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  • Photo: Kostadin Andonov

    Photo: Kostadin Andonov

    Shapiro's Gold Leads Five U20 Medalists in Jordan

    On day two of the U20 World Championships, the United States men’s freestyle team built off of the momentum generated by a 17-0 start to the tournament and earned five medals. Each of the wrestlers that started their tournament on Monday will leave Amman, Jordan with hardware. In addition, the remainder of the team hit the mat today and another American punched their ticket to the world finals, clinching a sixth medal for 2023. 

    However the rest of the tournament plays out, the men’s freestyle team has already exceeded their medal output from the 2022 tournament (4; 2 gold/2 silver). 

    Leading the way for the US contingent on Tuesday was Meyer Shapiro at 70 kg. Shapiro, an incoming freshman at Cornell who was deemed the top recruit in the Class of 2023, showed any hype surrounding him was justified by winning a U20 world championship. 

    Shapiro got in an early hole against Ali Rezaei Aghouzgeleh (Iran) trailing 4-0 :30 seconds into the bout; however, that didn’t seem to matter. Shapiro chipped away at the lead and trimmed the margin to 4-3 heading into the break. Just over ten seconds into the final period, Shapiro took the lead and never looked back. Over the final three minutes, Shapiro displayed a great combination of solid defense and opportunistic offense, as he extended the score to 11-6. 

    The win gave Shapiro his second world championship as he was a U17 gold medalist in 2021. While largely dominant in 2023, Shapiro also had to come from behind in both the Round of 16 and the finals. He’s expected to be a key addition to the Cornell lineup for the 2023-24 season. 

    Luke Lilledahl and Jesse Mendez were both finalists on Tuesday that had to settle for silver. Lilledahl was never able to generate any offense against Japan’s Yuto Nishiuchi during a 5-0 loss. Nishiuchi is now a two-time world champion, as he won the 61 kg weight class in 2022. Lilledahl’s silver medal gives him three, but this is his first at the U20 division. 

    Mendez was on the wrong side of a tactical affair with Mohammad Shakeri (Iran) in the 65 kg world finals. The Iranian got on the board first with a step-out point just as Mendez’s shot clock expired for a 2-0 lead. The Buckeye All-American got his first point via a shot-clock violation on Shakeri; however, the Iranian made up for it by almost simultaneously generating a step out. 

    With approximately :40 left on the clock, Mendez got in on his best takedown attempt, but he settled for a step-out point to pull within a pair, 4-2. Shakeri put the finishing touches on his victory by earning another step-out point after countering a Mendez low shot attempt. 

    The two wrestlers that fell in yesterday’s semifinals, Matty Singleton (79 kg) and Camden McDanel (97 kg), both rebounded today with bronze medals. Singleton was seemingly cruising in the second period against Turkey’s Ahmet Yagan. Late in the period, the two went out of bounds and Yagan was awarded a step-out and caution which led to plenty of confusion regarding the score. After some consternation, Singleton was deemed the winner 8-7. The Turkish corner challenged, which was lost, resulting in a 9-7 final score. 

    There was no controversy surrounding the score in McDanel’s bronze medal bout with 2022 U17 world champion Kamil Kurugliev (Kazakhstan). A takedown in the opening period gave McDanel a lead at the break. After Kurugliev countered early in the second period, McDanel bounced back and poured it on to win 8-2. 

    In addition to the first five, the second five team members started their tournaments and 2022 U20 World silver medalist Mitchell Mesenbrink advanced to the finals in stunningly dominant fashion. Mesenbrink outscored his opponent by a 43-1 margin and never was pushed into the second period. In the semifinals, Mesenbrink needed only nine seconds to secure his first takedown. He never let Zhakshylyk Baitashov (Kyrgyzstan) regroup and continued to score, making the final margin 10-0 after only :57 seconds. 

    In tomorrow's final, Mesenbrink will draw Hossein Mohammad Aghaei (Iran). The two are familiar having met in the 2022 quarterfinals, a bout won by Mesenbrink, 9-7. 

