We have arrived at men's freestyle! Day five of the 2017 World Championships will feature 57kg Thomas Gilman (Hawkeye WC), 61kg Logan Stieber (Ohio RTC), 86kg J'Den Cox (Missouri Wrestling Foundation), and 125kg Nick Gwiazdowski (Wolfpack WC). All four wrestlers represent Titan Mercury.
Here is a preview of day one, as well as bracket reactions.
125kg Bronze Medal Match: Nick Gwiazdowski vs Zolboo Natsagsuren (MGL)1st period: Gwiz taking on a Mongolian who had a wild 17-11 repechage match against South Korea to get to this bronze match. Gwiz lost in the semis to the legendary Akgul from Turkey. Nothing but handfighting for the first minute but lots of movement around the mat from both guys. Zolboo goes on the clock first and Gwiz gets the first point after said clock expires. Gwiz trying a few low level shots but coming up empty. Then another low level shot in short time and Gwiz converts. 3-0 is the score as we head to the intermission.
2nd period: 2 minutes to go now and not a lot of action. Now Gwiz gets a second passivity so he goes on the clock. Gwiz gives up the point but then goes back in on a shot. He comes up and finally drags the big Mongolian down at the boundary. Nick leads now 5-1 with 30 seconds to go. That's how it ends! A bronze medal on Gwiazdowski's first senior world team! Outstanding performance for Team USA on day 1 of men's freestyle!
86kg Bronze Medal Match: J'Den Cox vs Mihail Ganev (BUL)1st period: Cox steps on the mat looking for redemption against former world champ Ganev. Just handfighting for the first minute, then a big snap down gives Cox short offense, looking to go behind. Cox can't convert and they restart with no scores. Ganev picks up a second passivity warning so he goes on the clock. Nothing from Ganev and Cox picks up a point. That's how the period end, Cox leads 1-0.
2nd period: Ganev gets an extra wipe down before they come back, odd as Cox is typically the sweatier wrestler. Cox gets poked in the eye and then comes right back with a sweet misdirection high crotch. It's 3-0 nothing for J'Den. Ganev working collar ties as Cox tries to keep him on his toes. 90 seconds to go. Cox get's put on the clock and with about 10 seconds to go Cox gets a single leg, pulls it up and Ganev goes right down. Ganev may have slipped in a puddle. It's 5-0 and J'D'en in on another shot. Cox gets a step out with 20 seconds to go and a 6-0 lead. Final garbage time takedown and Cox wins a bronze, 8-0! J'Den earns Team USA's second medal of the day!
And a triumphant J'Den addresses the camera after the match with a few words for... well I wouldn't speculate. But I'm sure there will be more to come on that.
57kg Gold Medal Match: Thomas Gilman vs Yuki Takahashi (JPN)1st period: Gilman and Takahashi making their way to the mat. Takahashi ripped through some seriously tough competition on his way to the finals. Takahashi in deep early on Gilman and runs him out of bounds. Gilman let's himself get carried out and the refs decide that's worth a caution and 2. Japan leads 2-0. Gilman in on a leg, he's been getting singles all tournament. Can't convert and they're stalemated back to their feet. Heavy hands from Gilman. Big head clubs. Gilman shoots and trails his right leg and Takatashi scoops it up for a lightening quick re-attack for two more. 4-0 Japan. That's how the the period ends as they both head to their corners.
2nd period: Thirty seconds of handfighting and nothing but a passive warning for Gilman so far. Another single leg shot from Gilman but he's flattened by Takahashi. No score. Still 4-0 and Gilman has a caution against him as well. Gilman down on both ankles but Takahashi kicks out. Gilman again on an ankle but Takahashi's defense is too good. A minute left and Japan leads 4-0. Gilman once again in on a shot, he works up to a scramble and they go tumbling down. Could go either way, maybe 4 for Gilman. But no, it's 2 for Takahashi. Gilman's corner doesn't challenge and that's how it ends. With gold for Japan and silver for Gilman and the USA.
