Penn State’s David Taylor Wins First UWW World Title
After Penn State all-time great David Taylor finally got one monkey off his back this summer, he went ahead and threw it off the top of Castle Hill in Budapest this weekend.
In his first tournament wrestling on a United States world championship team, Taylor earned a gold medal at 86 kilograms, going 5-0 over the weekend. He won first place with a 12-2 technical fall win against top-seeded Fatih Erdin of Turkey.
For four minutes, Taylor put on a clinic against Erdin in the finals. He scored two takedowns in the first minute of the bout to jump out to a 4-0 lead. After Erdin countered with a takedown to cut Taylor’s lead in half, Taylor rattled off eight unanswered points that gave him the ten-point advantage needed for a tech fall.
Following Taylor’s win, the United States sits in first place with 115.0 points, leading second-place Russia by 10.0 points.
Taylor’s weekend began with a thrilling 11-6 win against Olympic and World champion Hassan Yazdani of Iran, who he drew in the first round despite being seeded second. After beating Yazdani, Taylor rolled through Saturday with two lopsided wins and a dramatic 7-5 comeback win against Russia’s Dauren Kurugliev in the semifinals.
Before this year, Taylor had missed the cut for the United States’s 2016 Olympic and 2017 Worlds teams with losses to four-time NCAA Champion Kyle Dake and Olympic/World Championship bronze medalist J’Den Cox. After the UWW added two weight classes to this year’s competition, Taylor was able to qualify with a win in the Final X qualifier at Rec Hall this June.
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