Michigan Wolverines Wrestling: Myles Amine Wins Olympic Bronze
It takes guts to finish third in a wrestling tournament. That means a wrestler has lost in the championship bracket — falling shy of his gold-medal aspirations — but battles back to win every other match and get the next-best thing.
There's no better word to define Michigan wrestling's Myles Amine than guts.
The three-time third-place finisher at the NCAA Championships was the first-ever wrestler from San Marino — a roughly 24-square-mile country enclaved by Italy — to qualify for the Olympics and battled back for bronze at the Tokyo Games after taking a loss in the quarterfinals.
Amine qualified for the Olympics by placing fifth at the last World Championships in 2019 and began his stay at the Tokyo Games by serving as one of two flag bearers for his country, which he is a citizen of thanks to his mother's grandfather, who came to the U.S. in the early 1900s. That could have been the highlight for many athletes, but Amine will instead be most remembered for what he accomplished on the mat.
He's not only the first Olympic wrestling medalist for San Marino in any style, but also the first in freestyle wrestling for the University of Michigan. Additionally, he's just the third Olympic medalist for San Marino in any sport.
Following a dominant 12-2 win by technical superiority in the first round over Columbia's Carlos Izquierdo, Amine drew tournament favorite David Taylor of the United States in the quarterfinals.
After a 12-2 loss to the eventual gold medalist, Amine bounced back to defeat Belarus' Ali Shabanau, a four-time world bronze medalist, in a tough, gritty 2-0 victory. Amine controlled the entire match and put his opponent on the activity clock twice without allowing a score.
In the bronze medal bout against India's Deepak, the 2019 runner-up at the World Championships, Amine trailed 2-1 at the midpoint. He gave up the first takedown, but scored a stepout against his foe before the end of the first period.
With less than 10 seconds in regulation, Amine scored a takedown off a single leg to take a 3-2 lead. A challenge from the opponent's corner failed, making it a 4-2 final in Amine's favor and sealing history — in more ways than one.
What They're Saying About Myles Amine's Bronze Medal
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