It’s 3:30AM in Texas, and we are ready to start live blogging day 3 of the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. Today is an important day for Team USA as they compete in the final two men’s freestyle weights and the first two women’s freestyle weights. Kyle Dake will be wrestling Zaurbek Sidakov for gold, and Zahid Valencia will be seeking a bronze. The team race between USA and Iran is also a highlight, with USA currently leading with 110 points compared to Iran’s 65 points.
The first match of the day for Team USA features Zahid Valencia against Denys Sahaliuk from Ukraine in the 92kg weight class. A win for Valencia here would put him in the bronze medal bout and guarantee 10 team points for the USA. Valencia dominates the match, securing a 6-0 victory with several takedowns. His next match will be in the afternoon with a bronze medal on the line.
Next up is Nick Lee from the USA in the 65kg weight class. Lee faces Krzysztof Bienkowski from Poland. Lee takes control of the match and wins comfortably with a score of 6-0. His next opponent in the round of 32 will be Austin Gomez from Mexico.
In other early round news, Russia’s Shamil Mamedov performs exceptionally well in his 13-3 victory over Kyrgyzstan. Lachlan McNeil from Canada and Josh Finesilver from Israel also have successful bouts, while Haji Aliev, a three-time world champ and two-time Olympic medalist, wins a hard-fought match against China.
The team race implications continue in the 74kg weight class, as Emami from Iran wins his first match in repechage and moves on to wrestle Tsabolov from Serbia. In the 79kg weight class, Nokhodi from Iran defeats Magomedov from North Macedonia and advances to the bronze medal bout. These matches are crucial for the team race between USA and Iran.
Back to the 65kg weight class, Takuto Otoguro, the 2018 world champ and 2020 Olympic gold medalist, wins his match against Arushanian, ending McNeil’s medal hopes. Colin Realbuto from Northern Iowa also secures a victory in the 65kg weight class.
Nick Lee then faces Austin Gomez from Mexico in the 65kg weight class. Lee takes an early lead with a takedown and two turns, but Gomez fights back with a head pinch, earning some points. The match becomes intense with both wrestlers engaged in an upper body battle. Ultimately, Lee gains the advantage and pins Gomez, securing his second win of the day.
In the 97kg weight class, Kyle Snyder from the USA wrestles against Nishan Randhawa from Canada. Snyder dominates the match, scoring multiple takedowns and winning with a technical superiority of 11-0. His next opponent will be Radu Lefter from Moldova in the round of 16.
Jen Page from the USA competes in the 59kg weight class against Anjli from India. Page showcases her skills, securing a dominant win with a score of 9-0. In the 74kg weight class, Khetag Tsabolov from Serbia wins a thrilling match over Emami from Iran, eliminating the Iranian from medal contention.
Jacarra Winchester from the USA wrestles against Neha Sharma in the 55kg weight class. Winchester gives up an early takedown but quickly responds with a step out and a feet to back pancake, taking the lead with a score of 5-1. She secures one more takedown in the second period to win the match and advance to the quarterfinals.
Nick Lee faces Umidjon Jalolov from Uzbekistan in the 65kg weight class. Jalolov strikes first with a step out, but Lee fights back, taking the lead with a takedown right before the first period ends. In the second period, Lee’s relentless pace proves too much for Jalolov, and Lee wins the match with a score of 4-3. He moves on to the quarterfinals to face Iranian champ Amouzad.
The matches continue in various weight classes and feature exciting performances from wrestlers around the world. The quarterfinals promise to be intense, with many anticipated matchups, including Musukaev against Otoguro in the 65kg weight class. Kyle Snyder also secures another win in the 97kg weight class, setting the stage for his next bout.