International Wrestling

Facts, Stats, and Trends from the 2019 Cadet World Championships

Facundo, Alex

photo courtesy of Kadir Caliskan; UWW

Last week the Cadet World Championships were held in Sofia, Bulgaria and it marked the start of the world championship season. Thirty wrestlers across three styles came away with gold medals and provided a brief glimpse into the future of their countries respective Senior world teams. The Americans combined to come home with seven medals combined, throughout the three tournaments, which is a good, but not great, showing. Here are some of the numbers, facts, and trends from the Cadet World Championships, most of which focus on our wrestlers though there are some that pertain to other countries.

Men’s Freestyle

Record vs. each country

Armenia: 3-0

India: 2-0

Bulgaria: 1-0

China: 1-0

Egypt: 1-0

Italy: 1-0

Moldova: 1-0

Uzbekistan: 1-0

Kazakhstan: 2-1

Azerbaijan: 1-1

Georgia: 1-1

Turkey: 1-1

Iran: 1-2

France: 0-1

Russia: 0-2

Japan: 0-3

Record in Medal Matches


Wins: One Gold and One Bronze

Losses: Two Bronzes

The United States finished fifth. Their record against the top four teams (Russia, Iran, India, Japan) was 3-7. 

Marc-Anthony McGowan’s gold medal has extended the United States’ streak with a world champion which dates back to 2011 which was the year Cadet World’s was reinstated. 

The two medalists for the United States was the lowest medal total since 2013 when Aaron Pico’s gold medal made him the only medal winner. 

Alex Facundo won Cadet bronze for the second consecutive year. That puts him into a group that includes Daniel Kerkvliet, Kurt McHenry, Yianni Diakomihals, and Gable Steveson as Americans with multiple Cadet world medals. Facundo is the only without a world title. 

Stevo Poulin and Facundo were the only two Americans that lost to an eventual world champion. 

Uzbekistan’s Umidjon Jalolov was the champion at 55 kg, with gave the country gold medalists in back to back years. Before 2018 they had not crowned a champion in this era of the Cadet World Championships.

Russia had four world champions. They are the only country that has won at least one gold medal every year since 2011. 

Russia had seven world medalists, which was a high for any country. All of their medalists made the world finals. 

Romania’s Krisztian Biro was a world silver medalist at 71 kg’s. He became the country’s first world medalist in this era of the Cadet World Championships. 

Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran – 48 kg) was the only wrestler in the men’s freestyle tournament that was able to win his second Cadet world title. 


Record vs. each country

Russia: 2-0

Taipei: 2-0

Uzbekistan: 2-0

Azerbaijan: 1-0

Estonia: 1-0

Hungary: 1-0

Mexico: 1-0

Poland: 1-0

Tunisia: 1-0

Ukraine: 1-0

Belarus: 3-1

India: 1-2

Canada: 0-1

Sweden: 0-1

Turkey: 0-1

Japan: 0-5

Record in Medal Matches


Wins: 2-0 in Bronze Medal Matches

Losses: 0-3 in Gold Medal Matches

The team’s five world medalists tied their highest mark ever at Cadet World’s which was set in 2016. 

This is the first time that the US women have ever had three finalists in the same Cadet World Championships. 

The United States finished third as a team. They were 0-5 against the two teams that finished ahead of them in the standings (Japan and China). US women went 0-5 against Japanese competition and did not face any Chinese opponents. 

The Americans were 0-5 against Japan and 17-6 against the rest of the world. 

Sterling Dias was the only member of this team that was on the 2018 squad. She also has won bronze and silver medals in those two appearances. Her multiple Cadet world medals put her in the company of Emily Shilson, Macey Kilty, Alara Boyd, Alleida Martinez, Ronna Heaton, Teshya Alo, and Marina Doi, as American women with two Cadet medals. 

California natives Cristelle Rodriguez and Amit Elor both came away with world medals. That broke a short, two-year drought without any medalists from California, the leader in girls high school wrestling. From 2011-2016 five California natives have combined to win eight Cadet world medals. 

Aside from the obvious silver medalists, the US wrestlers that fell to the eventual world champions include Alex Szkotnicki at 43 kg, Kylie Welker at 61 kg, Lillian Freitas at 65 kg, and Amit Elor at 69 kg. 

Hanano Sakurai (Japan – 46 kg), Nonoka Ozaki (Japan – 61 kg), and Sonam Sonam (India – 65 kg) won their second Cadet World Championship.

Honoka Nakai (Japan – 69) won her third Cadet World Championship. 

Japan ran away with the team title and captured nine medals overall. Six were gold medals while the remaining three were bronze. 

Since 2015 when they “only” had three Cadet World Champions, Japan has had at least six every year since. 

Uzbekistan had three medalists (all bronze) after not having a single medalist between 2016-18. 

Kyrgyzstan’s Kalmira Bilimbek Kyzy made the world finals at 53 kg’s. She became the first woman to make the Cadet finals from her country during the current iteration of the tournament (post-2011).


Record vs. each country

China  1-0

Croatia  1-0

Estonia  1-0

Latvia  1-0

Turkey  1-0

Finland  0-1

Georgia  0-1

Greece  0-1

India  0-1

Iran  0-1

Poland  0-1

Russia  0-1

Tajikistan  0-1

Armenia  0-2

Romania  0-2

After two consecutive years with a Cadet World medalist, the United State was blanked in 2019. From 2014-16 the United State was medal-less. 

The Americans had two wrestlers that advanced to the repechage stage (Robert Perez III at 65 and Tyler Hannah at 92 kg). 

For the second consecutive year the Greco team was comprised of all first-time world team members. 

Though the US team was held without a medal, there was some improvement from last year’s performance. In 2018, the team combined for a record of 3-10 and only two team members were able to log wins. This year the team went 5-12 with five different wrestlers earning wins. 

Big point scorers led Iran to a team title. They only had four medal winners, but all four came away with gold medals. 

Belarus’ Dzmitry Bonka won the first Cadet Greco World Championship for his country since 1997. 

Tajikistan had a pair of medalists after not having one during the current era of the Cadet World Championships (2011-present).

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