    Three more Americans have the opportunity to claim a medal tomorrow during the repechage process. Nic Bouzakis (61 kg) and Christian Carroll (61 kg) will both have to win a pair of matches to get the bronze medal. Bennett Berge (86 kg) fell in the semifinals, so he’ll automatically be thrust into a bronze medal match against a currently undetermined opponent. 

    In addition to the men’s freestyle competition wrapping up, the women’s freestyle team will start their tournament Wednesday morning. 


    Final Results

    57 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Yuto Nishiuchi (Japan) over Luke Lilledahl (USA)  5-0

    Bronze Medal Match: Nodirbek Jumanazarov (Uzbekistan) over Sagar (India)  10-0

    Bronze Medal Match: Edik Harutyunyan (Armenia) over Ruslan Abdullayev (Azerbaijan)  8-4

    65 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Mohammad Shakeri (Iran) over Jesse Mendez (USA)  5-2

    Bronze Medal Match: Abdullah Toprak (Turkey) over Aden Sakybaev (Kyrgyzstan)  5-3

    Bronze Medal Match: Dalgat Abdulkadryov (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete) over Kaiji Ogino (Japan)  9-2


    70 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Meyer Shapiro (USA) over Ali Rezaei Aghouzgeleh (Iran)  11-6

    Bronze Medal Match: Magomed Baitukaev (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete) over Julian George (Puerto Rico)  12-2

    Bronze Medal Match: Ibrahim Yaprak (Turkey) over Omurbek Taalaibek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)  3-2


    79 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Ibragim Kadiev (Russia - Individual Neutral Athlete) over Sagar Jaglan (India)  17-6

    Bronze Medal Match: Ali Tcokaev (Azerbaijan) over Farzad Safijahanshahi (Iran)  11-1

    Bronze Medal Match: Matty Singleton (USA) over Ahmet Yagan (Turkey)  9-7

    97 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Abolfazl Babaloo (Iran) over Ivan Prymachenko (Ukraine)  5-0

    Bronze Medal Match: Camden McDanel (USA) over Kamil Kurugliev (Kazakhstan)  8-2

    Bronze Medal Match: Deepak Chahal (India) over Uladzislau Kazlou (Belarus - Individual Neutral Athlete)  9-8


    USA Results

    57 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Yuto Nishiuchi (Japan) over Luke Lilledahl (USA)  5-0


    61 kg

    Qualification: Nic Bouzakis (USA) over Shehabeldin Mohamed (Egypt)  4-2

    Round of 16: Nic Bouzakis (USA) over Yahor Rudauski (Belarus - Individual Neutral Athlete)  9-6

    Quarterfinals: Kumar Mohit (India) over Nic Bouzakis (USA)  12-11


    65 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Mohammad Shakeri (Iran) over Jesse Mendez (USA)  5-2

    70 kg

    Gold Medal Match: Meyer Shapiro (USA) over Ali Rezaei Aghouzgeleh (Iran)  11-6

    74 kg

    Qualification: Mitchell Mesenbrink (USA) over Ion Marcu (Moldova)  10-0

    Round of 16: Mitchell Mesenbrink (USA) over Elkhan Garayev (Azerbaijan)  12-1

    Quarterfinals: Mitchell Mesenbrink (USA) over Jaideep (India)  11-0

    Semifinals: Mitchell Mesenbrink (USA) over Zhakshylyk Baitashov (Kyrgyzstan)  10-0

    79 kg

    Bronze Medal Match: Matty Singleton (USA) over Ahmet Yagan (Turkey)  9-7


    86 kg

    Round of 16: Bennett Berge (USA) over Ivan Chornohuz (Ukraine)  9-5

    Quarterfinals: Bennett Berge (USA) over Slavi Stamenov (Bulgaria)  11-0

    Semifinals: Rakhim Magamadov (France) over Bennett Berge (USA)  9-2

    92 kg

    Round of 16: Giorgi Romelashvili (Georgia) over Jack Darrah  4-3

    97 kg

    Bronze Medal Match: Camden McDanel (USA) over Kamil Kurugliev (Kazakhstan)  8-2

    125 kg

    Round of 16: Christian Carroll (USA) over Ksawery Kaminski (Poland)  14-2

    Quarterfinals: Amirreza Masoumi Valadi (Iran) over Christian Carroll (USA)  10-0

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