McKenna wins gold at Kunaev DA International in Kazakhstan, Diakomihalis takes bronze

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Joey McKenna (USA) competition portrait from Bout at the Ballpark (Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors)

TARAZ CITY, Kazakhstan - Joey McKenna (Philadelphia, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC) finished off a strong performance with a gold medal at 65 kg at the Kunaev DA International on Sunday. 2022 World silver medalist Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Spartan Combat RTC) added a bronze medal at 65 kg

It capped a three-medal performance for the USA, as 2012 Olympic champion and six-time World champion Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC) won a gold medal at 74 kg on Saturday. They were the only U.S. entries in the competition.

McKenna stopped three-time Kazakhstan World Team member Adil Ospanov in the gold-medal bout, 9-4. He finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record, including a 4-3 victory  over Diakomihalis in the semifinals on Saturday.

Diakomihalis scored a dominant 10-0 technical fall over Shattyk Alaidar (Kazakhstan in the bronze-medal bout. All four of his victories for the tournament were technical falls over opponents from Kazakhstan.

With just three wrestlers, the USA finished fifth in the 11-team tournament.


At Taraz City, Kazakhstan, November 3

Individual champions

57 kg – Almaz Smanbekov (Kyrgyzstan)

61 kg – Gulomjon Abudllaev (Uzbekistan)

65 kg – Joey McKenna (USA)

70 kg – Alibek Osmonov (Kyrgyzstan)

74 kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA)

79 kg – Daulet Yergesh (Kazakhstan)

86 kg – Bobur Islomov (Uzbekistan)

92 kg – Kamil Kuruglyev (Kazakhstan)

97 kg – Awusayiman Habila (China)

125 kg – Omarkhan Nadirov (Kazakhstan)

U.S. men’s freestyle Group Two performances

65 kg Joey McKenna (Philadelphia, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC), gold medal

WIN Rustem Tolen (Kazakhstan), tech fall, 11-0

WIN Khusniddin Erkabaev (Uzbekistan), 5-0

WIN Shattyk Alaidar (Kazakhstan), pin 4:45

WIN Yianni Diakomihalis (USA), 4-3

WIN Adil Ospanov (Kazakhstan)

65 kg - Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Spartan Combat RTC), bronze medal

WIN Nursultan Sadyk (Kazakhstan), tech fall 10-0

WIN Sanzhar Mukhtar (Kazakhstan), tech fall 12-0

WIN Didar Nurakhmet (Kazakhstan), tech fall 11-0

LOSS Joey McKenna (USA), 4-3

WIN Shattyk Alaidar (Kazakhstan), tech fall, 10-0

U.S. men’s freestyle Group One performances

74 kg – Jordan Burroughs, Philadelphia, Pa. (Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC), Gold Medal

WIN Yerhan Bexultanov (Kazakhstan), 9-2

WIN Kanat Mussabekov (Kazakhstan), forfeit

WIN Zafarbek Otakhanov (Uzbekistan), 9-1

WIN Yerbarys Satybaldy (Kazakhstan), tech fall, 10-0

WIN Syrbaz Talgat (Kazakhstan), technical fall, 15-4

Team Standings

1 Kazakhstan, 210

2 Uzbekistan 103

3 Kyrgyzstan, 88

4 China, 81

5 United States 50

6 Mongolia, 25

7 Tajikistan, 18

8 Georgia 15

9 (tie) Ecuador and Slovakia, 0