Two of Ohio State's top wrestlers will contend for world freestyle titles this weekend at the United World Wrestling Under-23 Men's Freestyle World Championships in Bucharest, Romania. The pair of NCAA All-American Buckeyes arrived in Romania earlier this week, and begin competition early Friday morning.
Moore, at 97 kg, is up first. The 2017 Junior World bronze medalist makes his third World appearance for Team USA: Prior to winning bronze last year, he was also on the 2016 Junior World squad, placing 12th.
He'll enter the arena at 3:30 a.m. Eastern Friday for the qualification rounds of the tournament, with the semifinals at 10:15 a.m. and finals following at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Open Mat notes that Moore is the only member of Team USA with any previous world-level experience, but that he faces an uphill battle to make the podium again as the field is littered with cadet, junior and U23 world medalists. He'll open the tournament wrestling against 2018 Russian Senior National bronze medalist Igor Ovsiannikov.
At 86 kg, Myles Martin makes his first appearance on the international stage representing Team USA. The 2016 NCAA champion is a three-time All-American, with two trips to the NCAA finals (1st in 2016, 2nd in 2018) and a fifth-place finish in 2017.
Last summer, Martin narrowly missed making the U23 World Team, taking second in the nation to Sammy Brooks. He went on to win the 2017 University Nationals title. Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan describes Martin as one of the most elite all-around athletes he's ever worked with, and predicts he'll have a long freestyle career ahead of him.
Martin's tournament begins at 3:30 a.m. Saturday with the qualification rounds; semifinals are slated for 10:15 a.m. with finals following at 11 a.m. Sunday.
UPDATE (Saturday 11:55 a.m.): Myles Martin's tournament is over. He opened versus Javrail Shapiev of Uzbekistan after both competitors enjoyed first round byes in the 86 kg bracket, and won in a 9-6 decision.
His quarterfinal match was his last, however, as Gankhuyag Ganbaatar of Mongolia raced out to a 6-1 lead and held on for the decision. Unfortunately, Ganbaatar lost his semifinal match, so Martin will not be pulled back into repechage for a chance to place.
Meanwhile, Kollin Moore will wrestle shortly for a world title at 97 kg. After four victories Friday, he'll face 2017 Junior World silver medalist Givi Matcharashvili of Georgia. The two wrestlers have some history, as they met up in the 2017 Junior World semifinals with the Georgian taking a 16-4 tech fall victory; he rattled off nothing but tech falls en route to the finals yesterday.