Kyle Snyder couldn't beat “The Russian Tank” this time.
The former Ohio State wrestler came up short of defending his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, falling to Abdulrashid Sadulaev 6-3 in the men's 97kg freestyle final on Saturday morning.
Snyder entered the match as an underdog to Sadulaev, who has now won 56 consecutive matches dating back to his loss to Snyder at the 2017 World Championships, and “The Russian Tank” proved to be too much for Snyder on Saturday.
Sadulaev took an early 2-0 lead in the first period after Snyder was put on the shot clock and was unable to score in 30 seconds and later was pushed out for another point for Sadulaev.
In the second period, Sadulaev took a 6-0 lead after a pair of two-point counters following Snyder shots. Despite scoring the final three points of the match on a takedown and a Sadulaev step out, the deficit proved to be too much for Snyder to overcome.
Nonetheless, Snyder becomes the first-ever wrestler from Ohio State to win multiple Olympic medals. After winning gold in Rio in 2016, he earned the silver medal in his weight class this time by rolling to victories in each of his first three matches against Canada's Jordan Steen (12-2), Italy's Abraham Conyedo (6-0) and Turkey's Suleyman Karadeniz (5-0).
Snyder, who now trains at Penn State after joining the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club in 2019, becomes the fourth Buckeye to earn a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Former women's soccer player Nichelle Prince won gold as a member of the victorious Canadian team, while current Ohio State swimmer Hunter Armstrong received a gold medal as a member of the United States' men's 4x100-meter medley relay team. Former OSU rower Ilse Paulis won a bronze for the Netherlands in the women's lightweight double sculls.