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Match by Match- How Team USA Performed at the World Cup

04/17/2018, 1:45pm EDT
By Michael Willis and Eddie Gallo

Thomas Gilman 57 kg

(WIN) Received a forfeit against India.

(LOSS) Gilman’s first match was a rematch of last year’s World Championship 57 kg final. Yuki Takahashi (Japan) won the senior Asian Championships before defeating Gilman to become the 2017 World Champion at 57 kg. While Gilman had the lead with less than a period left in the match, his aggressive pursuit of takedowns gave Takahashi opportunities to hit counters and claim a 4-1 victory.   

Is Takahasi a potential 2018 medal threat? Yes, the returning World Champion is expected to medal again this year.

(WIN) To start day two, Gilman defeated Teimuraz Vanishvili (Georgia) 6-4. Vanishvili was a standout developmental wrestler for Georgia, placing 5th at the Cadet World Championship in 2014. He placed 3rd at the European Championships at the Cadet and Junior level, most recently taking 2nd at the International Ukrainian Tournament at the senior level in February.

Is Vanishvili a 2018 medal threat? Most likely not.

(LOSS) In the championship match, Gilman was defeated by Giorgi Edisherashvili (Azerbaijan) in a heartbreaking 8-7 bout. A veteran of the sport, Edisherashvili is a 2016 European Champion and has won the numerous other tournaments including the Golden Grand Prix and the Yasar Dogu.

Is Edisherashvili a 2018 medal threat? Absolutely, although maybe not a favorite to earn a medal.

Joe Colon 61 kg

(WIN) In his lone bout of the competition, Joe Colon earned a gritty a victory over Sandeep Tonar (India). Tonar won the 2016 Asian Championships at 57 kg.

Is Tonar a 2018 medal threat? He has an outside shot at 57 kg. It does not seem likely at 61 kg.

Kendric Maple 61 kg

(LOSS) Maple started the day with an early lead, but was unable to close out the match and lost to Kazuya Koyanagi (Japan) by criteria, 2-2. A 2013 cadet Greco Roman World Champion, Koyanagi most recently notched a 2nd place finish at the senior 2018 Asian Wrestling Championships.

Is Koyanagi a 2018 medal threat? Unlikely, but down the line he is someone to watch for.

(LOSS) Despite early success, Maple suffered a comeback defeat to Lasha Lomtadze (Georgia) 4-3. Lomtadze is not especially decorated, but most recently had a 2nd place finish at the Stepan Sargsyan, higher than his heralded teammate Beka Lomtadze.

Is Lomtadze a 2018 medal threat? No, and he will most likely not be Georgia’s representative.

(WIN) Kendric Maple rose to the occasion and closed out the day by dominating Afgan Khashalov (Azerbaijan) 6-2. Khashalov made some noise on the international scene when he won the Junior World Championship in 2016 at 55 kg. He finished his junior career with a European Championship and a 3rd place finish at the Junior World Championship. His only high profile senior placement is a 3rd place finish at the International Ukrainian Tournament.

Is Khashalov a 2018 medal threat? Yes but he has a much better shot at 57 kg.

Logan Stieber 65 kg

(WIN) Things began in dominant fashion for Logan Stieber, as he defeated Sharvan (India) by technical fall, 12-2. At the junior level, Sharvan took 1st place at the Asian Championships. He had a strong showing in February, taking 5th at the Asian Championships at the senior level.

Is Sharvan a 2018 medal threat? Most likely not.

(LOSS) Logan fell on hard times when he suffered a head injury early and gave up several takedowns against Takuto Otoguro (Japan). Stieber stormed back late, but it was too little too late as he fell 10-4. A 2015 Cadet World Champion, Otoguro was relatively unknown, making his senior debut in major competition this year.

Is Otoguro a 2018 medal threat? Yes, Otoguro is a talented and until now, unknown wrestler. While not a favorite, he could absolutely sneak onto the podium.

(WIN)  Stieber returned on day two with a bang, defeating Magomed Saidovi (Georgia) by technical fall, 10-0. Not much is known of Saidovi, but he did compete for Georgia at the senior level at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix.

Is Saidovi a 2018 Medal Threat? No.

(WIN) Going into the championship final, very few were predicting a Stieber win. Logan faced off with Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan). Aliyev is a three-time World Champion at 61 KG (2014, 2015, 2017), winning bronze at 57 KG in the 2016 Olympic Games. In a high paced bout that saw Stieber pull off spectacular moves, he was able to defeat Aliyev 6-3.

Is Aliyev a 2018 Medal Threat? Yes, and he has the potential to win a title.

James Green 70 kg

(WIN) Green has historically been very successful at the World Cup. He wasted no time in defeating Arun Kumar (India) by technical fall, 10-0. A 2011 Junior Asian Champion, Kumar has found little success besides top-three finishes at the Commonwealth Championships (2013, 2016-17).

Is Kumar a 2018 medal threat? No.

