The first leg of Final X has been completed. What a day of action it was on Saturday, on the campus of Rutgers University. Of course, one match has kept the entire wrestling community talking for almost 48 straight hours. That wasn’t the only occurrence, though. There were upsets, first-time world team members, and greats being..well, great. All in all, 13 wrestlers were victorious in their best-of-three series (along with Pat Downey at 86 kg in men’s freestyle) and punched their ticket to the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan September 14th-22nd. Normally, after a big event we do five takeaways, but this time around, we’ll expand that to the seven takeaways from Final X Rutgers.
1) Not so fast young one
The most prominent overarching theme of the weekend for me, one that encompasses all three world teams, was that the veterans still got it. A pipeline filled with Cadet and Junior world medalists across both freestyle teams and the Greco squad has provided US wrestling fans with hope for a bright future. But on Saturday, our returning world team members stepped up and said, “Not today.” Not this year at least for the younger participants in Final X. All of the past world team members were able to hold off their younger counterparts and showed that they are not ready to hang up their shoes and pass the baton kids.
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