2020 Tokyo Olympics: USA's David Taylor wins gold, more wrestling results on Day Five
Hello again, and happy Thursday. I spent last night and this morning back on my couch and took in some more Olympic wrestling. Where are you watching the action?
The wrestling competition at the 2020 Olympic Games continued Wednesday night and early Thursday morning at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba, Japan. Day Five of the tournament featured both men's freestyle and women's freestyle action.
And it ultimately became a banner day and night for the United States.
Between both sessions, three American wrestlers won medals — one gold, two bronze — while a fourth reached the gold-medal match, and two more were pulled back into bronze-medal contention after losing earlier on Wednesday night. It truly was a memorable, sensational round for USA Wrestling.
I stayed up and watched all the action from my couch so you didn't have to. Below, I detailed full results and updates from Day Five of the competition — how each American wrestler did, what each result means, other important and interesting information, and a look ahead to Day Six.
Results for USA's Olympic wrestlers
Six total American wrestlers took the mat between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Three won medals, and the other three positioned themselves for medals later on.
Here's how they did:
Kyle Dake, Men's Freestyle, 74 kilograms
- First Round: 4-0 win over Moustafa Hosseinkhani (Iran)
- Quarterfinals: 11-0 loss to Magomedkhabib Kadzimahamed (Belarus)
- Up Next, Repechage: Jeandry Garzon (Cuba)
Dake began his quest for Olympic gold with a gritty first-round win, 4-0 over Hosseinkhani. He led 2-0 after the first period, then converted a patient, methodical takedown midway through the second. Hosseinkhani, a 2016 world bronze medalist, didn't really threaten Dake at all from an offensive perspective.
But Dake's quarterfinal match was something of a small shock, an 11-0 technical fall defeat to Belarus' Magomedkhabib Kadzimahamed. That snapped what had become a 49-match win streak for Dake. Kadzi scored a big 4-pointer on the edge in the first period, and in an attempt to correct his position, Dake gave up an additional exposure and trailed 6-0 in a blink. Kadzi took a 9-0 lead into the break and added another takedown in the second period to secure the technical fall.
Kadzimagomedov is originally from Russia, and he's previously beaten Russia's two-time world champ Zaurbek Sidakov. In Thursday morning's semifinals, he defeated Italy's Frank Chamizo in a wild 9-7 match. He jumped out to a 5-1 lead, then the two traded takedowns the rest of the way. That's a really nice win, as Chamizo is a two-time world champ and won Olympic bronze in 2016.
Kadzimagomedov will face Sidakov in the finals on Friday morning. Sidakov powered through his side of the bracket by outscoring his three opponents 36-8, punctuated by an 11-0 technical fall over Kazakhstan's Daniyar Kaisanov in the semifinals.
Because Kadzi made the finals, Dake was pulled into the repechage and will have a chance win bronze. Dake will wrestle Cuba's Jeandry Garzon, who is a four-time world medalist, but his most recent world medal was bronze in 2010. Win that, and Dake will face Chamizo for Olympic bronze.
Gable Steveson, Men's Freestyle, 125 kilograms
- First Round: 10-0 win over Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan)
- Quarterfinals: 8-0 over Taha Akgul (Turkey)
- Semifinals: 5-0 over Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)
- Up Next, Finals: Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)
Gable Steveson was always poised to become a star at these Olympic Games, and he has lived up to the billing, storming to the finals at 125 kilograms between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. He won his first three matches by a combined 23-0.
Gable opened with a first-period technical fall over Lazarev, wherein he scored five relatively easy takedowns. In the quarters, Gable won 8-0 over Turkey's Taha Akgul, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champ. Gable racked up four more takedowns on Akgul, including three within the first minute of the second period.
In the semifinals, Gable continued his tear, scoring two more takedowns in a controlled, methodical 5-0 win over Munkhtur. So in those 23 points, he rolled up 12 takedowns and allowed none. He will face Georgia's Geno Petriashvili, a three-time world champ and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, in the gold-medal match on Friday morning.
