CORALVILLE, Ia. — Greetings from Xtream Arena. The 2022 UWW men’s and women’s freestyle World Cup competitions, wrestling’s international dual-meet championships, ran all day Saturday. It was a blast.
This is the first time ever the men’s and women’s wrestling World Cups are being held together, making this event historic. It is also the first time the women’s freestyle World Cup is being held in the United States, period, adding to the growing excitement of girls and women’s wrestling both here in Iowa and around the country.
Much like the FIFA World Cup, wrestling’s World Cup begins with group stages, which went all day Saturday. The U.S. men’s freestyle team notched wins over Mongolia and Georgia to reach the World Cup final. The U.S. women’s freestyle team lost to China but then beat the All-World team and will wrestle for third-place on Sunday.
Here are all of Saturday’s World Cup results:
- Group A, men’s freestyle: USA over Mongolia, 7-3
- Group A, women’s freestyle: Mongolia over Japan, 5-5 (22-18)
- Group B, men’s freestyle: Iran over Japan, 9-1
- Group B, women’s freestyle: China over USA, 8-2
SESSION 2, 3PM-5:45PM
- Group A, men’s freestyle: Georgia over Mongolia, 7-3
- Group A, women’s freestyle: Ukraine over Mongolia, 7-3
- Group B, men’s freestyle: All-World Team over Japan, 9-1
- Group B, women’s freestyle: China over All-World Team, 5-5 (22-19)
SESSION 3, 6PM-8:45PM
- Group A, men’s freestyle: USA over Georgia, 10-0
- Group A, women’s freestyle: Ukraine over Japan, 5-5 (24-17)
- Group B, men’s freestyle: Iran over All-World Team, 6-4
- Group B, women’s freestyle: USA over All-World Team, 6-4
We provided live updates here all day, on Team USA’s performances as well as notable results from every dual.
USA’s men’s freestyle results at the Wrestling World Cup
USA Men’s Freestyle, Round 1: 7-3 win over Mongolia
- 57-kg: Zane Richards (USA) tech. fall Zanabazar Zandanbud (MGL), 10-0
- 61-kg: Seth Gross (USA) wins by forfeit
- 65-kg: Tulga Tumur Ochir (MGL) over Yianni Diakomihalis (USA), 10-3
- 70-kg: Tyler Berger (USA) tech. fall Munkhtulga Zuunbayan (MGL), 10-0
- 74-kg: Sumiyabazar Zandanbud (MGL) over Vincenzo Joseph (USA), 8-0
- 79-kg: Jordan Burroughs (USA) tech. fall Temuujin Mendbileg (MGL), 10-0
- 86-kg: Zahid Valencia (USA) tech. fall Bat Erdene Byasgalan (MGL), 10-0
- 92-kg: Nate Jackson (USA) wins by forfeit
- 97-kg: Kyle Snyder (USA) wins by default over Batzul Ulziisaikhan (MGL)
- 125-kg: Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (MGL) over Hayden Zillmer (USA), 3-1
Notes/Observations: Solid opening win for the U.S. men. Biggest highlight came right away, when Richards rolled up Zandanbud, a 2022 world bronze medalist, 10-0 to open the dual. Locked up a cradle for an exposure after an early takedown, too. Only real hiccups came at 65-kg and 74-kg. At 65, Yianni never looked comfortable in 10-3 loss. Tumur Ochir, a 2021 world bronze medalist, did well controlling ties. Scored an early takedown and turn to lead 4-0, then iced the match with a 4-point arm-spin. At 74, Zandanbud never let Vincenzo find a rhythm, rolling to an 8-0 lead. Mongolia closed the dual with Munkhtur, a 2022 world silver medalist, beating Zillmer 3-1. A ‘Go Big Red’ chant broke out for Berger and Burroughs, who are both Nebraska alumni. Burroughs took a selfie with the Mongolia coach after his win, which was fun. USA gets a tough Georgia team next.
