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Taylor dominates to reach wrestling final; Maroulis to try for bronze

Taylor dominates to reach wrestling final; Maroulis to try for bronze
Posted at 10:11 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 08:30:32-04

Men's wrestling

U.S. wrestler David Taylor was barely tested Wednesday as he reached the final in the 86kg class.

The 2018 world champion Taylor, 30, bossed Belarus' Ali Shabanau in his first match of the Tokyo Games, posting a gaudy 11-0 win. He then met San Marino's Miles Amine in a quarterfinal and won 12-2. His semifinal was another 10-point win, 10-0 over India's Deepak Punia.

Another American wrestler active Tuesday, Thomas Gilman, tangled with Russian Olympic Committee representative Zaur Uguev in the 57kg freestyle class. Uguev led 1-0 and 3-1, but Gilman rallied to take a 4-3 lead with just under a minute left on the clock. Uguev, however, took down Gilman to go back on top, 5-4, essentially ending Gilman's Olympics with five seconds left in the match.

Two Greco-Roman weight classes had their finals, with Iran's Mohammedreza Geraei winning 9-1 in the 67kg class and Ukraine's Zhan Beleniuk winning at 87kg. Beleniuk, whose father was killed in the Rwandan Civil War, is the first person of mixed race to be elected to Ukraine’s parliament.

SEE MORE: After 2 big wins, David Taylor advances to freestyle semis

Women's wrestling

Helen Maroulis missed out on a chance to win a second gold medal, losing a 57kg semifinal bout to Japan's Kawai Risako by a tight 2-1 decision.

The 29-year-old American, who won at 53kg in Rio and followed up with a world championship at 58k the next year, trailed 3-0 and 4-2 in her first match but flipped the script on China's Rong Ningning, taking an 8-4 decision. Maroulis had an easier time in her quarterfinal bout with Ukraine's Tetyana Kit, taking command in the second period to win 8-0.

Kawai won gold at 63kg in 2016. The gold medal in that weight class, or at least the rough equivalent of 62kg, will stay in the family, as Kawai Yukako, won gold in the last match Wednesday. 

There was a scary moment in the match prior to Maroulis' bout with Kawai, as France's Mathilde Riviere nearly required a stretcher to get off the mat in a loss to Mongolia's Boldsaikhany Khongorzul. The match ended with Riviere walking off the mat and taking a seat in a wheelchair with an apparent upper body injury.

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