Kyle Snyder competing in 96 kg World finals. Photo by Justin Hoch.

By Gary Abbott and Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling | Oct. 05, 2021, 4 p.m. (ET)

OSLO, Norway – Kyle Snyder claimed a silver medal at 97 kg on the final night of the men’s freestyle competition, his seventh straight World or Olympic medal, and the United States placed a close second as a team at the Senior World Championships on Tuesday night.

Snyder was defeated in the finals by his arch-rival, Abdulrashid Sadulaev of the Russian Wrestling Federation, 6-0.

Snyder and Sadulaev wrestled a familiar-paced match early, both being warned for passivity within the first 90 seconds. Snyder was put on the shot clock with 1:11 left in the first period and went into the break trailing in the 1-0 bout. Sadulaev boosted the pace early in the second period and almost forced Snyder out of bounds, but the American defended the attempt to keep the match within a point.

However, shortly after that exchange, Snyder was placed on the shot clock again and failed to post a score, giving Sadulaev the 2-0 advantage. Moments later came the match’s turning point, when Sadulaev worked a takedown and found a strong gut wrench to turn Snyder, boosting his lead to a 6-0 advantage that would prove to be the final score.

This was their fourth match, all in gold-medal finals at major events. Snyder beat Sadulaev in the 2017 World finals, while Sadualaev scored a stunning pin in the 2018 World finals. Sadulaev was able to defeat Snyder in the finals of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo just a few months ago.

In addition to his two Olympic medals, Snyder is also a 2015 and 2017 World champion, as well as 2018 and 2021 World silver medalist and 2019 World bronze medalist.

At 70 kg, two-time World medalist James Green was not eligible for repechage after a 2-1 record on Monday. However, Green scored a pair of technical falls and collected enough classification points to place seventh and earn eight team points for the USA.

The team race was also up for grabs during the final day, with the Neutral Athletes from the Russian Wrestling Federation emerging with the title with 173 points, the United States in second with 168 points and Iran in third with 162 points. These teams created separation from the rest of the field, as fourth place Georgia had just 68 points.

The United States won seven medals in the 10 World Championships weight classes, another strong performance after a five medal performance at the 2020 Olympic Games. Team USA captured three gold medals from Thomas Gilman at 57 kg, Kyle Dake at 74 kg and Jordan Burroughs at 79 kg, three silver medals from Snyder, Daton Fix at 61 kg and David Taylor at 86 kg, plus one bronze medal from J’den Cox at 92 kg.

At Oslo, Norway, October 5

Group Three Men’s freestyle final results

70 kg
Gold – Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Poland)
Silver – Ernazar Akmataliev (Kyrgyzstan)
Bronze – Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Evgenii Zherbaev (Russian Wrestling Federation)
5th – Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan)
5th – Arman Andreasyan (Armenia)
7th – James Green (USA)
8th – Erfan Elahi (Iran)
9th – Mustafa Kaya (Turkey)
10th – Nicolae Cojocaru (Great Britain)
Gold – Gadzhiev dec. Akmataliev, 2-1
Bronze – Iakobishvili dec. Bayramov, 4-3
Bronze – Zherbaev dec. Andreasyan, 6-0

97 kg
Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russian Wrestling Federation)
Silver – Kyle Snyder (USA)
Bronze – Mojtaba Goleij (Iran)
Bronze – Mahamed Zakariiev (Ukraine)
5th – Batzul Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia)
5th – Aliaksander Hushtyn (Belarus)
7th – Magomedgadji Nurov (North Macedonia)
8th – Radu Lefter (Moldova)
9th – Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey)
10th – Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan)
Gold – Sadulaev dec. Snyder, 6-0
Bronze – Zakariiev dec. Hushtyn, 9-3
Bronze – Goleij tech fall Ulziisaikhan, 10-0 4:17

U.S. men’s freestyle Group Three final results

70 kg – James Green (Blacksburg, Va./Southeast RTC/Titan Mercury WC), 7th place
WIN Seungchul Lee (Korea), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Shamil Ustaev (Germany), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan), 6-5

97 kg – No. 2 seed Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), silver medal
WIN Batzul Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia), tech. fall 14-4
WIN Magomedgadji Nurov (North Macedonia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Mojtaba Goleij (Iran), 3-2
LOSS Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russian Wrestling Federation), 6-0

Final Team Standings
1. Russian Wrestling Federation, 173
2. USA, 168
3. Iran, 162
4. Georgia, 68
5. Turkey, 58
6. Mongolia, 56
7. Belarus, 45
8. Azerbaijan, 42
9. Poland, 39
10. Armenia, 39
11. Kyrgyzstan, 35
12. Ukraine, 35
13. Japan, 33
14. Slovakia, 30
15. Kazakhstan, 22
16. India, 20
17. Bulgaria, 20
18. Puerto Rico, 16
19. Germany, 15
20. North Macedonia, 14