2020 Tokyo Olympics: Gable Steveson wins gold, USA results on Day Six of Olympic wrestling
Hello again. Back on my couch and ready for more wrestling. Are you?
You should be. Here's why.
The Olympic wrestling competition continued Thursday night and Friday morning (CDT) at Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba, Japan. Four weights in men's freestyle (65-, 74-, 97-, 125-kg) and two more in women's freestyle (50-, 53-kg) took the mat.
USA had a spectacular Thursday, winning three medals: David Taylor won gold at 86-kg; Thomas Gilman and Helen Maroulis both won bronze, at men's 57-kg and women's 57-kg, respectively. Another, Gable Steveson (125) reached the finals, and two more, Kyle Dake (74) and Jacarra Winchester (50) are in medal contention.
That momentum carried over into Day Six. Steveson and Dake both won medals with strong performances. Kyle Snyder (97-kg) made the finals, and Sarah Hildebrandt (50-kg) made it to the bronze-medal match. It was another strong performance in what's becoming a very strong week from USA Wrestling.
I took in all the action from my couch, watching both sessions while you probably slept. We have here detailed updates, results, thoughts and analysis — including how each American wrestler does, what each result means, other important and interesting information, and a look ahead to Day Seven. You can also join in the live ongoing Twitter conversation by following me here.
Already looking ahead to the final day of Olympic wrestling? We've got you:Team USA's matchups, updates, and more wrestling info on Day 7 in Tokyo
Results for USA's Olympic wrestlers
Five American wrestlers competed between Thursday night and Friday morning. One won a gold medal, another won bronze, another reached the final, and a fourth positioned herself for bronze on Saturday.
Here's a look at what happened:
Kyle Dake, Men's Freestyle, 74-kg
- Repechage: 10-0 technical fall over Jeandry Garzon (Cuba)
- Bronze Medal Match: 5-0 win over Frank Chamizo (Italy)
After a decisive loss in the quarterfinal round, Dake bounced back with a decisive technical fall win over Garzon, a four-time world medalist. Dake struck quickly with a takedown-to-a-gut-wrench transition that led to an 8-0 lead, then closed the match with a takedown on the edge just before the end of the first period to advance to the bronze medal match.
There, Dake continued his strong second day with a 5-0 win over Italy's Frank Chamizo, a two-time world champ and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist. Dake scored a trio of step-out points and converted a chest-wrap for two points to win. His victory also ensures that all five of USA's men's freestyle wrestlers will win medals this week.
Jacarra Winchester, Women's Freestyle, 53-kg
- Repechage: 5-0 win over Laura Herin Avila (Cuba)
- Up Next, Bronze Medal Match: pinned by Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (Belarus)
Jacarra gave the Americans two repechage victories on Thursday night, and will wrestle for a bronze medal on Friday morning. This was a workmanlike win over Herin Avila, a takedown and step-out point in the first, then another takedown at the end of the second period to ice it. She's stingy defensively.
Unfortunately, Jacarra couldn't add to the USA's medal haul. Kaladzinskaya, a two-time world champion, connected on a headlock in the first period and pinned Jacarra to win bronze. It was quick and a tough ending to what was otherwise a strong tournament from Jacarra, who finished fifth.
Sarah Hildebrandt, Women's Freestyle, 50-kg
- First Round: 11-0 technical fall over Evin Demirhan (Turkey)
- Quarterfinals: 12-2 technical fall over Miglena Selishka (Bulgaria
- Semifinals: 10-7 loss to Sun Yanan (China)
- Up Next, Bronze Medal Match: Oksana Livach (Ukraine) or Yusneylys Guzmán (Cuba)
Sarah stormed into the semifinals with back-to-back technical falls. They followed mostly the same script, too. Against Demirhan, a 2017 world bronze medalist, Sarah led 3-0 after the first period, then connected on a takedown thanks to a crafty ankle-pick out of a scramble, then loaded up a leg lace for an 11-0 win.
In the quarters, against Selishka, a 2020 European champ, Sarah trailed 2-0 after giving up a takedown on the edge, then connected on a takedown and loaded up another lace to score 12 unanswered points for another technical superiority win.
Sarah looked like she might cruise into the Olympic final. Against Yanan, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and past world champ, Sarah scored an early takedown that fed into a leg lace, which became a 7-1 lead after the first period. But Yanan chipped away in the second with an exposure, a takedown, a step-out point, then in the final seconds, he hit a lateral drop and threw Sarah to her back for 4 points and a 10-7 win.
That's a tough way to lose. Hildebrandt drops to Friday morning's bronze medal match, where she'll face the winner of the 50-kg repechage match between Ukraine's Oksana Livach and Cuba's Yusneylys Guzmán.
Kyle Snyder, Men's Freestyle, 97-kg
- First Round: 12-2 technical fall over Jordan Steen (Canada)
- Quarterfinals: 6-0 win over Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy)
- Semifinals: 5-0 win over Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey)
- Up Next, Finals: vs. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia)
Snyder, the 2016 Olympic champion, was rock solid in his first three matches in his quest for another Olympic gold.
He scored 12 unanswered on Steen, surrendering two on an arm-spin before rattling off five-straight takedowns for a 10-2 lead after the first period. He closed the match with quick takedown at the start of the second.
Against Conyedo Ruano, a 2018 world bronze medalist, Snyder again was steady and consistent. He scored points on a step-out and a shot-clock, then two takedowns for a workmanlike 6-0 win to reach the semifinals. Against Karadeniz, a 2020 European champ, Snyder used four separate step-out points (and another via the shot-clock) for another wormanlike win to reach the finals.
