Update: Sadulaev pins Snyder in stunning end to men’s freestyle at Worlds; Team USA places second as team

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 23, 2018, 2:27 p.m. (ET)
Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia and Kyle Snyder of the USA square off for their 97 kg gold-medal match in Budapest. Photo by Robbert Wijtman.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – With the team race determined and every other weight class completed, the wrestling fans of the world got what they wanted.

Olympic and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder of the United States and Olympic and two-time World champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev came out for the finals at 97 kg for the second straight year. The crowd was electric.

Snyder vs. Sadulaev I was the last match of the 2017 World Championships in Paris. Snyder scored late to edge Sadulaev, 6-5. The Snyder win gave Team USA a dramatic World Team title over Russia by one point. This year, the match was over before most fans had settled in their seats.

Sadulaev took a leg shot and when he converted the score, he was able to get Snyder onto his back. Snyder struggled to right himself, but the mat official raised his hand, got confirmation and called the fall in 1:11.

“Making it to the World finals is awesome. The finals ended quickly, so that stunk. Everybody knows that Sadulaev is a talented wrestler. He hit me in a good move, and it worked out well for him tonight,” said Snyder.

Snyderlaev II went to Sadulaev. Their record is now 1-1 against each other. Sadulaev is a three-time World champion, an Olympic champion and a 2017 World silver medalist. Snyder is a two-time World champion, an Olympic champion and a 2018 World silver medalist.

“Wins and losses don’t define me. I love wrestling. It’s a big part of my life, but I’m not defined by the sport. I’m defined by my faith in Jesus. No matter what happens to me on the mat, nothing really changes. Whether I win or lose, there’s not a big change in my life in the way that I view myself or the way that I view other people. I’m thankful for the gifts that I have, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to compete,” Snyder said.

This match ended four days of men’s freestyle wrestling. Russia won the team title with 178 points, followed by second-place the United States with 150 points. Georgia took the third place trophy with 105 points.

The 2018 U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team is coming home with seven medals, one of the best performances in history. The most medals by one World team was in 1987 in Clermond Ferrand, France, when the U.S. freestylers had eight medals. This team with seven medals matched three other U.S. teams: the 1979 men’s freestyle team in San Diego, the 1986 men’s freestyle team in Budapest and the 2003 women’s freestyle team in New York City.

The USA had three individual gold medalists, Kyle Dake at 79 kg, David Taylor at 86 kg and J’den Cox at 92 kg. Snyder won a silver medal. Taking home bronzes were Joe Colon at 61 kg, Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and Nick Gwiazdowski at 125 kg.

The USA has started off this four-year Olympic cycle winning the 2017 World team title and taking second in 2018. Overall, the USA has won 13 World medals over the two years, with five individual gold medalists. This is perhaps the best start for a men’s freestyle team in the first two years of any Olympic quadrennial ever.

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary

U.S. Group 3 Men’s freestyle results


70 kg/154 lbs. - James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska WTC), dnp/13th
WIN Khadzimurad Gadzhiyev (Azerbaijan), 6-5
LOSS Byambadorj Bat Erdene (Mongolia), 4-2

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), silver medal
WIN Baasanjargal Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia), 8-3
WIN Nathaniel Tuifao Tuamoheloa (American Samoa), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Abraham De Jesus Conyedo Ruano (Italy), 11-2
WIN Pavlo Oliinyk (Hungary), 3-0
LOSS Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia), pin 1:11

Men’s Freestyle Medal Match results

70 kg
Gold - Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov (Russia) dec. Adam Batirov (Bahrain), 7-6
Bronze – Franklin Maren Castillo (Cuba) tech. fall Andriy Kvyatkovskyy (Ukraine), 11-1
Bronze - Zurabi Iakovishvili (Georgia) tech. fall Byambaa Bat Erdene (Mongolia), 10-0

97 kg
Gold - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia) pin Kyle Snyder (USA), 1:11
Bronze –Abraham De Jesus Conyedo Ruano (Italy) dec. Pavlo Oliinyk (Hungary), 2-2
Bronze - Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia) pin Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan), 3:52

Top 20 Team Standings
1.Russia, 178
2. United States, 150
3. Georgia, 105
4. Cuba, 67
5. Japan, 67
6. Iran, 65
7. Mongolia, 57
8. Turkey, 53
9. Azerbaijan, 44
10. Belarus, 41
11. India, 38
12. Uzbekistan, 33
13. Kazakhstan, 32
14. Italy, 29
15. Italy, 29
15. China, 20
17. Korea, 20
18. Ukraine, 18
19. Spain, 15
20. Hungary, 14

Most Medals by a U.S. World Team in a specific style 

8 medals

1987 – Clermont Ferrand, France – men’s freestyle – Barry Davis (silver, 57 kg), John Smith (gold, 62 kg), Andre Metzger (silver, 68 kg), Dave Schultz (silver, 74 kg), Mark Schultz (gold, 82 kg), Jim Scherr (silver, 90 kg), Bill Scherr (bronze, 100 kg), Bruce Baumgartner (bronze, 130 kg)

7 medals

1979 – San Diego – men’s freestyle - Bobby Weaver (silver, 48 kg), Jimmy Haines (silver, 52 kg), Joe Corso (bronze, 57 kg), Andre Metzger (bronze, 62 kg), Lee Kemp (gold,74 kg), John Peterson (silver, 82 kg), Russ Hellickson (silver, 100 kg)

1986 – Budapest – men’s freestyle - Barry Davis (silver, 57 kg), Joe McFarland (silver, 62 kg), Andre Metzger (silver, 69 kg), Dave Schultz (bronze, 74 kg), Jim Scherr (bronze, 90 kg), Bill Scherr (bronze, 100 kg), Bruce Baumgartner (gold, 130 kg)

2003 – New York – women’s freestyle – Patricia Miranda (silver, 48 kg), Jenny Wong (bronze, 51 kg), Tina George (silver, 55 kg), Sally Roberts (bronze, 59 kg), Sara McMann (silver, 62 kg), Kristie Davis (gold, 67 kg), Toccara Montgomery (silver, 72 kg)

2018 – Budapest – men’s freestyle - Joe Colon (bronze, 61 kg), Jordan Burroughs (bronze, 74 kg), Kyle Dake (gold, 79 kg), David Taylor (gold, 86 kg), J’den Cox (gold, 92 kg), Kyle Snyder (silver, 97 kg), Nick Gwiazdowski (bronze, 125 kg)