Kyle Snyder at the 2022 World Championships. Photo by Larry Slater
BELGRADE, Serbia – Two more Americans have qualified for the gold-medal finals at the 2022 World Championships, as Yianni Diakomihalis at 65 kg and Olympic and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kg won their semifinal matches today.
Team USA has now put eight wrestlers into the gold-medal finals at this year’s World Championships. The eight finalists sets a U.S. men’s freestyle record at a World Championships. This ties the record eight medals won by the 1987 U.S. World Team in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Diakomihalis came out and quickly dispatched 2022 Pan American silver medalist Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico with a first-period 10-0 technical fall. Diakomihalis scored a takedown and turn for a 4-0 lead. On the next exchange, Diakomihalis got another takedown and hit two gut wrenches to end the match.
Diakomihalis is a native of Rochester, N.Y., and has won three NCAA titles for Cornell. Rivera hails from New Jersey and was a multiple NCAA All-American competing for Northwestern and Rutgers.
Diakomihalis will face 2022 Asian champion Rahman Amouzadkhalili of Iran in the gold-medal bout.
Snyder controlled the match against 2014 World bronze medalist Mohammadhossein Mohammadian of Iran, powering to a 4-1 victory. Snyder led 3-0 at the break, scoring on a takedown as well as a point when Mohammadian did not score when on the shot clock. In the second period, both wrestlers scored on a step out, but Mohammadian was never close to finishing a technique.
Snyder will face 2019 U23 World silver medalist Batyrbek Tsakulov of Slovakia in the finals.
Snyder has now won eight World or Olympic medals, starting in 2015. He will have six World medals and two Olympic medals, including a 2016 Olympic gold and 2015 and 2017 World titles. Snyder is a native of Woodbine, Md., and won three NCAA titles for Ohio State.
Going for a bronze medal at 61 kg will be Seth Gross, who is competing in his first World Championships. He dropped a wide-open 14-7 match to 2016 Olympic silver medalist Rei Higuchi of Japan in the semifinals.
The bout had a number of scramble situations, similar to many of Gross’ matches in the past. Higuchi led 4-1 at the break after getting two takedowns, with Gross getting a reversal. Gross came back in the second period with an exposure, followed by a takedown for a 7-4 lead, but a two-point Higuchi reversal closed it to 7-6. A key point came after Higuchi shot in and Gross countered. Officials gave two points to Higuchi, which the U.S. corner challenged. After a review, officials made the score 10-7 in favor of Higuchi. To close out the match, Higuchi scored two more exposures.
Gross will compete against the winner of the repechage match between Islam Dudaev of Albania and Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia.
Gross is a native of Minnesota, and won an NCAA title for South Dakota State, finishing his college career at Wisconsin.
Starting at 6:00 p.m. local time, the USA has three athletes in gold medal matches: Thomas Gilman (57 kg), Kyle Dake (74 kg)and J’den Cox (97 kg), live on FloWrestling.
WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Belgrade, Serbia, September 17, 2022
Men’s freestyle finals pairings
61 kg - Rei Higuchi (Japan) vs. Reza Atrinagharchi (Iran)
65 kg - Yianni Diakomihalis (USA) vs. Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran)
97 kg - Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Batyrbek Tsakulov (Slovakia)
Men’s freestyle semifinal results
Rei Higuchi (Japan) dec. Seth Gross (USA), 14-7
Reza Atrinagharchi (Iran) dec. Narankhuu Narmandakh (Mongolia), 5-3
Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran) dec. Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 9-2
Yianni Diakomihalis (USA) tech fall Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico), 10-0
Kyle Snyder (USA) dec. Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Iran), 4-1
Batyrbek Tsakulov (Slovakia) tech. fall Givi Matcharashvili (Georgia), 10-0
U.S. Men’s freestyle results
61 kg: Seth Gross (Madison, Wisc./Badger RTC/Sunkist Kids WC) – In Bronze Medal Bout
WIN Andrii Dzhelep (Ukraine), 13-2
WIN Eduard Grigorev (Poland), 7-0
WIN Suleyman Atli (Turkey), 10-4
LOSS Rei Higuchi (Japan) 14-7
Bronze medal bout- Vs. winner of Islam Dudaev (Albania) and Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia)
65 kg: Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Spartan Combat RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – FINALIST
WIN Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia), 4-0
WIN Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria), 10-0
WIN Bajrang Punia (India), 10-0
WIN Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico), 10-0
Gold medal bout – Vs. Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran)
97 kg: Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) – FINALIST
WIN Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland), 4-1
WIN Magomedkhan Magomedov (Azerbaijan), 10-0
WIN Mohammahossein Mohammadian (Iran), 4-1
Gold medal bout – Vs. Batyrbek Tsakulov (Slovakia)