BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Kyle Snyder vs Abdulrashid Sadulaev was the most anticipated wrestling match in history last year–at least since the invention of the internet. Sadulaev was 21 years old and going for his fourth straight world title. Snyder was 21 years old and going for his third. The winner of the match would also secure the team title for his country. And it lived up to the hype.
This year, not so much. The team score was already locked for Russia, and the match only lasted 70 seconds.
Abdulrashid Sadulaev, the Russian Tank, pins Kyle Snyder in 70 seconds in the Rematch of the Century at wrestling world championships. Snyder's first loss at an Olympics or worlds. Shocking. pic.twitter.com/aT7Gyf30RI
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) October 23, 2018
If you’ve been to a Pitt dual recently and think you’ve seen that move before, you have. Taleb Rahmani has hit it on multiple occasions, including this one to win the ACC title.
In a post-match interview Snyder summed it up well: “The finals ended quickly, so that stunk.” Nothing like brutal honesty.
Now Sadulaev has 4 golds and 1 silver and Snyder has 3 golds and 1 silver. They will surely meet again for the rubber match.
As mentioned in the previous article, James Green did not score any team points for the US. He won his first match 6-5 over Khadzhimur Gadzhiyez, the 2018 junior world champ from Azerbaijan. In his second match Green was leading 2-2 on criteria but gave up a takedown as time expired. That loss came to eventual 5th place finisher Byambadorj Bat Erdene of Mongolia. James Green has a bronze and silver medal from prior world championships. He will be back.
The final team scores for the top ten are as follows:
- Russia: 178
- USA: 150
- Georgia: 105
- Cuba: 67
- Japan: 67
- Iran: 65
- Mongolia: 57
- Turkey: 53
- Azerbaijan: 44
- Belarus: 41
Not enough good things can be said about Cuba’s performance. They only brought five guys! Double their score and they are contending with the United States. That’s impressive for a little island. Speaking of little, Georgia isn’t exactly big, and one of their best wrestlers, Vladimir Khinchegashvili, didn’t score any points. Unlike a lot of Olympic sports, there is always parity in wrestling, and that’s what keeps it interesting.