American wrestlers Kyle Snyder and Frank Molinaro had varying degrees of success Sunday in the Olympics.
Snyder had a magnificent morning, and will wrestle for gold this evening in the 97kg class when he meets Azerbaijan’s Khetag Gazyumov.
Molinaro lost his second match in the 65kg class but his loss came to a finalist, so he’ll battle for bronze.
Both Americans won their first matches, as Snyder built a first period lead in his first match before dominating the second to win 10-3 over Cuba’s Javier Cortina Lacerra, a man he outweighed by 11 pounds.
His second opponent was a better match on paper, but Snyder rolled to a 7-0 win against Romania’s Albert Saritov.
That gave him a semifinal against Georgia grappler Elizbar Odikadze who had made a buzzsaw run through the field. Odikadze won 6-1 and 8-1 in his first two matches, and quickly had a 4-0 lead on Snyder.
That wouldn’t last. Snyder boosted nine-straight points, all in the second half, to stun the Georgian and move onto the final with a 9-4 win.
Molinaro started with a razor-thin decision over Poland’s Magomedmurad Gadzhiev. The 2-2 score line tipped in Molinaro’s favor thanks to a 3-1 edge in tech points.
Unfortunately, Molinaro gave up seven pounds and 10 points to Azerbaijan’s Toghrul Asgarov in a second match shutout.
Asgarov went onto the final, so Molinaro will enter the repechage with a chance for bronze. He’ll get to battle Ukraine’s Andrii Kviatkovskyi and then Frank Chamizo of Italy. Two wins would give him Olympic bronze.