Ulug Bugra Han Degirmenci, United World Wrestling

U23 Men's Freestyle World Team Champions


U.S. Men’s freestyle wins team title, Trumble gets gold, Hardy earns Bronze, Jimenez, Blades to finals

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

The United States locked up the team title in men’s freestyle Wednesday night at the 2023 U23 World Championships in Tirana, Albania. Team USA had six medalists for men’s freestyle, a new record for the U23 age group. Women’s freestyle began competition on Wednesday and saw Audrey Jimenez (50 kg) and Kennedy Blades (76 kg) reach the finals.

The United States men’s freestyle team has its fourth World champion of the tournament. Isaac Trumble (97 kg) bested Radu Lefter of Moldova in a 12-2 dominating technical fall. Trumble led early, taking Lefter down twice, forcing him out of bounds, and adding a takedown to lead 8-0 through the first three minutes. Lefter responded with a takedown, but it wasn’t enough as Trumble locked in the victory with two more takedowns. The Nebraska native, who wrestles for NC State, captured gold in his first international competition.

Cooper Flynn’s tournament came to an end in the repechage match at 57 kg. Flynn led early on a passivity call after Germany’s Niklas Stechele was put on the shot clock. In period two, Stechele scored on a step out, then added a point after Flynn was put on the clock. The match was back-and-forth, with Stechele getting the 3-2 win on a late step out point.

At 65 kg, Brock Hardy won his repechage match 7-4 over Moldova’s Pavel Grauer, advancing to the bronze medal match.

Hardy, who wrestles for Nebraska, is heading home with a World bronze medal as he defeated Georgia's Goga Otinashvili in a rough 8-5 decision. The Georgian was first on the board with a throw that scored four. Hardy fired back with a takedown but there was debate about Otinashvili's knee to the mat, so the United States challenged the call. The officials ruled in favor of Georgia, and it was a 5-2 match. Hardy responded with three gritty takedowns to capture the bronze.

Doug Zapf fell in a close bronze medal match at 70 kg. Kanan Heybatov of Azerbaijan picked up a 1-0 lead on a step out, adding two takedowns in the second period. Zapf fired back with a takedown, but Heybatov fended off his attacks and won the match. Zapf places fifth at his first age-group World Championships.

Audrey Jimenez is back in the finals of an age-group World championship, seeking her first gold medal.  Jimenez powered through a 4-1 deficit for the semifinal win. Azerbaijan’s Elnura Mammadova had the lead after two second period takedowns, but Jimenez closed the gap and added another last second takedown to capture the spot in the finals. She will face Japan's Umi Ito tomorrow night in the finals at 50 kg.

Kennedy Blades spent less than three minutes on the mat in all of her matches, winning all three by 10-0 technical fall. In the semifinals, Blades used a takedown and three turns to build a lead, running out of room in bounds and using a takedown off of the whistle to seal the win. She advances to the finals at 76 kg and will face UWW athlete Reetika Reetika.

At 55 kg, Alisha Howk went 1-1 on the day, pinning Italy’s Immaculata Danise after trailing 6-4. Howk fell short in her quarterfinal matchup to Individual Neutral Athlete Aryna Martynava after her opponent secured a takedown and tied up the leg lace. Martynava dropped her semifinal macth, eliminating Howk from the tournament.

Nichole Moore made her international debut at 59 kg and got off to a good start, defeating Poland’s Wiktoria Karwowska in a 9-0 decision. Moore’s run was halted after she dropped her quarterfinal match to Canada’s Michaela Rankin, 7-0. Her tournament run was ended after Rankin fell in the next round.

Katie Lange (68 kg) was defeated by Individual Neutral Athlete Vusala Parfianovich in her qualification round match. Lange led 1-0 after the first period, but was unable to stave off Parfianovich’s attacks on offense, dropping the 7-1 decision. Her tournament run was brought to an end after Parfianovich fell in the semifinals.

The United States continues women’s freestyle action tomorrow in Tirana, Albania, at the 2023 U23 World Championships. The next group of five weights to be contested are 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg and 72 kg. Action begins with repechage and qualification rounds for women’s freestyle.

2023 U23 World Championships

At Tirana, Albania, October 23-29

Team Results

1. United States, 148 pts.

2. Turkey, 113

3. Azerbaijan, 87

4. UWW, 86

5. Japan, 71

6. Moldova, 66

7. Georgia, 64

8. Kazakhstan, 60

9. Armenia, 51

10. Kyrgyzstan, 36

Men’s Freestyle Results

57 kg

Gold - Nachyn Mongush (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Silver - Manvel Khndzrtsyan (Armenia)

Bronze - Bekzat Uluu (Kyrgyzstan)

Bronze - Munkh Batkhuyag (Mongolia)

5th - Yerassyl Mukhtaruly (Kazakhstan)

5th - Niklas Stechele (Germany)

7th - Heorhii Kazanzhy (Ukraine)

8th - Shubham Shubham (UWW)

9th - Tatsuya Tsukaoka (Japan)

10th - Dzmitry Shamela (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Gold –Mongush (Individual Neutral Athlete) tech. fall Khndzrtsyan (Armenia), 11-0

Bronze – Uluu (Kyrgyzstan) dec. Mukhtaruly (Kazakhstan), 6-3

Bronze - Batkhuyag (Mongolia) dec. Stechele (Germany), 7-5

65 kg

Gold - Ibragim Ibragimov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Silver - Ziraddin Bayramov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Brock David Hardy (United States)

Bronze - Abdullah Toprak (Turkey)

5th - Kumar Mohit (UWW)

5th - Goga Otinashvili (Georgia)

7th - Adlan Askarov (Kazakhstan)

8th - Ayub Muratovitch Musaev (Belgium)

