Aug. 9, 2009
Courtesy of Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling-
ANKARA, Turkey - Missouri grappler Dominique Bradley (Blue Springs, Mo./Sunkist Kids) won a gold medal at 120 kg/264.5 pounds on the final day of the six-day Junior World Championships. The Junior World Championship feature the world's best wrestlers ages 17-20 years old.
Bradley defeated Giorgi Sakandelidze of Georgia in the championship finals on Sunday night, 2-0, 4-0.
"The first period of the finals was slow," Bradley said. "I won 2-0, on a takedown and a pushout. I didn't feel as confident in that period. In the second period, I scored in 20 seconds, then scored again. I hit a blast double to finish off the match."
Bradley won three preliminary matches to reach the gold-medal finals and opened the tournament with a victory over Bazarboy Utambetov of Uzbekistan, 6-0, 2-0. In the second round, he stopped Mikhail Gazayev of Azerbaijan, 2-0, 5-0. His semifinal victory was over Maradyn Kushkhov of Ukraine, 2-2, 1-0.
"I wrestled very well. I am excited that I am the best in the world," Bradley said. "The difference is my style of wrestling, which is scoring takedowns, takedowns and takedowns. Just don't let up, just keep scoring."
"Dom had the performance he trained for. We couldn't be more proud of him,' U.S. coach Eric Guerrero said. "Dom executed today. When it came to crunch time, he executed. When he got the leg, he finished. When they shot on him, he scored."
The Univ. of Missouri student is having a strong freestyle season this year. Bradley was third at the U.S. Senior World Team Trials, and was fourth in the U.S. Senior Nationals. He also won the FILA Junior World Team Trials and the FILA Junior Nationals.
"This will make me better than where I was last year. I want to be the guy. These freestyle events have given me an extra season to prepare for next year," Bradley said.
During the six-day event, the United States won five medals.