A tough loss but a great run by Gilman, going back to the last chance US Team Trial qualifying tournament. And a medal for the USA at the lowest men's freestyle weight for the first time since 2008.
57kgThomas Gilman (USA) 5-4 Jong Hak-Jin (PRK)
Yuki Takahashi (JPN) 7-2 Vladimir Dubov (BUL)
61kgGadzhimurad Rashidov (RUS) 8-2 Cengizhan Erdogan (TUR)
Haji Aliyev (AZE) 10-0 Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (CUB)
86kgHassan Yazdanicharati (IRI) 4-0 Vladislav Valiev (RUS)
Boris Makoev (SVK) 6-3 J'Den Cox (USA)
125kgTaha Akgul (TUR) 10-0 Nick Gwiazdowski (USA)
Geno Petriashvili (GEO) 12-2 Levan Berianidze (ARM)
Starting the semis at 61kg. Rashidov with an early step out. He's bigger, faster and stronger than everyone in this weight. Meanwhile, Haji Aliyev going to work on YBR. Rashidov with a 2-1 lead, apparently Erdogan (formerly Opan Sat) got the first stepout. Nice single and now 4-1. Well, Haji sure looked great this morning. Just pinned Bonne of Cuba. Sat is in deep and someone got points, looks like Rashidov finished the takedown. Looking very good Logan gets pulled back in, he will have Hungary in his repechage match. Rashidov wins 8-2.
57kg - Thomas Gilman vs Jong Hak-Jin (PRK)1st period: Passive against North Korea. Strong single by Gilman, walked him out and 1-0 in favor of USA. Jong on the shot clock. Gilman doesn't care, keeps shooting and drives him out again for 2-0 lead.
2nd period: Gilman hanging out in a front head and North Korea backs out of it. Jong takes the lead on criteria, and another for Jong on a stepout. Gilman in on the shot now. Gilman has the lead now! Drove him out on his but, 4-3. Gilman once again in a front head, 1 minute left. Another stepout and Gilman leads 5-3. Gilman squares up, but PRK in again, stepout for Korea, 36 seconds left. Go behind to single, now in a chest wrap, Gilman has to stay flat but has the ankles. THOMAS GILMAN IS IN THE FINALS! He will face Yuki Takahashi (JPN), a 7-2 winner over Dubov of Bulgaria.
61kg - Logan Stieber vs JOZSEF MOLNAR (HUN)1st period: Stieber up 2-0 thirty seconds in. Nice slideby by logan, 4-0. 6-0 at the break. Logan wins and will face Khinchegashvili.
125kg - Nick Gwiazdowski vs Taha Akgul (TUR)1st period: Tall task here for the 2x NCAA champ. Delay, not sure why. Takedown Akgul, no turn. Another takedown. Akgul is very overwhelming to wrestle. Gwiz was in on a shot, Akgul fights out, and that finishes the tech. Gwiz will wrestle for bronze. He will have the winner of Korea and Mongolia.
86kg - J'Den Cox vs Boris Makoev (SVK)1st period: Makoev is a Russian who wrestles for Slovakia. Hand fighting in the early going. Makoev on the clock now. Goes Russian fireman's before the clock ends, has J'Den on his back for an extended period. Cox goes leg pass to get out of it but trails 6-0 at the break.
2nd period: A minute 30 in and still no points for Cox. Stepout now to make it 6-1. Cox in on a couple shots but Makoev fights out. A couple stepouts and it's 6-3 now. J'Den loses and will wrestle for bronze.
Strong draw for Palau having Khinchegashvili first round. He clearly used that match as his warm up. Stieber's first match Rashidov looking solid, hit a nasty duck and a couple gut wrenches. Gwiz and Gilman are both on the board! Finally, the Iranian horns are out with the rhythm we all know and love. The round of 16 is set at 61kg. Ehsanpoor and Aliyev looking likely to meet in the bottom half semis.
