giving Burroughs a 1-0 lead going into the break.

In the second period, things opened up with some great action. Burroughs was put on the shot clock and scored an apparent takedown on the edge for a 3-0 lead. After a challenge, both wrestlers were given two points, making it 3-2 for Burroughs. Another scramble on the edge was called a stepout against Burroughs, tying the score at 3-3. The USA challenged and lost, giving Chamizo a 4-3 lead. However, in the closing moments of the bout, Burroughs forced another stepout to tie it at 4-4 and won by criteria.

Burroughs and Chamizo had met twice this season, splitting their bouts. Burroughs beat Chamizo 8-5 at the Beat the Streets Benefit in New York City in May. Chamizo beat Burroughs in a 10-10 criteria decision in the finals of the Yasar Dogu International in Turkey in July.

Burroughs rebounded on Sunday after losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Zaurbek Sidakov of Russia, 6-5 yesterday. He won a 9-0 repechage bout over Miroslav Kirov of Bulgaria on Sunday morning to advance to the bronze-medal bout.

Burroughs won his seventh career World or Olympic medal, one of the most impressive careers in wrestling history. A 2012 Olympic champion, Burroughs won World gold medals in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. He also has a pair of World bronze medals in 2014 and now in 2018.

Gwiazdowski won a World bronze medal for the second straight year, defeating 2018 Commonwealth Games Sumit of India in tonight’s bronze-medal match, 7-2. Gwiazdowski jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first period, getting a point when Sumit did not score on the shot clock, then adding a stepout point and a takedown. In the second period, Gwiazdowski scored on a penalty against Sumit then added another takedown to close out the win.

On Saturday, Gwiazdowski was beaten in the quarterfinals by Zhiwei Deng of China, 5-4, but was pulled back into repechage when Deng reached the finals. He beat Amar Dhesi of Canada, 7-0 in a repechage match to qualify for the bronze-medal bout.

Gwiazdowski was a two-time NCAA champion and three-time finalist for NC State, and was also an All-American as a freshman at Binghamton.

Colon closed out his first Senior Worlds with a spectacular performance in the bronze-medal round, scoring a 13-2 technical fall over Mohammedbagher Yakhkeshi of Iran. Colon was able to secure a 5-1 lead in the second period, including two takedowns. He blasted the match open with a counter takedown, followed by a series of gut wrenches, until he had the 10 point different for the technical fall.

Colon reached the semifinals on Saturday, when he was defeated by eventual champion Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez of Cuba, 9-4. He was competing as a replacement for the injured Nahshon Garrett, who beat Colon in Final X but was hurt during training this summer.

Colon was an NCAA All-American for Northern Iowa and also an NJCAA national champion for Iowa Central CC. He is now a volunteer assistant coach for Fresno State.

The United States has three athletes competing for medals on Monday night, and two more athletes who start their competition on Monday morning.

National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick was asked about the Team USA performance today.

“It was good. I try to stay focused on the individuals and help them get their jobs done. I know if they get their jobs done, the team takes care of itself. All of these guys are very committed,” he said.

The tournament is being broadcast live on Trackwrestling.

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary, October 21

Results from 1st Group of U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers


61 kg/134 lbs. – Joe Colon, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC), bronze medal
WIN Ivan Bileichuk (Ukraine), 9-6
WIN Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba), 9-4
WIN Mohammedbagher Yakhkeshi (Iran), tech. fall 13-2

74 kg/163 lbs. - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC), bronze medal
WIN Venicious Juah (Liberia), forfeit
WIN Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran), 4-3
LOSS Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia), 6-5
WIN Miroslav Kirov (Bulgaria), 9-0
WIN Frank Chamizo (Italy), 4-4

86 kg/189 lbs. - David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), gold medal
WIN Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran), 11-6
WIN Hajy Rajabau (Belarus), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Yurieski Torreblanca (Cuba), 8-0
WIN Dauren Kurugliev (Russia), 7-5
WIN Fatih Erdin (Turkey), tech. fall 12-2

125 kg/275 lbs. - Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC), bronze medal
WIN Zolboo Natsatgsuren, 9-4
LOSS Zhiwei Deng (China), 5-4
WIN Amar Dhesi (Canada), 7-0
WIN Sumit (India), 7-2

Medal Match results

61 kg
Gold - Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) dec. Gadzimurad Rashidov (Russia), 6-5
Bronze – Joe Colon (USA) tech. fall Mohammedbagher Yakhkeshi (Iran), 13-2
Bronze - Tuvshingulga Tumenbileg (Mongolia) dec. Beka Lomtadze (Georgia), 6-3

74 kg
Gold - Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia) dec. Avtandil Kentchadze (Georgia), 2-2
Bronze –Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Frank Chamizo (Italy), 4-4
Bronze - Bekzod Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan) dec. Soner Demirtas (Turkey), 3-2

86 kg
Gold - David Taylor (USA) tech. fall Fatih Erdin (Turkey), 12-2
Bronze – Taymuraz Friev (Spain) dec. Kim Gwanuk (Korea), 7-2
Bronze - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) dec. Dauren Kurugliev (Russia), 11-5

125 kg
Gold - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) dec. Zhiwei Deng (China), 6-0
Bronze – Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) dec. Sumit (India), 7-2
Bronze – Parviz Hadi Basmanj (Iran) dec. Anzor Khizriev (Russia), 11-2

Men's Freestyle Team Standings (after 4 weight classes)
1 United States, 70 points
2. Russia, 65
3. Georgia, 55
4. Iran, 40
5. Turkey, 38
6. Cuba, 27
7. China, 20
8. India, 16
9. Spain, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, 15