David Taylor named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week
by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling
David Taylor (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) was named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on September 19.
Taylor dominated his competition at the 2023 Senior World Championships, capturing his third World title (fourth World/Olympic gold medal). He scored three pins and two technical falls in his five matches en route to the gold medal.
In his finals match, Taylor pinned his rival Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran at 5:57. Taylor now has beaten Yazdani in five of their six meetings, with the only loss happening in the 2021 World finals. He beat Yazdani in the last two World finals, as well as in the 2020 Olympic Games finals.
Taylor led 5-3 at the break after a big exchange that went his way in the first period. Leading 1-0, a Taylor shot ended up in a big scoring move. Officials initially gave the edge to Yazdani, but after a USA challenge, Taylor was given a four-point move in the exchange. Taylor added a takedown in the second period to lead 7-3, and when Yazdani tried to turn Taylor, it was the American who ended up on top and Taylor got the fall.
He was one of three World Champions as the United States saw seven athletes earn World medals while qualifying four weights for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. Taylor qualified the 86 kg spot for the 2024 Olympic Games, and will sit out until the finals at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Taylor also helped propel the United States to a fifth World Team Title in men’s freestyle, marking the first time that the United States has won back-to-back titles.
86 kg - David Taylor (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), Gold Medal
WIN Sofiane Padiou Belmir (Morocco), pin 0:15
WIN Benjamin Griel (Austria), tech fall 10-0
WIN Magomed Sharipov (Bahrain), tech fall 12-2
WIN Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan), pin 3:38
WIN Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran), pin 5:57
To nominate a wrestler for this honor please email the athlete's name, wrestling program, weekly accomplishments, and career accolades to firstname.lastname@example.org.