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  • Photo: Kadir Caliskan/UWW

    Photo: Kadir Caliskan/UWW

    2021 U23 World Recap

    U23 World Champs Tony Cassioppi (left) and Emily Shilson (Photo/Kadir Caliskan/UWW)

    On the final day of competition from the U23 World Championships from Belgrade, Serbia, the United State men's freestyle team came away with their first gold medal of the event. At 125 kgs, Iowa All-American Tony Cassioppi crushed the field to claim gold. Cassioppi ran the score up to 13-0 on Azamat Khosonov (Greece) before securing a fall with only 16 second remaining in the opening period. None of Cassioppi's three previous bouts were particularly close. He had another win by fall and decisions of 7-0 and 5-0 along the way.

    Also capturing a medal in men's freestyle was Virginia's Jay Aiello, who won bronze at 97 kg. Northwestern All-American Chris Cannon wrestled for a bronze medal at 61 kg, but fell to an opponent from Mongolia, 10-0.

    The other American to win gold at U23's was Emily Shilson at 50 kg in women's freestyle. This is Shilson's second world title in 2021, as she was a Junior World Champion, as well. Shilson's U23 world title came after she pinned India's Shivani Pawar (India). In her previous matches, Shilson had a fall, a 10-0 tech and a forfeit.

    The American women had another Junior World Champion on it's roster in Kylie Welker at 76 kg. Welker up as the only other medalist among the American women. She notched a fall in the bronze medal bout after losing to veteran Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), the eventual gold medalist, in the semifinals.

    Alyiva Fiske (68 kg) and Kayla Marano (72 kg) both wrestled for bronze medals, but were defeated.

    The Greco-Roman squad did not come away with any hardware, but 55 kg stalwart Taylor LaMont, an All-American from Utah Valley, made the semifinals and lost in the bronze medal match.

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