9th – Kotaro Kiyooka (Japan)

10th - Omar Mohamed Amin Mahmoud Mourad (Egypt)

Gold –Ibragimov (Individual Neutral Athlete) dec. Bayramov (Azerbaijan), 7-0

Bronze - Hardy (United States) dec. Otinashvili (Georgia), 8-5

Bronze - Toprak (Turkey) dec. Mohit (UWW), 11-6

70 kg

Gold - Inalbek Sheriev (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Silver - Yoshinosuke Aoyagi (Japan)

Bronze - Kanan Heybatov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Giorgi Elbakidze (Georgia)

5th – Doug Zapf (United States)

5th - Burak Sinin (Turkey)

7th - Rodion Anchugin (Kazakhstan)

8th - Orozobek Toktomambetov (Kyrgyzstan)

9th - Narek Pohosian (Ukraine)

10th - Moukhammad Amin Rouslanovitch Sangariev (France)

Gold –Sheriev (Individual Neutral Athletes) dec. Aoyagi (Japan), 9-3

Bronze – Heybatov (Azerbaijan) dec. Zapf, 9-2

Bronze – Elbakidze (Georgia) dec. Sinin (Turkey), 5-0

79 kg

Gold - Magomed Magomaev (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Silver - Ashraf Ashirov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Sagar Jaglan (UWW)

Bronze - Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (Georgia)

5th - Dzmitry Dzenisenia (Individual Neutral Athlete)

5th - Shamsat Tair (Kazakhstan)

7th - Masaki Sato (Japan)

8th - Okan Tahtaci (Turkey)

9th - Joona Viljami Vuoti (Finland)

10th - Menua Yaribekyan (ARM)

Gold –Magomaev (Individual Neutral Athlete) dec. Ashirov (Azerbaijan), 9-4

Bronze – Gamkrelidze (Georgia) tech. fall Dzenisenia (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-0

Bronze – Jaglan (UWW) dec. Tair (Kazakhstan), 12-7

97 kg

Gold – Isaac Trumble (United States)

Silver - Radu Lefter (Moldova)

Bronze - Oktay Ciftci (Turkey)

Bronze - Sergei Kozyrev (Individual Neutral Athlete)

5th - Sahil Sahil (UWW)

5th - Sergey Sargsyan (Armenia)

7th - Ertugrul Agca (Germany)

8th - Merab Suleimanishvili (Georgia)

9th - Yunus Gafurov (Kazakhstan)

10th - David Mchedlidze (Ukraine)

Gold – Trumble (United States) tech. fall Lefter (Moldova), 12-2

Bronze – Kozyrev (AIN) tech. fall Sahil (UWW), 10-0

Bronze – Ciftci (Turkey) forf. Sargysan (Armenia)

U.S. Group Two Men's Freestyle Results

57 kg – Cooper Flynn (Seymour, Tenn./Southeast RTC/Titan Mercury WC), 15th place

WIN Vasyl Ilnytskyi (Poland), dec. 4-1

LOSS Manvel Khndzrtsyan (Armenia), tech. fall 11-0

LOSS Niklas Stechele (Germany), dec. 3-2

65 kg – Brock Hardy (Brigham City, Utah/Nebraska WTC), Bronze Medal

WIN Sammy Alvarez (Puerto Rico), dec. 12-7

WIN Artem Kryvenko (Ukraine), tech. fall 11-0

LOSS Ziraddin Bayramov (Azerbaijan), dec. 14-11

WIN Goga Otinashvili (Georgia), dec. 8-5

70 kg – Doug Zapf (Downingtown, Pa., Pennsylvania RTC), Fifth place

WIN Benedikt Huber (Austria), tech. fall 12-1

WIN Ion Marcu (Moldova), dec. 7-0

WIN Orozobek Toktomambetov (Kyrgyzstan), dec. 3-3

LOSS Inalbek Sheriev (AIN), dec. 9-2

LOSS Kanan Heybatov (Azerbaijan), dec. 9-2

79 kg – Dustin Plott (Tuttle, Okla./Cowboy RTC), 17th place

LOSS Masaki Sato (Japan), dec. 2-2

97 kg – Isaac Trumble (Springfield, Neb./Wolfpack, WC/Titan Mercury WC), in finals

WIN Ito Hibiki (Japan), dec. 13-4

WIN Oktay Ciftci (Turkey), tech. fall 11-0

WIN Sergey Sargsyan (Armenia), tech. fall 11-0

WIN Radu Lefter (Moldova), tech. fall 12-2

U.S. Women's Freestyle Session One Results

50 kg – Audrey Jimenez (Tucson, Arizona/Sunkist Kids WC), in finals

WIN Rubio Torres (Spain), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Neelam Neelam (UWW), tech. fall 12-2

WIN Elnura Mammadova (Azerbaijan), 7-4

Gold Medal – Vs. Umi Ito (Japan)

55 kg – Alisha Howk (River Falls, Wis./Sunkist Kids WC), eliminated

WIN  Immaculata Danise (Italy), pin 4:44

LOSS Aryna Martynava (AIN), tech. fall 10-0

59 kg – Nichole Moore (Lebanon, Ill./LMRC), eliminated

WIN Wiktoria Karwowska (Poland), dec. 9-0

LOSS Michaela Rankin (Canada), dec. 7-0

68 kg – Katerina Lange (Sherburn, Minn., Minnesota Storm)

LOSS Vusala Parfianovich (AIN), dec. 7-1

76 kg – Kennedy Blades (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids WC), in finals

WIN Patrycja Slomska (Poland), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Inkara Zhanatayeva (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Kamile Gaucaite (Lithuania), tech. fall 10-0

Gold Medal - Vs. Reetika (India)