For the fourth straight year, a former Iowa wrestler is competing at 57 KG in the World Championships or Olympics. After Tony Ramos manned that spot for two years and competed at two World Championships, Dan Dennis shocked the wrestling world and won the 57 KG spot on the U.S. Olympic team in Rio last year. Unfortunately, neither of them were able to bring home medals from their international wrestling exploits. That's going to change this year -- the only question is the color of the medal that Thomas Gilman will be bringing back to Iowa City.
Gilman's run at the World Championships in Paris, France got started early this morning (or late night, depending on your time zone and sleep schedule), when he defeated Ukraine's Andrey Yatsenko via 5-2 decision in his opening match. He narrowly defeated Iran's Reza Ahmad Atrinagharchi via a tight 3-0 decision that involved a judge's decision (Atrinagharchi's side thought he had scored a two-point takedown at the final whistle, which would have won him the match on criteria; the judges thought otherwise and awarded Gilman an additional point for Atrinagharchi's unsuccessful challenge).
After that tight squeeze into the quarters, Gilman erupted for a 12-1 technical fall win over Uzbekistan's Nadirjon Safrov. The machine was humming at that point. In the semis, Gilman faced North Korea's Hakjin Jong, a former World Military Games medalist. He opened up an early lead, then held on to grab a 5-4 win and put himself into the World Championship finals later today. In that final he'll face Japan's Yuki Takahashi. Takahashi is ranked 10th in the world by United World Wrestling and was a gold medalist at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010. More recently he got a bronze medal at the Golden Grand Prix event last year.
The Gilman-Takahashi match is expected to go at about noon central time. There are a few different ways to watch the match. You can watch it live on TrackWrestling; $9.95 gets you access to all of the senior World Championship matches all week. You can also watch it live on the Olympic Channel, a newly-launched channel that may be available from your cable or satellite (perhaps in a sports package); you can see if it's available for you right here. The NBC Sports Channel will also be airing tape-delayed coverage of the finals matches (including Gilman's) later today, beginning at 6 PM Central.
Go Gilman -- let's bring home some gold!