Updated: Jun 10
Yianni Diakomihalis has quite the track record at international tournaments - capturing gold at the 2019 Yasar Dogu, 2019 Ziolkowski Memorial, 2020 Pan American Championships, and the 2021 Henri Deglane Grand Prix in addition to a pair of World Championships as a Cadet.
He once again won a prestigious overseas tournament on Wednesday, earning the top prize at the Poland Open after besting Eduard Grigorev of the host country in the title bout, 7-4.
Diakomihalis converted a pair of single leg takedowns and added on a point for a failed Poland challenge for a 5-1 lead after three minutes. The Cornell wrestler tacked on two more step outs in the second stanza on the way to the gold.
The Spartan Combat RTC athlete began his day against the same opponent, Grigorev, taking control from the start in a 9-3 victory. Next up was World Bronze medalist Iszmail Muszukajev of Hungary, a wrestler Diakomahalis made a dramatic comeback to beat in 2019. Muszukajev jumped out to an early lead in a controversial match, but Diakomihalis came storming back in the second period, falling just short in a 7-6 decision.
Diakomihalis next took a forfeit against Krzysztof Bienkowski of Poland, setting up a semifinals bout with a familiar opponent, American Joey McKenna. The two have had some close matches in the past -- but not this time. The Cornellian got on the board first with a takedown and followed with four more points on exposure for an early 6-0 lead. After an exciting scramble that resulted in two points for each wrestler, Diakomihalis added a step out and McKenna picked up two of his own to make it 9-4 Diakomihalis after the first period.
After the break, Diakomihalis poured on the offense with a takedown and then a four-point move on the edge to earn a commanding 15-4 technical fall and a spot in the finals.