Thrilling final as American Gable Steveson wins men’s wrestling’s freestyle 125kg in last seconds of match to relegate Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili into silver
United States’ Gable Steveson has lived up to his famous namesake by winning an Olympic gold medal in wrestling. In a thrilling final the Pan-American champion defeated Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili 10-8 in the last seconds of the men’s wrestling freestyle 125kg at Tokyo 2020.
The 21-year-old, who is one of the youngest Olympic wrestling champions, had been leading for much of the bout, but at 5-2 the three-time world champion got back in the game and was just one point behind on 5-4. The match looked like it was all over when the 27-year-old scored a late takedown and he was 8-5 ahead. But in the last second of the match, the American athlete flipped the switch and scored to win 10-8 at the Makuhari Messe Hall.
"I knew I had it in me," he said on winning gold in the final seconds. "The reason I was stunned was because the US has not had a heavyweight champion in 20 plus years, and I did it at 21 years old. Everybody talks about bringing home a gold medal. And I did it.
"I was guaranteed a medal, but I knew I could fire that last shot off and give him that last trick, and he bit it. I looked at the clock, and it was like point three. And I was like, no way, my head was just like flushed with everything, my face was like, stunned.”
I knew I had it in me. Everybody talks about bringing home a gold medal. And I did it...”
Steveson's mother named him Gable after US freestyle wrestler Dan Gable, who won gold in the 68kg category at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. After beating Mongolia’s Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur 5-0 in the semifinal, he told reporters: “My name is Gable Dan, after Dan Gable. It might have been destiny to reach this spot. Who knows?”
On what he will do with the US$250,000 that he will receive from US Wrestling after the victory, Stevenson said he planned to treat his mother and the rest of his family. "I try to be smart with money. I'll probably go take my family out to eat, we all got to eat steaks back at home, probably buy my mom a Louis Vuitton purse, she deserves it. She's back at home breaking a sweat watching me wrestle, so she deserves something nice."
The new champion had impressed in all his matches on the way to the final. He demolished reigning 125kg Olympic champion and two-time world champion, Turkey’s Taha Akgul, by 8-0 and Kazakhstan’s Aiaal Lazarev 10-0. Steveson’s gold medal is the third the USA has won in wrestling at Tokyo 2020.
In the first of the bronze medal matches the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Amir Zare overpowered People's Republic of China’s DENG Zhiwei 5-0. It was the same scoreline in the second bronze match, which was won by Turkey’s Taha Akgul who defeated Mongolia’s Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur.
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