Last year, when Jordan Burroughs won his Olympic gold medal, I wrote, "The wrestling superman is real and he's American."
I mention this for two reasons. First, I thought that I was super clever in writing that, and wanted to show off my cleverness yet again. Second, it's true. Burroughs is insanely good. Once again, he demonstrated distinct superiority to the rest of his weight class at the highest level of wrestling. At the beginning of the day, I thought that perhaps his weight was a little thin on talent, but after watching the repechage matches featuring wrestlers who placed behind Burroughs, I realized that the 74kg class contained plenty of quality, but Burroughs, simply put, is best on the planet by a decent margin.
Consider also that we now know that Burroughs broke his ankle a month ago, throwing this entire championship run into doubt. Broken bones, apparently, don't matter much to wrestling supermen. Burroughs did have some tense moments against a game Iranian in finals, but by and large, he was the same Jordan Burroughs we are all used to seeing, calmly taking his customary spot on the top of the podium, and the top of the freestyle wrestling world for the third straight year.
The American women had a good day as well. Alyssa Lampe at 48kg earned a well deserved bronze medal with a brilliant performance in her final match. Victoria Anthony at 51kg placed fifth after suffering a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals, and then falling in her bronze medal match.
Men's freestyle competition has now concluded. For the first time since 2002, Iran is the team champion. Largely on the strength of Burroughs's performance, the USA finished tied for fourth with Armenia. (Russia got 2nd, Ukraine 3rd, Cuba 6th, India 7th.
Gold – Jordan Burroughs (USA)
Silver – Ezzatollah Akbari (Iran)
Bronze – Ali Shabanov (Belarus)
Bronze – Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan)
Burroughs received a stiff challenge in his finals match from the unheralded Akbari. In the end however, his speed and relentless movement proved too much for the Iranian
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold – Eri Tosaka (Japan)
Silver – Mayellis Castillo (Venezuela)
Bronze – Alyssa Lampe (USA)
Bronze – Cheng Xu (China)
Eri Tosaka rose to power today, the latest great female wrestler from Japan.
51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Gold – Yanan Sun (China)
Silver – Erdennechimeg Sumiya (Mongolia)
Bronze – Sim Hyang So (North Korea)
Bronze – Jessica MacDonald (Canada)
China, the sleeping giant of the wrestling world struck gold with Yanan Sun at 51kg
Join me again tomorrow morning at 7 am as the live stream resumes on Bloody Elbow