Kyle Snyder, at 25 years old, is now a two-time Olympic finalist, which is ridiculous. On Saturday morning, he'll face the Russian tank, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, for the third time in the last four years. Sadulaev is a four-time world champ and also won Olympic gold in 2016.
This is expected to be a sensational matchup. You don't want to miss it.
Gable Steveson won gold in Men's Freestyle at 125-kg, see the video
- First Round: 10-0 technical fall win over over Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan)
- Quarterfinals: 8-0 win over Taha Akgul (Turkey)
- Semifinals: 5-0 win over Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia)
- Finals: 10-8 win over Geno Petriashvili (GEO)
At just 21 years old, Gable Steveson is an Olympic champion. And he may have topped David Taylor's thrilling gold-medal victory from Thursday morning in his 10-8 win over Georgia's Geno Petriashvili on Friday.
Gable used a first-period takedown, plus points for step-out and shot-clock, to lead 4-0 after one, but Petriashvili, a three-time world champ, stormed back in the second. A second made it 5-2, Gable, then Petriashvili scored another for 5-4, and added two gut wrenches for an 8-5 lead.
In response, Gable scored two takedowns after a restart with 13 seconds left — a go-behind at 10 seconds, then another with two-tenths of a second left on the clock to make it 9-8. It become 10-8 after Georgia challenged the call and failed.
Unbelievable. Gable finishes the week 4-0 and outscored his opponents 33-8, and 49 years after Dan Gable won gold in Munich, Gable Dan does the same in Tokyo (yes, his full name is Gable Dan Steveson), giving the United States its third Olympic wrestling champion this week. Outstanding.
Here's video of Gable Steveson's final two takedowns:
More notable results and updates from Olympic wrestling in Tokyo
Here were some notable and interesting non-American results from Day Six of the Olympic wrestling competition in Tokyo.
Former Clarion wrestler Bekzod rallies for bronze medal at 74-kilograms
Representing Uzbekistan, Bekzod Abdurakhmonov, a 2012 NCAA All-American for Clarion, also won bronze at 74-kilograms.
Bekzod defeated Puerto Rico's Franklin Gomez, a 2009 NCAA champ for Michigan State, in the first round, 10-0, then fell to Russia's Zaurbek Sidakov, 13-6, in the quarterfinals. But Sidakov made the final, which allowed Bekzod a shot at bronze.
He delivered with back-to-back technical fall victories, first 10-0 over Gineau-Bissau's Augusto Midana, then 13-2 over Kazakhstan's Daniyar Kaisanov, a 2019 world bronze medalist.
This was a nice redemption story for Bekzod, who reached the bronze medal match at the 2016 Olympics, but lost. He got back again this year, and won.
Russia's Sidakov defeats Belarus' Kadzimahamedau for 74-kilogram gold
Sidakov, meanwhile, completed his gold-medal run at 74-kilos in dominating fashion, defeating Belarus' star Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau, 7-0, in the gold-medal match on Friday morning.
Sidakov turned a 1-0 first-period lead into his third-straight world and Olympic title with a dominating second period. He won all four matches this week, over Midana, Bekzov, Kaisanov and Kadzi, by a combined 43-8. He was spectacular.
Sidakov was one of three two-time world champions in the 74-kilogram field. The others: USA's Kyle Dake and Italy's Frank Chamizo — and Kadzi made sure those two ended up in the bronze medal match after beating them 11-0 and 9-7, respectively.
Takuto Otoguro adds to Japan's wrestling success, makes gold medal final over Russia's Rashidov
Japan has had a successful week of wrestling.
In women's freestyle, four Japan wrestlers made the Olympic finals at their respective weights. Three won gold: Yukako Kawai (62-kg), Risako Kawai (57-kg), Mayu Mukaida (53-kg), and the fourth, Yui Susaki, will wrestle for gold on Friday. Japan's other two women's freestylers, Sara Dosho (68-kg) and Hiroe Minagawa (76-kg) both took fifth.
In Greco-Roman, Kenichiro Fumita (60-kg) won silver and Shohei Yabiku (77-kg) won bronze.
Takuto Otoguro has now added his name to the medal list by reaching the men's freestyle final at 65-kg. Otoguro went 3-0 between Thursday night and Friday morning, beating Mongolia's Tulga Tumur Ochir, 6-3; Hungary's Iszmail Muszukajev, 4-1, in the quarters; and Russia's top-seeded Gadzhimurad Rashidov, 3-2, in the semifinals.
There was no easy path at 65-kg, so Otoguro's path to the gold-medal match was littered with credentialed wrestlers. Muszukajev won bronze at the 2018 world championships. Rashidov won a world title in 2019 and silver in both 2018 and 2017.
The challenges continue in Saturday morning's gold medal match, because …
Haji Aliyev defeats India's Bajrang in second 65 kilogram semifinals
Azerbaijan's Haji Aliyev emerged from the other side of the bracket. Aliyev, a three-time world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, defeated India's Bajrang Punia, 12-5, in the second semifinal.
Aliyev stormed to the finals unseeded, knocking off Senegal's Adama Diatta, 4-0; Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov, 9-1; then Punia. Diatta is an 8-time African champion, while Niyazbekov is a two-time world medalist and Punia is a three-time world medalist.
The Aliyev-Otoguro final will be tremendous. You won't want to miss that one, either.
►MORE OLYMPIC WRESTLING COVERAGE FROM THE REGISTER
- Thomas Gilman becomes latest Hawkeye wrestler to win Olympic medal
- 10 To Watch: Kyle Dake's wrestling obsession began with his grandfather
- 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
- Michigan wrestler Myles Amine wins historic Olympic medal for San Marino
Olympic wrestling brackets, results, mat assignments, matchups
Mat assignments 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.