Wrestling

Snyder Becomes Youngest World Champion In United States Wrestling History

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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

COLUMBUS, Ohio – History. Made. Kyle Snyder went to Las Vegas for the Senior World Championships with one goal – become a World champion. Mission Accomplished.

The 2013 Junior World Champion, Snyder, added to a resume that is becoming more crowded with jaw-dropping accomplishments by the month. He is the youngest freestyle World champion is USA Wrestling history and did it by turning in a phenomenal performance on Friday, winning five matches, including a dramatic ending in the gold medal round at 97 kg/213 lbs. Trailing 4-3 with less than a minute remaining, Snyder got a takedown against returning World champion Abdusalam Gadisov of Russia and ultimately prevailed by criteria with the score tied at 5-5.

Snyder went ahead 3-1 with 2:40 left in the match, but Gadisov quickly responded with a takedown to knot the score at 3-3 and then went ahead 4-3 after Snyder stepped out. But then the champion went to work, scoring a takedown for a 5-4 lead and eventually hanging on for the remaining 15 seconds of regulation.

“I’ve been thinking about this since the NCAA finals,” said Snyder, who was the national runner-up this past season for the NCAA champion Buckeyes as a true freshman at 197 lbs. “I’ve worked hard with my coaches at Ohio State to get it done, and I wasn’t going to walk off that mat without getting a gold medal.”

In the semifinals, Snyder started quickly before powering to a hard-fought 6-3 win over 2012 University World bronze medalist Abbas Tahan of Iran.

“It is amazing hearing the USA chants, especially on a day like today – September 11,” said Snyder. “It’s important to come out here and represent your country to the best of your ability.”

Snyder started strong with a 2-1 win over 2013 World bronze medalist Pablo Oliinyk of Ukraine in the first round. Snyder picked up a pair of points after Oliinyk twice was put on the shot clock for passivity.

Snyder came right back to dominate No. 8 Radoslaw Baran of Poland 8-0 in the second round. Snyder then rolled past Pan American Games bronze medalist Jose Diaz of Venezuela 11-1 in the quarterfinals.

“I took second at Big Tens and second at NCAAs. I wasn’t going to take silver at Worlds,” Snyder said.

Also representing the Buckeyes in Las Vegas was Reece Humphrey, a two-time All-American from 2005-10. Humphrey opened by holding off World bronze medalist Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the first round at 61 kg/134 lbs. The match ended in an 11-11 deadlock, but Humphrey won on criteria by virtue of scoring with a spectacular four-point throw.

Humphrey then dropped a 6-0 decision to 2013 Junior World silver medalist Nomin Batbold of Mongolia in the second round. Humphrey was eliminated when he lost by fall to India’s Bajrang in the repechage.

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