USA Greco

Adams Gives USA Second U17 World Finalist In Consecutive Years

joel adams, u17 world championships
Joel Adams -- Photo: UWW

Joel Adams (65 kg, TBW) landed in Rome, Italy a couple of days ago as the most seasoned international performer on the US roster. And Adams’ experience, and unquestionable ability, paid off on Monday when he scorched four opponents to make the finals at the Cadet Worlds.

Day 1 of the 2022 U17 World Championships began at 11:30am local time from Rome (5:30am ET) and aired live in the United States on FLOWrestling.

In a field boasting 28 competitors, Adams had little choice but to get started fast if a serious run were to be made. Right out of the gate in the qualification round was Takaku Suzuki (JPN). Following some preamble, Suzuki was rung up for passive, allowing Adams an opportunity from par terre top. It was all the American needed. The whistle blew and, after a slight adjustment on his lock, Adams stepped and planted to heave Suzuki through the air. Five points were logged, but more were on the way. Once static was retained on the tarp, Adams then clasped Suzuki for a gutwrench that ended the bout via technical superiority.

not all roads lead to gold, jim gruenwald

Saya Brunner (SUI) was next in line, though not for long. A go-behind for Adams availed two before a lift tacked on four more. In the melee, Brunner’s left leg had intertwined between Adams’, resulting in an apparent caution-and-two — which would have iced the proceedings. But a challenge from Switzerland somehow kept the reel spinning with Adams instead holding a 6-0 lead. Shortly after the restart, Brunner dipped to latch the body. Adams quickly responded with his own bodylock and flash-arched a four-pointer to cement his second win of the day.

The quarterfinals presented Aleksandre Rusitashvili of traditional Greco powerhouse Georgia. A stiffer test it was by comparison even if the outcome stayed the same. A nifty improvisation was on the table. Rusitashvili was dinged for the first-period passive and looked to snare Adams’ right arm over the top in an effort to create a scramble; the maneuver hardly upset the apple cart, however, because Adams simply scrambled off of Rusitashvili attempt to yank a front headlock.

Up 3-0 in the second period, the pair were jousting towards the edge with both equally interested in a score, while also trying to mind the bright orange line. Adams locked double-underhooks, thus coercing Rusitashvili out of bounds. Because he had managed to land on top on the back-end of the action, Rusitashvili and his corner were prompted to throw the challenge brick. A long review was surprisingly necessary in order to confirm the obvious, which was one point for Adams on the step-out along with an extra tick for the upheld call. Adams did grab one more point prior to the bell, taking a crisp, impressive 6-0 decision into the World semifinal.

Petro Shafranskyi (UKR) awaited in the round-of-four — and Adams wasted no time in seeking an arm-drag that eventually gave way to a takedown. With the stakes exceptionally high, those two points carried immense significance, particularly given the tight nature in which late-round bouts tend to unfold. 2-0 held up for Adams moving into Period 2. The onus would be on him to score again, lest he risk influence from the officials. Adams removed part of that consternation by executing one of his more superlative techniques of the day. With Shafranskyi hawking over in a high 50/50, Adams nailed a duck-under and swam around back for two more and a 4-0 cushion.

Shafranskyi had entered desperation mode with :30 remaining. He had to come with a meaningful multi-point attempt. What that looked like was a headlock. He reached and corkscrewed — but Adams was ready, and caught Shafranskyi ahead of covering for two additional points. 6-0 read the board, and Adams had earned the right to fight for gold tomorrow afternoon. Occupying the other corner against when the finals begin on Tuesday will be Iranian Ahoura Bouveiri-Piani, who finished 7th at the ’22 Asian Championships.

Recent Pan-Am Championships gold Adams acquired relevant overseas experience prior to this year. In ’19, the Nebraskan secured bronze at the inaugural U15 World Combat Games (HUN). One year later, Adams made his Cadet debut at the Grehov Tournament in Moldova. Adams’ second-biggest domestic prize aside from winning the Cadet Trials this season came last year in Fargo, where he prevailed at the 16U Nationals and was subsequently voted that tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. By advancing to the U17 World final in Italy, he became the second US Greco-Roman wrestler to do so in consecutive years on the heels of Cory Land‘s (AL) silver in ’21.


At 48 kilograms, Christian Castillo (Thorobred WC) ambled behind Said Khalilov (AZE) for an early takedown but was eventually on the wrong end of a 4-2 decision. Nicholas Treaster (55 kg, Newton WC) was  defeated by Halil Cinar (TUR) in the round-of-16. Cole Han-Lindmeyer (80 kg, PINnacle), like Castillo, was the ice-breaker in his qualification round battle opposite Taizo Yoshida (JPN), a scrappy, scrambly sequence providing his first two points. Yoshida was able to open up a bit more offensively later on en-route to a 8-4 decision. Heavyweight Koy Hopke (PINnacle) beat down Maxim Ukraintsev (KAZ) via tech but was ousted by Dmytro Stryzhekozin (UKR) in the quarterfinal. Unfortunately for the four US athletes, none of their vanquishers advanced to the final round to pull them back into the tournament through the repechage.


  • Wrestling resumes on Day 2 (Tuesday) at 11:30am local time (5:30am ET). The final round begins at 6:00pm in Rome (12:00pm ET). FLOWrestling is carrying the live broadcast in the US.
  • Removing passivities and points from challenges, Adams defeated his four opponents on Monday by a combined score of 28-0.
  • The Americans’ combined individual record thus far is 5-4, with three victories coming by way of technical superiority.

Day 2 USA Draws

45 kg: Davis Motyka (XCalibur)
vs. Inonut Mereuta (ROU) — qual. round

51 kg: Elyle Francisco (Anchorage Youth Wrestling Academy)
vs. Peter Totok (HUN) — qual. round

60 kg: Zan Fugitt (MO)
vs. Gaspar Terteryan (ARM) — qual. round

71 kg: Arvin Khosravy (CA)
vs. Marco Begle (AUT) — round-of-16

92 kg: Cody Merrill (Daniel Cormier WC)
vs. Arsen Ruslanov (KGZ) — round-of-16

65 kg Gold Medal Final
Joel Adams (TBE) vs. Ahoura Bouveiri-Piani (IRI)

2022 U17 World Championships

July 25-27 — Rome, ITA


48 kg: Christian Castillo (Thorobred WC)
LOSS Said Khalilov (AZE) 4-2

55 kg: Nicholas Treaster (Newton WC)
LOSS Halil Cinar (TUR) 7-0

65 kg: Joel Adams (TBW)
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

80 kg: Cole Han-Lindmeyer (PINnacle)
LOSS Taizo Yoshida (JPN) 8-4

110 kg: Koy Hopke (PINnacle)
WON Maxim Ukraintsev (KAZ) 8-0, TF
LOSS Dmytro Stryzhekozin (UKR) 9-0, TF

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