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David Taylor Reaches Olympic Wrestling Final; Helen Maroulis Loses Semifinal

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David Taylor Wrestling Tokyo Olympics
David Taylor Wrestling Tokyo Olympics
AFP via Getty Images

David Taylor-Hassan Yazdani III is on.

Taylor is seeking his first Olympic medal after missing out on the U.S. wrestling team at the Rio Olympics. He will compete in the men’s freestyle 86kg final against Yazdani of Iran after beating Belarus’ Ali Shabanau in his opening match, San Marino’s Myles Nazem Amine in the quarterfinals and India’s Deepak Punia in Wednesday’s semifinal tilt. The American beat his first three opponents by a combined 33-2 score.

Taylor and Yazdani have a rivalry that dates back to 2017. Taylor upset the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in their first matchup at the 2017 World Cup. Their second matchup came at the 2018 world championships, and Taylor emerged victorious once again. Yazdani has not lost a match since, setting up a spectacular final on Thursday.

Directly following Taylor’s semifinal match was a semifinal in the women’s freestyle 57kg between Team USA’s Helen Maroulis and Japan’s Risako Kawai. Maroulis’ quest for a second Olympic gold ended as Kawai eked out a 2-1 win.

Maroulis, who won the 53kg gold in Rio, beat China’s Rong Ningning and Ukraine’s Tetyana Kit to set up Wednesday’s match with Kawai.

Kawai will now wrestle for her second Olympic gold after winning in the 63kg class in Rio. Her final is against Belarus’ Iryna Kurachkina