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Wrestling: Snyder claims gold for USA at World Wrestling Championships in Paris

OSU junior heavyweight has his hand raised after defeating Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery in the 285-pound finals at the 2017 NCAA tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. Snyder won 6-3, while the Buckeyes placed second as a team. Credit: Courtesy of OSU Athletics

Ohio State wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder struck gold for his country once again at the World Wrestling Championships on Saturday in Paris with a 6-5 victory in the men’s freestyle 97kg final over Russia’s Abdulrashi Sadulaev to win a gold medal.

Snyder trailed for most of the match, but was able to make the most of a pair of spin-behind takedowns that netted four of his six points in the matchup. Trailing 4-5 with less than 30 seconds remaining, the heavyweight maneuvered himself behind a kneeling Sadulaev to take position, two points and the eventual victory.

The Ohio State senior entered the tournament as the top seed among 26 of the globe’s elite wrestlers. This was the third gold medal for Snyder as the Buckeye had also taken home a gold medal from both the Olympics and a previous World Wrestling Championship. The win also clinched a team championship in freestyle for the United States.

Snyder’s opening match in Paris was a 10-0 technical fall finish as he defeated Mamed Ibragimov of Kazakhstan in a convincing victory, registering four takedowns and two forced step-outs.

Japan’s Naoya Akaguma was waiting for Snyder in the quarterfinals, though the Buckeye made quick work of him as well. The two-time NCAA Champion scored a takedown at the 2:59 mark of the opening period to register his second straight 10-0 technical fall. Throughout the match, the Ohio State senior tallied three takedowns and four forced step-outs.

To reach the gold medal matchup, Snyder defeated Aslanbek Alborov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals by a score of 9-2. Snyder dominated by a score of 7-2 in the opening period after recording two takedowns and three forced step-outs. In the second period, the two-time Big Ten Champion scored a takedown and finished the 9-2 victory to advance to the finals.

Former Ohio State wrestler Logan Stieber competed in Paris as well. Despite being the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the four-time national champion suffered shutout losses in two of his three matches and was eliminated from the 61kg weight class. Stieber graduated from Ohio State in 2015.

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