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Steveson beats defending champion to advance to Olympics semifinals, Gilman moves on to bronze match, Dake beaten in quarterfinals

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Gable Steveson of the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Larry Slater.

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan - Gable Steveson (Minneapolis, Minn./Gopher WC RTC) won two impressive matches in his Olympic debut at 125 kg and has advanced to the semifinals set for Thursday night at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Steveson made big news on the international level with his dominant 8-0 quarterfinal win over 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Taha Akgul of Turkey. Steveson scored four takedowns, one in the first period and three in the second period.

He was just as dominant in his first round against Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan in his first match, scoring five quick takedowns for a 10-0 technical fall. Lazarev had little chance in defending against the quickness of Steveson’s attacks.

He will wrestle against 2019 U23 World bronze medalist Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur of Mongolia in the semifinals, which are scheduled for 6:15 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 5:15 a.m. in the U.S. Eastern time zone. All of the action is live on The Olympic Channel.

Just 21 years old, Steveson had a great age-group career, including 2015 and 2016 Cadet World titles as well as a 2017 Junior World gold. He won the NCAA Div. I title this year in March, then made the U.S. Olympic Team in April with a win over two-time Senior World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski in the finals.

In a repechage match at the start of the session, 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) won his Thursday morning repechage match, and has earned a spot in the 57 kg bronze-medal match against Reza Atrinagharchi of Iran.

Gilman make quick work of Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in his repechage match, with an 11-1 technical fall. The wrestlers traded stepouts for a 1-1 tie, then it was all Gilman. He scored a takedown and three ankle laces for a 9-1 lead. Another takedown closed it out at 11-1 in the first period.

Gilman dropped a heartbreaking 5-4 decision to two-time defending World champion and No. 2 seed Zaur Uguev of ROC in the opening round. The match was not decided until the end, when Ugaev scored an exposure with five seconds left to win.

Gilman won his bronze medal at the 2017 Senior Worlds in Paris, and placed fifth at the 2018 World Championships. He qualified the USA for the Olympics at the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier, In the Olympic Trials, Gilman secured his spot on the Olympic Team, defeating 2019 Junior World silver medalist Vitali Arujau in the finals. Originally from Omaha, Neb., Gilman was a star for the University of Iowa.

Two-time World champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC), competing in his first Olympic Games at 74 kg, went 1-1 in his matches on Thursday morning.

Dake controlled the action in a 4-0 opening win over the No. 4 seed, 2016 World bronze medalist Mostafa Hosseinkhani of Iran. Dake scored on two step outs in the first period, then added a second period takedown for the shut out win.

He was shocked in the quarterfinals by Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau of Belarus, who scored an 11-0 technical fall over Dake. Kadzimahamedau scored a big four point move in the first period, and led 9-0 at the break. In the second period, Kadzimahamedau finished off the technical fall with a takedown.

Kadzimahamedau, a 2020 European champion at 79 kg, must defeat two-time World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy in the semifinals in order to pull Dake back into Friday’s repechage rounds.

Dake is a two-time World champion at 79 kg, and beat 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs to make the U.S. team. 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.

Group Two U.S. men’s freestyle results

74 kg - Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran), 4-0

LOSS Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau (Belarus), 11-0

125 kg - Gable Steveson (Minneapolis, Minn./Gopher WC RTC)

WIN Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Taha Akgul (Turkey), 8-0

Semifinals – vs. Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)

Group One U.S. men’s freestyle results

57 kg – Thomas Gilman (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)

LOSS Zaur Uguev (Russia), 5-4

WIN Gulomjon Abdullaev (Uzbekistan), tech fall 11-1

Bronze medal bout - Reza Atrinagharchi (Iran)

Group Two Semifinal Pairings

74 kg

Frank Chamizo (Italy) vs. Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau (Belarus)

Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia) vs. Daniar Kaisanov (Kazakhstan)

125 kg

Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) vs. Amir Hossein Zare (Iran)

Gable Steveson (USA) vs. Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)