A thrilling final day of action at the 2022 World Championships on Sunday [18 September] saw men’s freestyle wrestlers Kyle Snyder, Higuchi Rei, and Rahman Amouzadkhali win gold medals.
It was was the third world title of Rio 2016 Olympic champion Snyder’s illustrious career, but for Japan’s Rei it signified a giant step forward in his return from the wrestling wilderness.
Meanwhile, in 20-year-old Iranian Amouzadkhali we may have witnessed the birth of a new superstar.
Snyder’s win secured the USA’s place atop the overall men’s freestyle rankings in Belgrade with four golds, four silvers, and a total score of 188.
A superb final day for Iran saw the Asian powerhouse run them close on 150 points from two gold, three silver, and two bronze medals.
Kyle Snyder Wins Third World Crown
A controlled display from Rio 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder saw him secure a 6-0 win over Batyrbek Tsakulov in the 97kg final.
The Slovakian has been in great form this year with notable Grand Prix wins in Rome and Almaty, but had no answer in Belgrade to his opponent’s heavy hands and lightning-fast leg strikes.
Despite looking the fresher of the pair in the second round, Tsakulov could do little to break down the American’s rock-solid defence.
European champion Magomedkhan Magomedov sealed a memorable come-from-behind victory to win the first 97kg bronze medal match by fall.
The Azerbaijani went down early to Mohammadhossein Mohammadian, but after several blood stoppages for the Iranian, Magomedov was able to claw his way back into the match before winning it with a superb flip.
The second bronze match in the division was won in dramatic fashion by Georgia’s Givi Matcharashvili, who was down 2-0 for most of the match before securing the tie at the death with a chest lock on Vladislav Baitsaev of Hungary worth 4 points to seal a 5-3 win.
Kyle Snyder Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
His most recent Olympic cycle was derailed by injuries, but he still managed to win three gold medals at the World Championships. One of the more intriguing matchups at the 2021 USA Olympic Trials might be between him and J’den Cox, who is also competing for a spot at the Tokyo Games.
Should Snyder advance from Trials, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, who has moved up a weight class since Rio 2016, and Snyder would both be defending their Olympic titles at 97 kilogrammes for Tokyo.
Snyder won the world championship in 2017, but Sadulaev avenged his loss in the finals in 2018. The Russian went on to win the tournament in 2019 as well. They would make for an exciting Olympic rivalry.