Yianni Diakomihalis reached the gold-medal match at 65 kilograms (Photo/Gabor Martin, United World Wrestling)
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- The Americans went a perfect 3-for-3 in the semifinals of the Yasar Dogu on Friday to advance three wrestlers to the finals.
Yianni Diakomihalis (65 kilograms), Alex Dieringer (79 kilograms) and Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kilograms) will wrestle for gold medals on Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey.
Diakomihalis, a two-time Cadet world champion in freestyle, won in dramatic fashion in the semifinals, coming from behind to defeat Ismail Musukaev of Hungary. Musukaev, formerly of Russia, dominated the first period, scoring with a four-point move and taking a 9-0 lead into the break.
In the second period, Diakomihalis chipped away against a physically exhausted Musukaev to get within three points before securing a takedown off a double leg with just over a minute remaining, which made the score 9-8 in favor of Musukaev. With 46 seconds remaining, Musukaev backed out of bounds and was called for his third caution, which gave Diakomihalis the victory.
In the quarterfinals, Diakomihalis dominated Ali Rahimzade of Azerbaijan by 13-2 technical superiority.
Diakomihalis opened with a familiar opponent in Zain Retherford. The two had met three times this year prior to Friday's matchup, with Retherford winning the previous two meetings at Final X in June and Diakomihalis winning in their first meeting in the U.S. Open finals.
Retherford struck first with a takedown to take a 2-0 lead. Diakomihalis came back with a step out and Retherford took a 2-1 lead into the break. Diakahomihals took a 3-2 lead with a takedown off a leg attack 25 seconds into the second period. With just over a minute remaining, Diakahomihals found another takedown to go up 5-2. With Retherford draped over his back, Diakahomihals scored a four-point move with just under 30 seconds left to blow the match open. Retherford would add a reversal and late takedown, but it was too little, too late.
Diakomihalis will face Haji Ali of Bahrain in the finals. Ali placed fifth at the Asian Championships this year. Retherford earned a spot in repechage due to Diakomihalis reaching the finals.
Dieringer reached the gold-medal match at 79 kilograms by shutting out Iran's Bahman Teymouri 4-0 in the semifinals. It marked his second straight shutout victory. Leading 2-0 in the second period of his semifinal match, Dieringer scored a takedown off a counterattack with 45 seconds left and held on for the win. Earlier in the day he rolled to a 10-0 technical superiority in under a minute over Abubakr Abakarov of Azerbaijan. After a scoring a takedown off a dump 30 seconds into the match, Dieringer used a trap-arm gut wrench to end the match with four turns.
In the finals, Dieringer will meet Akhsarbek Gulaev of Slovakia. He was a U23 world silver medalist in 2017.
Gwiazdowski, a two-time world bronze medalist, defeated India's Sumit Sumit 6-2 in the semifinals at 125 kilograms.
Next up for Gwiazdowski: Turkey's Taha Akgul, a 2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion. Akgul won by technical superiority over Gwiazdowski at the 2017 World Championships in Paris.
Saturday's medal round is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET.