Dake, Steveson and Winchester receive draws for day 5 of Olympic Games
by Taylor Miller, US Wrestling
Three more U.S. Olympic wrestlers—men’s freestyle wrestlers Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC) at 74 kg, Gable Steveson (Minneapolis, Minn./Gopher WC RTC) at 125 kg and women’s freestyler Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC) at 53 kg—have received their draws for Olympic Games competition.
Competition begins Thursday at 11 a.m. local time (Wednesday at 10 p.m. U.S. ET).
Dake drew No. 4 and 2016 World bronze medalist at 70 kg seed Mostafa Hosseinkhani from Iran, who most recently earned a gold medal at the 2021 Poland Open.
Dake is unseeded. The other seeded athlete in his half-bracket is No. 1 seed and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy, who won World titles in 2015 at 65 kg and 2017 at 70 kg. He also won silver at the 2019 World Championships.
Competing in the other half-bracket is No. 2 seed and 2019 World bronze winner Daniyar Kaisanov of Kazakhstan as well as No. 3 seed and two-time reigning World champion Zaurbek Sidakov of Russia.
Dake, a two-time World champion at 79 kg, has already made waves this year, besting 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs in a best-of-three finals series at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April. In addition to his two World titles at 79 kg, Dake is a 2021 Pan American champion and owns Ranking Series gold medals from the 2018 Yasar Dogu and 2020 Matteo Pellicone. Originally from Ithaca, N.Y., Dake competed collegiately at Cornell, where he became the first athlete in NCAA history to win four national titles at four different weight classes.
Steveson will face World Olympic Games Qualifier runner-up Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan in his first match, whose best finish at a World Championships was seventh in 2017.
Steveson is unseeded. Competing in his half bracket is No. 2 and 2021 Asian Olympic Qualifier champion Yusup Batirmurzaev of Kazakhstan and No. 3 Taha Akgul of Turkey, 2019 World silver medalist. Entering his third Olympic Games, Akgul is the returning Olympic champion with a gold-medal performance in Rio. It was his third-straight gold after winning World titles in 2014 and 2015. Since then, he earned silver medals at the 2017 and 2019 Worlds.
Competing in the other half-bracket is returning Olympic medalist and three-time reigning World champion Geno Petriashvili of Georgia, who is the No. 1 seed, as well as No. 4 and 2019 World bronze medalist Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi from Ukraine.
In a good position to make some waves at the weight, Steveson will compete at his first Olympics at just 21 years old. To make the U.S. Olympic Team, he dominated two-time Senior World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski with back-to-back technical falls. While he hasn’t competed much at the Senior-level internationally, Steveson has some major international credentials at younger age-groups, including 2015 and 2016 Cadet World titles as well as a 2017 Junior World gold. At the Pan American Championships earlier this year, Steveson sailed through the field to win the bracket. Currently, Steveson wrestles at the University of Minnesota, where he won the 2021 NCAA title at heavyweight.
Representing the women’s freestyle squad is 2019 World champion at 55 kg Jacarra Winchester, who will take on Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia, who took bronze in at 55 kg at 2019 Worlds.
Because she won at a non-Olympic weight class in 2019, Winchester is unseeded at 53 kg. The seeded athletes in her half bracket include No. 1 and 2019 World bronze medalist Vinesh Phogat as well as the other 2019 World bronze winner at 53 kg, Qianyu Pang of China, who is No. 4.
Competing in the other half-bracket is No. 2 seed and two-time World champion Mayu Mukaida of Japan and No. 3 Luisa Valverde Melendres of Ecuador, who took seventh at 2019 World Championships.
Winchester qualified the weight class for USA for the Olympics when she reached the finals of the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Canada. Winchester was also fifth at the 2018 Worlds at 55 kg. Since coming down to this weight, Winchester has been dominant, scoring a ton of points to quickly finish her matches. She wrestled twice up at 55 kg in 2021, winning the Senior Nationals and the Pan American Championships. Originally from Oakland, Calif., Winchester competed collegiately at Missouri Valley College.
U.S. men’s freestyle first round draw
74 kg - Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC)
vs. Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran)
125 kg - Gable Steveson (Minneapolis, Minn./Gopher WC RTC)
vs. Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan)
U.S. women’s freestyle first round draw
53 kg - Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC)
vs. Olga Khoroshavtseva (Russia)
Competition schedule for Thursday, Aug. 5 (local time in Tokyo)
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (MFS 74, 125; WFS 53 kg)
11 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 57, 86; WFS 57 kg)
6:15 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 74, 125; WFS 53 kg)
7:30 p.m.- Finals (MFS 57, 86; WFS 57 kg)
Competition schedule – U.S. Eastern time zone
August 4, 10 p.m. ET – Qualification rounds (MFS 74, 125; WFS 53 kg)
August 4, 10 p.m. ET – Repechage (MFS 74, 125; WFS 53 kg
August 5, 5:15 a.m. ET – Semifinals (MFS 74, 125; WFS 53 kg)
August 5, 6:30 a.m. ET- Finals (MFS 74, 125; WFS 53 kg)
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Thursday, August 5
50 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC)
97 kg – Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)