The pinnacle of the sport, the Olympic Games, goes down this August in Brazil.
Bracket Reactions For Molinaro & Snyder
Aug 20, 2016
The draws are out for the final day of Olympic wrestling, and both bring tough roads to the finals. However, one is decidedly tougher.
Nothing has come easy to Frank Molinaro this year, and his Olympic bracket is no different. He lands on the top side of an extremely stacked half, starting with Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (POL).
One of the guys involved in the Meldonium controversy earlier this year, Gadzhiev is on a 26-match winning streak since last September. In that time, he won the 70kg Euro title, as well as the Dan Kolov and European qualifier.
Molinaro will absolutely need to use the same gameplan he has been using since February, of not caring about the shot clock and getting four pointers. Cutting down Gadzhiev’s leg attacks and dictating the pace will be crucial in the first match of the day.
Follow that up with the reigning Olympic champ in Toghrul Asgarov (AZE), whom we saw come back from five down to beat Molinaro in the Grand Prix of Germany finals last month. Asgarov is not quite the same wrestler he was four years ago, but it is hard to think he won’t be in peak form tomorrow.
The key in their first match was that Molinaro’s feet stopped moving in the second period, and Asgarov was able to repeatedly push him out.
Should he navigate those buzzsaws, the semifinals holds Frank Chamizo (ITA), the defending world champion and all around best wrestler at this weight. There is perhaps no one else at 65kg with his array of defensive counters and ability to stalemate precarious positions.
On the bottom side, Ramonov has a great shot to make the finals, where he can definitely prove whether or not he is better than Navruzov or Novachkov. Very curious to see if Ramonov has modified his gut wrench at all to prevent getting stepped over.
For world champ Kyle Snyder, a very favorable draw. It is no tougher than his worlds bracket last year and in fact might be easier.
It starts off with Javier Cortina Lacerra (CUB), whom Snyder has beaten several times. Next up is 2011 bronze Albert Saritov, though that bronze came with Russia. Now with Romania, Saritov presents a likely low scoring defensive match that Snyder will need to win with one takedown.
Snyder’s semi could either be Odikadze (GEO) or the world’s hairiest man Georgi Ketoev (ARM). Snyder was very close with Odikadze at the World Cup, so that could be another tight match.
Ketoev had an excellent run from 2007-09, winning a world title, Olympic bronze and making two Euro finals. Snyder will need to avoid the big move, like what cost him the match against Gatsalov.