Jason Nolf works to finish a single leg against Ramazan Ramazanov of Bulgaria at the Zagreb Open/
Kostadin Andonov / United World Wrestling

Jason Nolf captured gold at 74 kg in men’s freestyle for Team USA at the 2024 Zagreb Open


Nolf captures back-to-back golds at Zagreb Open, McKenna, Zapf, Marsteller tack on bronze medals for U.S. men’s freestyle

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

ZAGREB, Croatia – The U.S. men’s freestyle group kicked off the Zagreb Open, United World Wrestling’s first Ranking Series event of the Olympic year, with a spectacular gold medal effort from Jason Nolf, plus three bronze medal wins to round out the day.

The U.S. National Team member Nolf made it back-to-back gold medals from the Zagreb Open, as he backed up his 2023 title with a dominant effort at Zagreb’s Sport Hall on Wednesday. After going 4-0 during the morning session, Nolf earned a punishing 10-1 decision against Hossein Abouzaripashakolaei of Iran in the 74 kg gold medal match. Nolf trailed 1-0 at the break but came back with relentless pace to score four second-period takedowns, plus a gut wrench exposure, to run away with the match.

Nolf has now won gold medals in his last three international outings—the Zagreb Open times two and the Bill Farrell Memorial International held last November. He has finished as Final X runner-up and U.S. Open champion the past two seasons and is one of the top contenders to make the U.S. Olympic Team at 74 kg. College wrestling fans will know Nolf as a three-time NCAA champion and four-time national finalist for Penn State University.

2023 U.S. World Team member Chance Marsteller, who competed last season at the non-Olympic weight of 79 kg, moved up to 86 kg where he secured a bronze medal with a 4-1 record on the day. Marsteller picked up two craft first-period takedowns, plus a shot clock point in the second frame, to down Arsenii Dzhioev of Azerbaijan in the bronze medal match.

Two-time age-group World medalist Joey McKenna made quick work of 2023 World silver medalist Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico in the 65 kg bronze medal contest. McKenna struck quickly with an opening single leg takedown going out of bounds. He immediately followed with a double leg transitioned to a leg lace finish to end the bout, 10-0, at the one-minute mark.

McKenna continued a streak of medal performances at international events, pushing his count to nine-straight medals dating back to 2022. He won five international medals in 2023, including a silver medal at the Zagreb Open.

U23 World Team member Doug Zapf finished the day with a 2-2 record and bronze medal effort at 70 kg. He overpowered Switzerland’s Marc Dietsche in the bronze medal match by 13-2 technical fall. Zapf recorded four takedowns in the contest, including a momentum-swinging finish at the buzzer of the first period.

The U.S. holds the most men’s freestyle medals (4) of any country after day one of competition. Georgia, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are the closest competitors, with each country earning two medalists so far.

U.S. World Team member Zane Richards (57 kg) and Senior Nationals champion Quincy Monday (74 kg) both finished in seventh place overall. Michael McGee (61 kg) and Max Dean (86 kg) also earned top ten placements.

2023 World bronze medalist Zahid Valencia finished a disappointing 20th overall at 86 kg after dropping his first and only match of the day to Valentyn Babii of Ukraine, 10-2.

The Zagreb Open continues Thursday with the conclusion of men’s freestyle (79-92-97-125 kg) and the start of women’s freestyle (50-55 kg). The qualification rounds and repechage begin at 10 a.m. local time followed by the medal matches at 6 p.m. Zagreb, Croatia, is located six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time.

Complete brackets and match-by-match results for all three international styles are available through UWW Arena. A live stream of the event is available to the U.S. audience on FloWrestling.com.

Zagreb Open, UWW Ranking Series

At Zagreb, Croatia, Jan. 10-14

Men’s freestyle results

57 kg

Gold – Aman Aman (UWW)

Silver – Wanhou Zou (China)

Bronze – Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria)

Bronze – Muhammet Karavus (Turkey)

5th – Horst Lehr (Germany)

5th – Roberti Dingashvili (Georgia)

7th – Zane Richards (United States)

8th – Luka Gvinjilia (Georgia)

9th – Islam Bazarganov (Azerbaijan)

10th – Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico)

Gold – Aman Aman (UWW) tech. fall Wanhou Zou (China), 10-0

Bronze – Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria) dec. Horst Lehr (Germany), 3-1

Bronze – Muhammet Karavus (Turkey) fall Roberti Dingashvili (Georgia), 4:47

61 kg

Gold – Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia)

Silver – Andrii Dzhelep (Ukraine)

Bronze – Aliabbas Rzazade (Azerbaijan)

Bronze – Nuraddin Novruzov (Azerbaijan)

5th – Joseph Silva (Puerto Rico)

5th – Daniel Popov (Israel)

7th – Giorgi Goniashvili (Georgia)

8th – Michael McGee (United States)

Gold – Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia) dec. Andrii Dzhelep (Ukraine), 9-2

Bronze – Aliabbas Rzazade (Azerbaijan) dec. Joseph Silva (Puerto Rico), 4-2

Bronze – Nuraddin Novruzov (Azerbaijan) dec. Daniel Popov (Israel), 7-3

65 kg

Gold – Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia)

Silver – Rahman Amopuzadkhalili (Iran)

Bronze – Abbas Ebrahimzadehsavadkouhi (Iran)

Bronze – Joey McKenna (United States)

5th – Abdullah Toprak (Turkey)

5th – Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico)

