Burroughs, Cox reach semifinals at World Championships; Burroughs qualifies weight for 2020 Olympics

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 20, 2019, 6 a.m. (ET)
Jordan Burroughs of the USA scores a takedown at the 2019 World Championships. Photo by Larry Slater.

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – The USA pushed two men’s freestyle stars into Friday’s semifinals at the World Wrestling Championships at the Barys Arena

2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb. /Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC) won three matches to reach the semifinals, where he will face 2018 World champion Zaurbek Sidakov of Russia. Sidakov defeated Burroughs on a last-second takedown in the semifinals of last year’s World Championships.

By reaching the semifinals, Burroughs has qualified the USA to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games at 74 kg. The top six athletes in each Olympic weight class at the Worlds qualify their nation for the Tokyo Games. Those in the semifinals have clinched a top-six finish.

Burroughs survived a war with Azmat Nurykau of Belarus in the first round, scoring an 11-10 decision. Coming into the tournament, Nurykau was fifth in the World Championships three times.

After an initial two-and-two exchange, Nurykau tossed Burroughs for four points on a counter to take a 6-2 lead. Burroughs battled back with three step outs and a takedown to secure a 7-6 lead at the break. In the second period, Nurykau scored a takedown and turn to jump to a 10-7 lead. A double leg takedown for Burroughs closed it to 10-9. Nurykau was hit with a caution and one point penalty, making it 10-10. A final exchange on the edge was scored two points for Burroughs. The move was rescored during a challenge as a step out point for Burroughs, who won 11-10.

In his second bout, Burroughs battled back to defeat Murad Kuramagomedov of Hungary, 6-4. Burroughs got behind in the first period, as Kuramagomedov scored two takedowns to lead 4-0 at the break. Burroughs got all the points back on one four-point double leg takedown on the edge. A challenge by Hungary was denied, giving Burroughs at 5-4 lead. He added to the lead with a single leg that Burroughs took out of bounds for a step out point.

His quarterfinals win came over 2018 Junior World champion and 2019 Junior World bronze medalist Khadzimurad Gadzhiev of Azerbaijan, 8-1. Burroughs was in complete control of this match. He scored two takedowns and a turn in the first period, and added another second-period takedown, only giving up a step out.

Burroughs is seeking a fifth Senior World title, which would tie him with Adeline Gray for the most Senior World titles in U.S. wrestling history.

2018 World champion J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/OTC) won both of his matches Friday morning to reach the semifinals at 92 kg/202.5 lbs., where he will face 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Irakli Mtsituri of Georgia.

Cox had no problem in his opener in an 11-0 technical fall over Mohamad Fardj of Algeria. After scoring initially on a stepout, Cox got a takedown and turned Fardj four times to end the bout. In the quarterfinals, he was in control in an 8-0 decision over Nurgali Nurgaipuly of Kazakhstan.

2015 World bronze medalist and 2017 World silver medalist James Green (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids WC/Nebraska WTC) finished the session with a 1-1 record. He remains a possibility for repechage.

Green got things rolling with a 10-0 technical fall over Vincent De Marinis of Canada. Green had three takedowns and two gut wrenches to end the match in the first period.

In his second match, Green was edged by Magomedmurad Gadzhiev of Poland, 4-3. Green led 1-0 at the break, aftere Gadzhiev was put on the shot clock and could not score. In the second period, Green added a takedown to lead 3-0. Green gave up a point when placed on the shot clock, making it 3-1 going into the final seconds. Gadzhiev was awarded a takedown on the edge with seven seconds to go, tying it at 3-3, with criteria to Gadzhiev. The USA corner challenged and it was denied, giving the final point to Gadzhiev.

When Gadzhiev won his quarterfinals bout over No. 1 seed Adam Batirov of Bahrain, Green’s hope for repechage stayed alive. Gadzhiev will need to win his semifinal bout later today to pull Green back into the tournament.

Two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC) dropped his opening bout to Yadollah Mohebi of Iran, 5-2. The score was tied at 1-1 at the break. Gwiazdowski took a 2-1 lead on a forced step out. Mohebi countered a Gwiazdowski shot with a spin-behind takedown to take a 3-2 lead. On another shot late in the period, Mohebi scored a counter exposure to finish the scoring at 5-2.

When Mohebi was defeated in the quarterfinals by Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi of Ukraine, Gwiadzowski was not eligible for repechage. Only athletes who lose to a gold-medal finalist are drawn into repechage.

The semifinals are set for 4:45 p.m. local time, which is 10 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone.

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 20

Semifinals pairings


70 kg/154 lbs.
Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Poland) vs. David Baev (Russia)
Nurkozha Kaipanov (Kazakhstan) vs. Yones Aliakbar Emamichoghae (Iran)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia)
Frank Chamizo (Italy) vs. Zelimkhan Khadjiev (France)

92 kg/202.5 lbs. –
J’den Cox (USA) vs. Irakli Mtsituri (Georgia)
Alireza Mohammad Karimimachiani (Iran) vs. Alikhan Zhabrailov (Russia)

125 kg/275 lbs.
Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) vs. Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi (Ukraine)
Taha Akgul (Turkey) vs. Zhiwei Deng (China)

U.S. Men's freestyle performance on Friday

70 kg/154 lbs. - James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC)
WIN Vincent De Marinis (Canada), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Poland), 4-3

74 kg/163 lbs. - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC)
WIN Azmat Nurykau (Belarus), 11-10
WIN Murad Kuramagomedov (Hungary), 6-4
WIN Khadzimurad Gadzhiyev (Azerbaijan), 8-1
Semifinals – Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia)

92 kg/202.5 lbs. - J’den Cox, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
WIN Mohamad Fardj (Algeria), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Nurgali Nurgaipuly (Kazakhstan), 8-0
Semifinals - Irakli Mtsituri (Georgia)

125 kg/275 lbs. - Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC)
LOSS Yadollah Mohebi (Iran), 5-2