USA Wrestling Snyder and Dake reac...

Snyder and Dake reach semifinals at World Championships; Snyder qualifies weight for 2020 Olympics

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 21, 2019, 6:08 a.m. (ET)

Kyle Snyder of the USA powers through Magomed Ibragimov of Uzbekistan in the World quarterfinals. Photo by Jim Thrall,

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Two U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers won their quarterfinal match and have qualified for the semifinals at the World Wrestling Championships on Saturday

2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) won his two matches handily, and will face 2012 Olympic champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals.

In the quarterfinals, Snyder dominanted Magomed Ibragimov of Uzbekistan, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, in a 13-3 technical fall. Ibragimov scored the first three points of the bout, with a forced step out and a takedown, but then Snyder got his offense untracked. A single leg cut the lead to 3-2, then Snyder popped a four-point takedown to lead 6-3 at the break. In the second period, Snyder added three more takedowns and a step out to end the match.

By reaching the semifinals, Snyder has qualified the United States to compete at this weight class at the 2020 Olympic Games. The top six athletes in each Olympic weight class from the 2019 Worlds qualify their nation for Tokyo. By reaching the semifinals, Snyder has clinched a top six finish.

His first match was a powerful 10-0 technical fall over Mausam Khatri of India. He opened with a takedown and gut wrench to lead 4-0, added another takedown to make it 6-0, then closed it out with another takedown and gut wrench.

Seeded No. 1, Snyder could face No. 2 seed is Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia in the finals if they both win Saturday’s semifinals. This could be their third World finals meeting if both are able to advance. Snyder beat Sadualev in the 2017 World Championship finals to clinch the team title for the U.S. In the 2018 finals, Sadulaev defeated Snyder by fall in the finals.

2018 World champion and No. 1 seed Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC) also advanced to the semifinals for Team USA with two victories at 79 kg/174 lbs., where he will face 2013 World bronze medalist Rashid Kurbanov of Uzbekistan

In his opener, after giving up the first takedown, Dake hammered 2019 Asian bronze medalist Oibek Nasirov of Kyrgyzstan by technical fall, 12-2.

In a more tactical bout, Dake stopped 2015 Junior World champion and 2018 U23 World silver medalist Gadzhi Nabiev of Russia, 5-1 in the quarterfinals. Dake scored in the first period, after going on the shot clock, he forced Nabiev into a stepout for a 1-0 lead. In the second, Dake was put on the shot clock again but did not score this time, making the score 1-1 with Nabiev holding criteria. Dake took over from there, forcing a step out, getting a takedown and forcing a second step out to win the bout.

Also reaching the quarterfinals at 61 kg/ 134 lbs. was Tyler Graff (Princeton, N.J./Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC), who was beaten by 2016 World silver medalist Beka Lomtadze of Georgia, 3-1. Graff led 1-0 at the break when Lomtadze was put on the shot clock and did not score. In the second period, Lomtadze forced a step out to tie it at 1-1 and control criteria. Lomtade scored a counter tilt exposure for two points while Graff forced the action late in the bout.

In his first match. Graff came out with an effective offense, scoring a 10-0 technical fall over Jin Cheol Kim of South Korea. He scored five leg attack takedowns, with two takedowns in the first period and three more in the second period.

He continued to look sharp in his second win, a 7-0 decision over 2019 Asian Championships silver medalist Minghu Liu of China. Up 2-0 at the break with a step out point and a shot clock point against Liu, Graff got two takedowns in the second period to put the bout out of reach.

If Lomtadze is able to win his semifinal match, Graff would be pulled into Saturday’s repechage rounds with a chance to wrestle back for the bronze medal. Graff is competing in his first Senior World Championships

Also making his Senior World debut is 2012 Junior World silver medalist, Pat Downey (Cranbury, N.J./Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC), who finished 2-1 at 86 kg/189 lbs. and is not eligible for repechage.

Downey came out wrestling very well in two straight wins. He dominated Hovhannes Mkhitaryan of Armenia in an 11-1 technical fall in the pigtail round, then was in control of the action in his second match, an 8-2 win over Zbigniew Baranowski of Poland.

In his third match, Downey was unable to get any traction, dropping a 13-0 technical fall to Ahmed Dudarov of Germany. When Dudarov was defeated in the quarterfinals by University of Michigan wrestler Myles Amine of San Marino, Downey was eliminated. Only athletes who lose to a gold-medal finalist can compete in repechage.

The semifinals are set for 4:45 p.m. in Nur-Sultan, which is 10 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone. All of the action is live on Trackwrestling

At Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 21

Group 3 Men’s freestyle Semifinal pairings

61 kg/134 lbs.
Behnam Ehsanpoor (Iran) vs. Magomedrasul Idrisov (Russia)
Beka Lomtadze (Georgia) vs. Rahul Aware (India)

79 kg/174 lbs. –
Kyle Dake (USA) vs. Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)
Taimuraz Salakanzanov (Slovakia) vs. Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) vs. Myles Amine (San Marino)
Deepak Punia (India) vs. Stefan Reichmuth (Switzerland)

97 kg/213.75 lbs.
Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan)
Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia) vs. Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan)

U.S. Men's freestyle Group 3 results

61 kg/134 lbs. - Tyler Graff, Princeton, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC)
WIN Jin Cheol Kim (South Korea), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Minghu Liu (China), 7-0
LOSS Beka Lomtadze (Georgia), 3-1

79 kg/174 lbs. - Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC)
WIN Oibek Nasirov (Kyrgzstan), tech. fall 12-2
WIN Gadzhi Nabiev (Russia), 5-1
Semifinals – Vs. Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)

86 kg/189 lbs. - Pat Downey, Cranbury, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC)
WIN Hovhannes Mkhitaryan (Armenia), tech. fall 11-1
WIN Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland), 8-2
LOSS Ahmed Dudarov (Germany), tech. fall 13-0

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
WIN Mausam Khatri (India), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan), tech. fall 13-3
Semifinals – Vs. Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan)