Yianni Diakomihalis had a great run at the World Championships knocking off two of the best wrestlers in the field Bajrang Punia, and Vazgen Tevanyan to make the finals. His run would come to an end in the finals as he fell to the 20 year old Iranian Rahman Amouzad in the finals.
With this silver medal finish Yianni becomes the first medalist in the 65kg/66kg weight class for Team USA since Bill Zadick won gold at the 2006 World Championships.
Opening round he pulled Vazgen Tevanyan of Armenia who has some big wins under his belt and most importantly knocked Yianni out of the World Championships in 2021. Yianni would get revenge over Tevanyan this go around and shut out the Armenian with a 4-0 win.
He would wrestle Vladamir Dubov of Bulgaria in his second match and there really was not much here for Dubov to do as Yianni would get the first period tech and move into the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals he would face India’s Bajrang Punia who is a familiar opponent who Yianni beat at Beat The Streets. This time he would give Bajrang to room and run him down for the 10-0 technical superiority win over the Indian.
Semifinals would be an all United States match as Yianni would take one former Rutgers wrestler Sebastian Rivera. This would be a procession bout as Yianni cruised through him with the 53 second tech to become the USA’s first world medalist at the weight since 2006.
The finals would be fireworks right off the bat as there was a huge sequence early off. Yianni would take an 8-6 lead after the sequence but Iran’s Amouzad would equalize the score and it would be 8-8 heading into the break. In the second period it would be all Amouzad as he scored two takedowns and push out and shut out Diakomihalis to win his first world title at 20 years old.
Great run for Yianni given the circumstances. He will be looking to win his 4th national title for Cornell next year and after that will look to win his 1st world title.
This will be even more interesting as reigning Olympic Champion Takuto Otoguro will be returning and possibly should World Champion Gadzhimurad Rashidov should the Russian ban be lifted.
Yianni is only 23 years old and a lot of these guys are young and have many years left in them so it will be fun to see how this goes in the future.