He has been recognized as a “prodigy”, or potentially, “the future.” For now, “World Champion” will have to do.
Following a remarkable Day 1 performance that included two wins via pin, Cohlton Schultz (100 kg) came back today at the 2017 Cadet Greco-Roman World Championships in Athens, Greece and sealed the deal in a breathtaking final against Balint Vatzi (HUN).
Schultz had defeated Vatzi in the finals of the Croatia Open just over two months ago and from there, both went about their summers, with Schultz appearing in the Junior Worlds last month and Vatzi winning the Cadet Euros in July.
From the whistle, Schultz plowed in his left underhook, one of his biggest weapons, and immediately asserted control. Vatzi tried wringing free but anytime he went to adjust out of the position, Schultz was there to re-pummel back in. The pace was anything but plodding — Vatzi wasn’t conceding, he wanted to fight his way through the underhook and weave to a more suitable tie-up. Schultz kept his base, his legs steady underneath him as he looked to somehow wrap around the body. Eventually, Vatzi would be warned and then dinged for a passivity point to provide Schultz with a 1-0 lead, which is where the score remained heading into the second period, though Vatzi was warned again prior to the break.
The conclusive period started off much like the first: Schultz hammering away with either an underhook or a full over/under tie. Vatzi, recognizing that something had to change for him to stay in it, broke from an exchange and was able to usher Schultz’s back to the edge. From there, he clashed in on the American to collect a step-out point (although Schultz had come very close with a counter throw and the US side debated about challenging the sequence).
With just :20 left in the match, Schultz locked around Vatzi and went into a classic clinch position. He had Vatzi’s back to the edge, but he wasn’t so close that he could just move him out of bounds. Schultz pushed his lock forward as if to give it a try before he went over the top and snapped Vatzi to his knees. Schultz then spun behind for two, the points confirmed with :09 remaining. All Schultz had to do from then on was avoid a late charge, and he did so, even gaining the position to push Vatzi down as time expired just in case there was any doubt.
Schultz now joins Kamal Bey (75 kg, Sunkist, world no. 18) as the second Greco-Roman World Champion from the United States in 2017. There are a lot of stats being thrown around, but none of them matter as much as that one.
The 16-year-old from Colorado impressed on his march to today’s final. Yesterday, Schultz won his first two bouts over Edson Acuna Salazar (MEX) and Kantemir Shibzukhov (RUS), respectively, via fall. In the semifinals, Schultz blanked Seyedmojta Hosseini (IRI) 1-0 in what was another thrilling contest.
TEAM USA CADET WORLD NOTES:
- Both Mason Reiniche (69 kg) and Jake Hendricks (76 kg) will wrestle in the repechage round tomorrow. Reiniche was pulled back in when Vladyslav Kravchenko (UKR) defeated Turkey’s Duran Tosun in that weight class’s semifinal. Likewise, Hendricks’s second chance at a medal arrived when Istvan Takacs (HUN) prevailed over Giorgi Tsopurashvili (GEO) in the 76 kilo semis. Reiniche will take on Norway’s Samet Cetin and Hendricks is matched up with Turpan Bisultanov (DEN).
- Juho Matia Pahikainen (FIN), who defeated Ashton Sharp in the 85 kilogram quarters, lost in the semifinals on criteria to Muhammed Dursun 6-6, eliminating Sharp from medal contention. It was the same story for Dylan Ragusin (46 kg), who lost to Anvar Allakhiarov (RUS) in his quarterfinal match-up. Alliakhiarov fell to Nihat Mammadli (AZE) to end Ragusin’s chance at coming back for a medal.
- Up to this point, the Team USA Cadets have amassed five wins via pin and three technical falls along with 11 overall wins.
100 kg: Cohlton Schultz — gold
WON Edson Acuna Salazar (MEX) via fall (2:43)
WON Kantemir Shibzukhov (RUS) via fall (3:40)
WON Seyedmojta Hosseini (IRI) 1-0
WON Balint Vatzi (HUN) 3-1
Team USA Day 2 Results
42 kg: Kase Mauger
LOSS Yerassyl Mamyrbekov (KAZ)
46 kg: Dylan Ragusin
WIN Mohammadho Abolhassanidaro (IRI) 11-2, TF
LOSS Anvar Allakhiarov (RUS) via fall (3:27)
69 kg: Mason Reiniche
LOSS Vladyslav Kravchenko (UKR)
vs. Samet Cetin (NOR) tomorrow (9/6)
76 kg: Jake Hendricks
LOSS Istvan Takacs (HUN) 6-0
vs. Turpan Bisultanov (DEN) tomorrow (9/6)
85 kg: Ashton Sharp
WON Bagrati Iobidze (ISR) 10-1, TF
LOSS Juho Matia Pahikainen (FIN) 6-2
The repechage round for the two remaining United States Cadets is scheduled for the morning session on Wednesday (beginning at 10:30am local time, 3:30am EST). Live streaming is available in the United States on Trackwrestling.com.