Will Kyle Snyder Become America's First Repeat Yarygin Champ?

Kyle Snyder

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At just 22 years old, Kyle Snyder is already one of the most accomplished wrestlers in the world. His goal this weekend: become American's first repeat champion at the Yarygin Grand Prix.

When USA Wrestling released its official roster for Yarygin last week, it included a list of every champ from the USA in the event's history. Each men's title winner had only won the event once, and Sally Roberts won her two titles three years apart.

So as Snyder looks to embark on this historic quest to Krasnoyarsk, Russia, let's take a look at who stands in his way. Before we proceed, though, please note that all rosters are preliminary and we won't 100 percent know the full field until after weigh-ins.

Russia

There are five Russians admitted to the event, two of whom Snyder has wrestled against already. Last year, Snyder pinned Rasul Magomedov in the finals to secure his first title; Magomedov would go on to finish with a bronze medal at Russian Nationals.

The other Russian he has wrestled against is Vladislav Baitsev. The Russian Nationals runner-up to Abdulrashid Sadulaev last year, Baitsaev was teched by Snyder 11-0 at the World Clubs Cup in December.

The other Russians competing are Shamil Musayev, Igor Ovsyannikov, and Magomedkhan Magomedov.

Turkey

Ibrahim Ciftci is the only 97kg listed on the Turkish roster and was a bronze medalist at the 2017 Junior World Championships. He also wrestled for bronze at last year's junior Euros.

Ukraine

Murazi Mchelidze is an on-the-rise light heavyweight and is the only Ukrainian attending at 97kg. He made two straight junior European finals, winning in 2014. In 2017, he won a bronze at every tournament he entered except one. Those events were the U23 world and European championships, the Ukrainian memorial, and the Stepan Sargsyan and the Medved prizes. Snyder beat him 6-3 at the 2016 Clubs Cup.

It should be noted that this is the first men's freestyle tournament to be featured in UWW's new rankings series, which will determine seeding for October's world championships. Snyder currently leads 97kg with 56 points following his world title last August and can expand upon his lead with eight more points plus the number of wrestlers in his weight if he wins his second Yarygin crown.

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