Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Snyder lead U.S. to first freestyle wrestling team title since 1995

Leave a comment

Jordan BurroughsTwitter handle reads “All I See Is Gold.”

He won 74kg gold medals at the 2012 Olympics, as well as at the world wrestling championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

But he failed to earn a medal of any color at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Burroughs is seeing gold once again, after claiming his fourth world championship title Saturday in Paris.

“I’ve never taken second place,” Burroughs said to reporters in Paris. “If I’m in the finals, I’m going to win it.”

Burroughs helped the U.S. win the men’s freestyle team title for the first time since 1995.

It was an even matchup between Burroughs and Russia’s Khetag Tsabolov, the 2014 world champion. Neither athlete led by more than two points until Burroughs won 9-6.

Exhausted, Burroughs fell to the mat before taking a lap with a U.S. flag.

“I actually tried to rip my singlet, but it was too tightly bound,” Burroughs said, laughing. “I’m not as strong as I thought I was.”

Burroughs, who said he will celebrate by eating a French crepe, is already looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, when he will be 32.

“I’m hoping Tokyo can be the final chapter for me,” Burroughs said. “Rio couldn’t be it. I couldn’t go off with that being the lasting imprint on my legacy, finishing in ninth place.”

Also on Saturday, Kyle Snyder defeated Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev to win the 97kg world championship. Sadulayev, who won the 2014 and 2015 World titles and 2016 Olympic gold at 86kg, moved up to 97kg this year to potentially meet Snyder for the first time.

The 21-year-old Snyder became the youngest American wrestler to win a world title in 2015 and an Olympic title in 2016.

“Kyle is the new G.O.A.T. of this era,” Burroughs said, using the acronym “Greatest of All Time” to describe his teammate. “He truly motivates me.”

NBCSN will recap the world wrestling championships Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Helen Maroulis dominates for world title after making history in Rio

J’den Cox wins bronze at World Wrestling Championships

Getty
Leave a comment

J’den Cox, bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, added another bronze to his resume when he finished third in the 86-kilogram freestyle weight class at the United World Wrestling Senior World Championships on Friday.

Cox defeated Mihail Ganev of Bulgaria, the 2010 world champion in the 84-kilogram class, in dominant fashion, winning the match with a final score of 8-0.

Cox won his first four matches before a surprise loss to Slovakia’s Boris Makeoev in the semifinals took him out of the running for the world title.

After that loss, fellow American wrestler David Taylor tweeted criticism of how Cox wrestled against Makeoev.

After Cox won gold, he told FloWrestling he’d like to give a “big special thank you to David Taylor. Thank you for the motivation, because without your critique I don’t know if I would have been up to it.”

Cox is a three-time NCAA champion who graduated from Missouri University in May. He’ll return to MU as a volunteer assistant coach after worlds.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Helen Maroulis dominates for world title after making history in Rio

Helen Maroulis dominates for world title after making history in Rio

Leave a comment

Helen Maroulis, after becoming the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling title, had quite a year.

She grappled in a cage with Conor McGregor. She lifted Teddy Roosevelt. The Maryland native cracked steamed crabs with Cal Ripken Jr. And spent three months in Norway.

Then, she came back to competition. And dominated once again.

Maroulis won the world title at 58kg on Wednesday, mercy ruling all five of her opponents by a combined 53-0 margin and finishing the day with a torn thumb ligament.

“This was really special to me because I didn’t just go to Rio, do things right there and then come back and everything crashed and burned,” said Maroulis, who has won three straight global titles (the Olympics sandwiched by two worlds). “I heard people say everything in the book [after Rio]. Maybe I just had a good day or this or that. Three years in a row, I achieved the goal I set.”

The 25-year-old took seven months off after Rio — her coach told her that she might lose worlds because of it — but looked and felt reinvigorated on Wednesday.

“I was, like, counting down the days before Rio, like don’t focus on vacation after. I was so overwhelmed and tired,” Maroulis said. “But this, I’m like, man, I love this. I could do this all over again.”

She improved to a 78-1 record since taking bronze at the 2014 Worlds. Remember, Maroulis went 1-30 in her first year as a wrestler at age 7.

She’s the only American man or woman to win an Olympic or world title without surrendering a point in at least 30 years, doing so in 2015 and again Wednesday.

Maroulis, after a hard struggle to cut weight to 53kg for Rio, moved up two divisions (11 pounds) this year. By the numbers, she faced an easier road to gold.

Saori Yoshida, the three-time Olympic champion whom Maroulis dethroned at 53kg in Rio, and 58kg superstar Kaori Icho, the only woman to win four Olympic golds in an individual event, both sat out this year for Japan.

The top 58kg seed at worlds, Olympic silver medalist Valeria Koblova of Russia, bowed out of her opening match with a left knee injury.

Maroulis plowed the remaining field, winning her first four matches Wednesday by mercy rule to reach the final by a 42-0 point margin.

Also Wednesday, 20-year-old Becka Leathers took bronze at 55kg in her senior worlds debut.

Worlds continue through the rest of this week. Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox goes Friday, and Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder close out the competition Saturday.

A full broadcast schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic wrestling medalist says no to football