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David Taylor celebrating after beating Aleksander Gostiev in their freestyle wrestling match.

American David Taylor, left, celebrates after beating Azerbaijani Aleksander Gostiev, right, in their 86-kilogram match at the Freestyle Wrestling World Cup Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Iowa City, Iowa . (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall)

  • Olympic men’s freestyle wrestling set to start in Tokyo on Wednesday August 4
  • American David Taylor is favorite to win gold in 86 kg class
  • In the 97 kg division, Abdulrashid “The Russian Tank” Sadulaev and Kyle Snyder (USA) are both Olympic gold medalists

The Olympic men’s freestyle wrestling is scheduled to begin with opening matches in Tokyo on Wednesday, August 4. The American grapplers are in contention to win several medals on the wrestling mat.

Wrestling is considered by many to be the oldest sport in the world. It is a pure battle of physical skill between two opponents in order to pin or throw their rival to the mat. The history of the sport dates back to the time of the Olympics in ancient Greece.

When the modern Olympics began in 1896, Greco-Roman wrestling – allowing only holds above the waist – was included in the Olympic program. Freestyle wrestling became a permanent part of the Olympic Games in 1908.

The Tokyo Games wrestling will be broadcast daily on the Olympic Channel. Carpet action can also be caught on USA Network and CNBC during the competition. Streaming options include Peacock Premium and NBC’s official Tokyo Olympics streaming website.

Olympic Odds Men 74kg Freestyle Wrestling

Wrestler (Country) Odds
Kyle Dake (United States) -213
Zaurbek Sidakov (ROC) +175
Frank Chamzio (ITA) +600
Daniyar Kaisanov (KAZ) +1700
Bekzod Abdurakhmomov (UZB) +2000

Quotes as of August 2 at DraftKings

The deepest field of all weight classes will fight for the gold medal in the 74 kg. Russia’s Zaurbek Sidakov is the reigning two-time world champion, but is only seeded third in Tokyo.

The Italian Frank Chamizo, world champion in three different weight classes, is the seed. Amerian Kyle Dake falls to 79 kg, where he is double world champion.

They are among the nine world medalists in the field. No.2 seed and winner Daniyar Kaisanov of Kazakhstan (2019) and No.4 seed Mostafa Hosseinkhani of Iran (2016) are both world championship bronze medalists. Jeandry Garzon Caballero from Cuba and Bekzod Abdurakhmanov from Uzbekistan are several world championship medalists.

Franklin Gomez (2011) of Puerto Rico and Avtandil Kentchadze of Georgia (2018) are both world silver medalists. Gomez will be the first athlete in Puerto Rican history to compete in three Olympics.

Choice: Frank Chamzio (ITA) +600.

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Olympic Odds Men 86kg Freestyle Wrestling

Wrestler (Country) Odds
David Taylor (United States) -160
Hassan Yazdani (IRI) +150
Artur Naifonov (ROC) +650
Deepak Punia (IND) +700
Myles Amine (SMR) +1800

Iranian Hassan Yazdanicharati was Olympic champion in Rio in 74kg. He’s gaining weight in Tokyo, looking to add another gold. American David Taylor stands in his way.

In 2017 and 2019, Yazdanicharati won world titles at 86 kg. However, in 2018 he suffered a stunning first round loss at the world championships to Taylor. Taylor won the gold medal in his first and only appearance at the World Championships. He missed the 2019 tournament due to injury.

Taylor was named UWW Men’s Freestyle Wrestler of the Year in 2018. However, due to his injury he is unranked in Tokyo and could face a tough road to gold.

Choice: Hassan Yazdanicharati (IRI) +150.

Olympic Odds Men 125kg Freestyle Wrestling

Wrestler (Country) Odds
Geno Petriashvili (GEO) +140
Taha Akgul (TUR) +185
Gable Dan Steveson (United States) +200
Yusup Batirmurzaev (KAZ) +900
Yadollah Mohebbi (IRI) +1400

The heavyweight division of wrestling is dominated by two men. Georgian Geno Petriashvili won the 2017, 2018 and 2019 world championships. He is the No. 1 seed in this weight class in Tokyo. However, Petriashvili only won bronze at the Rio 2016 Summer Games.

Five years ago, the gold medal went to Turk Taha Akgul. Akgul or Petriashvili have won every heavyweight world or Olympic title since 2014. Entering his third Olympiad, Akgul was world champion in 2014 and 2015. He lost the last two fights for the gold medal for the title world against Petriashvili. Akgul is ranked third in Tokyo.

