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
|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.
Frank Chamizo would not be the athlete he is today without his opponents. His opponents are his daily source of purpose, strength and motivation. # Stronger together #Olympic Games@ChamizoFrank | @ItaliaTeam_it | @Coninews | @struggle pic.twitter.com/jJViUbCAz3
– Olympic Games (@Olympics) July 13, 2021
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.
DraftKings Sportsbook Promo for the Olympics – Bet $ 1, win $ 100 when USA wins a medal
Olympic Odds Men 86kg Freestyle Wrestling
|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.
“The magic man” against “the greatest”
They have met twice, and on two occasions David TAYLOR scored convincing victories over Olympic champion Hasan YAZDANI 🇮🇷. Who do you take if the pair of superstars collide at #FightTokyo Olympic Games? # Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/q1SFgtQOSN
– United World Wrestling (@wrestling) July 30, 2021
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
|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.
OLYMPIC GAMES PREVIEW: US Olympian Gable Steveson pursues his dreams as a professional wrestler.
– AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 24, 2021
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
|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.
Watch Snyder clinch the tag team title for the United States: https://t.co/xiQqYH4Egy. pic.twitter.com/hTKVLP3HsI
– United World Wrestling (@wrestling) July 30, 2021
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.
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the Sports History Course at Elder College. He worked as a sports columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was vice-president of the Society for International Hockey Research in Ontario, and wrote 25 books.