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American wrestler David Taylor is living up to his “Magic Man” nickname.
The 30-year-old won a gold medal in his Olympic debut, beating Hassan “The Greatest” Yazdanicharati in the 86kg freestyle wrestling Thursday at Makuhari Messe Hall.
Taylor did not need the full six minutes in any of his first four matches, outscoring his opponents by a combined 33-2 margin.
“I’ve dreamed of nothing but a gold medal, I’m going to go out and earn it every single second,” Taylor said in an interview with Penn State his alma mater.
In the final match, the Iranian Yazdanicharati — the reigning World and Olympic Champion and top seed in the tournament — took a 2-0 lead before Taylor pulled off a two-point takedown with 20 seconds left to clinch a 4-3 win and a gold medal.
Prior to the Olympics, Taylor’s competitors had only been able to score two points on him over nine matches. He shut out his opponents at the U.S. Olympic trials and the Pan American Championships, and is undefeated in his last 52 international fights.
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