2022 U17 World Championships

Day 6: Hopke Wins Gold, 3 More Finalists For Team USA

Day 6: Hopke Wins Gold, 3 More Finalists For Team USA

Team USA put 3 wrestlers in the finals with 5 Americans competing in their medal matches on Saturday in Rome.

Jul 30, 2022 by Kyle Klingman
Day 6: Hopke Wins Gold, 3 More Finalists For Team USA

ROME Italy — The second day for the men’s freestyle team at the U17 World Championships has concluded with with Team USA earning 1 gold, 3 silvers, 1 bronze, and sending 4 more wrestlers to medal matches.

Koy Hopke (110kg) concluded an incredible tournament by winning his finals match over France’s Levan Lagvilava, 11-6. In total, Hopke went 4-0 in his gold medal performance and outscored his opponents by a combined 48-13

Christian Castillo (48kg), Jax Forrest (55kg), and Tyler Kasak (65kg) all came up just short in their finals matches and earned a silver medal for their performance in Rome. All three lost tight, back-and-forth matches that were decided by 2 points or less.

Zack Ryder (80 kg) started his day by winning a pair of repechage matches — 2-0 and 10-0 — to earn his spot in the bronze medal match. In that bout, Ryder won a controlling 8-0 decision to come away with the bronze medal.

Domenic Munaretto (45 kg) bulldozed his way to the semis with back-to-back 10-0 technical superiority wins. Munaretto made the finals by defeating Iran’s Amirmohammad Navazi, 8-2 and controlled the match from start to finish.

Returning World silver medalist Luke Lilledahl (51 kg) looked like he’s ready to capture gold this year with a 12-1 tech in his opening match, a 10-0 tech in the quarters, and a 4-1 decision in the semis. Lilledahl will wrestle Iran’s Mohamad Asadi in tomorrow’s finals.

Joe Sealey (71 kg) was the most dominant wrestler for Team USA in Saturday morning’s session.  He reached the finals with four-straight technical superiority victories - 10-0, 12-1, 10-0, and 11-0. Sealey looks to be the favorite to win gold and will have Italy’s Raul Caso in his finals match. 

Max McEnelly (92 kg) started his day with two technical superiority wins - 11-1 and 11–0 before running into a buzzsaw in Kamil Kurugliyev in the semis. McEnelly lost that match 12-2 and will now wrestle for bronze. 

Kyler Larkin (60 kg) won his opening match, 5-2, but dropped his next match, 2-1, to Japan’s Taiga Ogino. Larkin was then eliminated when Ogino lost his match in the semi-finals.

Overall, it was an outstanding day for Team USA’s men’s freestyle squad. They are guaranteed to win a record-setting 8 medals (previous high was 7 in 2016) and have already locked up the Team Title. The final medal rounds start Sunday, July 31 at 12:00pm (ET).


U.S. men’s freestyle results

45 kg: Domenic Munaretto (Barrington, Ill./Toss Em Up Wrestling Academy) - In the finals

WIN Ningappa Genannavar (India), 10-0

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WIN Arman Harutyunyan (Armenia), 10-0

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WIN Amirmohammad Navazi (Iran) 8-2


Gold medal match vs. Bashir Verdiyev (AZE)

48 kg: Christian Castillo (Glendale, Ariz./Thorobred Wrestling Club) – Silver

WIN Ozgur Caglayan (Turkey), 10-0


WIN Arshia Haddadi (Iran), 8-6


WIN Rassoul Galbouraev (France), FALL


LOSS Vasif Baghirov (AZE), 3-5

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51kg: Luke Lilledahl (St. Charles, Mo./Xtreme Training) – In the finals

WIN Ben Tarik (Morocco), 12-1

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WIN Dimitar Biserkov (Bulgaria), 10-0

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WIN Nurdanat Aitanov (Kazakhstan), 4-1

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Gold medal match vs. Mohammad Asadi (IRI)

55 kg: Jax Forrest (Johnstown, Pa.) - Silver

WIN Takuto Osedo (Japan), 12-1


WIN Sandro Hungerbuehler (Switzerland), 10-0


WIN Zalkarbek Tabaldiev (KGZ), 10-6


WIN Vaibhav Patil (IND), 9-7


LOSS Daryn Askerbek (Kazakhstan), 10-11

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60 kg: Kyler Larkin (Gilbert, Ariz./Thorobred Wrestling Club) – awaiting repechage

WIN Vladimir Azaryan (Armenia), 5-2

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LOSS Taiga Ogino (Japan), 2-1

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65 kg: Tyler Kasak (Doylestown, Pa.) - Silver

WIN Akobir Rahimov (Uzbekistan), 7-6


WIN Bogdan Olinyk (Ukraine), fall


WIN Ankit (India), FALL


LOSS llyas Isayev (Azerbaijan), 3-5

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71 kg: Joseph Sealey (High Point, N.C./Darkhorse Wrestling) – In the finals

WIN Bleonit Bytyci (Kosovo), 10-0

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WIN Alisher Zholdasbay (Kazakhstan), 12-1

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WIN Aslan Ozturk (Turkey), 10-0

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WIN Razmik Yepremyan (Armenia), 11-0

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Gold medal match vs Raul Caso (ITA)

80 kg: Zack Ryder (Westtown, N.Y. /KD Training Center) – Bronze

LOSS Reza Soleimanian (Iran), 10-0 (Soleimanian made finals)


WIN Slavi Stamenov (Bulgaria), 2-0

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WIN Askhab Khajiyev (Kazakhstan), 10-0

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WIN Abduloev Muhammadamin (Tajikistan), 8-0

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92 kg: Max McEnelly (Waconia, Wis./Waconia Wrestling Club) – In bronze medal match

WIN Sherzod Poyonov (Uzbekistan), 11-1

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WIN Andriyan Valkanov (Bulgaria), 11-0 

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LOSS Kamil Kuruglyev (Kazahstan), 2-12

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110 kg: Koy Hopke (Amery, Wis./Pinnacle Wrestling Club) – Gold

WIN Ramini Gulitashvili (Georgia), 14-3


WIN Mateusz Pudlowski (Poland), 11-2


WIN Khikmatullo Kurbonov (Uzbekistan), 12-2


WIN Levan Lagvilava (France), 11-6

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