For American wrestlers, winning the best of three series at Final X means a spot on the U.S. Senior World Team and an opportunity to represent the United States at the World Wrestling Championship in October.
Former Iowa State wrestler and 2015 NCAA Champion Kyven Gadson had a chance to do just that at Final X in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday.
Standing in Gadson’s way at 97 kilograms (213.8 pounds) was Kyle Snyder, a three-time NCAA champion at Ohio State, a two-time World champion and the 2016 Olympic gold medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Gadson and Snyder had wrestled each other four times prior to Saturday's matches, with Gadson winning the first two matches in folkstyle wrestling and Snyder winning the past two meetings in freestyle.
Snyder took an early 5-0 lead, getting two takedowns and a step out in the first period. In the next two periods, Snyder would go on to get two more takedowns and win the first match over Gadson, 9-0.
At the beginning of the second match, Gadson wasted no time and got a takedown right off the whistle to get a early 2-0 lead. Snyder responded with a single leg takedown to tie the match 2-2 after one period.
#FinalX Snyder snags two more at the end of the match to win a 10-2 decision. He's headed to his third-straight World Championships!— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) June 10, 2018
Snyder began the second period with a takedowns to gain a 6-2 lead over Gadson with two minutes to go. Snyder would go on to grab two more takedowns to win the second and final match 10-2, eliminating Gadson and earning his way onto the U.S. World Team.
Gadson will look to bounce back and attempt to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.