TUNIS, Tunisia (July 16) -- Two months before the World Championships, Kyle SNYDER (USA) showed what his opponents will be up against. The three-time world and Olympic champion put on an impressive performance at the Zouhaier Sghaier Ranking Series event to win the 97kg gold.

Snyder, who has made it to the 97kg final of every Worlds and Olympics since 2015 barring one, outscored his opponents 32-1, winning his third gold medal of the year. He won the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and the Pan-Am Championships in January and May respectively.

In Tunis, Snyder was up against two wrestlers from Turkey in Burak SAHIN and Polat POLATCI before beating Mamed IBRAGIMOV (KAZ) in the final.

Against Ibragimov, who got on a single leg attack early in the bout, Snyder displayed his brute strength and conditioning, scoring stepouts with ease against a tired Ibragimov.

He led 2-0 with two stepouts and Ibragimov was warned for fleeing as well. After the Kazakhstan wrestler failed to score in the activity period, Snyder was up 4-0.

Another stepout and three takedowns were enough for Snyder to win 11-0 with all that action happening in just three minutes and 13 seconds.

Snyder will be eyeing his third World title after being denied by Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RWF) two times in the past four years. But he will still have to go through a strong field with Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) being one of the top opponents.

Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO)Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) won the 125kg gold, his second straight at Ranking Series. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

Another freestyle wrestler who will be eyeing a world title in Belgrade is Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO). He was not as convincing as Snyder but did come home with the 125kg gold.

After finishing the group stage with two wins in two bouts, Petriashvili defeated Yusup BATIRMURZAEV (KAZ) 12-2 in the semifinal, setting up a rematch against Hayden ZILLMER (USA) in the final. The two had met in Round 3 and Petriashvili scored a controlled 8-2 win.

But in the final, Zillmer gave Petriashvili a scare as he led 4-1 after two takedowns. But Petriashvili added a stepout before a takedown and turn which changed the score to 6-4 in his favor. Zillmer tried going behind but as the clock ticked, Petriashvili managed to hold him off and scored another takedown late in the bout to win 8-4.

Last year, the three-time world champion suffered disheartening losses to Gable STEVESON (USA) and Amirhossein ZARE (IRI) in the Olympic and Worlds final respectively in the space of two months.

But with two Ranking Series gold and the European Championships silver in his bag, Petriashvili will try to avenge his loss to Zare in Belgrade.

5 nations win WW gold

Women's wrestling came to a close in Tunis with India winning two gold medals out of the six on offer on day three. It had won two bronze and silver on Friday. ANTIM (IND) and Sarita MOR (IND) added the two golds on Saturday with BIPASHA (IND) winning silver at 72kg and MANISHA (IND) pocketing a bronze at 65kg.

The USA, Germany, Tunisia and Turkey won a gold each.

19-year-old Antim stole the show, defeating two Pan-American champions en route the gold at 53kg. She opened the day with a fall over Nour RAOUAFI (TUN) before an 11-0 win over Pan-Am champ Dominique PARRISH (USA).

Antim then faced Olympian Luisa VALVERDE (ECU) in Round 3 and managed to beat her 4-2 to book a spot in the semifinals against Esra PUL (TUR) who suffered the same fate as Raouafi.

From the other side of the bracket, 55kg Pan-Am champion Karla GONZALEZ (CAN) made her way to the final with wins over Pul, African champion Sarra HAMDI (TUN) and a 3-1 win over Parrish in the semifinal.

Antim began the final on the aggressive and scored a takedown in the zone to lead 2-0. Gonzalez was warned for fleeing during that exchange which extended Antim's lead to 3-0. Before the break, she added a stepout to extend her lead to 4-0.

But the second period saw a passive Antim and she was cautioned for the same as Gonzalez got on the scoreboard with that one point. But she failed to find an opening to score a takedown against Antim.

A final attempt was made by the Canadian wrestler but she was only awarded a point for Antim's negative defense. Canada challenged for a takedown but the reviews confirmed that it was after the time has expired.

