BUDAPEST, Hungary — As the U.S men’s team attempts to keep its small margin of a lead over Russia, the team needs each wrestler to perform well.
The ever-reliable Kyle Snyder, two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist, did his part. Snyder started slowly in his first match versus Baasanjargal Ulziisaikhan of Mongolia, falling behind 3-1, but that was when Snyder inflamed his fire rattling off seven unanswered points to an 8-3 victory. Snyder used a series of powerful takedowns to secure his victory.
In his second match against Nathaniel Tuamoheloa of American Samoa, Snyder did not waste much time using an early takedown to secure gut wrench turn for a 10-0 technical victory in just 29 seconds.
In his third match, Snyder again faced a small deficit with his opponent, Abraham Conyedo Ruan, an advantage on criteria, with the score tied at 2. Conyedo Ruan would not score again, Snyder roared to an 11-2 victory, using a series of takedowns to push him into the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Snyder will wrestle Pavlo Oliinyk of Ukraine. The much-anticipated rematch of last year’s finals between Snyder and Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia is still possible as Sadulaev remains alive in the other semifinals.
On the women’s side, qualifying for the semifinals was Jacarra Winchester at 55 kilograms. She quickly defeated Ramona Galambos of the hometown Hungary with some unstoppable takedowns to secure a 12-1 technical victory.
Winchester needed a gutsy 4-2 win to defeat Tetyana Kit of Ukraine, in her second match to advance to the semifinals. Winchester led 4-0 at the break but gave up a takedown midway through the second period to decrease her lead to 4-2 and had to defend shot attempts by Kit for the closing 30 seconds to escape with the victory.
Winchester will wrestle Zalina Sidakova of Belarus in the semifinals.
The freestyle team took a setback when returning world silver medalist James Green lost to Byambadorj Bat Erdene of Mongolia in the closing seconds. Green was winning on criteria with the scored tied 2-2, before Bat Erdene got in on a leg for the takedown on the edge.
Green did win his first match of the afternoon, defeating Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev of Azerbaijan 6-5. Green’s explosiveness was evident as he used his strength and quickness to takedown Gadzhiyev with swift double-leg attacks.
Green’s chances at a repechage match were lost when Bat Erdene suffered defeat in the quarterfinals.
Jenna Burkert had a tough draw at 59 kilograms as she faced Shoovdor Baatarjav of Mongolia in her first match. Burkert fought hard and was persistent with her shot attempts but was unable to get her leg attacks. She would lose the match 1-1 on criteria.
Burkert is waiting to find out if she will receive a repechage match as Baatarjav defeated her last opponent and will wrestle this afternoon in the semifinals.
Kyle Dake and J’den Cox will wrestle for gold tonight, while Thomas Gilman will compete for bronze.