57kg - Thomas Gilman vs Andrii Yatsenko (UKR)1st period: Gilman in blue. Yatsenko playing right into Gilman, wants to hand fight, club and collar tie. Takedown Ukraine. Good sprawl from Gilman. Yatsenko trying to keep his space now that he has the lead. Passive against UKR, and Gilman in on a shot. Taken over to the edge, two confirmed! Taken the lead on criteria. Yatsenko continuing to shoot, Gilman working around, but stalemated. Terry Brands and Bill Zadick on stage with Gilman at the break.
2nd period: On the edge, head pinch position, no points. Gilman in on that single, gets it up and drives UKR out of bounds, 3-2 now. Two blue after another big single. Gilman staying on the attack. Yatsenko shoot, sprawl, re shot, gets trapped under, trying to come out the back. Stalemated. Another shot into a front head for Gilman. Yatsenko keeping space looking for one big 4. Final score, 5-2 Thomas Gilman.
125kg - Nick Gwiazdowski vs Alexandr Romanov (MDA)1st period: Right in on a shot and lace, 4-0. Other guy looks hurt. Gwiz runs through another double, 6-0. Gwiz finishes it on a single and a gut.
Great match between Atli (TUR) and Lomtadze (GEO). The Georgian was up 8-4 and got thrown to his back with less than 10 to go. Down goes Uguev! Our first Russian loss. The Iranian crowd is going bonkers after newcomer Mohebi beats past Olympic silver Modzmanashvili, formerly of Georgia but now with Uzbekistan. All name team Fatjon (ALB) looking great in his first match.
61kg - Logan Stieber vs Gadzhimurad Rashidov (RUS)1st period: Here we go. 2x cadet world champ and 2x junior world bronze Rashidov here in the second round. Little size disadvantage for Stieber, but in on a shot right away. Rashidov hits the go behind but doesn't try a gut wrench. Slideby attempt by Stieber, fought off into an ankle pick and Rashidov goes standing leg lace. Straight low double, nothing coming of it. Rashidov is so good at keeping distance, picking his spots and just generally being patient. 5-0 at the break, J Jaggers and Bill Zadick on the stage.
2nd period: Duck by Rashidov, working the gut more, and he goes both ways and finishes it off.
Yazdanicharati up, but he gets taken down! KAZ noticeably smaller but quicker than Yazdani. But Yaz puts him on his back! Back to their feet.
86kg - J'Den Cox vs Ahmed Ruslanovic Dudarov (GER)1st period: Arm throw attempt by GER, trying to work a go behind but Cox has the whizzer in deep. J'Den trying to work his snap and go behind but no takedown. Cox is on the clock. Working double unders now, point given but no stepout and whistle is blown. 1-0 German at the break.
2nd period: Front head position but whistle blown. Dudarov going on the clock now. J'Den catches the underhook, limp arms out, gets a shot, GER with a high back flip kick over, now in a cradle/scramble position and 2-1 now USA leads. Hard snap down and J'Den finishes the go behind clean. J'Den in, big lift, out of bounds and call is takedown. Final is 6-1.
57kg - Thomas Gilman vs Rez Atri (IRI)1st period: Pretty slow start so far, Iran on the clock. Extended scramble here. Underhook to shot for Gilman, gets it up, hard whizzer, to the edge and blown dead. 1-0 Gilman though on the clock. Stays that way at the break.
2nd period: Trademark Gilman snag single, over to the edge and stepout for a 2-0 lead. Another shot by Gilman, flat on belly but stalemated. Gilman won't stop shooting, but Atri keeps stuffing it. U-S-A chants starting now, trying to drown out the Iranian horns. Crackdown position and blown dead once again, 39 to go. Front head position, blown dead 24 to go. Atri shot, Gilman's leg up, tries to dive under. Two called by ref, but white paddled. Iran throws the brick. AND THE CALL STANDS! Gilman into the quarters #StayClear. He will have Nodir Safarov (UZB), who lost to Tyler Graff at Dave Schutlz.
KOREA MIGHT BE ABOUT TO KNOCK OFF RUSSIA! Time never started, chairman awarded 2+2 but the clock never started. Complete nonsense. Korea got hosed.