(WIN) Green found a much stiffer test in his next match, defeating Kirin Kinoshita (Japan) 8-5. Kinoshita was a successful age-level wrestler, placing 5th at the Cadet World Championships and 2nd at the Junior Asian Championships in 2014. He has not had a lot of success on the senior level, but gave Green a tough go. 

Is Kinoshita a 2018 medal threat? Most likely not.

(WIN) Scoring early and controlling late, Green defeated Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia) 8-0. The Georgian has a long history of success, first placing 5th at the 2013 Senior World Championships. Kelekhsashvili has been in the mix at many major tournaments, most recently placing 5th at the 2018 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix

Is Kelekhsashvilia a 2018 medal threat? Yes, while it is more probable he ends up off the podium than on it, he still has the skills to bring home a medal

(LOSS) After three tough matches, Green finally slowed down and was defeated by Joshgun Azimov (Azerbaijan) 4-4 on criteria. Azimov is a seasoned competitor at both 65 and 70 KG. In 2015 he won a tough Ali Aliev tournament over top Senior competition. Azimov has placed top-three at the Golden Grand PrixWorld Military Games and the World Military Championships

Is Azizmov a 2018 medal threat? Most likely not.

Jordan Burroughs 74 kg

(WIN) The champ is here. Burroughs was fantastic all tournament, starting off swiftly defeating Vinod Ompraksh Kumar (India) by technical fall, 11-1. A staple of the Indian Pro League, Kumar placed 2nd at the 2017 U23 World Championships at 70 KG. In February he earned a 3rd place finish at the senior Asian Championships

Is Kumar a 2018 medal threat? While Kumar has potential, he might need a little more experience before he will contend for a spot on the podium. He also might be better suited for 70 kg.

(WIN) Against Japan, Burroughs met a much tougher opponent, but was able to open up the match and win comfortably. He defeated Yuhi Fujinami 7-1. After taking 2nd and 3rd at the Junior World Championships at 66 KG, Fujinami moved up and placed 3rd at the Senior World Championships at 70 KG. 

Is Fujinami a 2018 medal threat? Absolutely, although it remains to be seen if he will stay at 74 kg or go back down to 70 kg.

(WIN) To start day two Burroughs defeated the man with the best name in the tournament, Tarzan Maisuradze (Georgia) by technical fall, 10-0. Still young in his career, Maisuradze is a Junior European Champion and placed 3rd at the 2015 Junior World Championships. Maisuradze has had mixed results at the senior level thus far. 

Is Maisuradze a 2018 medal threat? Not yet.

(WIN) Burroughs finished the World Cup in emphatic fashion. After early success, Jordan defeated Gadjimurad Omarov (Azerbaijan) by fall, hitting a suck-back when Omarov attempted to sit out. It was an aggressive, exciting finish to the match and proved vital for the team in a close battle with Azerbaijan. Still young in the sport, Omarov has a solid list of accolades at the senior level. In 2015, he finished 3rd at the Golden Grand Prix, and 2nd at the Yasar Dogu. In 2017, he won a U23 European Championship

Is Omaraov a 2018 medal threat? Not yet.

Kyle Dake 79 kg

(WIN) Dake opened the tournament with a quick 10-0 technical fall over Sachin Giri (India). Off the whistle he went big for a five-point throw straight into a leg lace to take a 7-0 lead. It only took him 37 seconds to wrap up the technical fall. Giri had no international results prior to the World Cup.

Is Giri a 2018 medal threat? No.

(WIN) Dake’s second opponent, Sohsuke Takatani (Japan) has had a long and successful track record at 74kg on the senior level including representing Japan at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. His most impressive result being a silver medal at the 2014 Senior World Championships. At last year’s World Championships he placed 8th. Despite his accolades, Dake had no trouble earning a 10-0 technical fall, highlighted by a gorgeous five-point throw immediately into another four-point throw.

Is Takatani a 2018 medal threat? Yes, although how he transitions to 79 kg remains to be seen.

(WIN) In Dake’s third match he earned his third 10-0 technical fall. This time it was over Tariel Gaprindashvili (Georgia). Gaprindashvili has had success on the youth level, taking 5th at the 2012 Cadet World Championships and third at the 2016 Junior World Championship. On the senior level he has seen limited competition, but did take 3rd at the 2016 Pune Mayor’s Cup.

Is Gaprindashvili a 2018 medal threat? Probably not.

(WIN) Dake faced his most credentialed opponent in his final match, Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan) Hasanov earned bronze medals at 66 KG at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships. More recently, Hasanov took bronze at 74 kg at the 2016 Olympics and 5th at the 2017 World Championship also at 74 kg. Dake gutted out a hard fought 5-3 victory to finish his World Cup undefeated.

Is Hasanov a 2018 medal threat? Absolutely.

David Taylor 86 kg

(WIN) Taylor started his World Cup with a 10-0 technical fall over Pawan Kumar (India). Kumar has finished second in the Commonwealth Championship twice, at 66 KG in 2003 and at 86 KG in 2017.

Is Kumar a 2018 medal threat? No.

(WIN) Taylor earned a 12-2 technical fall over his second opponent, Masai Matsusaka (Japan). Matsusaka was Japan’s representative at the 2017 Senior and U23 World Championships. He did not place at either, but did take 2nd at the 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial International.

