The 2023 U17 World Championships got underway on Monday and it was Greco-Roman that led off the competition. The United States contingent was propelled by Jordyn Raney at 55 kg, who had an impressive performance and made his way into the finals.
Raney wasn’t seriously pushed in his first two bouts, winning each by identical 8-0 tech’s. It was the quarterfinals where the level of competition really was ratcheted up for the American. His opponent was 2022 U17 world champion Aytjan Khalmakhanov of Uzbekistan. In a back-and-forth contest, Raney managed to avoid exposure late in the bout to take the 8-6 victory.
It was wild in the semifinals, as well, when Raney squared off with Mohammadreza Gholami of Iran. In a match filled with exciting flurries, it was Raney who came out on top of the last one, one that saw him score from a four-point headlock with around :15 seconds left on the clock. Raney finished the period on top after additional action. The Iranian corner challenged the ruling and lost, making the final score 10-7 in Raney’s favor.
Raney will wrestle for gold tomorrow after 11 AM Eastern against Suraj of India. He’s a returning world champion at this weight class and an Asian silver medal winner from earlier this year.
With Raney reaching the world finals, it marks the third consecutive year with a U17 world finalist in Greco-Roman for the United States. In 2021, Cory Land took silver, while Joel Adams won gold last year. A streak of three straight years hasn’t happened for the United States since the U17 tournament was reintroduced in 2011.
While Raney has clinched at least a silver medal, there are two other Americans that started competition today and can still wrestle for bronze medals. Billy Greenwood (65 kg) and Nicholas Sahakian (110 kg) have been pulled back into tomorrow’s repechage round. Ezekiel Witt (48 kg) and Adam Waters (80 kg) were both eliminated Monday.
Monday’s US Results
Edgar Petrosyan (Armenia) over Ezekiel Witt (USA) 8-0
Jordyn Raney (USA) over Ahmed Shaban (Egypt) 8-0
Jordyn Raney (USA) over Shu Wei Chung (Chinese Taipei) 8-0
Jordyn Raney (USA) over Aytjan Khalmakhanov (Uzbekistan) 8-6
Jordyn Raney (USA) over Mohammadreza Gholami (Iran) 10-7
Finals: vs. Suraj (India)
Yusif Ahmadli (Azerbaijan) over Billy Greenwood (USA) 8-0
Repechage: Athanasios Efthymiadis (Greece)
Adam Waters (USA) over Miguel Vega Salazar (Colombia) 6-1
Adam Waters (USA) over Aman (India) 9-0
Eleftherios Pappas (Greece) over Adam Waters (USA) 8-1
Nicholas Sahakian (USA) over Daniel Szilagyi (Hungary) 3-1
Ronak (India) over Nicholas Sahakian (USA) 9-0
Repechage: vs. Tomas Rusi (Finland)