picture of 2016 Olympic Games

The pinnacle of the sport, the Olympic Games, goes down this August in Brazil.


What Just Happened!? Crazy Last Day Of Olympics Broken Down

Aug 21, 2016

What a crazy way to end the Olympics, so much action packed into this final day

Kyle Snyder becomes the youngest Olympic Champion in US history. Check out the full details here

Frank Molinaro went from sixth at US National in December to fifth at the Olympics. He snapped a 26-match winning streak against Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (POL), who entered the Olympics ranked second in the world at 70kg. He beat the Ukrainian who in a roundabout way was responsible for him being in the Olympics in the first place. And then he was seconds away from knocking off the defending world champ to win a bronze medal. Quite the run, from Jersey state champ to NCAA champ at Penn State to Olympian.

So that was the story for the Americans, gold and fifth at our last two weights. Although no team score is kept, the United States unofficially came in third place with 32 points, right ahead of Russia at 31 and behind Iran with 35 points.

At 97kg, the four semifinalists were ranked third, fourth, sixth and eighth in the world. Although it appeared many of the top wrestlers made it, No. 1 Anzor Boltukeav was upset in round one. After dominating this entire year, he melted down against Valerii Andriitsev (UKR) and was not pulled back into repechage.

Right as Boltukaev was losing, Reza Yazdani of Iran was taking on eventual silver medalist Khetag Gazyumov (AZE). At the end of the first period, Gazyumov was leading 1-0 on a shot clock point when Yazdani hit his trademark step on the shoe single. They ended up in a quadpod position, and it appeared the Azeri's knee and butt hit the mat. Two was offered by the ref, but white paddled. Not only that, but the call was challenged and Iran lost, giving Gazyumov the winning point as the final score was 2-1.

That moment was almost forgotten, however, as two separate incidents marred the day at 65kg. The first was the quarterfinal betweeen Iktiyor Navruzuov (UZB) and Franklin Gomez (PUR), and the second was the bronze medal match involving Ganzorig (MGL) and Navruzov.

In the Gomez match, the key exchange occurred in the final 30 seconds of the match. Gomez was in on a double at the edge of the mat, which he held Navruzov's legs all the way through the action. There was a challenge as the Uzbeki wrestler used a chest wrap to try and lift Gomez over the top. It was challenged by the Puerto Rican coaches after the initial call for two Gomez was waived off and it became two Navruzov.

The mat chairman can clearly be heard on the broadcast saying that the jury of appeal must make a decision about how the move should be scored, so that the jury of appeal can determine whether or not the challenge was won or lost. The final word was two for Navruzov, plus a point for Puerto Rico losing the challege. United World Wrestling later issued a press release stating they had been removed from reffing more matches and are under review for possible further sanctions.

Later in the day, the Mongolian Ganzorig scored a takedown in a wild scramble with Navruzov that ended with 18 seconds remaining. Navruzov's corner challenged and lost, giving Ganzorig a 7-6 lead as the Uzbeki coach ran on the mat in protest. He was given a yellow card, but that wasn't the crazy part.

Ganzorig began backpedalling and celebrating with eight seconds left, so much so that Navruzov threw his hands up in disgust and looked at the ref pleading for a fleeing the hold call. The Mongolian coaches ran on the mat, hugging their wrestler and lifting him in celebration at an Olympic bronze medal. When they were brought back to the center though, the scoreboard read 7-7 and Navruzov held criteria. 

Once again the Mongolian coaches rushed on to the mat with the challenge cube in hand and began arguing with the mat chairman. When it quickly became apparent the fleeing call would not be overturned, one coach exploded in anger, ripping off his shirt and spiking his shoes on the mat. The crowd erupted as he had both arms out, screaming at the top of his lungs and spinning around to face the crowd. The other coach, still fully clothed at this point, waved his arms around to pump up the crowd even more. 

When he turned back around to face the chairman, he stripped all the way down to his underwear, which made the crowd even more raucous. He put all the clothes on the chairman's table and knelt down in front of him with his arms extended. A UWW official tried to get him off the mat, but the coaches continued screaming in protest. The whole ordeal took several minutes to complete, and the coaches were almost naked for the better part of it. A truly bizarre ending to a match.

Lost in all the reffing controversies and American jubilation for Kyle Snyder was the absolutely dominant performance by Soslan Ramonov of Russia. He picked up steam with each match, finishing his day with two techs and a shutout. His victory in the gold medal match lasted just over two minutes and featured not one but two feet-to-back pancake fours.

Ramonov avenged the pin he suffered in last year's world semifinals by teching Navruzov. The Ossetian then demolished Toghrul Asgarov in the finals, the same Asgarov who defeated Ramonov's friend and fellow Ossetian Besik Kudukhov in the London finals four years ago. After the match, Ramonov wrapped himself in the Ossetian flag and cried on the mat, one would think in part because he was overcome with emotions at accomplishing something the late Kudukhov could not, win an Olympic gold medal.

Let's hope Tokyo is just as much fun in 2020.

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