Day 7 wrap: Rau pulled into Saturday repechage; Bey falls in second repechage; First four Greco-Roman golds awarded

BELGRADE, Serbia – The USA won three matches on Friday in Greco-Roman at the World Wrestling Championships at Stark Arena on Friday.

Of the seven athletes who have competed so far for the USA, only Joe Rau at 97 kg still has a chance to battle for a medal. Rau had a 1-1 record on Saturday, winning his opening bout over Filip Smetko of Croatia, 4-1, then losing to Olympic and World champion Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia by technical fall, 9-0.

When Aleksanyan won his semifinal match on Friday night, Rau was pulled back into Saturday morning’s repechage round, which gives him a chance to wrestle back for a bronze medal.

Rau will face Nicu Ojog of Romania in repechage on Saturday morning. If he geats Ojog, he has another repechage match against Artur Omarov of Czechia. A win over Omarov would advance Rau to Saturday night’s bronze medal bout against Mindaugas Venckaitis of Lithuania.

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Former Gophers in Action This Weekend

Pat Smith Competes at Worlds, while Mitch McKee Headlines LFA168

MINNEAPOLIS – A pair of former Minnesota wrestlers are in action starting Friday as they look to showcase their respective talents to the world.

Pat Smith begins competition Friday at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Competing in Greco-Roman at 72 kg for Minnesota Storm, Smith is set to open with a matchup against No. 13 Kamil Czarnecki of Poland. A victory would set up a bout with No. 5 Ibragim Magomadov of Kazakhstan.

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Day 6 wrap: Elor wins gold, Bruntil is fifth, USA women take second, Bey into Greco-Roman repechage

BELGRADE, Serbia – The United States women’s freestyle team closed out the 2023 World Championships with its first individual World champion of the year, Amit Elor at 72 kg and placed second in the team standings behind powerhouse Japan.

Elor defeated Davaanasan Enkh Amar of Mongolia, 8-2 in the finals, to win her second straight Senior World title at this weight class. Elor went to the break with a 3-0 lead, with two step out points and a point when Enkh Amar was placed on the shot clock and did not score. In the second period, Elor and Enkh Amar each got a takedown to make it 5-2, but Elor reversed to make it 6-2. A last-second counter takedown closed the scoring for Elor.

Elor won four matches on the way to the title. Last year, she became the youngest U.S. Senior World champion at age 18. She is now a two-time Senior World champion while still a teenager.

In addition to her two Senior World titles, Elor has won three U20 World titles, a U17 World title and a U23 World title. Last year, she won the Senior, U23 and U20 all in the same season. This year, she has already won the Senior and U20 World titles and is expected to compete in the U23 World Championships in Tirana, Albania at the end of October.

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Day 5 wrap: Kilty wins silver, Maroulis, Gray & Hildebrandt get bronze, Elor qualifies for finals, Bruntil to go for bronze

BELGRADE, Serbia – The United States added four more women’s freestyle World medals on Wednesday, qualified three weight classes for the Paris Olympics, and placed two more athletes in medal matches set for Thursday at the World Wrestling Championships in Stark Arena.

All four U.S. women in Group Two won individual medals, a silver from first time World Team member Macey Kilty (65 kg), and bronze medals from veteran stars Helen Maroulis (57 kg), Adeline Gray (76 kg) and Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg).

Maroulis, Gray and Hildebrandt compete at Olympic weight classes. By winning medals, they all have qualified the United States to compete at their weight class at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The top five in each of the six women’s freestyle Olympic weight classes qualify their nation to compete in Paris at that weight class.

Kilty had a strong run on Tuesday, winning four straight matches to reach the finals. She battled 2022 World champion Nonoka Ozaki of Japan in the finals. Ozaki scored a takedown, and was able to turn Kilty four times from par terre to secure a first-period technical fall.

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Day 4 wrap: USA mens freestylers are World champs; Winchester claims silver, Page gets bronze

BELGRADE, Serbia – It was another busy and successful for Team USA at the World Wrestling Championships at Stark Arena on Tuesday.

