Tokyo Olympics, wrestling: Steveson takes super-heavyweight gold with last-second victory, Sports News
American Gable Steveson, 21, surprised three-time world champion Georgia Geno Petriashvili with a last-minute victory in the super-heavyweight gold medal fight on Friday to claim his first Olympic medal.
Steveson took the lead when he slammed his 125kg opponent for a takedown that echoed around the nearly empty arena and nearly scored with a four-point throw, but the Georgian fired back fiercely with two blows to the belly to lead 8-5.
But with 10 seconds remaining, Steveson turned the tide with two spin-behind takedowns, the second arriving just as the buzzer sounded for 9-8.
Petriashvili’s corner challenged the final pullout decision in desperation and lost another point in the process, giving the American a 10-8 victory.
“Did you see that? Oh my god, wow. Not at all, not at all,” Steveson said in disbelief. “I’m speechless, I’ve never done it before, but today was the day. Shit!
“In the last few seconds I knew I could turn it on, I tricked it and he bought it. I looked at the clock and there was 0.3 (seconds) left… It was the match of the century. “
A visibly upset Petriashvili hit a sign and screamed in despair as he returned to the locker room. He did not look up once during the medal ceremony.
Iranian Amir Zare, 20, under-23 world champion, beat China’s Deng Zhiwei for his first senior medal while Turkish gold medalist Rio Taha Akgul settled for bronze after beating Mongolian Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur 5-0.
“I came here for back-to-back gold medals after Rio,” Akgul said. “But … an Olympic medal is always important and precious.”
JAPAN’S THIRD WRESTLING GOLD
Mayu Mukaida became the third Japanese wrestler to win a gold medal in Tokyo after defeating China Pang Qianyu 5-4 in the bantamweight freestyle final.
Pang took a 4-0 lead at the break, but Mukaida came back in the game to tie it at 4-4 before pushing the Chinese out of point bounds to seal the victory.
Japanese sisters Kawai – Risako and Yukako – won the light and middleweight gold medals while Yui Susaki is in the flyweight final on Saturday.
Belarusian Vanesa Kaladzinskaya won bronze after pinning American Jacarra Winchester while Mongolian Bat-Ochiryn Bolortuyaa won the second with a 14-4 victory over Cameroonian Joseph Tiako.
Two-time Russian world champion Zaurbek Sidakov added Olympic welterweight freestyle gold to his record after a 7-0 victory over Belarusian Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau.
American Kyle Dake beat Italy’s Frank Chamizo for the first bronze medal while Uzbekistan’s Bekzod Abdurakhmonov won the second in a snap, beating Kazakh Daniyar Kaisanov 13-2 in the first period.
“It was a long and difficult trip and it was not easy (after) my fifth place in Rio,” said Abdurakhmonov. “I had many sleepless nights after losing there and now thank goodness a lot of work has paid off.”