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USA's David Taylor Wins Gold!
USA's David Taylor won his first wrestling World Championships!
This Sunday, in Budapest, Hungary, USA's David Taylor won his first wrestling World Championships.
Finally Makes World Team After 5 Tries
This was an incredible feat, as this was Taylor's first year to even make the world team (to compete at the world championships). He attempted to make the team in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, but fell short each time - often finishing 2nd or 3rd in arguably the toughest weight class- one owned by Olympic and multiple time World Champion Jordan Burroughs.
Finally, at the age of 27 years old, Taylor made his first world team in 2018, not only making the world team, but going undefeated internationally as well. Upon winning his world championship on Sunday, Taylor, became the oldest first-time Olympic or World Champion for USA wrestling since 2006.
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Faced Toughest Opponent in the First Round
Leading up to his championship match, Taylor had the incredible task of facing Iran's Olympic and World Champion Hassan Yazdani, known in his country simply as The Greatest. Prior to their match up, Hassan had been undefeated for over 2 years. Taylor states, "I don’t think I could’ve drawn a bracket that was tougher than the one I had, in terms of the opponents I had to wrestle ...Drawing Yazdani first—he’s the toughest competitor I’ve ever wrestled against. He just doesn’t stop. He’s just relentless. He’s done that for years. It’s a shame we had to wrestle the first round.”
Wrestles for Childhood Hero
David Taylor was born in Reno Nevada in 1990, before settling down in Wyoming and Ohio for the majority of his youth. As a child, he admired World and Olympic champion Cael Sanderson, so it was to no surprise that he ended up wrestling at Penn State University, where Cael was the head coach.
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Multiple Dan Hodge Winner
In Taylor's first year, he was a college red shirt (red shirt's do not officially compete, but still practice and travel with the team- this gives them an "extra" year of eligibility). After his first year, he finished as an NCAA Division national runner-up his freshman and junior years. He was able to win the NCAA national championships his sophomore and senior seasons, capping off these accomplishments by also winning the Dan Hodge Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding college wrestler- becoming only the 3rd wrestler to win the honor two or more times. Interestingly enough, his head coach and childhood idol, Cael Sanderson won it 3 times (and undefeated MMA champion Ben Askren won it twice) .