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|WORLD CHAMPION!!! Jordan Burroughs strikes gold with memorable performance at World Championships|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Jordan Burroughs won a World title on Sunday night. Larry Slater photo.
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Jordan Burroughs had not wrestled a freestyle match in nearly three years when he stepped on the mat for April’s U.S. Open.
Five months later, he’s a World champion.
Burroughs capped a phenomenal tournament and a memorable 2011 by sweeping 2010 World silver medalist Sadegh Goudarzi of Iran 3-2, 4-1 to capture a gold medal at the World Championships on Sunday night at the Sinan Erdem Dome.
"It's an amazing feeling right now," Burroughs said. "A lot of people doubted that I could even make the team this year. I am here, and I did it. I am feeling really good right now."
Burroughs, 23, competing in his first Senior World Championships, becomes the first U.S. World champion in freestyle since Bill Zadick in 2006. Burroughs competes at 74 kg/163 lbs.
"It felt amazing to be out there. Iran has an amazing crowd," Burroughs said. "I didn't want them to get involved, so I did my part and stayed with my offense. I felt good. I did some scrambling finally in a freestyle match. My coach told me not to reach between the legs. This time, that paid off and I got two points."
The win by Burroughs also clinched third place for the U.S. in the team race. The U.S. finished with 38 points. Russia won the title with 43 points and Iran was second with 41. The U.S. made a quantum leap from last year where it finished 22nd with five points.
Burroughs earns $50,000 from the Living the Dream Medal Fund for winning his World gold medal.
Burroughs clapped his hands as the final seconds ticked off the clock and then he ran over to the corner and jumped into the arms of his college coach, Nebraska’s Mark Manning, before embracing U.S. National Coach Zeke Jones.
Manning was in the corner when Burroughs won NCAA and World titles this year.
"Coach Manning did so much for me," Burroughs said. "I can't thank him enough. It has been an emotional day for me. I am excited about him being here to see me through it. (Nebraska assistant coach) Bryan Snyder is a big part of it. He has followed me all the way out here and through this World Championships."
Burroughs, a native of Sicklerville, N.J., has been on quite a run since capping his college career with a second NCAA title for the Huskers in March. He won the Hodge Trophy as the college wrestler of the year and then jumped immediately into freestyle. He won back-to-back titles at the U.S. Open and the U.S. World Team Trials to earn a trip to Turkey.
Before the U.S. Open, Burroughs last competed in freestyle at the 2008 Junior World Championships, where he placed 10th. Lethal on his feet with his explosive leg attacks, Burroughs made a rapid transition to freestyle and it culminated with a spot on top of the podium.
Known for his double-leg takedowns, Burroughs relied heavily on single-leg shots to keep his opponents off-balance in Turkey.
Making Burroughs’ run even more impressive was he suffered a major knee injury in December 2009 and was off the mat for the first half of 2010. He then returned for the 2010-11 college season, where he went undefeated and set the stage for his remarkable run in freestyle.
"Everyone in that wrestling room on our team made Jordan Burroughs win it," said Jones, in his third year as U.S. coach. "There's no doubt he's the best wrestler in the world at 74 kilos. He had to go out and prove it.
"From the very second he stepped on that mat, you could see in his body language that he was not going to be denied. He did everything. He's a champion. He's the best in the World. I'm going to tell you that Mark Manning, Bryan Snyder, they had him ready."
Burroughs outlasted Ashraf Aliyev of Azerbaijan 0-1, 5-4, 3-0 in a wild semifinal match. Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) broke Aliyev in the third period of the semifinals, scoring three takedowns to put the match away.
Burroughs pulled out a dramatic win over two-time World champion Denis Tsargush of Russia 1-3, 1-0, 2-1 in the second round. Burroughs scored two third-period takedowns to start the period before pulling out the clutch victory.
Burroughs becomes the first U.S. wrestler since Stephen Neal to win NCAA and World titles in the same year. Neal completed the double in 1999.
American Tervel Dlagnev fell to Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia in the bronze-medal match at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. The Georgian, a past Junior World silver medalist, won a ball draw in the third period and finished in the leg clinch to win the match.