Is Matsusaka a 2018 medal threat? No.

(WIN) Taylor kept rolling and earned his third technical fall against David Khutishvili (Georgia) 11-1. Khutishvili is a 74 kg 2010 Junior World Champion. He followed it up with a bronze medal performance at the 2011 Senior World Championship. He was Georgia’s representative at the 2012 Olympics, but did not place. Since moving up to 86 KG, his only notable result is a third place performance at the 2017 Warclaw Ziolkowski Memorial.

Is Khutishvili a 2018 medal threat? Most likely not, but I wouldn’t count out a guy that has made the podium before.

(WIN) In his last match, Taylor kept his streak of technical falls going as he defeated Aleksander Gostiev (Azerbaijan) 12-2. Gostiev took 5th at the 2017 Senior World Championship. He also took 2nd at the 2016 and 2017 European Championships. Additional Gostiev is a three-time Yasar Dogu Champion, winning in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Is Gostiev a 2018 medal threat? Yes, with the addition of two new weight classes, Gostiev has a great shot at earning his first World Medal.

Hayden Zillmer 92 kg

(WIN) Zillmer earned a 7-0 victory over Deepak Punia (India) in his only match of the tournament. Punia took 5th at the 2017 Junior World Championship and did not place at the 2017 U23 World Championship.

Is Punia a 2018 medal threat? No.

J’den Cox 92 KG

(WIN) Cox earned a technical fall over his first opponent, Takashi Ishiguro, (Japan) 11-0. Ishiguro’s best result to date is a 7th place performance at the 2018 Asian Championship.

Is Ishiguro a 2018 medal threat? No.

(LOSS) Cox dropped his second match 5-0 to Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia). Marsagishvili beat Cox in the 2016 World Cup as well, 7-4. Marsagishvili is a 2011 Junior World Champion, a 2011 Senior World bronze medalist, and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist. In recent years he has been battling injuries, and his most recent results before the World cup were 5th place performances in the 2017 European Championship and 2018 International Ukrainian Tournament.

Is Marsagishvili a 2018 medal threat? Before beating Cox I would have said probably not, but it looks like he’s getting back to form and has the potential to medal.

(LOSS) In his final match, Cox lost 4-4 on criteria to Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan) Alborov took third at the 2017 Senior World Championship at 97 KG. He is also a two-time Junior World Championship runner-up, with a third place finish under his belt as well.

Is Alborov a 2018 medal threat? Yes, but he could be facing steep competition to make the team from Sharif Sharifov, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist at 86 kg. Sharifov also defeated Cox earlier this year at the International Ukrainian Tournament at 92 kg.

Kyle Snyder 97 kg

(WIN) Snyder opened his World Cup with a 10-0 technical fall over Viky (India) Viky took third at the 2016 Cadet World Championship.

Is Viky a 2018 medal threat? No.

(WIN) Snyder earned a 10-0 technical fall over his second round opponent, Taira Sonoda (Japan) Sonoda competed in the 2017 U23 World Championship, but did not place.

Is Sonoda a 2018 medal threat? No.

(WIN) Snyder continued his dominance with a 10-0 technical fall over Givi Matcharashvili (Georgia). Matcharashvili took second at the 2017 Junior World Championship, and did not place at the 2017 U23 World Championship.

Is Matcharashvili a 2018 medal threat? No, but in a few years he could be.

(WIN) Snyder earned his fourth technical fall of the tournament defeating Roman Bakirov (Azerbaijan) 14-3. Bakirov’s best performance was a third place finish at the 2014 Yasar Dogu.

Is Bakirov a 2018 medal threat? No.

Dom Bradley 125 kg

(WIN) Bradley won the only match he competed in 10-0 over Pushpender Singh (India). Singh did not place at the 2017 U23 World Championship, but did take third at the 2017 Junior Asian Championship.

Is Singh a 2018 medal threat? No.

Nick Gwiazdowski 125 kg

(WIN) Gwiazdowski opened his tournament with a 10-0 win over Nobuyoshi Arakida (Japan). Arakida is a four-time Senior World Team member, but has never placed at a World Championship. Since the 2015 World Championship he has only competed in the 2018 World Cup and the 2018 Asian Championship where he did not place.

Is Arakida a 2018 medal threat? No, and he will most likely not be the representative.

(WIN) In his next match Gwiazdowski defeated Zviadi Metreveli (Georgia) 7-0. This was Metreveli’s debut at heavyweight, as he had been at 97 kg up to this point. His best result was a 2014 Golden Grand Prix title.

Is Metreveli a 2018 medal threat? No, and he will most likely not be the representative as Georgia has 2017 World Champion, Geno Petriashvili, at this weight class.

(Loss) Gwiazdowski dropped his final match to Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan) 4-3. Magomedov took third at the 2011 World Championship and second in the 2015 World Championship. More recently he took second at the 2017 European Championships.

Is Magomedov a 2018 medal threat? Yes, there’s a strong chance Magomedov could find himself on the podium again.

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