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Cadet Men’s Freestyle Team goes four for four in the semifinals on the first day of action at the Cadet World Championships

by Mike Willis, USA Wrestling

Budapest, Hungary – After a stellar first session of wrestling, putting four out of five wrestlers in the semifinals, the cadet men’s freestylers continued their streak of excellence, going four for four in the World semifinals.

Luke Lilledahl, Meyer Shapiro, James Rowley and Jim Mullen will all wrestle for gold tomorrow evening, looking to cap off what has already been an extremely impressive showing.

Lilledahl started the team off on the right note at 48 kg, advancing to the finals with a win over Kazakhstan’s Nurdanat Aitanov, a 2019 U15 Asian champion. Trailing 3-0 with one minute remaining in the second period, Lilledahl kept his composure, converting on two takedowns to claim the lead, and the match, 4-3.

In tomorrow’s finals he will see India’s Aman Aman, a 2019 U15 Asian Championships silver medalist.

Following Lilledahl, Meyer Shapiro kept the momentum rolling, quickly dispatching of his 65 kg semifinal opponent, Azerbaijan’s Aghanazar Novruzov, in a 10-0 first period technical fall. Shortly after the whistle, Shapiro transitioned from a takedown straight into a leg lace, picking up two turns to take a 6-0 lead. He continued to pile on, earning another takedown and eventually cementing the win with a match-ending go behind.

Shapiro squares off with Giorgi Gogritchiani of Georgia, a 2019 Cadet European silver medalist and 2021 Cadet European bronze medalist in tomorrow’s finals.

James Rowley was the next American to toe the line at 80 kg. Rowley handled Italy’s Gabriele Niccolini in a 12-2 technical fall. Rowley led, 2-0, at the break but was able to crack the match open in the second period, converting on numerous takedowns as well as earning points via exposures. His final’s opponent is Sagar Jagland of India, a 2019 U15 Asian champion.

Jim Mullen closed out the day for the U.S. at 110 kg. He defeated Kazakhstan’s Alikhan Kussainov in his semifinal, 7-1. Mullen led 1-0 at the break on the strength of a passivity point. In the second period he was able to pick up the pace, scoring on three separate takedowns.  Mullen wrestles Iran’s Amirreza Masoumi Valadi for gold.

Tomorrow’s finals take place at 12:00 p.m. EST. However, the other five men’s freestyle weight classes kick off at 5:30 a.m. EST. The tournament is streaming live on FloWrestling.

2021 Cadet World Championships

at Budapest, Hungary, July 19-25

Men’s Freestyle Results

48 kg: Luke Lilledahl (St. Charles, Mo.)
WIN Akhmad Musakhadzhiev (Russia), 8-8
WIN Azim Abdykalykov (Kyrgyzstan), 8-1
WIN Nurdanat Aitanov (Kazakhstan), 4-3
vs. Aman Aman (India)

55 kg: Spencer Moore (Crittenden, Kan.)
LOSS Andranik Avetisyan (Armenia), 6-0

65 kg: Meyer Shapiro (Woobine, Md.)
WIN Timur Yusov (Ukraine), FALL
WIN Khabib Zaurbekov (Russia), 8-6
WIN Aghanazar Novruzov (Azerbaijan), 10-0
vs. Giorgi Gogritchiani  (Georgia)

80 kg: James Rowley (Corvallis, Ore.)
WIN Mustafagadzhi Malachdibirov (Russia), 10-6
WIN Oleksandr Mamrosh (Ukraine), 8-6
Gabriele Niccolini (Italy)
vs. Sagar Jagland (India)

110 kg: James Mullen (Harrington Park, N.J.)
WIN Sahil Sahil (India), 8-8
WIN Milan Gellen (Hungary), 6-1
WIN Alikhan Kussainov (Kazakhstan), 7-1
vs. Amirreza Masoumi Valadi (Iran)

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