USA Men’s Freestyle, Round 3: 10-0 over Georgia
- 57-kg: Nick Suriano (USA) over Beka Bujiashvili (GEO), 6-3
- 61-kg: Seth Gross (USA) tech. fall Teimuraz Vanishvili (GEO), 11-0
- 65-kg: Yianni Diakomihalis (USA) tech. fall Beka Lomtadze (GEO), 11-0
- 70-kg: Alec Pantaleo (USA) over Giorgi Ekbakidze (GEO), 8-0
- 74-kg: Jason Nolf (USA) tech. fall Giorgi Sulava (GEO), 10-0
- 79-kg: Jordan Burroughs (USA) over Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (GEO), 5-3
- 86-kg: Zahid Valencia (USA) tech. fall Tarzan Maisuradze (GEO), 11-0
- 92-kg: Nate Jackson (USA) over Miriani Maisuradze (GEO), 10-4
- 97-kg: Kyle Snyder (USA) over Givi Matcharashvili (GEO), 6-0
- 125-kg: Hayden Zillmer (USA) over Soloman Manashvili (GEO), 8-7
Notes/Observations: Clean sweep for USA men’s freestyle to polish off a perfect 2-0 day. They advance to the men’s freestyle World Cup final on Sunday evening. Yianni bounced back with a fast-and-furious technical fall over Lomtadze, a 2019 world champ, securing an 11-0 win in just 1:21. Burroughs officially clinched the dual with a come-from-behind 5-3 win over Gamkrelidze, a past U23 world champ. And Zillmer polished off the perfect performance with yet another rally, turning a 5-0 deficit into an 8-7 win to complete the sweep.
USA’s women’s freestyle results at the Wrestling World Cup
USA Women’s Freestyle, Round 1: 8-2 loss to China
- 50-kg: Jiang Zhu (CHN) tech. fall Emily Shilson (USA), 10-0
- 53-kg: Li Deng (CHN) tech. fall Amy Fearnside (USA), 10-0
- 55-kg: Qianyu Pang (CHN) over Jenna Burkert (USA), 4-0
- 57-kg: Yongxin Feng (CHN) tech. fall Amanda Martinez (USA), 10-0
- 59-kg: Qi Zhang (CHN) tech. fall Michaela Beck (USA), 11-0
- 62-kg: Xiaojuan Luo (CHN) over Kayla Miracle (USA), 6-4
- 65-kg: Jia Long (CHN) over Mallory Velte (USA), 12-8
- 68-kg: Feng Zhou (CHN) tech. fall Sienna Ramirez (USA), 10-0
- 72-kg: Amit Elor (USA) over Qiandegenchagan (CHN), 5-0
- 76-kg: Dymond Guilford (USA) over Juan Wang (CHN), 7-2
Notes/Observations: Rough start here for the U.S. women. China came to wrestle and USA didn’t match their intensity. USA women failed to score a single match point in the first five matches and scored just 24 points total across all 10 weights. Elor and Guilford gave Team USA wins at the end, but a tough all-around showing from Team USA. Miracle and Velte both led their matches at one point — Miracle led 2-2 on criteria after a takedown in the second period; Velte led 8-2 after a 4-point blast-double — but both ultimately lost to 2022 world medalists. This China team is tough, with four Senior world medalists plus some accomplished age-level world medalists, but the USA women were outmatched and out-wrestled. They’ll get the All-World Team next.
USA Women’s Freestyle, Round 3: 6-4 over All-World Team
- 50-kg: Erin Golston (USA) over Anna Lukasiak (Poland), 6-0
- 53-kg: Maria Prevolaraki (Greece) over Felicity Taylor (USA), 4-1
- 55-kg: Jenna Burkert (USA) over Karla Godinez (Canada), 4-0
- 57-kg: Alex Hedrick (USA) by forfeit
- 59-kg: Anastasia Nichita (Moldova) over Lexie Basham (USA), 10-2
- 62-kg: Kayla Miracle (USA) over Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan), 9-3
- 65-kg: Mallory Velte (USA) pinned Mimi Hristova (Bulgaria) in 5:31
- 68-kg: Irina Ringaci (Moldova) over Solin Piearcy (USA), 4-2
- 72-kg: Zhamila Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan) over Skylar Grote (USA), 2-0
- 76-kg: Yelena Makoyed (USA) pinned Yasemin Adar (Turkey) in 3:32
Notes/Observations: Night-and-day difference from the U.S. women’s freestyle team. After a rough start against China, who ultimately made the final, USA’s women’s freestylers thump an incredibly-talented All-World team, 6-4. It helped that Alex Hedrick accepted a forfeit at 57-kg, but Kayla Miracle and Yelena Makoyed both beat world champs, Mallory Velte locked up a second-period fall over Bulgaria’s Mimi Hristova, and Jenna Burkert beat a world bronze medalist. This win pushes the U.S. women’s freestyle team into Sunday’s third-place dual against Mongolia.
