PARIS — Ohio State star Kyle Snyder scored a late takedown of Olympic gold medalist Abdusalim Sadulaev in the deciding match, and the United States won the world freestyle wrestling title Saturday night for the first time in 22 years.
The U.S. and Russia were tied heading into the highly anticipated match between Snyder and Sadulaev, who moved up to the 213-pound weight class to challenge the American. Snyder, the 2016 Olympic champion who led Ohio State to its second straight NCAA title last season, trailed before his spin-behind takedown in the final 20 seconds gave him a 6-5 victory.
Snyder attended and graduated from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs while wrestling at the Olympic Training Center.
“I am a happy man. I would have been happy with that performance, even if I lost. I wrestled really hard,” Snyder said. “He felt smaller. I felt stronger than him. That is what made him tired. He was definitely smaller for the weight class.”
Sadulaev lost for the first time since November 2013.
Veteran Jordan Burroughs also won a gold medal for the U.S. at 163 pounds. His victory over 2014 world champion Khetik Tsabalov of Russia gave him his fourth career world title to go along with a 2012 Olympic gold. Burroughs did not make the podium at last year’s Olympics.
“It was amazing. This moment has been in my mind. I have visualized this for a long period of time,” Burroughs said. “Literally, as soon as I stepped off the mat in Rio, I remember doing an interview with USA Wrestling and saying I will be a world champion again. It came a lot sooner than a lot of people expected it to.”
Team USA won six freestyle medals at the world championships for the first time since 1995, which was the last year it won the team title. The U.S. won its first freestyle title in 1993.