Dake and Cox win World freestyle gold medals, Gilman takes fifth in Budapest

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 22, 2018, 3:35 p.m. (ET)
World champions Kyle Dake and J'den Cox of the United States pose with their World Champion belts.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – There is something about American wrestlers, that when they get a chance to wrestle for a World gold medal, they often cash in on the opportunity.

On Monday night at the Papp Lazslo Arena, the United States won the first World gold medals in the two brand new weight classes created when UWW expanded from eight to 10 weight classes: Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/New York RTC) at 79 kg/174 lbs. and J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/OTC) at 92 kg/202.5 lbs.

In 2016, they were in the same weight class, 86 kg, when Cox beat Dake in the Olympic Trials. Two years later, they went in different directions, and both were able to pose together with World gold medals and World Champion belts,

Dake took care of business first, because they went in weight-class order during the finals.

In the finals, Dake controlled 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World bronze medalist Jabrayil Hasanov of Azerbaijan in a 2-0 victory. While he did not dominate this match like all of his other victories here in Budapest, the final score did not really matter. Kyle Dake is the World Champion.

In the first period, Dake received a point when Hasanov was put on the shot clock and could not score in the 30 second period. In the second period, Dake secured a single leg attack and turned it into a stepout, to get another point for a 2-0 lead. Although Hasanov tried to pick up his pace and take some shots, he was not able to get close to scoring. It was Kyle Dake who got to run around the mat with his national flag.

To reach the finals, Dake won all three bouts by technical fall on Sunday. He put away Martin Obst of Germany, 11-0, Davit Khutsishvili of Georgia, 11-0 and 2018 European champion Akhmed Gazhimagomedov of Russia, 13-0 in the semifinals. He avenged a loss to Gazhimagomedov in this year’s Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia.

Do the math and you realize Dake did not allow a single point in the entire World Championships.

“I feel like I wrestled really well. I might have gotten a little too hyped last night. That was a huge match for me. This time, it was a different type of match. Stylistically, he was a little bit more reserved, and I was a little bit more reserved, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said Dake.

Dake had high expectations after an amazing college career, where he won four NCAA titles in four different weight classes for Cornell, an achievement nobody else has done. A talented freestyler, he placed second in the U.S. Trials a number of times, behind World and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs and World and Olympic medalist J’den Cox.

Less than an hour later, it was Cox’s turn to go for his gold.

In the gold-medal match, Cox was also in a close battle, as 2010 World Military silver medalist Ivan Yankouski of Belarus tried to keep things close. Cox led 1-0 at the break when Yankouski was placed on the shot clock and could not score in the 30-second period. In the second period, officials put Yankouski on the shot clock again and he could not score again, making it 2-1. However, when Yankouski pressed the action at the end, Cox was able to secure a takedown in the closing seconds for the 4-1 win.

“I feel weightless. It’s awesome being on top of the ladder. Our team is doing so well, especially with the young talent and the guys who have been battling each other for years. Now we come out here and we get championship after championship after championship. We’re getting medals and titles, and that’s what we do. We’ve meshed as a team and it’s fun to be a part of this," said Cox.

Cox has now won a medal for Team USA for three straight years, stringing a 2016 Olympic bronze to a 2017 World bronze and now his 2018 World gold medal. This all started just a few months after he completed his college career at Missouri, where he won three NCAA titles, and made the decision to try out for the Olympic team after his senior season.

He made a life change this year, moving to become a full-time resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and working with the National Coaching staff and other resident athletes on a daily basis.

On Sunday, Cox had three victories to reach the finals. He scored a 6-2 win over past World medalist Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia, then stopped Nicolai Ceban of Moldova, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he stopped 2015 World bronze medalist Alireza Karimimachiani of Iran, 5-2

In a bronze-medal match at 57 kg, 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) lost to Suleyman Atli of Turkey, 5-4 and finished fifth.

