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Snyder wins Olympic silver medal, falling to Sadulaev, 6-3 in 97 kg finals, as Team USA ends with nine medals

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Kyle Snyder with a single leg against Abdulrashid Sadulaev, Photo by Larry Slater; Kyle Snyder with his Olympic silver medal, photo by John Sachs,

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan - 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) will leave Tokyo with an Olympic silver medal, after losing a competitive battle with 2016 Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of the Russian Olympic Committee in the 97 kg finals.

Sadulaev emerged with a 6-3 decision over Snyder, in their third meeting in the finals of a World Championships or Olympic Games.

At the 2016 Olympics, Snyder was the 97 kg champion, while Sadulaev won at 86 kg. Sadulaev moved up to 97 kg in 2017 and reached the world finals, where Snyder defeated him. In the finals of the 2018 World Championships, Sadulaev scored a first-period pin over Snyder.

Sadulaev got the first point tonight when Snyder was put on the shot clock and did not score in 30 seconds. Sadulaev forced a step out and led 2-0 at the break. In the second period, Sadulaev was able to get a pair of counter tilts on Snyder’s shots, jumping the lead to 6-0. Snyder scored a takedown to make it 6-2, and added a step out to make it 6-3 but was not able to score again in the final 28 seconds of the match.

Snyder won three Friday matches to qualify for finals. He opened with a 12-2 technical fall win over Jordan Steen of Canada. In the quarterfinals, Snyder shut out Italy’s Abraham Conyedo Ruano, 6-0. His semifinal win was another shutout over 2020 European champion Suleyman Karadeniz of Turkey, 5-0.

With his silver medal, Snyder has won a medal in the last five World Championships or Olympic Games. 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.

With Snyder’s silver and a bronze by women’s wrestling star Sarah Hildebrandt this evening, the U.S. has won nine Olympic medals in Tokyo in wrestling. It is the most since the 13 won at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. The USA won the medal count in Tokyo with nine medals, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee with eight.

Included are three Olympic champions, Steveson, David Taylor (men;s freestyle at 86 kg) and Tamyra Mensah Stock (women’s freestyle at 68 kg). All five of the men’s freestyle wrestlers from the USA competing in Tokyo have won a medal: golds from Taylor and Steveson, bronze medals from Thomas Gilman (57 kg) and Kyle Dake (74 kg).

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

WIN Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey), 5-0

Gold Medal Match – Vs. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC)

Group Three men’s freestyle results

65 kg

Gold - Takuto Otaguro (Japan)

Silver - Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Gadzhimurad Rashidov (ROC)

Bronze - Bajrang Punia (India)

5th – Izmiel Muszukajev (Hungary)

5th - Daulet Niyazbekov (Kazakhstan)

7th - Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Poland)

8th - Morteza GHIASI CHEKA Ghiasa Cheka (Iran)

9th - Tulga Tumur Ochir (Mongolia)

10th - Alejandro Enrique Valdez Tobier (Cuba)

Gold – Takuto Otaguro (Japan) dec. Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 5-4

Bronze – Gadzhimurad Rashidov (ROC) dec. Izmiel Muszukajev (Hungary), 5-0

Bronze – Bajrang Punia (India) dec. Daulet Niyazbekov (Kazakhstan), 8-0

97 kg

Gold - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC)

Silver - Kyle Snyder (USA)

Bronze - Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba)

Bronze - Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy)

5th - Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan)

5th - Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey)

7th - Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan)

8th - Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia)

9th - Magomedgadji Nurov (North Macedonia)

10th - Jordan Steen (Canada)

Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC) dec. Kyle Snyder (USA), 6-3

Bronze – Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba) dec. Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan), 3-3

Bronze - Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy) dec. Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey), 6-2