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Kennedy wins gold, Assad and Woods earn silver medals at Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

Patrick Kennedy at the U23 Junior Nationals

Photo: Patrick Kennedy at the U23 Junior Nationals. (Tony Rotundo,

SASSARI, Italy—Three USA wrestlers earned medals at the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial in Rome, Italy, June 9-10.
Patrick Kennedy, competing at 74 kg, swept his way through the field of five to earn the gold medal. Kennedy started strong with a 10-0 technical fall over Luca Finizio of Italy in the second round. Kennedy continued the streak by defeating Jasmith Phula of Canada by 10-0 technical fall. In the fourth round, Kennedy closed out a 15-9 decision match against Vadym Kurylenko of Ukraine. He captured a gold medal by defeating Venezuela world team member Anthony Montero by 11-1 technical fall.

At 65 kg, Real Woods earned a silver medal in a round robin style competition. In the first round, Woods defeated Spain’s Felipe Ferrusola by 10-0 technical fall. Woods earned another win by technical fall in his second match of the event, besting Ukrainian World team member Yaroslav Hurskyy 12-2. Woods fell short in a close match to Belgium’s Ayub Musaev for the silver medal. Musaev has competed for Belgium at the U20 and U23 world championships.

The tournament was set up as a round robin before dividing into a bracket, as there were two groups of wrestlers at 86 kg. Abe Assad earned a silver medal in the field of seven wrestlers. Assad was dominant in the field, using 10-0 technical falls in his first rounds against Edoardo Bigliani of Italy and Abdourakhman Gaziev of Belgium. In his third-round matchup, Assad pinned William Raffi of Italy to continue to a bracket-style competition. Assad clinched the silver medal with a 10-0 technical fall over Muslim Zhaksylyk of Kazakhstan before dropping a close 3-2 match to Alex Moore of Canada.

All three wrestlers compete collegiately for the University of Iowa.
Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial

At Rome, Italy, June 9-10, 2023

Team Standings (13 teams)
1 – Ukraine
2 – Canada
3 – United States
4 – Belgium
4 – Kazakhstan
Final men’s freestyle results
57 kg
Gold – Andrii Yatsenko (Ukraine)
Silver – Gary Giordimaina (Malta)

61 kg
Gold – Merey Bazarbayev (Kazakhstan)
Silver – Kerymov Kamil (Ukraine)
65 kg
Gold – Ayub Musaev (Belgium)
Silver – Real Woods (United States)
Bronze – Yaroslav Hurskyy (Ukraine)
70 kg
Gold – Ihor Nykyforuk (Ukraine)
Silver – Ivan Kusiak (Ukraine)
Bronze – Stone Lewis (Canada)
74 kg
Gold – Patrick Kennedy (United States)
Silver – Anthony Montero (Venezuela)
Bronze – Vadym Kurylenko (Ukraine)
79 kg
Gold – Krisztian Biro (Romania)
Silver – Denys Pavlov (Ukraine)
Bronze – Iman Mahdavi (UWW)
86 kg
Gold – Alex Moore (Canada)
Silver – Abe Assad (United States)
Bronze – Muslim Zhaksylyk (Kazakhstan)
92 kg
Gold – Denys Sahaliuk (Ukraine)
97 kg
Gold – Murazi Mchedlidze (Ukraine)
Silver – David Mchedlidze (Ukraine)
Bronze – Riley Otto (Canada)
125 kg
Gold – Yurii Idzinskyi (Ukraine)
Silver – Salvatore Alessio Vandi (Italy)
U.S. men's freestyle performances
65 kg – Real Woods (Hawkeye Wrestling Club), silver medal
WIN Felipe Ferrusola (Spain), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Yaroslav Hurskyy (Ukraine), tech. fall 12-2
LOSS Ayub Musaev (Belgium), 4-2
74 kg – Patrick Kennedy (Hawkeye Wrestling Club), gold medal
WIN Luca Finizio (Italy), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Jasmith Phula (Canada), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Vadym Kurylenko (Ukraine), 15-9
WIN Anthony Montero (Venezuela), tech. fall 11-1
86 kg – Abe Assad (Hawkeye Wrestling Club), silver medal
WIN Edoardo Bigliani (Italy), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Abdourakhman Gaziev (Belgium), tech. fall 10-0
WIN William Raffi (Italy), fall 4:29
WIN Muslim Zhaksylyk (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Alex Moore (Canada), 3-2