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Burroughs strikes gold again at World Championships

9/18/2013
Craig Sesker, USA Wrestling

Jordan Burroughs won his third straight World or Olympic title (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- The legend of Jordan Burroughs continues to grow.

Not only did the unflappable Burroughs continue his incredible run by winning a gold medal at the World Wrestling Championships.

He did it on a left ankle that he broke less than a month ago.

Burroughs kept his composure in earning a gritty 4-0 win over Iran's Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei in the men's freestyle finals at 74 kilos/163 pounds on Wednesday night at the Papp Laszlo Sports Arena.

Burroughs captured his third straight gold medal after striking gold at the 2011 Worlds and the 2012 Olympics.

Burroughs turned in an amazing performance considering he broke his ankle less than a month ago during a practice at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He broke his ankle Aug. 22, had surgery the next day and said he didn't resume live wrestling until arriving in Budapest less than a week ago.

"The doctor put five screws in my left ankle," Burroughs said. "I'm like Iron Man now. I was running sprints at the OTC and tried to jump off the wall to stop my momentum and snapped it. The doctor made it extra stable for me to be able to compete. He said he could do the type of surgery that would guarantee I would be able to compete. I was on crutches and I couldn't walk for a couple weeks. I rode the bike and lifted and stayed in great shape when I couldn't wrestle. I have only wrestled live once in the last four weeks and that was here.

"It's definetly the biggest win of my career. It's special, real special."

Burroughs scored on pushouts in the first and second periods to build a 2-0 lead against his defensive-minded finals opponent from Iran. He then spun behind for a huge takedown with 40 seconds left for the final margin. He outscored his five opponents by a combined 34-3 total on Wednesday.

"My ankle felt good," he said. "I don't have the full range of motion. I was about 75-80 percent. I tried to compete hard and give my all. I believed I could do this. It's a testament to my willpower. I knew I could compete at a high level."

Burroughs beat the Iranian for the second time this year after defeating him in the 2013 World Cup in Tehran, Iran.

Burroughs is now a perfect 65-0 on the Senior level since starting his international career in 2011. He beat another Iranian, Sadegh Goudarzi, in the 2011 World and 2012 Olympic finals.

Burroughs becomes the first U.S. men's freestyle wrestler to win back-to-back World titles since John Smith in 1990 and 1991.

Burroughs becomes only the second U.S. men's freestyle wrestler to win three straight World or Olympic titles. John Smith won six straight World or Olympic titles from 1987-92.

The U.S. finished fifth in the men's freestyle standings with 25 points. Iran edged Russia 46-44 for the team title.

Alyssa Lampe captured a World bronze medal with a quick 46-second pin over Melanie LeSaffre of France in women's freestyle at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.

Lampe earns her second straight World bronze after taking third at the 2012 Worlds at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.

"I knew I had to come back strong to win a medal," Lampe said. "I just had to keep focused and stay on my offense."

Victoria Anthony dropped an 8-0 decision to Sim Hyang So of North Korea in her bronze-medal match in women's freestyle at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.

Anthony, a two-time Junior World champion, fell just short of a medal in her first trip to the Senior World Championships.

Day 4 of the seven-day event is set for Thursday in Budapest. World champion Elena Pirozhkova, World silver medalist Helen Maroulis and World University silver medalist Alli Ragan are set to take the mat for the U.S.



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