Team USA’s Braxton Amos gets his hand raised after a win at the 2021 World Championships in Ufa, Russia, on August 16. Photo courtesy of Kadir Caliskan’s Twitter Page (@kadir8caliskan6).
As day number one, session two of the 2021 Junior World Championships concludes, four of five Team USA freestylers still have medal hopes inside Ufa Arena in Ufa, Russia. As a Team, USA was 5-4 overall on day one.
Richard Figueroa (57 kg) was the only American to take the mat thus far to be eliminated during the first session.
Bryce Andonian (70 kg) and Donnell Washington (79 kg) were both pulled into repechage after Iran won its semifinal matches at 70 kg and 79 kg during session two.
After picking up a pair of victories in session one to advance to the semifinal round, Beau Bartlett (65 kg) dropped a tough 6-2 decision to U23 Euro bronze medalist Ziraddin Bayramov of Azerbaijan.
Bayramov jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first period thanks to a pair of takedowns and a caution-and one. In the second, three step-out points were added, two for Bartlett and one for Bayramov.
Beau will wrestle for a bronze medal early Tuesday morning.
In the 97 kg semifinal bout, Amos carried his momentum over from his quarterfinal tech. Amos took a 3-0 lead (takedown and a step-out point) into the second against India’s Deepak. Amos gave up a caution-and-one in the second period for kicking Deepak while he was in on a single. Now 3-1, that is as close as the match would ever get.
First, Amos added a crotch lift for two. Then, the American tacked on two more sets of exposure to win it convincingly by a 9-1 decision.
With the win, Amos punched his ticket to a spot in the Junior World finals. The Wisconsin Badger will face Polat Polatci of Turkey for gold tomorrow.
After a rough start to the day for the Red, White, and Blue, USA has the opportunity to contend for as many as four World medals on day two (one gold and three bronze).
Also, the final five American freestylers will begin their respective tournaments. With that, Jesse Mendez (61 kg), Keegan O’Toole (74 kg), Colton Hawks (86 kg), Rocky Elam (92 kg), and Wyatt Hendrickson (125 kg) will be in action tomorrow , Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 2 AM ET.
Tune in Live on FloWrestling for all the matches.