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Wrestling

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The United States” Gable Steveson competes against Georgia”s Gennadij Cudinovic during their men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan. 

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United States” Gable Dan Steveson celebrates after defeating Georgia”s Gennadij Cudinovic during their men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan. 

United States wrestler Gable Steveson celebrates with his gold medal during the victory ceremony for men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan. 

United States wrestler Gable Steveson celebrates after defeating Georgia”s Gennadij Cudinovic during their men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan. 

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United States wrestler Gable Steveson, top, competes against Georgia”s Gennadij Cudinovic during their men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan. 

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United States wrestler Gable Steveson celebrates after defeating Georgia”s Gennadij Cudinovic during their men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan. 

United States wrestler Gable Steveson, left, celebrates after defeating Georgia”s Gennadij Cudinovic during their men”s freestyle 125kg wrestling final match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, in Chiba, Japan.

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In what could be remembered as the greatest wrestling match in the history of the Olympic Games, Apple Valley High School graduate Gable Steveson came from behind in the last 13 seconds to knock off three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili and became an Olympic gold medalist.

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The showdown between the two giants, which started just after 6:30 a.m. today, began slow considering the pace that Steveson had portrayed throughout his first three matches. Both men were cautious for about the first minute, but Gable showed a bit more initiative to score.

About halfway through the opening frame, the Georgian was put on the shot clock first and looked comfortable with handing the passivity point as he continued to assess Gable’s strategy. Shortly after, it was Steveson with the first real offensive attempt, snatching Petriashvili’s left leg and finishing with a trip to make it 3-0.

With the clock winding down in the first period, Petriashvili took a shot, but Gable defended and looked to have a takedown on the edge of the mat for four points. However, the referee signaled out of bounds, which meant only one point and a 4-0 lead for Steveson.

Coming out of the break, Steveson fired a low single, but it was Petriashvili who lifted him over in defense for two points, and Steveson answered with a one point reversal to make it 5-2.

Back up on the feet, and it appeared Petriashvili was starting to take control with 90 seconds remaining, firing off a single leg attack and clasping a body lock around Steveson’s hips, rolling him twice to suddenly shift the match to 8-5 in Petriashvili’s favor.

Looking to hang onto the lead, Petriashvili took the next three shots on the feet, as it appeared Gable’s golden dreams were slipping away.

With 13 seconds left in the match, Steveson needed two takedowns for the lead. After a weak Petriashvili shot off the whistle, Gable swung behind for a quick takedown to make it 8-7 before the referee stood them back up.

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With 6.5 seconds left, Steveson fainted toward a single leg, getting the Georgian off-balance and snapping him down, spinning around, and getting the winning takedown with 0.2 seconds left in the match to win 9-8.

The Georgia coach would challenge to argue that time had expired but the call stood, making the final score 10-8 after the penalty point, making Steveson an Olympic champion.

With the win, Steveson became Team USA’s second gold medalist in Men’s Freestyle, and third in all styles. He also became the first Gopher wrestler in program history to bring home an Olympic gold medal, cementing himself as perhaps the most accomplished University of Minnesota wrestler.

Before the Olympic Games, it was speculated by many that the two roadblocks for the USA heavyweight, would be Taha Akgul of Turkey and Petriashvili. With Friday’s win, Steveson defeated them both to cap on of the most impressive Olympic runs in recent memory and claim his Olympic glory.

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