There’s a US wrestling heavyweight who’s crushing his opponents, and his name is Gable Steveson.
Steveson, 21, grabbed his super heavyweight gold medal after two last-second takedowns in the closing moments of the men’s freestyle 125kg tournament at the Tokyo Olympic Games. He defeated Georgia’s 2016 bronze medalist and three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili 9-8 in the final.
The 21-year-old was down 8-5 to the Georgia wrestler, but rallied to just one point down with 6.5 seconds left on the clock. He scored one last takedown for the lead and victory – running off the mat in celebration.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED! 🥇@GableSteveson grabs the GOLD as time expires. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/yqMc3wbXsu
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 6, 2021
Prior to nabbing the gold medal, Steveson dominated Aiaal Lazerev of Kyrgyzstan with a 10-0 victory via technical superiority within two minutes and two seconds.
He then faced Taha Akgul of Turkey, the reigning gold medalist and two-time world champion. The American took down Akgul numerous times for an 8-0 victory.
“He’s the best heavyweight wrestler to probably ever step foot (on the mat),” Steveson said of Akgul after their quarterfinal showdown. “But his time is up. I came here for business. I came here to win. … Ain’t nothing going to be given to me. I’ve got to go get it.”
In the semifinals, Steveson faced Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur of Mongolia, who he controlled for a 5-0 win.
Not only is Steveson a gold medal Olympian, but he’s also a reigning NCAA Division I National Champion and winner of the Dan Hodge Trophy. He is a junior at the University of Minnesota.
Steveson, whose middle name is Dan, is named after Dan Gable, a 1972 Olympic 68kg gold medalist and a known coach in US wrestling history. Steveson, who was born in 2000, hasn’t even seen America win an Olympic gold medal in men’s heavyweight wrestling in his lifetime; the last time was Bruce Baumgartner in 1992.
His gold medal adds to Team USA’s Wrestling medal lead of seven in the 2020 Olympics.