The wild card in this group is American Gable Dan Steveson. At just 21, he is the NCAA and Junior World Champion. He is expected to join WWE after the Tokyo Summer Games.

Choice: Geno Petriashvili (GEO) +140.

Olympic Odds Men 97kg Freestyle Wrestling

Wrestler (Country) Odds
Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC) -334
Mohammad Hossein Mohammadian (IRI) +350
Kyle Snyder (United States) +450
Abraham Conyedo (ITA) +1400
Cherif Cherifov (AZE) +1400

Russian Olympic Committee wrestler Abdulrashid “The Russian Tank” Sadulaev is considered one of the superstars of the amateur version of the sport. At 86 kg, he won the Olympic gold medal in 2016 in Rio. He was also a quadruple world champion (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) and individual World Cup champion (2020) in this division.

Advancing in the weight class, Sadulaev will face reigning Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder of the United States. The two have met on the mat twice in the past three years. Each wrestler recorded a victory.

Pick: Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC) -334.

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Cuban Mijain Lopez finished his fifth Olympics with a record-breaking fourth gold medal after winning the Greco-Roman super-heavyweight final yesterday, minutes after compatriot Luis Alberto Orta won gold in the category of bantam-weight.
Lopez, who made his Olympic debut in 2004 and is the first male wrestler to win four Olympic gold medals, was calm and composed in his fight against silver-winning Georgian Iakobi Kajaia.
At Rio 2016, Lopez celebrated with a salsa-infused hip-shimmy dance, but this time the 38-year-old was content to tackle his coach who had sprinted across the mat with the Cuban flag.
“I feel happy, proud to be the best in the world and to make history,” said Lopez, who was congratulated by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on a video call. “I have had a long career, working hard to achieve these goals and break this record.”
Lopez took a 3-0 lead into the break with an adjustable wrench and a turn and made it 5-0 with a point out before Kajaia conceded with 10 seconds left.
Orta defeated Kenichiro Fumita of Japan 5-1 in the Greco-Roman bantamweight final.
“I immediately thought of my two-month-old daughter when I won the gold medal. It’s for her, ”Orta said. Turkey’s Riza Kayaalp won her third Olympic medal in the Greco-Roman super-heavyweight bronze fight, beating Iranian Amin Mirzazadeh with a series of powerful turns to score points.
Kayaalp rolled the 130kg Iranian like a rag doll across the mat to take a 7-0 lead at the break, eventually winning 7-2. The other bronze medal match was a more even match between Sergei Semenov and Chilean Yasmani Acosta, finishing 1-1, but it was the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) wrestler who took the win after scoring the last technical point.
Chinese Walihan Sailike and ROC Sergey Emelin won the Greco-Roman bronze medals in bantamweight.

ROTTER-FOCKEN WINS GOLD
The women’s heavyweight freestyle title went to Germany’s Aline Rotter-Focken, who beat five-time world champion of the United States Adeline Gray 7-3 in the final. It was her country’s very first gold medal in women’s wrestling.
Gray went for the legs at the end of the first period, but the momentum backfired when she fell onto her back as Rotter-Focken blocked to take a 3-0 lead.
Rotter-Focken scored four runs shortly after the break when she knocked down Gray from a standing position. Gray pulled out with 40 seconds left for almost 7-3, but the German held on for the win. “It’s amazing, it’s crazy, it’s hard to believe right now,” said Rotter-Focken. “I need time, a few years, for this to sink in.”
The biggest surprise of the day came from the fights for the bronze medal, won by the Turkish Yasemin Adar and the Chinese Zhou Qian by pinning their respective opponents. Adar, the first Turkish woman to win a wrestling medal at the Olympics, pinned Tunisian Zaineb Sghaier in the repechage match, and did the same against Kyrgyzstan Aiperi Kyzy while Zhou pinned the Japanese Hiroe Minagawa.


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CHIBA, Japan (AP) – American wrestler Adeline Gray has not reached the defining moment for her career that she has been seeking for so long.

Germany’s Aline Rotter-Focken beat Denver native 7-3 on Monday night in the women’s 76kg freestyle final.

Gray is a five-time world champion, but she had never won an Olympic medal. She finished a disappointing seventh at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016 while battling injuries that kept her from playing for a year.

She bounced back to win two more world titles and take the No.1 seed at the Olympics. She was convinced she would join Helen Maroulis as the only two Olympic gold medalists in American women’s wrestling.

Even with the loss, Gray believes his legacy is secure. It was only the sixth medal for an American wrestler.

“A silver medal isn’t what I came for, but it’s what I got,” said Gray. “And I’m very proud to bring home an Olympic Games medal for Team USA. I wanted it to be a different color, but I’m also very excited to come back with some material.

