Look out, Rio.
Ohio State's Kyle Snyder won his gold medal match against reigning World champion Abdusalam Gadisov of Russia, 5-5 (prevailing by criteria), and has a chance to repeat the feat in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. His victory is record-setting, as the 19-year-old grappler became the youngest World Champion in USA Wrestling history.
The Buckeye sophomore took an early 3-1 lead against Gadisov, but the Russian responded with a takedown of his own to tie the score at three, and then went ahead 4-3. Snyder persisted, however, and notched a takedown with just under 30 seconds remaining in the match and held on for the win.
“I’ve been thinking about this since the NCAA finals,” said Snyder. “I’ve worked hard with my coaches at Ohio State to get it done, and I wasn’t going to walk off that mat without getting a gold medal.”
It was a banner day for Snyder, who won five matches – three of them against international medalists – on the way to setting American wrestling history.
Snyder, a freestyle wrestler competing in the 97kg weight class, also won gold at the Pan Am Games in July and finished 2nd in the NCAA Wrestling Championships as a true freshman at OSU.
Prior to Snyder, Henry Cejudo was the youngest American to win gold in international competition. Cejudo did so at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, at 21-years-old.