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Fix, Taylor, Dake advance to men’s freestyle semifinals at Senior Worlds in Oslo, Norway

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Daton Fix scores a takedown at the 2021 World Championships. Photo by Justin Hoch.

OSLO, Norway – The United States pushed three of its four men’s freestyle wrestlers competing on Saturday morning into the semifinals round this evening at the Senior World Championships held at Jordal Amfi.

Earning spots in the semifinals were 2020 Olympic champion and 2018 World champion David Taylor (86 kg), 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World champion Kyle Dake (74 kg) and Daton Fix (61 kg).

Taylor, the No. 1 seed, scored a pair of dominant wins to reach the semifinals. He opened with an 11-0 technical fall over 2017 World silver medalist Boris Makoev. Taylor scored first on a step out, then got another point on a shot clock against Makoev. A takedown late in the period made it 4-0 at the break. In the second period, Taylor blew it up with a step out, two takedowns and an ankle lace turn.

In the quarterfinals, Taylor quickly dismantled Akhmed Aibuev of France with a pin in 28 seconds. Taylor got a big takedown and turned Aibuev, then ran him over to the mat for the quick victory.

Taylor will face 2019 U23 World silver medalist Abubakr Abakarov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals. Abakarov has won four age-group World medals, including a Cadet World title.

Dake opened against two-time Junior World medalist Vasile Diacon of Moldova, securing an 11-0 technical fall, getting a takedown and four gut wrenches to put him away.

In the second match, Dake was in control throughout the bout in a 5-0 decision over Fazli Eryilmaz of Turkey. He got his first point on a shot clock violation, then secured a takedown for a 3-0 lead. In the second period, Dake added a pair of step outs for the shutout win.

Dake will battle Azamat Nurykau of Belarus, who has been fifth in the World Championships three previous times.

Competing in his second Senior Worlds, Fix won three impressive technical fall victories to qualify for the semifinals where he will face two-time Junior World bronze medalist Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia.

Fix opened with a big 11-0 technical fall over talented Giorgi Vangelov of Bulgaria, who was fifth in the 2020 Olympics. Fix led 3-0 at the break after getting a point on the shot clock, then quickly converting on a low single takedown. In the second period, Fix scored two more takedowns to make it 7-0, then finished it off with an inside trip for four points in the closing seconds of the bout.

In his second match, Fix added a 10-0 technical fall over Arman Norik Eloyan of France, getting a takedown and four turns for a fast finish.

In the quarterfinals, he faced Ravinder of India, who had won his second match over past World champion Beka Lomtadze of Georgia. Fix opened with a counter takedown, then added three quick turns for an 8-0 lead. A low double leg takedown by Fix finished off the technical fall.

Dropping his match in the quarterfinals was two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski at 125 kg.

Gwiazdowski opened against 2014 Junior World champion Amar Dhesi of Canada, who competed at Oregon State and now trains at the Ohio RTC. Gwiazdowski scored two-first period takedowns and gave up one for a 4-2 lead at the break. In the second period, Gwiazdowski added two more takedowns for an 8-2 lead, and Dhesi could only force a step out late in the match.

Gwiazdowski was unable to get things going in the quarterfinals against Amir Hossein Abbas Zare of Iran, falling in a 10-0 technical fall. Zare opened with a step out then added a takedown and exposure for a 5-0 lead. Zare forced a stepout to make it 6-0. After getting behind Gwiazdowski, Zare finished the exchange by taking down Gwiazdowski to his back for four points and the 10-point margin.

Zare will need to win his semifinals match over multiple-time World champion Taha Akgul of Turkey in order for Gwiazdowski to get pulled back into repechage.

There were seven athletes who competed for U.S. college programs wrestling for other nations who were competing on Saturday, none who reached the semifinals. Ethan Ramos of Puerto Rico, who wrestled at North Carolina, was able to reach the quarterfinals, where he lost to 2016 Olympic champion Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran.

The semifinals will begin at 4:30 p.m. local time, which is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone. All of the action will be live on FloWrestling.


At Oslo, Norway, October 2

Men’s freestyle semifinal pairings

61 kg

Daton Fix (USA) vs. Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia)

Toshihiro Hasegawa (Japan) vs. Abasgadzhi Magomedov (Russian Wrestling Federation)

74 kg

Kyle Dake (USA) vs. Azamat Nurykau (Belarus)

Tajmuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia) vs. Avtandil Kentchadze (Georgia)

86 kg

David Taylor (USA) vs. Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan)

Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) vs. Artur Naifonov (Russian Wrestling Federation)

125 kg

Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) vs. Oleg Bolton (Kazakhstan)

Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran) vs. Taha Akgul (Turkey)

Men’s freestyle Group One results

61 kg – Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla./Cowboy RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Giorgi Vangelov (Bulgaria), tech. fall 11-0

WIN Arman Norik Eloyan (FRA), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Ravinder (India), tech. fall 10-0

Semifinals - Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia)

74 kg – No. 1 seed Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Vasile Diacon (Moldova), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Fazli Eryilmaz (Turkey), 5-0

Semifinals – vs. Azamat Nurykau (Belarus)

86 kg – No. 1 seed David Taylor (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Boris Makoev (Slovakia), tech. fall 11-0

WIN Akhmed Aibuev (France), tech. fall 10-0

Semifinals – vs. Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan)

125 kg – Nick Gwiazdowski (Ithaca, N.Y./Spartan Combat RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Amarveer Dhesi (Canada), 8-3

LOSS Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran), 10-0

U.S. college wrestlers competing for other nations today

74 kg – Malik Amine (San Marino), Michigan

WIN Victor Hernandez Luna (Mexico), 7-6

LOSS Timur Bizhoev (Russian Wrestling Federation), tech. fall 10-0

74 kg – Nestor Taffur Barrios (Colombia), Boston Univ.

WIN Jasmit Singh Phulka (Canada), tech. fall 10-0

LOSS Hetik Cabolov (Serbia), tech. fall 12-1

74 kg – Mitch Finesilver (Israel), Duke

LOSS Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 7-3

86 kg - Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico), North Carolina

WIN Dzhemal Rushen Ali (Bulgaria), tech. fall, 14-2

WIN Gwanuk Kim (Korea) tech. fall 13-2

LOSS Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran), tech. fall 10-0

125 kg – Amarveer Dhesi (Canada), Oregon State

LOSS Nick Gwiazdowski (USA), 8-3

125 kg – Jere Heino (Finland), Campbell

LOSS Robert Baran (Poland), 11-2

125 kg – Youssif Hemida (Egypt), Maryland

WIN Kumar Anirudh (India), 9-3

LOSS Zelimkhan Khizriev (Russian Wrestling Federation), 7-3
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