The 5-2 win for Antim capped off a stunning run beginning with the U23 Asian Championships in which she was won a silver. Just five days ago, the U17 Worlds bronze medalist won the U20 Asian title in Manama, Bahrain.

Mor won her second straight Ranking Series gold after winning it in Almaty in June. Wrestling Siwar BOUSETA (TUN) in Round 3, Mor brushed off a 4-0 deficit to win 14-4 and capture the 59kg gold. In her three bouts, she scored 30 points while giving up only four in the bout against Bouseta.

The top-ranked wrestler has now confirmed the top seed at 59kg for the World Championships.

Khadija JLASSI (TUN)Khadija JLASSI (TUN) won the lone gold medal for the home country. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

India had the chance to pick up a third gold of the night had Manisha won her 65kg Round 3 bout against Khadija JLASSI (TUN).

Manisha had defeated Emma BRUNTIL (USA) in the morning session while the USA wrestler had eked out a 7-6 win against Jlassi. Manisha now needed an outright win to claim the gold or a loss by a five-point difference after scoring seven or more points.

On the other hand, Jlassi not only needed a win, but she also had to do it with more than four points. But she took an 8-0 lead using a beautiful figure-4 move early in the bout. As Manisha played catch up, Jlassi managed to defend her lead and win 8-6 even as she struggled to keep up with the pace of the bout.

All three had a win and four classification points each but Jlassi had 14 technical points which help her win the gold. Both Manisha and Bruntil had eight technical points but the USA wrestler had conceded only seven while Manisha had given up nine points which cost her the silver as well.

World bronze medalist Buse TOSUN (TUR) dashed India's hope of another gold by beating U20 World silver medalist BIPASHA (IND), 10-5, in the 72kg final.

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA)Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) tackles Emily SHILSON (USA) in the 50kg final in Tunis. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

At 50kg, Olympic bronze medalist Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) showed that she is all set for the World Championships by picking up gold.

She began with a victory via fall against Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG) before battling it out with NEELAM (IND) in the semifinal. She had a slender lead of 2-1 against Neelam but managed to score late in the bout to make it 4-2.

She faced U23 world champion and compatriot Emily SHILSON (USA) in the final. But it was a one-sided affair as Hildebrandt used the snap to a great effect and scored an 11-0 win over Shilson.

At 55kg, World silver medalist Nina HEMMER (GER) defeated Lobna ICHAOUI (TUN) via fall in the one-off match.

Sunday will see the remaining eight freestyle weight categories in action with Iran hoping to finalize their World Championships with a selection trial at 57kg and 79kg.

Day 3 Results

Women's Wrestling


BRONZE: Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG) df. NEELAM (IND), via fall
BRONZE: Lisa ERSEL (GER) df. Zehra DEMIRHAN (TUR), 3-2


BRONZE: Esra PUL (TUR) df. Dominique PARRISH (USA), via injury default

GOLD: Nina HEMMER (GER) df. Lobna ICHAOUI (TUN), via fall

Round 3: Elena BRUGGER (GER) df Diana WEICKER (CAN), via injury default
Round 3: Sarita MOR (IND) df. Siwar BOUSETA (TUN), 14-4

Final standing
GOLD: Sarita MOR (IND)

Round 3: Khadija JLASSI (TUN) df. MANISHA (IND), 8-6 

Final standing

GOLD: Buse TOSUN (TUR) df. BIPASHA (IND), 10-5

BRONZE: Zaineb SGHAIER (TUN) df. Amit ELOR (USA), via forfeit
BRONZE: Skylar GROTE (USA) df. MANJU (IND), 10-0


GOLD: Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Mamed IBRAGIMOV (KAZ), 11-0

BRONZE: Deepak NEHRA (IND) df. Oktay CIFTCI (TUR), 16-6
BRONZE: Burak SAHIN (TUR) df. Polat POLATCI (TUR), 5-4