In the first period, nobody could score but Gilman was given a point when Atli was put on the shot clock and could not score, ahead 1-0 at the break. In the second period, Atli tied it up at 1-1 with a stepout. In a series of moves, Atli got two exposure points on Gilman, then completed a takedown for another two points, taking a 5-1 lead.

Gilman opened the tournament with a pair of wins, beating Givi Davidovi of Italy, 6-3 and Giorgi Edisherashvili of Azerbaijan, 4-0. He was defeated in the semifinals by Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan, 11-0.

Gilman, a three-time NCAA All-American for Iowa, has now competed on two straight Senior World teams, and is a past Junior World medalist.

Russia took control in the team race today, based upon the results from this medal round as well as the results through the semifinals at 70 kg and 97 kg. Coming into Monday’s action, the USA had a slight edge in the standings.

After the first eight weight classes were completed, the USA led Russia by two points, 130 to 128. However, in the last two weight classes to be completed on Tuesday, Russia pushed two athletes into the finals, Abdulrashid Sadulaev at 97 kg and Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov at 70 kg, guaranteeing 40 more points. The United States has one finalist, Kyle Snyder at 97 kg, which gives them an additional 20 points. The USA will not be able up the difference, regardless of the results of those gold-medal matches.

Over the first eight weight classes, the United States has won six World medals, including three champions. Joining Dake and Cox as a World champions was David Taylor at 86 kg, who claimed a gold medal on Sunday. Winning bronze medals on Sunday were Joe Colon at 61 kg, Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and Nick Gwiazdowski at 125 kg.

With Snyder reaching the finals on Tuesday, the U.S. is guaranteed a seventh medalist. The only question now is whether he wins another World gold, or comes home with a World silver.

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary

Group Two results for U.S. men’s freestyle

57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Thomas Gilman, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), 5th place
WIN Givi Davidovi (Italy), 6-3
WIN Giorgi Edisherashvili (Azerbaijan), 4-0
LOSS Nurislam Sanayev (Kazakhstan). 11-0
LOSS Suleyman Atli (Turkey), 5-4

65 kg/143 lbs. - Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), dnp/19th
LOSS Akhmed Chakaev (Russia), 7-5

79 kg/174 lbs. - Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/New York RTC), gold medal
WIN Martin Obst (Germany), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Akhmed Gazhimagomedov (Russia), tech. fall 13-0
WIN Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 2-0

92 kg/202.5 lbs. - J’den Cox, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC), gold medal
WIN Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia), 6-2
WIN Nicolai Ceban (Moldova), 6-0
WIN Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran). 5-2
WIN Ivan Yankouski (Belarus), 4-1

Group 2 Medal Matches

57 kg
Gold - Zavur Uguev (Russia) dec. Nurislam Sanayev (Kazakhstan), 4-3
Bronze – Yuki Takahashi (Japan) dec. Reineri Andreu Ortega (Cuba), 5-4
Bronze - Suleyman Atli (Turkey) dec. Thomas Gilman (USA), 5-4

65 kg
Gold - Takuto Otoguro (Japan) dec. Bajrang (India), 16-9
Bronze – Akhmed Chakaev (Russia) dec. George Bucur (Romania), 9-4
Bronze - Alejandro Valdes Tobier (Cuba) tech. fall Seungchul Lee (Korea), 10-0

79 kg
Gold - Kyle Dake (USA) dec. Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 6-0
Bronze – Akhmed Gazhimagomedov (Russia) tech. fall Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia), 10-0
Bronze - Ali Shabanau (Belarus) dec. Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolai (Iran), 8-8

92 kg
Gold - J’den Cox (USA) dec. Ivan Yankouski (Belarus), 4-1
Bronze – Atsushi Matsumoto (Japan) dec. Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Mongolia), 6-5
Bronze - Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran) tech. fall Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia), 12-1

Team Standings after first eight weight classes
1. USA, 130 pts.
2. Russia, 128

Current Team Standings including guaranteed points for 70 kg and 97 kg
1. Russia 168
2. USA, 150