BUDAPEST — Resilience! That is the word to describe the Magic Man, David Taylor, at the 2018 World Championships. Taylor trailed in two out of three matches, on day one of the championships. But it was his resilience that allowed him to make the finals.
“I just got to create,” Taylor said. “I don’t know if I’m wrestling my best, but I continue wrestling always. That’s where I pride myself on as an athlete and a person, to always wrestle and fight through positions.”
Trailing 5-1 at the break, in the semifinals, Taylor kicked into another gear, scoring three takedowns in a row to defeat Dauren Kurugliev of Russia 7-5.
“These guys wrestle hard to score early because they know I’m going to keep coming,” Taylor said. “So, I just have to keep coming early, late whatever it may be.”
To make his comeback even more incredible, Taylor was kicked in the face as Kurugliev kicked out to prevent a takedown. Taylor went down with an apparent injury and might possibly have had a concussion.
“He kicked me in the face,” Taylor said. “But I’ll trade a kick in the face to be in the world championship, tomorrow. I’m one match away from being a world champion which is something I’ve dreamt about for a really, really long time, so I don’t care how I feel I’m ready to roll for tomorrow.”
Coach Cunningham called the comebacks Taylor’s ability to adjust to change in his matches.
“David does a really good job of adjusting in all of his matches he adjusted,” Cunningham said. “I don’t think (being behind in the match) bothers him, he’s going to wrestle six minutes hard, so someone’s got to be ready to wrestle six minutes. Obviously, he would like to be up, but if he’s down he’s ok with that because he knows he’s going to score a bunch of points in the second period.”
Taylor will wrestle Fatit Erdin of Turkey for the gold.
In the other semifinal match, Joe Colon didn’t fair too well. He found himself losing 5-0 at the break to Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez of Cuba. That deficit increased to 9-0, before Colon would get on the scoreboard. He did get some offense going, but it was a little too late as time expired with the score 9-4, in favor of Bonne Rodriguez.
Colon will find out tomorrow who he faces to advance to the bronze medal round.
In great news for the Americans, both Jordan Burroughs and Nick Gwiazdowski received repechage matches and get an opportunity to wrestle for Bronze. Burroughs was pulled back in when Zaurek Sidakov defeated two-time world champion Frank Chamizo of Italy, to advance to the finals. Burroughs will find out his opponent tomorrow as he attempts to wrestle back for a bronze.
Gwiazdowski was awarded a repechage match when Zhiwei Deng of China defeated Sumit Malik of India. Gwiazdowski will learn who his opponent is during the course of tomorrow’s opening session.
Wrestling will begin 10:30 a.m local time and 4:30 a.m. ET.