This next week, Nebraska will send another competitor to face the best in the world when Brock Hardy suits up for Team USA at the U23 World Championships in Tirana, Albania.
Hardy will start competition on Tuesday, October 24 before finishing up Wednesday, Oct. 25. On Tuesday, he’ll compete in the qualification rounds at 3:30 a.m. (Central Time) before possibly taking part in the semifinal round at 9:45 a.m.
If Hardy advances to the repechage (the consolation bracket) or a medal match, he’ll compete on Wednesday. Repechage starts at 3:30 a.m. with medal matches going at 11 a.m. All action will stream on FloWrestling (subscription required).
Hardy earned his spot on Team USA when he went 7-0 at the U23 Freestyle National Championships. He recorded three wins via tech fall and another via pinfall before beating fellow finalist Ryan Jack of NC State in back-to-back matches (see below).
A sophomore, Hardy went 30-8 as a freshman last year while finishing in sixth-place at NCAAs. Hardy very likely would have finished higher if not for a broken rib he suffered in a semifinal match against Real Woods of Iowa. Hardy also faced Woods in the Big Ten final, falling in that match 2-1.
With none of the four medalists (two bronze medals are awarded at the World Championships) from a year ago returning this year, the U23 medals are up for grabs. Nonetheless, there are a number of credentialed wrestlers standing in Hardy’s way.
The favorite going in is two-time U20 silver medalist Ziraddin Bayramov of Azerbaijan. Then there’s Kazakhstan’s Adlan Askarov who finished fifth a year ago. Mohit Kumar, a U20 gold medalist at 61kg, will also be a contender. Then there’s Iran’s Mohammadali Amouzad, the twin brother of 65kg World Champion Rahman Amouzad.
If Hardy can bring home a world medal, it would be an incredible accomplishment.