The U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team was crowned World Team Champions, the fifth-time ever and the first time that the team has won back-to-back World Team Titles. The USA men’s freestylers finished with seven medals (three gold, one silver and three bronze medals).

Team USA scored 148 points, well ahead of runner-up Iran with 108 points. Georgia claimed the third-place trophy with 80 points. The United States won men’s freestyle World Team titles in 1993, 1995, 2017, 2022 and 2023.

Kyle Snyder capped off a full week of success by winning his ninth straight World or Olympic medal for the United States by claiming a bronze medal at 97 kg. He won a Tuesday morning repechage match, then received the bronze medal Tuesday night when Abulrashid Sadulaev, a two-time Olympic champion and an Individual Neutral Athlete, could not compete due to injury. Snyder began his medal streak in 2015 with a World gold medal and now has two Olympic medals and seven World medals, including four golds.

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Day 3 wrap: Dake wins silver, Valencia gets bronze, Winchester to go for gold, Page for bronze, Snyder in repechage

The USA men’s freestylers have won six medals, with a silver from Kyle Dake and bronze from Zahid Valencia today. The U.S. women started with Jacarra Winchester reaching the finals and Jen Page going for a bronze tomorrow.

BELGRADE, Serbia – The United States added two more men’s freestyle medals on Monday and remained in the men’s freestyle team race at the World Wrestling Championships at Stark Arena.

In the Group Two finals, four-time World champion Kyle Dake had a classic battle with 2020 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Zaurbek Sidakov, an Individual Neutral Athlete from Russia at 74 kg. It was the last final of the night. When it was all over, after a number of challenges and close calls, Sidakov won his third career World title with a 10-7 victory over Dake.

Dake led 1-0 at the break on a step out, but things opened up in the second period. When Dake was on the shot clock, Sidakov got a takedown and added a point when the 30 seconds ran out on Dake to lead 3-0. A Dake takedown tied it at 3-3. There was a wild exchange which went to a challenge and when it was sorted out Sidakov led 8-7. A exchange at the end of the match also went to a challenge, and Sidakov was given two more points for a 10-7 finish.

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Day 2 wrap: Taylor, Arujau, Retherford win gold, Parris gets bronze, Dake qualifies for Monday’s finals

Winning golds were David Taylor, Vito Arujau and Zain Retherford. A bronze went to Mason Parris. Kyle Dake reached Monday’s finals. The USA is in first place, and has earned three Olympic quotas so far.

BELGRADE, Serbia – The second day of the World Wrestling Championships was a big day for the United States.

All that Team USA did was win three individual World gold medals, claimed a World bronze, and placed another star in Monday’s night’s gold-medal finals. They increased the number of weights qualified for the Paris Olympic Games to three and led in the team standings after the first four weight classes.

Individual gold medalists on Sunday night were David Taylor (86 kg), Vitali Arujau (61 kg) and Zain Retherford (70 kg). It was a third career World title for Taylor, while Arujau and Retherford claimed their first.

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Day One Wrap: Taylor, Retherford, Arujau reach World finals, Parris to go for bronze in Belgrade

BELGRADE, Serbia – It was an excellent day for the United States in men’s freestyle, as the 2023 Senior World Championships got started in Stark Arena on Saturday.

Winning their semifinals match and earning a spot in Sunday’s gold-medal finals were 2000 Olympic champion and two-time World champion David Taylor (86 kg), 2022 World silver medalist Zain Retherford (70 kg) and first-time World Team member Vito Arujau (61 kg).

With his victory in the semifinals, Taylor has clinched a berth for the United States at 86 kg in men’s freestyle for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Taylor was on fire today, winning two matches by pin and two by technical fall. In the semifinals, he put away Azamat Dauletbekov of Kazakhstan in 3:38. He will face his archrival Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran in the finals. Taylor has beaten him in two of their three finals matches at either the Olympics or Worlds, including Taylor’s victory at the 2020 Olympic Games.

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