Joey McKenna & Tyler Berger Bring Home Hardware From Kazakhstan

Joey McKenna & Tyler Berger Bring Home Hardware From Kazakhstan

A recap of Joey McKenna and Tyler Berger's results at the Kunayev tournament in Taraz, Kazakhstan.

Nov 5, 2022 by Jon Kozak
Joey McKenna & Tyler Berger Bring Home Hardware From Kazakhstan

The Pennsylvania RTC’s Tyler Berger and Joey McKenna traveled to Taraz, Kazakhstan to compete in the Kunayev international wrestling tournament November 3-5. After wrestling five matches apiece, both are bringing home silver medals from this challenging event. Take a look below for a brief summary of their performance and videos of all matches.

Both Joey McKenna (65kg) and Tyler Berger (70kg) won four straight matches to make the finals before falling short against tough competition for gold. Berger’s most notable win was in the semi-finals over Kazakhstan’s Syrbaz Talgat. Talgat was this year’s senior world team rep for Kazakhstan and was a 2021 Asian Champion and two-time junior world bronze medalist. That win propelled him to the finals where he faced off against #5 Ernazar Akmataliev - this year’s world bronze medalist and the 2021 world silver. Berger got out to a 6-2 lead before Akmataliev stormed back with 10 unanswered points to win 12-6. 

Watch Berger’s finals match against Akmataliev at 2:23:04 in the video below:

Joey McKenna dominated to the finals with four-straight tech fall wins, outscoring his opponents by a combined 41-0. This set up a gold medal match against #14 Tulga Tumur-Ochir (MGL). Tumur-Ochir is an experienced veteran who won world bronze in 2021 and was a Tokyo Olympian. The Mongolian got out to a quick, 2-0 lead with a takedown just 30 seconds into the match and added 2 more points early in the second to hold a 4-0 lead. McKenna struggled to get past the defense of Tumur-Ochir but finally got a takedown with less than 10 seconds left to close the gap to 4-2. Then after a desperation attempt in the final seconds by McKenna, Tumur-Ochir scored a 4-point move to win 8-2.

Watch McKenna’s finals match against Tumur-Ochir at 42:48 in the below video:

Joey McKenna’s complete match results with links to videos:

Tyler Berger’s complete match results with links to videos: