Sadulaev tops Snyder, Gray to wrestle for gold

Abdulrashid Sadulaev defeated Kyle Snyder for the gold medal on Tuesday (Photo/Max Rose-Fyne, United World Wrestling)

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Entering the 2018 World Championships, Kyle Snyder had not suffered a defeat at a world-level event on the senior level.

On Tuesday, it happened.

Russia's Abdulrashid Sadulaev earned first-period fall over Snyder in the gold-medal match at the World Championships to claim the gold medal at 97 kilograms in a highly-anticipated rematch being promoted as Snyderlaev II. Snyder won the first meeting 6-5 at last year's World Championships in Paris.

Sadulaev, now a three-time world champion and 2016 Olympic champion, took a shot early in the match, hooked Snyder's arm and put the American on his back where he would eventually get the fall.

"Everybody knows Sadulaev is a very talented wrestler," Snyder said. "He hit me in a good move and it worked out well for him tonight."

The men's freestyle team finished in second place behind Russia. The Americans won seven medals in freestyle, including three golds. Kyle Dake (79 kilograms), David Taylor (86 kilograms) and J'den Cox (92 kilograms) won gold. Kyle Snyder (97 kilograms) won silver. Joe Colon (61 kilograms), Jordan Burroughs (74 kilograms) and and Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kilograms) finished with bronze medals.

U.S. head freestyle coach Bill Zadick was upbeat about how competitive his team was.

"We had a great team performance," Zadick said. "One thing we do really well is we compete really hard and when we're aggressive and go after it we're hard to beat. We have a lot of room to improve. I know these guys will do the work we'll make the adjustments and come back stronger."

Adeline Gray celebrates her semifinal victory (Photo/Larry Slater)

Three-time world champion Adeline Gray made a triumphant return to the world stage at 76 kilograms, reaching the gold-medal match with a victory over Olympic champion Erica Wiebe of Canada in a match that had the American's and the Canadians on the edge of their seats

Wiebe scored the first point of the match off the shot clock. But Gray was not to be deterred, scoring a takedown on the edge to take a 2-1 lead into the break. Gray would widen the gap to 3-1, but Wiebe was relentless until the final buzzer, nearly scoring a takedown as time expired.

"Erica's obviously a gamer," Gray said. "It's fun to wrestle her."

Gray will wrestle 2017 world champion Yasmin Adar of Turkey for gold on Wednesday.

"I'm looking forward to competing against Turkey," she said. "It's been a fun time wrestling with her in the past. I'm looking to an exciting match tomorrow."

Jacarra Winchester fell short in her bronze-medal at 55 kilograms match against Lianna Montero Herrera of Cuba. Winchester stayed on the attack, but found herself facing a 5-1 deficit midway through the second period. She would cut the deficit to 5-4 with a double leg takedown on the edge, but there were only 10 seconds left.

"I think I wrestled my hardest there are [things] I could have done better," Winchester said. "I got to keep getting better, even if I won this tournament. My plan is to be the greatest in the world every day of the day."

Tamrya Mensah-Stock lost a tight semifinal match to Koumba Larroque of France at 68 kilograms. All the points scored in the match came from the shot clock, with Larroque getting the final one for a 2-1 victory.

Mensah-Stock will wrestle Wednesday for a bronze medal.

Forrest Molinari received a repechage match at 65 kilograms by virtue of Danielle Lappage of Canada reaching the gold-medal match. She will wrestle on Wednesday.


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Willie (1) about 10 months ago
"Tops Snyder"???
The word is PINS. He pinned him in quick and dominating defeat. Now comfortable with the weight class he's just too quick and technically superior for Snyder. Maybe Kyle can learn from this and keep matches going so he can take advantage of his conditioning. But until he learns to keep Sadulaev in front of him and backing up he'll continue to get schooled.
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