If four pins in four bouts en route to a first-place finish at Turkey’s Yasar Dogu International freestyle wrestling tournament weren’t enough to let the world know David Taylor is coming for gold this October, then this tweet certainly was:
“12 weeks of preparation to be a World Champion! Next stop Budapest, Hungary October 21-22. I believe in my training, my coaching, and desire to be the best in the world. I’m so grateful to wake up and pursue these dreams every day. Thank you for all of the support! #taylorgang,” the former Nittany Lion tweeted.
Due to issues with the livestream from the tournament, seeing exactly how Taylor got his four pins was a bit difficult, but “on-site reporter” and Taylor’s fellow Team USA teammate Nick Gwiazdowski summed it up pretty well on Twitter:
It took Taylor just 1:22 to stick Suleymanov in the finals, the fastest of his four falls.
As an official United World Wrestling ranking tournament, wrestlers’ finishes at Yasar Dogu help set the seeds for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in October. With his first-place finish, Taylor stands a good chance for a high seed this fall.
Taylor, who was a two-time national champion and two-time Hodge Trophy winner for the Nittany Lions from 2011-14, made his first first World team this summer when he won the U.S. Open in April and fended off Nick Reenan two matches to none at Final X in State College.
Also winning gold for the U.S. on Saturday was former Iowa wrestler Thomas Gilman at 57 kg. Olympic and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs lost in a controversial 10-10 criteria decision in the finals to Italy’s Frank Chamizo to bring home a silver medal at 74 kg for Team U.S., while Olympic and two-time senior World champion Kyle Snyder lost in the third round to Azerbaijan’s Aslanbek Alborov, and battled back for bronze at 97 kg.
The tournament continues Sunday, when Kyle Dake will go for gold at 79 kg and Gwiazdowski fights to bring home bronze at 125 kg.