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.