UWW U17 World Championships Live Blog – Day 7

The American male freestylers will fight for three gold medals and a bronze on the final day of the U17 World Championships in Rome.

July 25-31 Resumes today at 14:30 UTC

2022 U17 World Championships

Also, it’s okay, but Team USA has already won the men’s team freestyle championships. Well-deserved congratulations to first-year development coach James Green and everyone who contributed!

For yesterday’s live blog, click here.

For a recap of yesterday’s results, see these links: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Kyler Larkin narrowly missed the semifinals and secured himself a chance to win a medal when he lost a 2-1 bout to Japan in the 60kg quarterfinal. The other four Americans in the final session went 3-1 in the semifinals, hence the three gold and one bronze bouts on the schedule.

We are going through the repechage matches right now. There are no Americans in the draft, but we need to know who McEnelly will fight for bronze, so we’ll keep an eye on the 92kg bouts. And it is India’s Jaglan who has the privilege of facing McEnelly for a bronze medal.

Also in the draft, the American Alex Nini, who fights for the Italian team. Nini is a two-time in-state New Jersey placeholder at Christian Brothers Academy. Nini is now also one of the top five in the world, with an opportunity for a bronze medal, as he won his repechage match and will face Ogino of Japan (who knocked out Kyler Larkin from Team USA) for a place on the podium.

Unfortunately for Nini and the Italian fans in Rome, Ogino won the bronze medal game 3-1.

45 Kilogram Gold Medal Match

Domenic Munaretto (USA) vs. Bashir Verdiyev (AZE)

1st period: The first of three games in the final for the American team finally begins just in the place of the afternoon on the east coast. Verdiyev shoots and a scuffle ensues. Good short attack from Munaretto and he takes the first takedown. He rides high but two well-attached boots hold him in place and we start off again in neutral. Another shot from Verdiyev but this time the action is at a standstill. Munaretto passes and tries to step over but Veriyev catches a foot and time runs out in the period before anyone can score. 2-0 for Munaretto at the break.

2nd period: Two minutes left in the Munaretto tournament. Good job of checking the links by Munaretto. Now let’s work from a short attack as we count down to the last minute. Taken from Berdiyev, Munaretto is looking for a master key. No score and a restart with 31 ticks on the clock. Time is running out on Verdiyev. And Munaretto holds back his Azeri to win the gold! Yellow medals for the book end as Munaretto keeps the momentum going after Hopke’s victory at heavyweight yesterday!

51 kilogram gold medal match

Luke Lilledahl (USA) vs. Mohammad Asadi (IRI)

1st half: Lilledahl take to the mat in a bid to improve on the silver medal they won at least last year at the U17 World Championships. Lilledahl chases Asadi off the mat initially to take a one-point lead. A low shot from Lilledahl grabs an ankle but excellent defending and a counter attack from Asadi sees it out and the score is tied at 1-1 with Asadi leading on the criteria. Shortly, Lilledahl looking for an opening, he gets a single leg and wisely walks Asadi out of bounds to secure the only point before time runs out in the period. We hit the break, Lilledahl with a 2-1 lead.

2nd period: Lilledahl continues to dictate the pace, causing Asadi to react against him. Now Asadi shoots but Lilledahl blocks and pounces on a lightning fast reattack and it’s now two points for Luke. The score is now 4-1 as we return to neutral. Another reattack as Lilledahl has Asadi’s timing. It also helps that Luke is super fast. 6-1 now the score, less than a minute to play. Asadi needs to manufacture a few points but is at a distinct disadvantage as Lilledahl was able to score on reattacks. And just like that, Lilledahl gets another one. Add a turn of a switchback and it’s a 10-1 overall win. Dominant performance for Lilledahl and it improves on last year’s results. Mission accomplished!

71 kg Gold Medal Match

Joe Sealey (USA) vs. Raul Caso (ITA)

1st half: Sealey, from North Carolina, will face an enraged hometown crowd cheering on his Italian opponent. Sealey is unfazed and attacks on the whistle, eventually finishing the double for two. Sealey’s rhythm is like that. Caso digs two hooks and Sealey responds with a perfectly timed inside trip that takes Caso straight to his back. Four big points for Sealey and a 6-0 lead. The period ends with Sealey still leading 6-0.

2nd period: Sealey returns to the attack, as he wants to do. He’s on Caso’s legs but a whizzer prevents Sealey from scoring. On the restart, Sealey drops a single and backs to the opposite side for two more. Almost gets a standing yaw to end the game but Caso fights back. Now back on their feet, Sealey is close to another takedown but he can’t finish. But he completes another trip inside to close the match in style! Ruthless efficiency for Savage Joe Sealey! He won a world gold medal in Rome!

Sealey outplayed his five opponents, outscoring them 55-1. Quite a tournament for Sealey!

92 kg Bronze Medal Match

Max McEnelly (USA) vs. Sahil Jaglan (IND)

1st period: Our last American fight in the Eternal City! No score after 45 seconds and McEnelly goes first on the activity clock. 30 seconds passes almost exclusively in ties so it’s Jaglan with the first point. McEnelly with some level changes but never really threatened. We go to the break, still 1-0, McEnelly drags.

2nd period: return to action, no wrestler conceding ground. Now Jaglan goes on the clock. Fierce hand fights. Nice shrug from Jaglan but good defense from McEnelly. Jaglan drives McEnelly out of bounds but the action is grounded. Time expires on the clock and it’s 1-1, McEnelly with criteria and 46 seconds left on the clock. India contests the well-founded appeal. It could be a big swing here, as a step back would also clear the clock point of activity and make it 3-0 if India win the challenge. Low challenge risk as well as losing 2-1 with 2 1 point scores doesn’t make much difference than losing 1-1 on the criteria. And the challenge is lost so it’s 2-1, McEnelly must remain active in defense. Jaglan picks up the pace. Conditioning doesn’t seem to be a problem. It’s no problem for McEnelly either, as he stops Jaglan and wins a close-to-the-race brawl 2-1! Bronze for McEnelly and Team USA wins all four games today!

It’s a wrap on Rome! Exceptional performance of male freestyles! Four gold medals, three silver, one bronze and a team title! Not bad!

Thanks for following. See you in Bulgaria for the U20 Worlds!