Thomas Gilman (USA) gets an ankle lace on Horst Lehr of Germany in the 57 kg World semifinals. Photo by Justin Hoch.

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 03, 2021, 4:27 p.m. (ET)

OSLO, Norway – The United States placed two wrestlers in Monday night’s gold-medal finals in men’s freestyle at the Senior Worlds on Sunday night after big wins in the Group Two semifinal round.

Advancing to the championship finals are 2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs at 79 kg, and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman at 57 kg. Both will be facing opponents from Iran in the finals.

Burroughs defeated Ryuki Yoshida of Japan, 10-1, to reach the finals his first year competing up at 79 kg. Burroughs fell behind 1-0 after Yoshida secured a step out, but was in command the rest of the way. A step out and a double leg takedown gave Burroughs a 3-1 lead at the break. He blew it open with a step out, followed by takedown and turn to lead, 8-1. A go-behind takedown closed out the victory for Burroughs.

It will be Burroughs’ sixth gold-medal finals of his career, and he won the five previous times, with his 2012 Olympic gold medal and his four World titles.

Burroughs will face Mohammed Ashghar Nokhodilarimi of Iran in the finals, an athlete he has never faced. Nokhodilarimi was a 2019 U23 World silver medalist and a 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist.

Gilman got stronger as his semifinals match went on, ultimately securing a 15-5 technical fall over Horst Lehr of Germany. Lehr scored the first takedown then forced a step out to take a 3-0 lead on Gilman. In an active scramble, Lehr scored an exposure, but Gilman reversed for two points then added another turn to tie it at 5-5. Gilman added two step outs to lead 7-5 at the break. The second period was all Gilman, as he added three takedowns and a gut wrench turn to secure the 10-point margin of victory.

Gilman will be in his second career World finals, after placing second at the 2017 Senior World Championships, which was his first U.S. Senior-level team. Gilman also competed at the 2018 Senior Worlds, placing fifth.

Gilman’s finals opponent is Alireza Nosratolah Sarlak of Iran, a 2021 Asian silver medalist and a 2019 U23 World bronze medalist.

2016 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World champion J’den Cox was edged in the semifinals at 92 kg, losing to Kamran Ghasempour of Iran in a 3-3 criteria decision. Ghasempour was a 2021 Asian champion and 2018 U23 World champion.

Ghasempour scored first on a takedown to lead 2-0, but Cox got a point when Ghasempour was placed on the activity clock and did not score, making it 2-1. Cox was penalized with one point and a caution for fleeing, giving Ghasempour a 3-1. When Cox scored a takedown as time ran out to tie it at 3-3, Ghasempour won on criteria.

Cox will compete on Monday in a bronze-medal match, against an opponent to be determined in Monday morning’s repechage rounds.

Cox has won a medal in every World or Olympic event he has ever entered, with 2018 and 2019 World golds, a 2016 Olympic bronze and a 2017 World bronze. He will compete for his fifth career Senior medal on Monday.

The other U.S. wrestler in Group Two in men’s freestyle, Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC), went 1-1 at 65 kg and was not eligible for repechage.

Iran pushed all four of its semifinalists into Monday night’s finals, which will tighten up the team race. The United States and the Russian Wrestling Federation also qualified two more for the finals. No other nations were able to made the gold-medal finals in Group Two in men’s freestyle.

At Oslo, Norway, October 3

Group Two men’s freestyle finals pairings
57 kg – Thomas Gilman (USA) vs. Alireza Nosratolah Sarlak (Iran)
65 kg – Amirmohammad Yazdani Cherati (Iran) vs. Zagir Shakiev (Russian Wrestling Federation)
79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Mohammed Ashghar Nokhodilarimi (Iran)
92 kg – Magomed Kurbanov (Russian Wrestling Federation) vs. Kamran Ghasempour (Iran)

Group Two men’s freestyle semifinal results

57 kg
Thomas Gilman (USA) tech. fall Horst Lehr (Germany), 15-5, 5:27
Alireza Nosratolah Sarlak (Iran) dec. Sulyeman Atli (Turkey), 7-4

65 kg
Amirmohammad Yazdani Cherati (Iran) dec. Alibek Osmonov (Kyrgyzstan), 5-4
Zagir Shakiev (Russian Wrestling Federation) dec.Tulga Tumur Ochir (Mongolia), 4-4

79 kg
Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Ryuki Yoshida (Japan), 10-1
Mohammed Ashghar Nokhodilarimi (Iran) dec. Nika Kentchadze (Georgia), 6-5

92 kg
Magomed Kurbanov (Russian Wrestling Federation) dec. Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan), 7-4
Kamran Ghasempour (Iran) dec. J’den Cox (USA), 3-3

U.S. men’s freestyle Group Two results

57 kg – No. 1 seed Thomas Gilman (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Abubakr Mutaliev (Russian Wrestling Federation), pin 1:16
WIN Vladimir Egorov (North Macedonia), tech. fall, 11-1
WIN Horst Lehr (Germany), tech. fall, 15-5
Gold Medal Finals – Alireza Nosratolah Sarlak (Iran)

65 kg – Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Colin Realbuto (Italy), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia), 5-1

79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Pennsylvania RTC/Sunkist Kids)
WIN Samuel Barmish (Canada), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Bolat Sakayev (Kazakhstan), forfeit, 0:00
WIN Radik Valiev (Russian Wrestling Federation), 9-4
WIN Ryuki Yoshida (Japan), 10-1
Gold Medal Finals – vs. Mohammed Ashghar Nokhodilarimi of Iran

92 kg – J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New Jersey RTC/Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Orgilokh Dagvadorj (Mongolia), tech. fall, 13-2
WIN Simone Iannattoni (Italy), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Jeremy Poirier (Canada), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Kamran Ghasempour (Iran), 3-3
Bronze Medal Match – opponent to be determined