125kg - Nick Gwiazdowski vs Daniel Ligeti (HUN)1st period: Gwiz in on a single and takedown early, 2-0. Gwiz keeping his space, Ligeti trying to dig underhooks. Gwiz single again but HUN squares up on a sprawl and stalemated. Gwiz keeps shooting but getting stopped. Duck before the buzzer to go up 6-0 at the break.
2nd period: One for blue as Ligeti drives Gwiz out. HUN working a go behind but Gwiz is trying to elevate and turn in, blown dead. Ligeti starting to wear down as Gwiz finished that single quicker than before, 8-1. Gwiz ran right through that, 10-1 with short time. That's the final.
86kg - J'Den Cox vs Ville Heino (FIN)1st period: Takedown and two turns and Cox is down 6-0. Now Cox gets a 4 from rear standing to make it 6-4.
2nd period: Takedown right off the whistle for Cox to go up on criteria. Beautiful swing single, J'Den dragging him back to the center and takedown for an 8-6 lead. Cox forces a stepout to go up 9-6. Cox wins 9-6.
Ok, here we go. Big one on Mat 4, Khinche vs Rashidov. Need the Russian to win to pull Logan back in, but it's so hard to root for Russia after what they just did to Korea. Khinche going on the clock. 1-0 Rashidov and he's in a front head position. Rashidov did nothing that period and leads 1-0, good for USA. Stepout Rashidov, 2-0. Another stepout, Rashidov is just overpowering him. Goodness, Rashidov can't be stopped. Fights off the leg, picks it up and boom 5-0. But here comes the Khinche clutch gene, stepout, balling out and wow. Takedown and turn. So not exactly sure what they called, but Georgia threw a challenge brick and lost, but it was classic Khinche comeback stuff.
57kg - Thomas Gilman vs Nadir Safarov (UZB)1st period: Took him some time, but Gilman continues to be deadly with that snag single. Halfway through the period, UZB has no idea how to break through. Seatbelt whizzer position, Gilman working around. Back to their feet and squared up. Low single, trying to come out the back and two more Gilman. UZB wants no part of Gilman's forward motion.
2nd period: Gilman's head taps and collar ties are frustrating Safarov. Low swing single, so patient with that finish to go up 6-0. Good lord we got a gut wrench! 8-0 now. Head pinch but reversal so continuation and 10-1. Minute left. Thomas Gilman will wrestle for a medal in his first ever world chamionships. He will wrestle Hak-jin Jong, a 2x Military world champ who was 5th at senior worlds back in 2015, and an Asian Games champ in 2014.
125kg - Nick Gwiazdowski vs Yadollah Mohebbi (IRI)1st period: Gwiz in on a lefty single and finishes! 2-0 but no turn. Iran is left leg lead heavy and just wants to collar tie Gwiz up. Passive against Iran. Now on the clock, 1:53 in. 3-0 now with 30 seconds left. Great head hands defense to fight off Iran's first shot, but he is getting moved around/backing up a little, may get hit for passive in the second.
2nd period: Gwiz goes righty single this time off the whistle and the Iranian is way off balance, 5-0 now. Iran finally stops a shot, crackdown position, ref won't stalemate it, until now, 4:06 in. Go behind and 5-2 now with 90 to go. Gwiz starting to pull it back a little and Iran is getting heavy with those hands. Pushout is white paddled, 50 to go. Ref blows the whistle, 27 to go. Go behind, Iran working a crotch lock. Gwiz will wrestle for a medal!
86kg - J'Den Cox vs Zbigniew Baranowski (POL)1st period: Seeing a spring in J'Den's step we haven't seen so far today, in on a single and getting Poland bouncing, stepout 1-0. Poland gets a passive. Another passive and Poland is on the clock. Single and holding on as the clock expires, 2-0.
2nd period: Nice single by Poland and J'den trails 2-2 after being tripped, but J'Den does J'DEn things and goes from par terre to in on a single. 3-2 now. Passive confirmed against Cox. Poland doing a good job of timing J'Den's shots. THREE AMERICANS WILL WRESTLE FOR A MEDAL!