Posted: April 3, 2021 / 9:51 p.m. CDT / Updated: April 3, 2021 / 9:51 p.m. CDT
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Kyle Dake ended Jordan Burroughs’ decade of dominance in American wrestling, qualifying for the first time at the Olympics with a sweep in the men’s 74-kilogram freestyle final in the American trials on Saturday night.
Dake posted 3-0, 3-2 decisions against the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion who had dominated his weight division.
As time passed in their second fight, Dake patted a stunned Burroughs on the shoulders and chest and put his arm around his neck.
I just thanked him, Dake said. I told him I liked him. He pushed me to levels that I knew I had inside me. There were a lot of times I didn’t come out with the win and it was difficult. He’s a great champion and my goal is to bring home an Olympic gold medal. Tokyo, here we are.
Kyle Snyder will defend his gold at 97 kilograms in the men’s freestyle after a 10-0, 5-1 decision over Kollin Moore. At the age of 20 in 2016, Snyder became the youngest American wrestler to win Olympic gold.
Burroughs, 32, has represented the United States at the World Championships or the Olympics every year since 2011.
It just settles into the fact that a race is over for me, he said. It’s hard. It will be hard for a while. There is always more you can do and think about. I will rely on my family and the grace of God and move forward with confidence and hope that the future is bright for me.
Burroughs gave no indication that he was planning to retire.
I have a lot to think about moving forward, he said. Right now, you take it all in stride and try to continue to be confident in your abilities.
Dake was in charge throughout both matches. When Burroughs took a shot in the first fight, Dake turned it down and scored his own takedown. Dake led 3-0 in the second period of the second fight before being penalized with a point for passivity and Burroughs scored on a late forced withdrawal.
Burroughs had been 7-1 against Dake, beating him to the best of the three finals of the US World Trials in 2013, 15th and 17. Dake had won the first bout of the 2017 World Trials before Burroughs returned to earn the spot on the team. American.
Dake rose to win the world championships in 2018 and 2019, but Saturday marked the biggest breakthrough of his career.
Gable Steveson, co-winner of the 2021 Dan Hodge Trophy as an outstanding varsity wrestler, will head to the Olympics for the first time after beating two-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski a 20-4 combined at 125 kilograms in men’s freestyle .
With the crowd singing Backflip! Backflip !, Steveson came out of the mat with a spring and a backflip like he did two weeks ago when he won the NCAA heavyweight title for Minnesota.
People love it, I love it, ”he said. I am an artist, but I win games first.
Of the 18 winners on Saturday, 15 will be guaranteed to participate in the Olympics. The United States did not qualify at 65 kilograms in freestyle and 77 and 130 kilograms in Greco-Roman. To compete in Tokyo, the winners at these weights will have to finish first or second in the world qualifiers from May 6 to 9 in Bulgaria.
J’den Cox, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time world champion, said he was working on a call to USA Wrestling after being disqualified from practice for not gaining weight on Friday. He said legal action was also being considered.
Cox told NBC that his trainer, Kevin Jackson, told him the wrong time for the weigh-ins. Cox was scheduled to compete in the men’s freestyle at 97 kilograms.
If you’ve ever seen me wrestle or heard in my life, Cox said, I’m all about the fight. If you want a fight, we can do it.
More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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