Yianni Diakomihalis (left) and Joey McKenna in the 2021 World Team Trials finals (photos courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
We're only one day removed from the final whistles being blown at the 2022 Senior World Championships, but with that in mind, there's nothing that says we can't look ahead and speculate about what the 2023 world team may look like.
The 2022 World Championships resulted in 15 medals across 30 weights for the American team. Those 15 world medalists have earned a bye to the best-of-three series in Final X. So what could Final X 2023 look like, since we know half of the participants? It is important to know that wrestlers will only receive a bye if they return to the weight in which they won their world medal. Typically, that may not be an issue, but with the Olympics looming in 2024, we may see some shifting to Olympic weights.
So, here are our fearless predictions for Final X 2023, with a little bit about each potential matchup.
57 kg - Thomas Gilman (bye to Final X) vs. Spencer Lee
Is this the year we finally see Gilman/Lee? Provided Spencer gets through the collegiate season in one piece, it could be. Though there has to be some sense of familiarity between the two, Gilman has jumped levels since moving to the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. With all the storylines involved, this could end up being the most anticipated series in Final X 2023.
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