David Taylor is golden!
The legendary former Penn State wrestler came up big on Thursday, winning an Olympic gold medal with a 4-3 win over Iran’s Hassan Yazdani.
Taylor and Yazdani, the two pre-tournament favorites, rolled through their respective brackets en route to the final.
Unlike their previous two meetings, in which Taylor came from behind to win high-scoring bouts, this one was muted early on. Yazdani led 1-0 at the break. He doubled that lead with a caution point in the second period before Taylor scored on a high crotch to tie it up.
The tie didn’t last long, however, as Yazdani forced Taylor out of bounds to go ahead 3-2. It appeared as that lead may hold up as Taylor struggled to get to a leg in the final minute, but with 17 seconds remaining Taylor converted a double leg to take a 4-3 lead and closed it out from there.
The gold medal is the first Olympic medal of any color for Taylor after he missed out on Rio 2016 to fellow world champion J’den Cox. He adds the medal to the gold medal he picked up in the 2018 World Championships.
Additionally, the Nittany Lion wrestling club picked up a pair of bronze medals from Thomas GIlman at 57 kilograms and Helen Maroulis in women’s freestyle at 53 kilograms.
They will have a chance to add another with 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder, who begins his quest to defend on Thursday night (EST) in the 97 kilogram division.