Dlagnev, 25, won a World bronze medal in 2009
Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) scored a huge quarterfinal win by downing two-time Olympic champion and two-time World champion Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan 0-1, 2-1, 1-0.
Dlagnev then lost to Alexei Shemarov of Belarus 1-0, 1-0 in the semifinal round at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Shemarov went on to win the World title on Sunday in the final match of the seven-day event.
Dlagnev beat Marid Mutalimov of Kazakhstan in his second match. Mutalimov was third in the 2008 Olympics.
Burroughs and Dlagnev both qualified their weight classes for the Olympics for the U.S. by virtue of finishing in the top six at the Worlds. The U.S. qualified 5-of-7 weight classes for the Olympics in freestyle here at the Worlds. Three Olympic qualifiers remain to qualify the other two divisions for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
American Teyon Ware (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) dropped a first-round decision to 2008 Olympic silver medalist Andriy Stadnik of Ukraine. Stadnik won 2-1, 4-0 at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Stadnik lost in the quarterfinals, eliminating Ware from the tournament.
Ware, a two-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma, was competing in his first World Championships.
Iran’s Mehdi Taghavi won a World title at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. He also won a World title in 2009.
WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 18
Men's freestyle results
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1 Mehdi Taghavi Kermani (Iran)
2 Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (Japan)
3 Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan)
3 Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba)
5 Leonid Bazin (Bulgaria)
5 Adam Batirov (Russia)
7 Innokenti Innokentev (Kyrgyzstan)
8 Jakub Kacenak (Slovakia)
9 Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine)
10 Vladimir Gotisan (Moldova)
74 kg/163 lbs.
1 Jordan Burroughs (USA)
2 Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi (Iran)
3 Ashraf Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
3 Davit Khutshishvili (Georgia)
5 Ricardo Robertty Moreno (Venezuela)
5 Abdulkhakim Shapiyev (Kazakhstan)
7 Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)
8 Murad Gaidarov (Belarus)
9 Chongyao Zhang (China)
10 Andriy Skyyka (Germany)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
1 Alexei Shemarov (Belarus)
2 Bilyal Makhov (Russia)
3 Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan)
3 Davit Modzmanashvili (Georgia
5 Chuluunbat Jargalsaikhan (Mongolia)
5 Tervel Dlagnev (USA)
7 Fatih Cakiroglu (Turkey)
8 Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan)
9 Ioannis Arzoumanidis (Greece)
10 Fatjon Baro (Albania)
U.S. RESULTS FROM SUNDAY’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Teyon Ware, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
LOSS Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine), 1-2, 0-4
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids) – 1st
WIN Dmytro Rochniak (Ukraine), 3-1, 4-2
WIN Denis Tsargush (Russia), 1-3, 1-0, 2-1
WIN Ricardo Moreno (Venezuela), 2-1, 1-0
WIN Ashraf Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 0-1, 5-4, 3-0
WIN Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran), 3-2, 4-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids) – 5th
WIN Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan), 3-0, 4-0
WIN Marid Mutalimov (Kazakhstan), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
WIN Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan), 0-1, 2-1, 1-0
LOSS Aleksei Shemarov (Belarus), 0-1, 0-1
LOSS Davit Modzmanashvili (Georgia), 0-1, 1-0, 0-1
1 Russia, 43
2 Iran, 41
3 United States, 38
4 Azerbaijan, 37
5 Georgia, 34
6 Kazakhstan, 29
7 Japan, 23
8 Belarus, 22
9 Bulgaria, 15
10 Turkey, 13
11 Cuba, 12
12 Ukraine, 11
13 Puerto Rico, 9
14 Uzbekistan, 8
15 Mongolia, 7
16 Armenia, 6
16 France, 6
16 Latvia, 6
16 Nigeria, 6
16 Venezuela, 6
16 Kyrgyzstan, 6
22 Slovakia, 5
23 Tajikistan, 4
24 Hungary, 3
25 China, 2
25 Greece, 2
25 Ireland, 2
28 Albania, 1
28 Germany, 1
28 Moldova, 1