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Cassioppi wins gold medal at 2021 U23 World Championships in Belgrade

by Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling

BELGRADE, Serbia – Tony Cassioppi (125 kg) won the gold medal for Team USA at the 2021 U23 World Championships after pinning Azamat Khosonov of Greece in Sunday night's finals. Cassioppi, who wrestles for the University of Iowa, went 4-0 on the tournament, posting two wins via fall.
In the finals against Khosonov, Cassioppi set the tone early with multiple takedowns to begin the match. He wrapped up a tight lace as time was winding down in the first period to jump out to a 9-0 lead. Then, with under 30 seconds left in the first, the Iowa standout got to Khosonov's leg, stuck and scored again, working Khosonov to his back and finishing up the win in style with a fall.

The gold is Cassioppi's first age-group World medal.

Cassioppi is a four-time Junior Pan-Am Championships winner – he won in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions in 2017 and 2018. He is a two-time USA Wrestling Triple Crown winner (USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals, Freestyle Nationals and Greco-Roman Nationals champion). He was the 125 kg runner up at the 2021 Senior Nationals and is a two-time NCAA All-American at Iowa.
The United States finished seventh in the team race with 54 points. Russia won the team race with 145 team points, followed by Iran with 140 points. Armenia finished third with 114 points.
At 61 kg, Chris Cannon of Northwestern University officially finished fifth in his first appearance on a U.S. age-group World team.
Cannon earned a spot in the bronze medal match after competing in an entertaining back-and-forth match against Switzerland’s Nino Leutert to begin Sunday's action, a bout that Cannon, won, 11-8. The match featured multiple scrambles and quite a bit of mat wrestling, but the Northwestern standout did enough to advance through the repechage match.
In the bronze medal bout, Narankhuu Narmandakh of Mongolia defeated Cannon, 10-0. Narmandakh scored a four-point takedown early and then wrapped up a strong gut wrench to finish the match.
Cannon was an NCAA All-American at the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships for Northwestern, competing at 133 pounds.
Full brackets and results from the event can be found on UWW’s website.


At Belgrade, Serbia, November 7

Men’s freestyle Group Two finals results
61 kg
GOLD: Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia) dec. Artur Chebodaev (Russia), 11-7
BRONZE: Narankhuu Narmandakh (Mongolia) tech Chris Cannon (USA), 10-0
BRONZE: Assyl Aitakyn (Kazakhstan) dec. Gamzatgadzhi Khalidov (Hungary), 3-3
74 kg
GOLD: Cherman Valiev (Russia) dec. Mohammadsadegh Firouzpourbandpei (Iran), 7-6
BRONZE: Hrary Alikhanyan (Armenia) tech Simon Marchl (Austria), 10-0
BRONZE: Temuri Beruashvili (Georgia) vs. Vasile Diacon (Moldova), 3-3
86 kg
GOLD: Mukhammed Aliiev (Ukraine) dec. Sajjad Gholami (Iran), 11-4
BRONZE: Ivars Samusonoks (Latvia) dec. Emre Ciftci (Turkey), 5-2
BRONZE: Lars Schaefle (Germany) dec. Zagid Karimov (Russia), 3-0
92 kg
GOLD: Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan) dec. Azamat Zakuev (Russia), 4-2
BRONZE: Erhan Yaylaci (Turkey) tech Rustam Shodiev (Uzbekistan), 13-2
BRONZE: Amirhossein Firouzpourbandpei (Iran) tech Johannes Mayer (Germany), 10-0
125 kg
GOLD: Tony Cassioppi (USA) fall Azamat Khosonov (Greece), 2:44
BRONZE: Saipudin Magomedov (Russia) tech Martin Simonyan (Armenia), 10-0
BRONZE: Seyedmehdi Hashemijouybari (Iran) dec. Mohit (India), 6-3
U.S. men’s freestyle Group Two results
61 kg: Chris Cannon (Oceanport, N.J./Wildcat WC), 5th place
WIN Suraj Kokate (India), 10-0
WIN Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan), 9-5
LOSS Artur Chebodaev (Russia), 7-0
WIN Nino Leutert (Switzerland), 11-8
LOSS Narankhuu Narmandakh (Mongolia), 10-0
74 kg: Peyton Robb (Owatonna, Minn./Nebraska Wrestling Training Center), dnp/11th
WIN Hassan Alharthi (Saudi Arabia), 10-0
LOSS Vasile Diacon (MDA), 6-4
86 kg: Myles Wilson (Junction, Colo./Hawkeye WC), dnp/12th
WIN Cezary Sadowski (Poland), 7-0
LOSS Mher Markosyan (Armenia), 7-4
92 kg: Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park, Pa./Pittsburgh WC), 10th place
LOSS Erhan Yaylaci (Turkey), 12-6
125 kg: Anthony Cassioppi (Roscoe, Ill./Hawkeye WC), gold medal
WIN Martin Simonyan (Armenia), fall 5:55
WIN Paris Karepri (Albania), 7-0
WIN Saipudin Magomedov (Russia), 5-0
WIN Azamat Khosonov (Greece), fall 2:44
Men’s freestyle final team standings
1. Russia, 145
2. Iran, 140
3. Armenia, 114
4. Azerbaijan, 93
5. Turkey, 72
6. Ukraine, 56
7. United States, 54
8. Moldova, 53
9. Kyrgyzstan, 49
10. Greece, 45
11. Georgia, 37
12. Belarus, 36
13. India, 34
14. Uzbekistan, 32
15. Kazakhstan, 29
16. Germany, 25
17. Hungary, 22
18. Mongolia, 17
19. (tie) Bulgaria and Switzerland, 16