Kyle Snyder's Quest To Win Four Straight

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Kyle Snyder is an anomaly. The youngest world champ and youngest Olympic gold medalist in USA Wrestling’s storied history, he made yet another world team earlier this month.

His goal for this year is to help America defend the team title, and in the process win his fourth straight world or Olympic crown. Only one other wrestler in the history of this country has done so, and that is, of course, the legendary John Smith, who won six in a row from 1987 to 1992.

Focusing in on Snyder's quest to win four in a row, it would put him in rarified air. In the entire history of men’s freestyle at the world level, only 16 guys have won four consecutive titles. Below is a complete list of those men. Note, some won more than four straight, this just lists their initial streak.

  1. Aleksandr Ivanitsky (USSR) 62-65
  2. Abdollah Mohaved (IRI) 65-68
  3. Aleksandr Medved (USSR) 66-69
  4. Levan Tediashvili (USSR) 71-74
  5. Yuji Takada (JPN) 74-77
  6. Soslan Andiyev (USSR) 75-78
  7. Pavel Pingin (USSR) 75-78
  8. Vladimir Yumin (USSR) 76-79
  9. Sergei Beloglazov (USSR) 85-88
  10. Arsen Fadzayev (USSR) 85-88
  11. Makharbek Khadartsev (USSR) 86-89
  12. John Smith (USA) 87-90
  13. Leri Khabelov (USSR) 90-93
  14. Valentin Jordanov (BUL) 93-96
  15. Buvaisar Saitiev (RUS) 95-98
  16. Khadjimourat Gatsalov (RUS) 04-07

The first thing that jumps out from this list is how many are from Russia or the former Soviet Union. That shouldn’t be terribly surprising considering how dominant they’ve been on a team level, but the nation's ability to pump out pantheon level stars is staggering.

The next thing that jumps out is that it’s been over a decade since someone won four in a row, someone whom Snyder has in fact wrestled twice. If Snyder accomplishes this feat, it would be the first time that two wrestlers matched up against one another that would eventually go on to win four straight. No match has occurred between two wrestlers who have already won four consecutively.

Since Khadjimourat Gatsalov won the 2007 title at 96kg, there have been four men who won three in a row and then failed to finish off the fourth. Besik Kudukhov nearly swept an Olympic quad, winning titles from 2009-2011 but then losing in the Olympic finals in London to Togrul Asgarov. Had Kudukhov won that match, he would’ve been the first since Valentin Jordanov to sweep a quad.

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The next was Snyder’s teammate, Jordan Burroughs. Heading into the 2014 World Championships, it was being billed as the (potential) third match between Burroughs and Denis Tsargush. Only this time, Burroughs was the favorite and had more titles. However, JB would tear his ACL in the first match and fall 9-2 to Tsargush in the semis.

Then just last year, not one but two big stars were trying to accomplish this difficult feat, but both lost in the finals. Abdulrashid Sadulaev won 86kg titles from 2014-16, then bumped up to 97kg in Paris. As we all know, Sadulaev was bested 6-5 by Snyder in the gold medal match. A day prior, Taha Akgul met longtime rival Geno Petriashvili in the 125kg finals, but it was Petriashvili who earned the 12-10 victory to stymie Akgul’s plans at four straight.

Kyle Snyder is already a superstar in his era, but this October in Hungary, he can make the leap into a legend who transcends time.

The Top Pound-For-Pound Wrestlers At The U.S. Open

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A plethora of supremely talented freestyle wrestlers are decending on Vegas this weekend to test their mettle in the U.S. Open. But just how tremendous are these wrestlers? We decided to do a pound-for-pound rankings of the freestyle entries to find out. 

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FRL 372 - JB's Tweet + US Open JR/SR Predictions

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FRL 372 discusses Jordan Burroughs tweet, JR/SR Open predictions and gout time with Willie Saylor.

By The Numbers: US Open Senior Men's Freestyle

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Do you realize just how loaded these weight classes are on the senior level at the US Open? 

U.S. Open Junior Men's Freestyle Upperweight Preview

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What better place to watch the future stars of tomorrow, today, than at the junior freestyle U.S. Open? The junior age division at the U.S. Open attracts the best college and high school wrestlers aged 20 and under wrestlers from across the country. Below, we dig into what future upperweight stars will be battling in Vegas for a USA Wrestling stop sign. 

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U.S Open Junior Middleweights Preview

Here come the big dogs. These weight classes are absolutely loaded. From top to bottom the talent is at a high level.

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The Absolute 2019 U.S. Open Women's Preview

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Women's Open previews provided by Austin Keal, Evan Knaff, and Jeff Johnson.

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The Ultimate 2019 U.S. Open Greco-Roman Preview

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Tim Hands of 5 Point Move breaks down the senior Greco-Roman divisions of the 2019 U.S. Open.

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2019 U.S. Open Greco-Roman Upperweight Preview

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Tim Hands of 5 Point Move breaks down the middleweight senior Greco-Roman divisions of the 2019 U.S. Open.

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2019 US Open Preview 92kg: Nickal's Back

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Look at this photograph: 

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74kg Junior Is Stacked

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My friends, the 74kg Junior Division at the US Open is absolutely ba-nan-as. Seriously, the amount of talent in this weight class is incredible.