McDonough is one of three Americans bringing home some hardware from the World University Games in Pecs, Hungary this week. He was joined by Tyler Caldwell and Dustin Kilgore who brought home gold and silver respectively. Kilgore, along with McDonough were among the wrestlers who challenged for the University Team spot out at in Arizona at the World Team camp last month. It was there McDonough defeated Nahshon Garrett in two straight bouts to claim the 57 KG spot to give Iowa its fourth World Team member.
Last night Team USA released the draws for the four wrestlers who were competing today, with McDonough drawing an opponent from Turkey in the first round. That opponent, Ziya Daylak, was the 9th place finisher at the 2013 Games, and McDonough won the match big with a 16-6 technical fall. His next match was against Fumitaka Morishita of Japan. Morishita was able to get in McDonough’s legs on a few occasions, and on at least two of the attempts he gained his takedown over McDonough after Matt tried a roll through. After a 10-7 victory Morishita went on to win the gold medal in the 57 KG bracket. McDonough then faced off against Petro Bileichuk of Ukraine. McDonough capped off his tournament with another dominating performance defeating Bileichuk 12-2 (bracket here).
This was McDonough’s first showing on the international stage at the 57 KG weight class, and I think that he should (and we as fans) walk away with a good feeling. McDonough made his debut back in February at 61 KG at the Dave Schultz Memorial, where he went 3-2, dropping his final bout to Coleman Scott. His next match was against Georgy Kaliev (Ukraine) in a dual against the Belarus team. After a fourth place finish at the U.S. Open McDonough dropped down to 57 KG for the first time at the World Team Trials. It was his third place finish there that qualified him to challenge Garrett for the World University spot.
It is nice to finally have Matt back and earning medals, especially since now he is doing it for Team USA. McDonough set the bar pretty high by earning a bronze medal, we will now look to see if the other 57 KG World Team Members (Ramos and Gilman) or if Metcalf can rise to the challenge and bring some of their own medals home.