Jacarra Winchester, Women's Freestyle, 53 kilograms
- First Round: 7-4 win over Olga Khoroshavtseva (Russia)
- Quarterfinals: 6-1 loss to Pang Qianyu (China)
- Up Next, Repechage: Laura Herin Avila (CUB)
Jacarra, a 2019 world champ, got off to a strong start, stumbled in the quarterfinals, then got some help on Thursday morning to stay in bronze-medal contention.
She began with a 7-4 win over Khoroshavtseva, a 2019 world bronze medalist. Jacarra rallied from a 4-1 deficit by scoring takedowns at the end of the first period and early in the second period to go up 5-4. She added another takedown in the final seconds to ice it.
In the quarterfinals, Jacarra suffered a tough loss. Qianyu, a two-time world bronze medalist, scored an early takedown, collected a trap-arm gut-wrench in the process and scored two exposures for an early 6-0 lead. Then she kept Jacarra quiet offensively the rest of the match, surrendering only a shot-clock point in the second period.
But in the semifinals, Qianyu scored a takedown with 10 seconds left to defeat Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya, 2-2 on criteria, and advance to the gold-medal match. That pulled Jacarra into the repechage and kept her medal hopes alive.
Jacarra will face Cuba's Laura Herin Avila on Thursday night. If she wins, she'll wrestle Kaladzinskaya for bronze on Friday morning.
Thomas Gilman, Men's Freestyle, 57 kilograms
- First Round: 5-4 loss to Zavur Uguev (Russia)
- Repechage: 11-1 win over Gulomjon Abdullaev (Uzbekistan)
- Bronze Medal Match: 9-1 win over Reza Atrinagharchi (Iran)
Gilman's gold-medal hopes were dashed in heart-breaking fashion on Tuesday night, but the former Hawkeye wrestler rallied to win twice between Wednesday night and Thursday morning to bring home some hardware.
The Council Bluffs native finished his Olympic debut with a 2-1 record and will bring home an Olympic bronze medal from the 57-kg competition. He notched an 11-1 technical fall over Uzbekistan's Gulomjon Abdullaev in Wednesday night's repechage round, then a 9-1 win over Iran's Reza Atrinagharchi in Thursday morning's bronze-medal match.
Against Abdullaev, Gilman converted a double-leg takedown that fed into a leg lace, turning a 1-1 tie into a 9-1 advantage. He added another takedown for the technical fall in just 2 minutes, 7 seconds.
Against Atrinagharchi, Gilman continued his offensive onslaught, scoring a pair of first-period takedowns and another point via step-out for a 5-0 lead. Gilman connected on two more takedowns in the second period for a 9-1 victory, a tremendous way to cap his time in Tokyo.
David Taylor, Men's Freestyle, 86 kilograms
- First Round: 11-0 win over Ali Shabanau (Belarus)
- Quarterfinals: 12-2 win over Myles Amine (San Marino)
- Semifinals: 10-0 win over Deepak Punia (India)
- Finals: 4-3 win over Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran)
David Taylor is an OLYMPIC CHAMPION.
Taylor completed his tremendous run to gold with a thrilling 4-3 win over Iran superstar Hassa Yazdanicharati. Yazdani led 2-0 in the second when Taylor converted a takedown to take a 2-2 criteria lead. A step-out point gave Yazdani a 3-2 lead, but Taylor snatched the gold medal by converting a blast-double with 10 seconds left in the match.
It was a sensational, legendary way for Taylor to win. Yazdani won Olympic gold in 2016 and is a two-time world champion. Taylor finished the week 4-0 and outscored his opponents 37-5. He was absolutely sensational.
