Victory is always enough. It is never otherwise. However it is achieved, and whatever happens in between, ceases to matter once the whistle blows and the people begin cheering. But Joel Adams (65 kg, TBW) didn’t compete in his first World event as if doing just enough was a palatable option. From his first match in Rome to his last, the Nebraskan star left little room for doubt amid a scathing run through his bracket that ended without him giving up a single point — and with a gold medal that he will remember for the rest of his life.
The final round on Day 2 of the 2022 U17 World Championships began at 6:00pm local time from Rome, Italy (12:00pm ET) and aired live in the United States on FLOWrestling.
Adams had reached the U17 World final following a dominant showing on Monday. Four matches, a combined 30 total points, two technical falls, and zero points for the opposition read the stat sheet. A carry-over effect, aka momentum, was not guaranteed entering Tuesday’s final round, particularly due to Adams’ counterpart. Ahoura Bouveiri-Piani of powerhouse Iran had demonstrated immense grit during his own march to the gold-medal match by outlasting four excellent opponents. He had been fitfully tested in each bout, a performance that rendered a stark contrast to Adams’ unstoppable blitz on the top side of the bracket.
Except Adams picked up on Tuesday where he had left off the day prior. Shortly into the first period, he sought an arm-drag against Bouveiri-Piani and hustled behind for two points. Scoring was kept in check heading into Period 2, and then Adams struck once more by dragging Bouveiri-Piani’s left arm to score another takedown that was accompanied by a 4-0 lead. Conditioning appeared to play a role. Though Iran pressed forward intently, Adams was very much the fresher fighter entering the latter stages of the frame. And he wasn’t done scoring just yet. With less than :30 hanging on the clock, Adams used his third arm drag of the match to record his third takedown. An admirable last-gasp attack from Bouveiri-Piani failed to present a threat as Adams hipped, hovered, and covered over the top. He needn’t do anything else. The match had become a historical fact. Adams raised his arms to the delight of the US fans in attendance, a suitable gesture for celebrating his earning of the ’22 World title.
Before Tuesday, the last American to win the Cadet World Championships was current Senior World Team member Cohlton Schultz back in ’17 (Athens). The US has performed well in this age division over the past four seasons. In ’18, Jacob Kaminski earned bronze; last year, Cory Land brought home silver. As for Adams, this Greco-Roman season saw him prevail at both the Cadet World Team Trials and the Pan-American Championships leading up to his memorable two days in Rome this week.
*Complete results for Team USA at the 2022 U17 World Championships will be forthcoming.
2022 U17 World Championships
July 25-27 — Rome, ITA
65 kg: Joel Adams (TBW) — GOLD
WON Takaku Suzuki 8-0, TF
WON Saya Brunner (SUI) 10-0, TF
WON Aleksandre Rusitashvili (GEO) 6-0
WON Petro Shafranskyi (UKR) 6-0
WON Ahoura Bouveiri-Piani (IRI) 6-0
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