Thomas Gilman opened many eyes last year.
The three-time All-American for the University of Iowa and Hawkeye Wrestling Club member captured a spot in the U.S. World Team and parlayed it into a silver medal in his first senior-level World Championships, helping Team USA edge Russia for the team title.
Gilman will attempt to claim freestyle gold at 125.5 pounds this time around, as Team USA defends its championship at the 2018 United World Wrestling World Championships at Budapest, Hungary, beginning Saturday. He will be joined by former Northern Iowa wrestler and Clear Lake prep Joe Colon, who will replace Nahshon Garrett at 134.
Gilman takes the mat Sunday and returns along with three medalists and eight of the top-10 placewinners from last year’s Worlds, including Japan’s gold medalist Yuki Takahashi.
“I don’t think about last year too much,” Gilman told UI Athletics Communications during a training camp earlier this week. “I’ve analyzed last year’s tournament and took the good with the bad, and have since moved forward, setting my sights on what’s next.”
Gilman has had overseas success, wrestling in World Championships as a cadet, junior and now senior competitor and earning bronze at the 2014 Junior Worlds. He also won the Grand Prix of Spain last year and was part of Team USA’s championship at the UWW World Cup at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in April.
The former NCAA finalist has made some minor tweaks, but he remains consistent with his preparation.
“Every year that goes by and the more I learn about myself I make adjustments in my lifestyle and nutrition,” Gilman said. “My training stays the same. We have a great system and program here at Iowa and by buying in and believing in the system, good things happen.”
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Colon fell to Garrett in the U.S. World Team Trials, but took over the spot when Garrett withdrew due to injury during training. Colon, an assistant at Fresno State, received the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye. He will face the winner of Ukraine’s Ivan Bileichuk and Kazakhstan’s Kairat Amirtayev.
“I’m extremely excited,” Colon told USA Wrestling during the acclimation camp in Germany. “It’s unfortunate how it happened and everything, but everything happens for a reason. I am here to help Team USA repeat.”
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