Yianni Wins Gold at Ziolkowski Memorial Tournament
Team USA Brings Home Seven More Medals
Yianni Diakomihalis, the soon to be junior from Cornell who is already a two time NCAA champion at 141lbs, continued his impressive win streak at the Ziolkowski Memorial Tournament this past weekend in Warsaw Poland. This is his second international victory in less than a month. He recently won gold at the Yasar Dogu tournament in Turkey.
Yianni went 4-0 on the day to bring home a first place at 65kg. His first match of the day was against Shaohua Yuan of China where he won 10-0. His next match of the day was against Sayatbek Okasov of Kazakhstan where he won 11-0. In the semi-finals, Yianni was supposed to wrestle Ismail Musukaev of Hungary, but he forfeited the match.
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In the finals, Yianni faced off against Gor Ogannesyan of Ukraine and unlike his three previous matches of the day, Yianni had a very close match. He found himself down 2-1 at the beginning of the match after a throw by Ogannesyan. Yianni stayed with it and earned himself two takedowns and gave up a back exposure to find himself ahead 5-4 at the break.
At the start of the second period, there was a scramble that was scored 4-2 in favor of Yianni bringing the score 9-6. Ogannesyan was able to turn Yianni one more time before the match ended making the final score 9-8.
Yianni was the only men’s freestyle competitor at the tournament from the United States, but there were some female freestyle wrestlers and Greco wrestlers from Team USA. Other than Yianni’s gold medal, six other U.S. wrestlers won bronze medals and one female wrestler brought home a gold medal.
For the women, Jaccara Winchester defeated fellow teammate Dominique Parrish 8-0 at 55kg and Victoria Francis defeated Banzragch Ogunsuren of Mongolia at 72kg in their bronze medal matches. Amy Fearnside brought home the only gold medal for the women at 50kg with a 7-0 victory over Valentina Islamova Brik of Kazakhstan.
In Greco-Roman, four men brought home bronze medals. Max Nowry defeated Murat Cankaya of Turkey with a 5-4 at 55kg. Ryan Mango won his match at 63 kg with a disqualification victory over Bilici Rahman of Turkey. At 72kg, Raymond Bunker won a 7-5 decision over Yilmaz Ahmet of Turkey, and John Stefanowicz defeated Movsar Duguchev of Russia at 82 kg.
Team USA had a great weekend in Poland. Yianni’s win only adds more excitement and anticipation to the possibility of seeing a third match wrestled for a spot to wrestle at the World Championships in September. There was controversy in the way Yianni and Zain Retherford’s second match ended at Final X and an arbitration date has been set for August 8th to determine if a third match between the two will take place.
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