More results from wrestling’s World Cup
Women’s Freestyle, Group A, Round 1: Mongolia over Japan, 5-5 (22-18 on tiebreakers)
- Notes/Observations: How’s this for an opening-round stunner? Mongolia women rally from down 4-1 to beat Japan via tiebreaker criteria (which is explained below) after the dual end 5-5 in matches. Japan entered the favorite in the women’s freestyle competition, despite sending a young team that doesn’t have a ton of Senior-level experience but is still very credentialed at the various age-level world tournaments. This might throw a wrench into how Group A in women’s freestyle gets decided today. Stay tuned.
Men’s Freestyle, Group B, Round 1: Iran over Japan, 9-1
- Notes/Observations: Iran thumps Japan in the men’s freestyle Group B opener. Japan’s only win came at 61-kg, where Kaito Morikawa won by a 13-2 technical fall. Otherwise, Iran rolled, closing with five consecutive technical fall victories from 79-kg through heavyweight. Impressive performance to start.
Men’s Freestyle, Group A, Round 2: Georgia over Mongolia, 7-3
- Notes/Observations: Mongolia won two of the first three weights, then Georgia rolled, winning the next five in a row, twice by tech, another by fall, and accepting a pair of forfeits. Mongolia won’t advance to Sunday’s placement rounds after dropping both duals on Saturday. Georgia’s win sets up a winner-to-the-final matchup with the United States in Session III. Should be fun!
Women’s Freestyle, Group A, Round 2: Ukraine over Mongolia, 7-3
- Notes/Observations: After Mongolia won the first two weights, Ukraine rolled up back-to-back-to-back pins to surge ahead, 3-2, then closed the dual by winning the final four weights, highlighted by Kateryna Zelenykh’s WILD 12-10 win over Orkhon Purevodrj at 65-kg. It sets up an interesting dynamic in Session III. If Ukraine can beat Japan, that would send Ukraine to Sunday’s finals and also knock out Japan. But if Japan wins, we’d need tiebreakers to decide Group A’s final placements in women’s freestyle. Stay tuned!
Men’s Freestyle, Group B, Round 2: All-World over Japan, 9-1
- Notes/Observations: Tough sledding for Japan men’s freestyle today, but Kaito Morikawa went 2-0 today with two technical falls at 61-kg. That’s good stuff. These All-World teams are stacked, though. After Morikawa won to make it 1-1 after two weights, it was all All-World the rest of the way. They rolled up six technical falls to cruise to victory, setting up a winner-goes-to-the-finals matchup against Iran in Session III.
Women’s Freestyle, Group B, Round 2: China over All-World, 5-5 (22-19 tiebreakers)
- Notes/Observations: WILD dual here, and China emerges on a walk-off win from Juan Wang, 5-1 over two-time world champion Yasemin Adar of Turkey, giving China a criteria win after the dual ended 5-5 in matches. China won the first four matches, then the All-World team rattled off five consecutive victories. Then Wang won to force the dual-meet tiebreaker. That’s the second dual today that’s required a tiebreaker to decide the winner.
Women’s Freestyle, Group A, Round 3: Ukraine over Japan, 5-5 (24-17)
- Notes/Observations: Japan’s young star-studded roster drops its second 5-5 dual, this time to Ukraine, and gets bounced from the women’s freestyle World Cup. Ukraine won two matches via shutout, plus one by fall and another by forfeit, to go 2-0 on Saturday and advance to Sunday’s World Cup final against China. An awesome story gets much, much cooler.
Men’s Freestyle, Group B, Round 3: Iran over All-World, 6-4
- Notes/Observations: Iran won the final two bouts to close out the All-World Team and finish the day 2-0, setting up the highly-anticipated men’s freestyle World Cup final between Iran and the United States. Giddy up!
MORE WRESTLING WORLD CUP COVERAGE
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.