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A pair of gold-medal-winning 19-year-olds provided the biggest stories from the recently completed World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas — one American, one Russian.


Kyle Snyder is a wrestling prodigy in the mold of Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson, but he one-upped both legendary grapplers in becoming the youngest-ever American world champion.

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Snyder defeated the reigning champ, Russia’s Abdusalam Gadisov, with a thrilling 2-point take down in the closing seconds of their gold-medal match. The Marylander’s relentless mat attack earned him the nickname of “Heck” from Russian fans.

''I like making history. I want to be remembered as one of the greatest wrestlers that ever lived and that's what I plan on doing.”
— Kyle Snyder, 19-year-old world wrestling champion

For Snyder, the victory goes a long way toward erasing the memory of a stunning loss in March at the 2015 NCAA Championships. While he contributed critical points to help Ohio State Buckeyes wrestling team claim the championship, he lost in the finals when he was pinned by Iowa State’s Kyven Gadson.


Many think that Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev — who, like Snyder, is just 19-years-old — may already be challenging for the unofficial title as the world’s best pound-for-pound wrestler. In Vegas, he easily defended his title from last year’s world championships, winning 6-0 against Turkey’s Selim Yaşar.


27-year-old Jordan Burroughs, the current consensus pound-for-pound best, did nothing in Vegas to weaken his case. Wrestling in the last match of the tournament, he won his third world championship at 74 kg to add to his gold from the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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