Helen Maroulis, Women's Freestyle, 57 kilograms
- First Round: 8-4 win over Rong Ningning (China)
- Quarterfinals: 8-0 win over Tetyana Kit (Ukraine)
- Semifinals: 2-1 loss to Risako Kawai (Japan)
- Bronze Medal Match: 11-0 win over Boldsaikhany Khongorzul (Mongolia)
Helen Maroulis is now a TWO-TIME Olympic medalist, adding a bronze here at the 2020 Tokyo Games to her gold medal from 2016 in Rio.
Maroulis bounced back from a tough semifinal loss — to the eventual champ, by the way — with a dominating 11-0 technical fall victory over Khongorzul. She scored two takedowns in the first period and three more in the second. She is the first woman in USA Wrestling history to win two Olympic medals.
Some might view this as a disappointment after Helen won gold in 2016, but she battled injuries, concussions and serious bouts with mental health between her stellar run in Rio and what she accomplished this week. She made history at both Olympic competitions, and will go down as one of the best ever in United States wrestling history.
Other Notable Olympic Wrestling Results
Michigan's Amine wins bronze: Myles Amine, a three-time All-American for Michigan, represented San Marino at these Olympic Games and won a bronze medal at 86 kilograms. Amine scored a takedown with 10 seconds left to defeat India's Deepak Punia, 4-2, in the bronze-medal match, which followed his 2-0 win over Belarus' Ali Shabanau in the repechage match on Wednesday night. (All three lost to Taylor.) Amine's accomplishment is the first-ever Olympic wrestling medal for San Marino.
Russia's Uguev secures gold: Zavur Uguev completed his run to the men's freestyle gold medal at 57-kg on Thursday morning with a 7-4 win over India's Ravi Kumar Dahiya in the Olympic finals. Uguev, a world champ in both 2018 and 2019, ended up 4-0 and outscored his opponents just 26-17. He used late scores to win his first two matches by a combined one point, then controlled both his semifinal and finals bouts with more dominance. Uguev beat Gilman in his opener on Tuesday, 5-4.
Kawai sisters both win gold: Japan's Risako Kawai won the women's freestyle gold medal at 57-kg, her second-straight Olympic gold medal, with a 5-0 win over Belarus' Iryna Kurachkina. In doing so, she joined her sister, Yukako, who won gold at 62 kilos. They both won gold medals the same year their home country hosted the Games — and did so in dominating fashion. The Kawai sisters went a combined 8-0 this week and collectively outscored their opponents 49-10.
►MORE OLYMPIC WRESTLING COVERAGE FROM THE REGISTER
- At Tokyo Olympics, Thomas Gilman continues his quest for wrestling immortality
- 10 To Watch: Kyle Dake's wrestling obsession began with his grandfather
- How to watch and follow the Olympic wrestling competition in Tokyo this week
- After Olympic finals loss, Adeline Gray keeps focused on bigger picture
- On Cuba's Mijain Lopez, now a four-time Greco-Roman Olympic champion
- The incredible story of Tamyra Mensah-Stock, now an Olympic gold medalist
Olympic wrestling brackets, results, mat assignments, matchups
Mat assignments for Thursday evening's competition, which begins at 9 p.m. CST, can be found here. You can find updated brackets by clicking each weight below:
- 57 kilograms (125 pounds)
- 65 kilograms (143 pounds) – no USA entry
- 74 kilograms (163 pounds)
- 86 kilograms (189 pounds)
- 97 kilograms (213 pounds)
- 125 kilograms (275 pounds)
- 50 kilograms (110 pounds)
- 53 kilograms (117 pounds)
- 57 kilograms (125 pounds)
- 62 kilograms (136 pounds)
- 68 kilograms (150 pounds)
- 76 kilograms (167 pounds)
- 60 kilograms (132 pounds)
- 67 kilograms (147 pounds)
- 77 kilograms (169 pounds) – no USA entry
- 87 kilograms (191 pounds)
- 97 kilograms (213 pounds)
- 130 kilograms (286 pounds) – no USA entry
Olympic medal count: How many medals does the U.S. have?
Here's how the United States ranks in the Olympic medal race:
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.