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  • Photo: Kadir Caliskan

    Photo: Kadir Caliskan

    U23 Men's Freestyle Team Adds Three Medals on Final Competition Day

    2022 U23 World silver medalist Jacob Cardenas (photo courtesy of Kadir Caliskan/UWW)

    On the final day of the U23 World Championships, the American men's freestyle team came away with three medals. The upperweight contingent was responsible for the hardware as Trent Hidlay (86 kg) and Jacob Cardenas (92 kg) got silver, while Tony Cassioppi (125 kg) won a pair of matches to take a bronze medal.

    Trent Hidlay got on the board early with a step-out point against Japan's Tatsuya Shirai. He added to the lead with another score after a shot clock violation against Shirai. Late in the first period, Shiari chipped into the lead with a step-out point of his own. In the second period, Shirari managed to get the only takedown of the contest off of a single leg, which put him ahead 3-2. As the clock wore down in the final period, Hidlay pushed for a score and Shirai was called for passivity, which resulted in a caution and one. That still didn't give Hidlay criteria, as Shirai's takedown gave him the edge in a 3-3 win.

    Cardenas had his hands full with two-time U20 world champion Amirhossien Firouzpourbandpei (Iran). The Iranian got a pair of early step-out points to lead 2-0. Still in the first period, Firouzpourbandpei logged a pair of takedowns and in the second he locked up a leg lace and ended the match with a pair of exposures. The final score was 10-0 in favor of the Iranian. Cardenas brings home a silver medal in his first international event.

    The 2021 U23 world champion, Cassioppi, claimed his second career U23 medal in a manner that provided little drama or suspense. Early in the season, Cassioppi pinned Japan's Kai Shutto in only :32 seconds. In the bronze medal match, the Iowa All-American's opponent, Yurii Idzinskyi (Ukraine), did not show up for the bout and forfeited. Even so, Cassioppi took the bronze and became the first American to earn multiple medals at the U23 tournament.

    Also competing earlier in the repechage round was Aaron Nagao at 61 kg. Nagao posted a win via tech in his first repechage contest, but was defeated by Emrah Ormanoglu (Turkey) 9-4 in the bronze medal match.

    The men's freestyle team finished the tournament in third place with 112 points. Georgia took the title with 141 points and Iran was second with 134.

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