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Olympic champion Snyder advances to men’s freestyle Olympic semifinals, Dake qualifies for bronze-medal bout

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Kyle Snyder (USA) takes down Jordan Steen (CAN) at the Olympic Games. Photo by John Sachs,

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan - 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) won his two Friday morning matches at 97 kg and has qualified for tonight’s semifinals at the Olympic Games in Makuhari Messe Hall A.

The No. 2 seed, Snyder opened with a 12-2 technical fall win over Jordan Steen of Canada. Steen scored the first takedown, then it was all Snyder, who ended up scoring six takedowns in the match.

In the quarterfinals, Snyder was in control and won a tactical 6-0 match over Italy’s Abraham Conyedo Ruano. He scored the only two takedowns of the match, and added a step out and a point from a shot clock penalty against Conyedo.

In the semifinals, Snyder will battle 2020 European champion Suleyman Karadeniz of Turkey, who entered the event unseeded.

Snyder is the reigning Olympic champion at 97 kg and a 2015 and 2017 World champion. He added a World silver medal in 2018 and a World bronze medal in 2019. He is also a past Junior World champion. Originally from Woodbine, Md., Snyder was a three-time NCAA champion at Ohio State. He currently trains at Penn State.

On the other side of the bracket, in a battle of past Olympic champions in the first round, No. 1 seed Abdulrashid Sadulaev of ROC defeated Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan, 5-0. Sadulaev was a 2016 Olympic champion at 86 kg, and has won two World titles at 97 kg since moving up to this weight class. Sharifov won his Olympic title back in 2012. Sadulaev worked his way into the semifinals, where he will wrestle veteran World medalist Reineris Salas Perez of Cuba.

The semifinals at 97 kg and 65 kg are set for 6:15 p.m. local time in Japan (5:15 a.m. in U.S. Eastern time zone). The U.S. did not qualify a men’s freestyle athlete at 65 kg.

Two-time World champion Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC) qualified for a bronze-medal match against two-time World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy. Dake edged Chamizo, 4-3, in the featured match on a FloWrestling card in July of 2020 during the pandemic.

Dake had little trouble in his repechage bout on Friday morning, scoring a 10-0 technical fall over four-time World medalist Jeandry Garzon Caballero of Cuba. Dake took down Garzon and turned him three times for an 8-0 lead, and closed out the win with a takedown on the edge.

Dake had a 4-0 opening win over 2016 World bronze medalist Mostafa Hosseinkhani of Iran. In the quarterfinals, 2020 European champion Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau of Belarus scored an 11-0 technical fall over Dake. When Kadzimahamedau defeated Chamizo in the semifinals, Dake was pulled back into repechage.

Dake won 2018 and 2019 World titles at 79 kg, and beat 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs to make the U.S. Olympic team for Tokyo. 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.

In addition to Dake’s medal match tonight, young U.S. star Gable Steveson (Minneapolis, Minn./Gopher WC RTC) will compete for a gold medal at 125 kg in the Friday evening session against three-time World champion Geno Petriashvili of Georgia. The medal matches will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time (which is 6:30 a.m. in the U.S. Eastern time zone). Fans can follow the action live on The Olympic Channel.


At Makuhari, Chiba, Japan, August 6

Group Three U.S. men’s freestyle results

97 kg - Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Jordan Steen (Canada), tech. fall 12-2

WIN Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy), 6-0

Semifinals – Vs. Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey)

Group Three U.S. men’s freestyle semifinal pairings

65 kg

Gadzhimurad Rashidov (ROC) vs. Takuto Otaguro (Japan)

Hadi Aliyev (Azerbaijan) vs. Bajrang Punia (India)

97 kg

Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC) vs. Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba)

Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey) vs. Kyle Snyder (USA)

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

WIN Jeandry Garzon Caballero (Cuba), 10-0

Bronze Medal Bout – Vs. Frank Chamizo (Italy)

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

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

WIN Taha Akgul (Turkey), 8-0

WIN Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)

Gold Medal finals – vs. Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)

Group Two men’s freestyle finals pairings

74 kg – Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau (Belarus) vs. Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia)

125 kg – Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) vs. Gable Steveson (USA)