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Zain Retherford Re-Qualifies For Wrestling World Championships

The Zain train is finally headed to Kazakhstan for the wrestling world championships.

Retherford took down Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis in a rematch of the duo’s match-up at Final X in June. Monday’s victory came after an arbitrator ruled the duo should re-wrestle after Retherford’s second victory over Diakomihalis in June was disputed. The rematch took place at Wilkes University in northeastern Pennsylvania.

There was plenty of controversy surrounding the duo’s best-of-three series in June, which was protested by Cornell coach Rob Koll. Retherford won the first match by a fairly decisive score of 10-4, but the second one ended in a 6-6 draw that the Penn Stater won on criteria.

That second match actually ended with Diakomihalis holding an 8-6 lead, but Cael Sanderson successfully challenged a call that took that lead away and gave Retherford a deserved win on criteria. An arbitrator nullified this match entirely and scheduled today’s wrestle-off, which ended in a 2-1 victory for Retherford.

Retherford, who represented the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club at Final X, entered today’s wrestle-off with a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series to determine the United States’ 65kg wrestler at the World Championships.

This year’s World Championships will begin on September 14 and run until September 22 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. If Retherford manages to earn a medal at the tournament, he’ll secure a berth in the finals of next year’s Olympic trials, which are expected to take place at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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