7th – Nino Leutert (Switzerland)

8th – Agustin Destribats (Argentina)

9th – Krzysztof Bienkowski (Poland)

10th – Joshua Finesilver (Israel)

Gold – Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia) inj. def. Rahman Amopuzadkhalili (Iran), 0:01

Bronze – Abbas Ebrahimzadehsavadkouhi (Iran) tech. fall Abdullah Toprak (Turkey)

Bronze – Joey McKenna (United States) tech. fall Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico), 10-0

70 kg

Gold – Akaki Kemertelidze (Georgia)

Silver – Giorgi Elbakidze (Georgia)

Bronze – Doug Zapf (United States)

4th – Marc Dietsche (Switzerland)

5th – Nikolay Dimitrov (Bulgaria)

6th – Daniel Antal (Hungary)

Gold – Akaki Kemertelidze (Georgia) dec. Giorgi Elbakidze (Georgia), 7-4

Bronze – Doug Zapf (United States) tech. fall Marc Dietsche (Switzerland), 13-2

74 kg

Gold – Jason Nolf (United States)

Silver – Hossein Abouzaripashakolaei (Iran)

Bronze – Dzhabrail Gadzhiev (Azerbaijan)

Bronze – Murad Kuramagomedov (Hungary)

5th – Tobias Portmann (Switzerland)

5th – Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece)

7th – Quincy Monday (United States)

8th – Zelimkhan Khadjiev (France)

9th – Yakup Gor (Turkey)

10th – Yones Emamichoghaei (Iran)

Gold – Jason Nolf (United States) dec. Hossein Abouzaripashakolaei (Iran), 10-1

Bronze – Dzhabrail Gadzhiev (Azerbaijan) dec. Tobias Portmann (Switzerland), 5-3

Bronze – Murad Kuramagomedov (Hungary) dec. Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece)

86 kg

Gold – Magomed Ramazanov (Bulgaria)

Silver – Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan)

Bronze – Evsem Shvelidze (Georgia)

Bronze – Chance Marsteller (United States)

5th – Matthew Finesilver (Israel)

5th – Arsenii Dzhioev (Azerbaijan)

7th – Uri Kalashnikov (Israel)

8th – Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (Georgia)

9th – Max Dean (United States)

10th – Deepak Punia (UWW)

Gold – Magomed Ramazanov (Bulgaria) dec. Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan), 8-5

Bronze – Evsem Shvelidze (Georgia) dec. Matthew Finesilver (Israel), 7-3

Bronze – Chance Marsteller (United States) dec. Arsenii Dzhioev (Azerbaijan), 5-0

U.S. men’s freestyle results

57 kg – Zane Richards (Champaign, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC), 7th place

WIN Ahmet Duman (Turkey), 5-2

LOSS Aman Aman (UWW), tech. fall, 11-0

LOSS Muhammat Karavus (Turkey), tech. fall, 17-7

57 kg – Brandon Courtney (Avondale, Ariz./Sunkist Kids WC), 11th place

LOSS Luka Gvinjilia (Georgia), 5-2

61 kg – Michael McGee (Bolingbrook, Ill./Sunkist Kids WC), 8th place

LOSS Aliabbas Rzazade (Azerbaijan), 5-4

65 kg – Joey McKenna (Towaco, N.J./Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC), bronze medal

WIN Ziraddin Bayramov (Azerbaijan), tech. fall, 11-0

LOSS Vazgen Tavanyan (Armenia), 5-2

WIN Khamzat Arsamerzouev (France), 3-3

WIN Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico), tech. fall, 10-0

65 kg – Nahshon Garrett (Bethlehem, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Lehigh Valley WC), 14th place

LOSS Nino Leutert (Switzerland), 10-8

70 kg – Doug Zapf (Dowingtown, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC), bronze medal

LOSS Giorgi Elbakidze (Georgia), 6-5

WIN Daniel Antal (Hungary), 4-0

LOSS Akaki Kemertelidze (Georgia), 8-4

WIN Marc Dietsche (Switzerland), tech. fall, 13-2

74 kg – Jason Nolf (State College, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), gold medal

WIN Anthony Montero Chirinos (Venezuela), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Ramazan Ramazanov (Bulgaria), tech. fall, 12-2

WIN Murad Kuramagomedov (Hungary), 7-0

WIN Georgios Kougiomtsidis (Greece), fall, 0:35

WIN Hossein Abouzaripashakolaei (Iran), 10-1

74 kg – Quincy Monday (Princeton, N.J./Titan Mercury WC/New Jersey RTC), 7th place

WIN Patryk Olenczyn (Poland), tech. fall, 15-4

WIN Yash Yash (UWW), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Dzhabrail Gadzhiev (Azerbaijan), 5-4

86 kg – Chance Marsteller (New Park, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/New York City RTC), bronze medal

WIN Pedro Ceballos (Venezuela), 4-0

WIN Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan), 3-1

WIN Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (Georgia), 8-5

LOSS Magomed Ramazanov (Bulgaria), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Arsenii Dzhioev (Azerbaijan), 5-0

86 kg – Zahid Valencia (Phoenix, Ariz./Sunkist Kids WC), 20th place

LOSS Valentyn Babii (Ukraine), 10-2

86 kg – Max Dean (Lowell, Mich./Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), 9th place

LOSS Magomed Ramazanov (Bulgaria), 8-3

WIN Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico), 8-8

LOSS Arsenii Dzhioev (Azerbaijan), 8-3