BRACKET (men's 97kg)
Defending gold medalist Kyle Snyder was unable to get much going against arch-rival Abdulrashid Sadulaev of the ROC in the 97kg freestyle gold medal bout on Saturday, as the 2016 gold medalist at a lower weight class earned a 6-3 decision in the much-anticipated showdown between two wrestling greats who had each defeated the other once.
After a cautious start for both wrestlers, Snyder was put on the "shot clock" -- 30 seconds to score. He wasn't able to do that, and Sadulaev managed to push him out of the rings soon afterwards for another point and a 2-0 lead after the first period.
The second period started badly for Snyder, as Sadulaev got a good grip around the American and exposed his back long enough to get two points.
Snyder drove for Sadulaev's ankle, but the Russian turned things around and was credited with the takedown for a 6-0 lead.
Finally, Snyder got Sadulaev's back and dragged him down for two points. He quickly realized he would not be able to turn Sadulaev for any more points and got back up.
With 30 seconds left, Snyder pushed Sadulaev out for another point. But Sadulaev defended well, knowing Snyder needed either a four-point throw or a takedown and multiple exposures on the mat to make up the deficit. Snyder was able to do neither, and Sadulaev took the 6-3 win.
Sadulaev, the 2016 gold medalist at 86kg, hadn't lost since the 2017 world championship 97kg final, when lost to Snyder. He pinned Snyder in the 2018 world championship final and defended the title in 2019.
Japan's Otoguro runs to gold
BRACKET (men's 65kg)
In a bizarre finish, Otoguro Takuto of Japan won the men's 65kg freestyle gold medal bout over Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
With the match tied 2-2 in the final minute, Otoguro and Aliyev locked up and flipped. Otoguro was given two points for a takedown. The Azerbaijan corner challenged the decision, thinking Aliyev had got the better of the tumble. After video review, Otoguro's two points were confirmed, and he gained another point because Aliyev lost the challenge.
When the action resumed, Otoguro started dashing around the mat. The referee stopped the action to caution him. Upon restarting, Otoguro kept running. The referee took gave Aliyev a point to make it 5-3. That still didn't deter Otoguro, who fled once again upon the restart, prompting the ref to give Aliyev yet another point. The delaying tactic worked, though, and Otoguro merely needed to defend a few more seconds to take gold.