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  • Photo: Kadir Caliskan

    Photo: Kadir Caliskan

    Lockett is Golden on Final Day of U17 World Championships

    The final American wrestler to step on the mat in Istanbul, Turkey also happened to be the most impressive American at the 2023 U17 World Championships. Ladarion Lockett stepped on the center mat and squared off with Seyedabolfazl Hosseini (Iran) in search of a world title and gold medal at 71 kg. 

    Hosseini got on the scoreboard first after a largely uneventful first period. He was awarded a point after a shot clock violation on Lockett. The Oklahoma native got his offense going in the second period. Lockett was snapped down but continued to wrestle and worked his way into Hosseini’s legs. Hosseini looked content to give up a step-out point; however, Lockett kept working for a takedown at the edge. 

    Late in the finals period, with Hosseini in desperate need of a score, Lockett out-hustled his Iranian counterpart for an insurance score and a 4-1 lead. That’s how the match would end and Lockett had his hand raised as a world champion. 

    Lockett’s win gives the US men’s freestyle team three world champions in 2023, a number they have reached six times since the event was reinstated in 2011. 

    On Saturday, Lockett clinched a medal, but needed a win on Sunday to ensure it was gold. The last member of the US men’s freestyle team to lock up a world medal was the smallest, in Ignacio Villasenor at 45 kg. Villasenor had unattached Russian, Agashirin Agasherinov, standing between him and a world medal. 

    The opening period saw Villasenor do all of his damage with a step-out point while Agasherinov was on the shot clock. A few seconds later, Villasenor’s lead jumped to 2-0. He would make it 3-0 before the break. In the second period, Agasherinov grabbed the only takedown of the contest, but he could get no further. Villasenor prevented any further damage and got the win and the bronze medal. 

    The only other American in action on Sunday was Christian Castillo at 51 kg. Castillo had the opportunity to wrestle back through repechage for a bronze medal; however, he was stopped in his first contest. Castillo led early in his match with Sadraddin Hasanov (Azerbaijan). 4-2 at the break and even 6-4 with a minute remaining in the bout. The key sequence for Hasanov saw the Azeri wrestler toss Castillo to his back to take an 8-6 lead. Hasanov would continue adding to his score and eventually won 12-6. 

    The US men’s freestyle team finished the competition in third place with three champions and six medalists. The unattached Russian wrestlers tallied the highest point total (75), with Iran just a point behind in second. 


    Final Results

    Men’s Freestyle 

    45 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Ahora Khateri (Iran) over Gor Buniatyan (Armenia)  11-0

    Bronze Medal Match: Ebubekir Gur (Turkey) over Nurmukhamed Turdaly (Kazakhstan)  Fall :58

    Bronze Medal Match: Ignacio Villasenor (USA) over Agashirin Agasherinov (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete)  3-2


    51 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Yamato Ogawa (Japan) over Rohit (India)  9-8

    Bronze Medal Match: Sasha Petrosyan (Armenia) over Amirmohammad Navazi (Iran)  2-1

    Bronze Medal Match: Usman Indirbaev (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete) over Sadraddin Hasanov (Azerbaijan) 

    60 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Akito Maehara (Japan) over Sajad Pirdayeh (Iran)  4-1

    Bronze Medal Match: Jamal Abbasov (Azerbaijan) over Yandro Soto Rivera (Puerto Rico)  6-0

    Bronze Medal Match: Iasin Bersanukaev (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete) over Zandanbat Batsaikhan (Mongolia)  7-5

    71 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Ladarion Lockett (USA) over Seyedabolfazl Hosseini (Iran)  4-1

    Bronze Medal Match: Nurdaulet Seilbekov (Kazakhstan) over Narender (India)  1-1

    Bronze Medal Match: Islam Kazharov (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete) over Alp Begenjov (Turkmenistan)  5-1

    92 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Sandro Kurashvili (Georgia) over Eyyup Cetin (Turkey)  10-0

    Bronze Medal Match: Samir Dursunov (Kazakhstan) over Vinay (India)  12-1

    Bronze Medal Match: Toohid Noory (Iran) over Genki Hoki (Japan)  12-2

    US Results

    45 kg

    Bronze Medal Match: Ignacio Villasenor (USA) over Agashirin Agasherinov (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete)  3-2


    51 kg

    Repechage: Sadraddin Hasanov (Azerbaijan) over Christian Castillo (USA)  12-6

    71 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Ladarion Lockett (USA) over Seyedabolfazl Hosseini (Iran)  4-1

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