photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com
Two medal matches for the American team helped close the competition at the 2018 Yasar Dogu. Both US wrestlers won their matches on the day, Kyle Dake winning gold and Nick Gwiazdowski getting the bronze. When it was all said and done, the US won the team championship by racking up 150 points, edging out second place Iran who had 146. This event was an official UWW ranking event, so seeding at the 2018 World Championships will take be impacted by these results.
Kyle Dake put the finishing touches on a dominant tournament at 79 kilos. On Saturday, Dake pinned both of his opponents, one of which was a three-time world bronze medalist, Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan). Sunday’s final saw Dake meet another Azeri opponent, Ibrahim Yusubov. Though he did not register a third pin, Dake was every bit as good winning by a technical fall 11-0 in the first period. Kyle will have his first opportunity to compete for a world championship in Budapest this October.
Nick Gwiazdowski needed some last-second heroics to earn his bronze medal. In the final moments of a 4-4 match with 2017 world fifth-place finisher Nick Matuhin of Germany, who held criteria, Gwiazdowski was able to expose Mathuin for the winning points. Nick will attempt to duplicate and improve upon his 2017 world bronze medal when he competes on his second world team.
Overall the American’s finished the Yasar Dogu with three gold medals, a silver, and two bronze medals and appears to be a good as advertised in their attempt to replicate last years world championship-winning effort.
Gold Medal Match – Kyle Dake over Ibraham Yusubov (Azerbaijan) 11-0
Bronze Medal Match – Nick Gwiazdowski over Nick Mathuin (Germany) 6-4