Clinch Gear would like to congratulate Jake Varner for bringing home the gold from the 2012 Olympic Games. Varner defeated Valerii Andriitsev of Ukraine 1-0, 1-0 in the final of the 96KG class of freestyle wrestling. Varner secured the win on the final day of the Olympics and once again displayed the competitiveness and athleticism that represents the Clinch Gear brand.
In Olympic wrestling, a winner is determined by a best of three separately scored two-minute periods. In the first period against Andriitsev, Varner scored a takedown about 30 seconds in and held on for a 1-0 period win. To get the takedown Varner used what some wrestlers call a “Cael Sanderson ankle pick” named after Varner’s coach and former Olympic Champion Cael Sanderson. The move involves grabbing your opponent behind the ankle and tipping him over.
In the second period Varner avoided being pushed out of the wrestling circle, which would have been a point for Andriitsev. Instead, Varner moved behind him and got a takedown. He won the period 1-0 and clinched the gold medal. Immediately after winning the match Varner celebrated by wrapping himself in the U.S. flag and dancing around a nearby mat. Varner then ran over to coach Sanderson who lifted him off the ground with excitement. Varner now joins Sanderson as an Olympic gold medalist and has cemented himself as one of the greatest American wrestlers.
In the semifinal round, Varner staged a come from behind win to defeat 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Giorgi Gogshelidze of Georgia. After losing the first period 2-0, Varner won the next two periods 1-0, 1-0 respectively.
After the semifinal match, the world was anticipating 2011 world champion Reza Yazdani of Iran to face Varner in the finals, but in Yazdani’s semifinal, he suffered an injury while facing Andriitsev. Yazdani was unable to continue the match and was taken off the floor in a wheelchair allowing Andriitsev to advance to the finals.