US wins wrestling World Cup for 1st time in 15 years
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The United State won wrestling’s World Cup for the first time in 15 years Sunday, beating Azerbaijan in the final.
The victory marked the second consecutive major international tournament won by the Americans, who won the team crown at last year’s world championships.
This title came with something of an asterisk because wrestling powerhouses Russia and Iran weren’t in the field. The Russians blamed their absence on visa issues, while Iran’s national federation has been in flux since its president’s recent departure.
Still, multiple world champions Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder went 4-0 this weekend to lead the Americans, who won their first World Cup since 2003. The U.S. had finished second both in 2015 and last year in Kermanshah, Iran.
Four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake had perhaps his most impressive international performance to date by also sweeping his four matches.
The U.S. stormed into the semifinals after two dominant dual meets on Saturday. The Americans blanked India, Russia’s replacement, and then won seven straight matches to easily handle Japan 7-3.
The U.S. opened Sunday with an 8-2 victory over Georgia, a meet in which it outscored the Georgians 75-14.
Former Ohio State star Logan Stieber put the Americans on the path to victory against Azerbaijan with an upset of three-time world champion Haji Aliyev.
Snyder, also a Buckeye, clinched the victory for the U.S. with a 14-3 win over Roman Bakirov.
”I love being the guy who seals the deal,” said Snyder, whose victory over Russian star Abdulrashid Sadulaev in Paris last fall gave the Americans their first team world championship since 1995.