Frank Molinaro

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Wrestling: USA’s Snyder wins gold, Molinaro loses bronze bid

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Kyle Snyder is golden.

The 20-year-old American wrestler claimed the 97kg gold medal match against Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan in a 2-1 decision.

Snyder caught Goziumov’s leg off the ground in the first period’s second minute, scoring the match’s first point.

He went up 2-0 after Goziumov couldn’t score during a 30-second passivity warning, but it was 2-1 soon after on the same count for Snyder.

American 65kg wrestler Frank Molinaro only got halfway toward a bronze medal, defeating Ukraine’s Andriy Kvyatkovskyy 8-5 before falling to Italy’s Frank Chamizo 5-3.

Wrestling: Snyder romps to gold medal match; Molinaro will go for bronze

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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.

 

Kyle Snyder perfect, U.S. team 4th at Freestyle Wrestling World Cup

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As many of the world’s top wrestlers convened at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., for the third straight year, reigning World champion Kyle Snyder led a trio of U.S. wrestlers in posting 4-0 records at the Freestyle World Cup over the weekend. The individual performances, however, couldn’t lift the Americans higher than fourth as a team.

Snyder, the 2015 World champion at 97 kg/213 lbs., won on criteria (3-3) over World No. 5 Elizbar Odikadze of Georgia on Sunday evening, after defeating Iran’s Abbas Tahan, 8-1, earlier Sunday in a 2015 Worlds semifinal rematch.

“I feel like all the guys I wrestled did a pretty good job of scouting me,” Snyder said in a press release. “They did some things they wouldn’t have normally done unless somebody told them to. That’s alright. It makes it harder for me and I like that challenge.”

Snyder, who at 19 years old became the youngest World champion in U.S. history last year, opened the World Cup with a 10-0 technical fall victory over Kadian Satywart of India on Saturday. He followed later in the day with a tight, 2-1 win over Azerbaijan’s Aslanbek Alborov. Snyder is a strong gold-medal contender for the Rio Games.

American Frank Molinaro, who will make his Olympic debut in Rio at 65 kg/143 lbs., and 2015 Worlds bronze medalist James Green (non-Olympic 70kg/154 lbs.) also posted perfect 4-0 marks to collect individual gold medals.

The U.S. wrestlers battled Georgia in the third-place match Sunday. Both squads won four of the eight matches, but Georgia edged the hosts on criteria, 17-16. Earlier Sunday, the U.S. team lost another tiebreaker, this time to Iran on classification points, 17-15.

Iran went on to defeat Russia, 5-3, for the team gold medal Sunday evening. That’s Iran’s fifth straight Freestyle World Cup title.

The top U.S. freestyle wrestler, Olympic and World champion Jordan Burroughs, was a late scratch from the World Cup. His wife, Lauren, gave birth to the couple’s second child Saturday.

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