Four-time World Champion Kyle Dake (photo courtesy of Kostadin Andonov/UWW)
A day after the men's freestyle claimed a pair of gold medals in men's freestyle, Kyle Dake added another and continued to add to his legacy. Dake won his fourth world title with a 3-2 victory over the opponent he defeated for gold number three in Oslo, Tajmuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia). The number four is synonymous with Dake as he won four NCAA titles at four different weights while he starred at Cornell.
Dake displayed some of his typical traits while battling for the gold. Timely offense, sound defense, and plenty of mat savvy. Not only has Dake won four world titles, but he's also won the event every time he's entered from 2018-22. He has a 2020 Olympic bronze medal mixed in. This is also the second world title that came at 74 kg, as he captured the first pair at 79 kg.
In his post-finals interview, Dake also revealed that he would be joining Penn State's Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.
The other two Americans in the finals today suffered losses and settled for silver medals. Thomas Gilman (57 kg) and J'den Cox (92 kg) both came up short in their quest to add more gold to their collection. As it is, Gilman now has four career World/Olympic medals and has made the world finals on three occasions. Cox now has six World/Olympic medals. This was the first time that he has suffered a loss in the world finals, which occurred in his third appearance.
Albania's Zelimkhan Abakarov scored the 7-2 victory over Gilman, while Kamran Ghasenpour of Iran, shut out J'den Cox, 2-0.
Earlier in the day, the final three members of the men's freestyle team started their tournaments. The big news was that Yianni Diakomihamlis made the world finals at 65 kg. That guarantees Diakomihalis a medal and ended one of the weirdest streaks in US wrestling. The American team had failed to capture a medal at 65/66 kg every year since current head coach Bill Zadick won the 2007 world title at 66 kg.
Not only did Diakomihalis make the world finals, but he ran through the gauntlet to get there. Diakomihalis' first three wins came over past world medalists. Yianni's semifinal opponent was a very familiar face, four-time NCAA All-American Sebastian Rivera, who competes for Puerto Rico. Diakomihalis wasted no time and needed less than a minute to roll to a 10-0 tech. Despite the tough string of opponents, Diakomihalis did not surrender a point in four matches.
Squaring off with Yianni in tomorrow's final is Rahman Amouzadkhalili of Iran. The young Amouzadkhalili was a U20 world champion last year and is a two-time Cadet world champion. Earlier this year, he took the Asian Senior title.
While Diakomihalis' wins were a pleasant surprise, it was business-as-usual at 97 kg with Kyle Snyder making his seventh World/Olympic final. Snyder also locked up his eighth medal in as many tries. In the semis, Snyder downed Mohammadhossein Mohammadian of Iran, an opponent who defeated him at the 2020 Matteo Pellicone and is a past world medalist. He'll have to face Batyrbek Tsakulov (Slovakia) in order to win World/Olympic title number four.
The final member of the US squad, Seth Gross, took the mat for the first time at the Senior World Championships in his career. Gross advanced to the semifinals before losing 14-7 to 2016 Olympic silver medalist and 2018 U23 World Champion Rei Higuchi (Japan). Earlier on the day, Gross' most impressive win came in the quarters, where he dominated two-time world medalist Suleyman Atli (Turkey), 10-4.
The performance on Saturday from the US squad locked up the team championship heading into Sunday's medal matches. 2017 was the last time that the American team came out victorious and that victory broke a 22-year drought.
2022 Senior World Championships US Results
57 kg Men's Freestyle
Gold Medal Match: Zelimkhan Abakarov (Albania) over Thomas Gilman 7-2
61 kg Men's Freestyle
Qualification: Seth Gross over Andrii Dzhelep (Ukraine) 13-2
Round of 16: Seth Gross over Eduard Grigore (Poland) 7-0
Quarterfinals: Seth Gross over Suleyman Atli (Turkey) 10-4
Semifinals: Rei Higuchi (Japan) over Seth Gross 14-7
65 kg Men's Freestyle
Qualification: Yianni Diakomihalis over Vazgegn Tevanyan (Armenia) 4-0
Round of 16: Yianni Diakomihalis over Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria) 10-0
Quarterfinals: Yianni Diakomihalis over Bajrang Punia (India) 10-0
Semifinals: Yianni Diakomihalis over Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico) 10-0
74 kg Men's Freestyle
Gold Medal Match: Kyle Dake over Tajmuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia) 3-2
92 kg Men's Freestyle
Gold Medal Match: Kamran Ghasenpour (Iran) over J'den Cox 2-0
97 kg Men's Freestyle
Round of 16: Kyle Snyder over Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland) 4-1
Quarterfinals: Kyle Snyder over Magomed Magomedov (Azerbaijan) 10-0
Semifinals; Kyle Snyder over Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Iran) 4-1