Lewis cruises into Junior World finals, Saunders and Deprez pulled back into repechage

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Sept. 22, 2018, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Mekhi Lewis after his semifinal win. Photo by Kadir Caliskan.

TRVAVA, Slovakia – So far in his international debut, Mekhi Lewis has sailed to the finals of the 2018 Junior World Championships with two technical falls and a pin in Trnava, Slovakia.

In the semifinals, Lewis faced 2018 Junior Asian silver medalist Bat-Erdene Byambasuren of Mongolia.

The Virginia Tech redshirt freshman scored early with a takedown and two turns with a leg lace to carry a 6-0 lead into the break. In the final period, Lewis scored a takedown on a reattack for two points, but the Mongolian responded with a step out.

To wrap things up, Lewis picked up one final takedown and finished it off with a lace for a 12-1 tech fall to punch his ticket to the 70 kg finals.

Tomorrow night, Lewis will wrestle 2016 Cadet World champion Abubakr Abakarov of Azerbaijan.

Two U.S. wrestlers were pulled back into repechage, including Joshua Saunders at 61 kg and Lou Deprez at 86 kg.

Saunders will face Kodai Ogawa of Japan in his first repechage match. Ogawa was eighth at the 2015 Cadet Asian Championships. Deprez will face 2017 Junior European champion Alik Shebzukhov of Russia to start his road to bronze.

Three-time World champion Gable Steveson was knocked out of the tournament at 125 kg after Khasanboy Rakhimov of Uzbekistan failed to make it to the finals on Saturday night.

The schedule is different for the final day of the Junior World Championships. Repechage will begin at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) and medal matches are scheduled for 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET). Fans can watch live on Trackwrestling.com.

2018 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Trnava, Slovakia

U.S. men’s freestyle results

61 kg: Joshua Saunders (St. Louis, Mo./Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Nurahamed Mukhudzinau (Belarus), fall 3:29
LOSS Abasgadzhi Magomedov (Russia), 10-0
vs. Kodai Ogawa (Japan)

74 kg: Mekhi Lewis (Somerset, N.J./Southeast RTC)
WIN Erik Reinbok (Estonia), 10-0
WIN Matthew Bartlett (South Africa), fall 1:04
WIN Bat-Erdene Byambasuren (Mongolia), 12-1
vs. Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan)

86 kg: Lou Deprez (Hilton, N.Y./Bearcat WC)
WIN Mher Markosyan (Armenia), 7-0
LOSS Arif Ozen (Turkey), 6-1
vs. Alik Shebzukhov (Russia)

92 kg: Jacob Warner (Washington, Ill./Hawkeye WC)
LOSS Askhab Hamzatov (Azerbaijan), 6-6

125 kg: Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
WIN Lkhagvegerel Munkhtur (Mongolia), 7-4
WIN Haroon Abid (Pakistan), 13-2
LOSS Khasanboy Rakhimov (Uzbekistan), fall 1:18