The United World Wrestling, wrestling’s governing body announced various year-end awards as part of their UWW Awards 2018 including a freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling match for the 2018 Matches of the Year.
The 25-point contest in the 65kg Gold-medal bout, at the World Championships which were held in Budapest, Hungary earlier this year, between Takuto Otoguro of Japan and Bajrang Punia of India was voted the Freestyle Match of the Year.
The two wrestlers went back-and-forth in a high-scoring affair that was filled with action at every move. The first period of the match saw several wild exchanges, which resulted in four takedowns, a four-point throw, and a step out, which gave the Japanese Otoguro a 7-6 lead moving into the second and final period.
The pair of rising stars remained offensive after their 13 point opening period and tacked on 12 addition points in the second period for a match total of 25 points. Otoguro, at just 19 years old, was not going to be denied a gold medal and pulled away for a 16-9 victory, becoming Japan’s youngest freestyle world champion ever.
Gray and Adar, Otoguro and Punia Among Match of the Year Award Winners
The Indian too won his second medal (silver medal) at the World Championships, improving on his bronze medal in the 60 kg category at the 2013 World championships which co-incidentally took place in Budapest, Hungary.
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