#WrestleTirana Session I Live Blog: O'Toole, Brooks, Hendrickson to semifinals

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

U.S. Session One Men's Freestyle Results

61 kg – Julian Chlebove (Northampton, Pa./Sunkist Kids WC)

WIN Antonio Margiotta, tech. fall 11-0

LOSS Bashir Magomedov (AIN), tech. fall 14-3

74 kg – Keegan O’Toole (Hartland, Wis./Tiger Style WC)

WIN Vadim Kurylenko (Ukraine), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Krisztian Biro (Romania), tech. fall, 12-2

WIN Hikaru Takata (Japan), dec. 10-1

Semifinals - Sonny Santiago (Puerto Rico)

86 kg – Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Ismail Kucuksol (Turkey), dec. 7-1

WIN Owen Martin (Canada), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Ivan Ichizli (Moldova), dec. 7-1

Semifinals - Arslan Bagaev (AIN)

92 kg – Jacob Cardenas (Kearny, N.J./Spartan Combat RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Alan Bagaev (AIN), dec. 4-3

LOSS Muhammed Gimri (Turkey), dec. 10-1

125 kg – Wyatt Hendrickson (Newton, Kan./Air Force RTC)

WIN Abdulla Kurbanov (AIN), pin 5:15

WIN Nicolae Stratulat (Moldova), tech. fall 14-1

Semifinals - Azamat Khosonov (Greece)


That'll do it for Session One of men's freestyle action at the 2023 U23 World Championships. Team USA will be back on the mat for the semifinals at 6 p.m. local time.

Three athletes advance to the semifinals while two await their repechage fate.


92 kg - Muhammed Gimri (Turkey) dec. Jacob Cardenas, 10-1

A tough quarterfinal matchup saw Gimri maintain and build on an early lead. Cardenas got one back with a step out point but Gimri scored a takedown and turned Cardenas, winning the match 10-1.


86 kg - Aaron Brooks dec. Ivan Ichizli (Moldova), 7-0

Brooks is on to the semifinals with a 7-0 win in the quarterfinals. A takedown and two step out point in the first gave him a solid lead that he built on in period two, adding a takedown and another step out point.

His semifinals opponent is Individual Neutral Athlete Arslan Bagaev.


74 kg - Keegan O'Toole dec. Hikaru Takata (Japan), 10-1

O'Toole gets on the board first with a takedown to lead 2-0. He stacks on the point in period two with a takedown, a four-point move and another takedown to hold on for a 10-1 win.

He will face Puerto Rico's Sonny Santiago in the semifinals.


61 kg - Bashir Magomedov (AIN) tech. fall Julian Chlebove, 14-3

Chlebove captures an early 3-0 lead but Magomedov scores a takedown and turns him to claim an 8-3 lead after the first period. Magomedov scores six points in period two to win 14-3 after tying up a leg lace.


125 kg - Wyatt Hendrickson tech. fall Nicolae Stratulat (Moldova), 14-1

Hendrickson scores off the whistle, putting Stratulat on his back for a 4-0 lead. He does it again on the edge, but Moldova challenges the call and wins it, putting up a point. Another four-point move by Hendrickson, a takedown and another move brining Stratulat to his back gives Hendrickson the 14-1 technical fall.

On to the semifinals where he matches up against Greece's Azamat Khosonov.


61 kg - Julian Chlebove tech. fall Antonio Margiotta, 11-0

Chlebove picks up four points early and Margiotta gets hit with a passivity call. He then fired off two turns to take a 9-0 lead. Chlebove sealed the win with another takedown.


92 kg - Jacob Cardenas dec. Alan Bagaev (AIN), 4-3

This matchup saw Cardenas take a 2-0 lead but just 30 seconds later, Bagaev scored a takedown and led on criteria for most of the remainder of the match. A second period takedown from Cardenas proved to be the decider, as Bagaev added a point but was unable to reclaim the lead.


86 kg - Aaron Brooks tech. fall Owen Martin (Canada), 10-0

It was a victory in dominating fashion for Brooks as he controlled the match quickly, ending it in just 2 minutes and 43 seconds in the first period.


74 kg - Keegan O'Toole tech. fall Krisztian Biro (Romania), 12-2

O'Toole falls behind early as Biro picks up two points on two stepouts to lead. O'Toole secures a takedown with under 15 seconds in the period to even the score. In period two, O'Toole responded with a a succession of takedowns to claim the lead, then won by 12-2 technical fall.


We now know Jacob Cardenas' opponent for the 1/8 final match. He will face Individual Neutral Athlete Alan Bagaev on Mat C. Not to be confused with Individual Neutral Athlete Arslan Bagaev, who competes at 86 kg. Alan Bagaev is a 2019 Junior World Champion and 2017 Cadet World Champion.


86 kg - Aaron Brooks dec. Ismail Kucuksol (Turkey), 7-1

Brooks picks up two points with a takedown on the edge, then adds a step out to lead 3-0. He starts period two with a takedown and Kucuksol scores his first point after forcing Brooks out of bounds. Brooks responds with a takedown after hanging on to Kucuksol's ankle and he hangs on to win 7-1.


74 kg - Keegan O’Toole tech. fall Vadim Kurylenko (Ukraine), 10-0

O’Toole dominated his first match, leading 6-0 after three takedowns in the first period. O’Toole gets tied up with his opponent on the edge, but emerges with another takedown. He fires off a turn, but it was ruled out of bounds, so he holds an 8-0 lead. Another late takedown pushes him ahead 10-0 to close out the match early.


125 kg - Wyatt Hendrickson pin Abdulla Kurbanov (AIN), 5:15

Kurbanov gets a takedown to start the scoring but Hendrickson fires back with two and a step out to lead 3-2. Another takedown switches the lead to Kurbanov and Hendrickson gets a takedown to lead 5-4 after the first period. Hendrickson leads with a takedown, but Kurbanov gets him to his back for four, then a tricky scramble ensues with Hendrickson scoring four and firing off a series of turns to lead 17-9. Hendrickson ends it with a pin at 5:15.


U.S. men’s freestyle matches

Mat A

Bt 1 125 kg Wyatt Hendrickson vs Abdulla Kurbanov (AIN)

Bt 4 74 kg Keegan O’Toole vs Vadim Kurylenko 🇺🇦

Mat B

Bt 32 86 kg Aaron Brooks vs Ismail Kucuksol 🇹🇷


10 a.m. - Thirty minutes until the first session begins in Tirana. We will be covering the tournament in Albania with a session live blog, rather than multiple update stories. We start with five men's freestyle weights, 61 kg (Julian Chlebove), 74 kg (Keegan O'Toole), 86 kg (Aaron Brooks), 92 kg (Jacob Cardenas) and 125 kg (Wyatt Hendrickson). Join us live on FloWrestling.