2 Wrestling Titles For Elite American Wrestlers!
As the Wrestling World Championships continue this week in Budapest, Hungary, two more American wrestlers have become world champions. Former four time NCAA champion Kyle Dake, of Cornell University, and 3 time NCAA champion J’den Cox of Missouri won gold at their respective weight classes.
For Dake, who wrestled at 79kg, he had a most impressive run in the tournament, outscoring his opponent for a combined 37-0 (with no points scored on him). He scored a 13-0 technical fall over 2018 European champion and top seed Akhmed Gadzhumagomedov of Russia in the semifinals. He also defeated Martin Obst of Germany and Davit Kutsishvili of Georgia, with technical falls, 11-0. He then defeated Jabrayi Hasanov of Azerbaijan in the finals, 2-0, to claim the title.
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J’den Cox, a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics and 2017 World Championships, wrestled at 92k, defeated 2010 World Military silver medalist Ivan Yankouski of Belarus, 4-1, to win his first world title. For his semifinal match, he defeated the 2015 world bronze medalist Alireza Karimimachiani of Iran, 5-2, after defeating Georgia’s Dato Marsagishvili, 6-2, and Moldova’s Nicolai Ceban, 6-0.
This year was the first time Dake was able to contend for the world championships, as he was unable to qualify for the world team previously. In prior years, he was the runner-up at the US World Team trials in 2013, 2015, and 2017, and similarly, was the runner-up at the US Olympic Team Trials in 2016, while wrestling in the 74kg division- one that was all but locked up by Multiple time world champ and Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs.
However, the UWW (United World Wrestling) organization, the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling, recently expanded the number of weight classes in each style to 10 this year, opening up the opportunity for Dake to qualify and compete in a different weight class.
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Kyle Dake wrestled at Cornell University, from 2010 to 2013, During his time there, he became only the fourth wrestler to win four NCAA Division 1 titles (Pat Smith, Cael Sanderson, and Logan Stieber being the others). However, he was the only four-time champion to win each title at a different weight class- 141, 149, 157, and 165 pounds. Following his senior year, Dake was awarded the Dan Hodge Trophy as the most oustanding college wrestler.
J’den Cox wrestled for the University of Missouri, from 2013 to 2016, where he was a 3 time NCAA champion, as well as a 4 time All American. After he won his first NCAA title in 2014, he became the first wrestler in Missouri to win the title as a freshman. In high school, he was the first Missouri wrestler to win 4 state titles in 4 different weight classes- wrestling at 171, 215, 220, and 220+ pounds.
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