Rotter-Focken, the number 2 seed, was emotional after the victory.

“It’s crazy, it’s amazing,” she said. “I dreamed about it for many years and worked on it every day. It’s unreal right now. I think I need a few years to recognize it.

Rotter-Focken scored an early point for Gray’s inactivity. She countered a Gray shot to take a 3-0 lead, then scored four runs on a pitch to take a 7-0 lead.

The throw surprised Gray.

“I’m a tall, strong woman, and she put her hips inside me and crushed me to the ground,” Gray said. “And she took advantage of a certain length that she has on me.”

Gray finally got on set on an outing with just over a minute to go. She scored two on an out with about 30 seconds left, but that was all she could handle.

She then watched her friend celebrate and carry the German flag. They are both 30 years old and have been competing since their teens.

“Aline is a friend and I’m so proud that I got to step out on the mat and compete with her,” Gray said. “I wanted to come out on top, but she did it this time. But I’m sure it will just be a friendship that blossoms even more. Maybe not before the world championships this year. So I hope to see her there.

Chinese Qian Zhou and Turkish Yasemin Adar won bronze medals.

Cuban Mijain Lopez became the first man to win four Olympic gold medals in wrestling, beating Georgian Iakobi Kajaia 5-0 in the Greco-Roman 130kg final.

The 38-year-old hasn’t scored in all four of his appearances. He joins Japan’s Kaori Icho as the only wrestler to win four Olympic gold medals. Icho won gold medals in freestyle in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Lopez won gold at 120 kg in 2008 and 2012 and 130 kg in 2016 before his victory on Monday.

Lopez beat Turkey’s Riza Kayaalp 2-0 in the semifinals on Sunday in a rematch of the 2016 gold medal match.

Kayaalp won bronze against Iranian Amin Mirzazadeh 7-2. Sergey Semenov of the Russian Olympic Committee won the other bronze by beating Chilean Yamani Acosta Fernandez.

In Monday’s other final, Cuban Luis Orta Sanchez beat Japanese Kenichiro Fumita 5-1 in the 60 kg category. Fumita, trying to win in his home country, was the No.1 seed and two-time world champion.

Tamyra Mensah-Stock of the United States, No. 1 seed in the 68 kg freestyle category, will fight for gold on Tuesday. She was tied at 4 points before the final two minutes of a semi-final against Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova on Monday before taking control to win 10-4. Mensah-Stock will face Nigerian Blessing Oborududu in the final.

In their opener on Monday, Mensah-Stock faced Japan’s Sara Dosho, who won gold in Rio at 69 kg. Mensah-Stock dominated, winning by technical superiority 10-0 at 2:07. In her quarter-final against China’s Feng Zhao, she led 6-0 at the break and finally won 10-0 by technical superiority at 4:39.

American Ildar Hafizov was looking for a place in the bronze medal match in the Greco-Roman 60kg category. He led No. 2 seed Sergey Emelin of the Russian Olympic Committee 1-0 after the first period but was overwhelmed in the second and lost 7-1. Emelin won a bronze medal.

In 97 kg Greco-Roman, American G’Angelo Hancock beat Serbian Mihail Kajaia 5-1 in his first match. In his quarter-final against Poland’s Tadeusz Michalik, with a score equal to 1, Michalik got one point from a withdrawal. The United States contested and lost, giving Michalik another point. Michalik held on and won 4-3.


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.


More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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Image Credit: WrestlingTV

United world struggle and the International Olympic Committee announced that men’s freestyle wrestling, women’s wrestling and beach wrestling will be featured at the 2022 Youth Olympic Games to be held in Dakar, Senegal.

Greco-Roman wrestling as reported by WrestlingTV earlier was excluded from the Games.

The new styles and additional weight class allowances (10) give the sport of wrestling significantly more allowances compared to its 2018 numbers. Additionally, with 18 weight classes wrestling has the most events of all combat sports, and the third largest behind athletics and aquatics.

Read also: Wrestling team trials: Sushil unlikely for Olympic qualifying squad selection

“We are delighted to offer beach wrestling at the Youth Olympic Games,” said UWW President and IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic. “African wrestling is very popular in Senegal and we know the addition of beach wrestling will mean incredible local crowds.”

The Youth Olympic Games are often used as a testing ground for the viability of future sports (ie 3 × 3 basketball) and do not reflect the Olympic programs in 2024 and 2028. The Greco style Roman and to be determined to be at the rendezvous for the Youth Olympic Games in 2026.

Read also: Greco-Roman gives way to Beach Wrestling


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