It was a banner week for Team USA at the U23 World Championships where they captured four gold medals and two bronze medals to win the team title.
One of those medalists was Nebraska’s very own Brock Hardy, who went 4-1 during his two days of competition and finished his trip to Albania with a world bronze medal.
Amazing comeback for Brock Hardy to win u23 world bronze! pic.twitter.com/CbRRG9Rhbl— The Wrestling Room (Pat Mineo) (@MrPatMineo) October 25, 2023
I think that smile says it all.
An incredibly humble and well-mannered person, Hardy has had himself a very successful year back in action. He secured All-American honors at NCAAs as a freshman and now he’ll forever be a world medalist.
Hardy started his tournament Tuesday morning with a 12-7 win over Sammy Alvarez of Puerto Rico in the qualifying round. He then beat Ukraine’s Artem Kryvenko via 11-0 tech in just over four minutes.
In the quarterfinal round, he took on two-time U20 silver medalist Ziraddin Bayramov of Azerbaijan. The match turned into a barn burner but Hardy took the 14-11 loss. After Bayramov won in the semis and made the final, Hardy was pulled into repechage (consolation bracket).
On Wednesday, Hardy won his repechage match 7-4 against Pavel Graur of Moldova, moving him into one of the two bronze medal matches. In that match, Hardy faced semifinal loser Goga Otinashvili of Georgia.
Hardy dropped into a four-point hole when Otinashvili put Hardy to his back with a slick arm spin, but Hardy was immediately on the attack and got a takedown of his own to narrow the gap to 4-2.
In the second period, Hardy seemed to wear Otinashvili down. Hardy outscored his opponent 6-1 in the period to get an 8-5 decision win.
Actually, that seemed to be a trend as Hardy often found himself down early only to storm back in the second period. He scored 35 of his 49 offensive points in the second period of his matches. In the first periods, he scored just 14. He also gave up less points in the second as opposed to the first, showing off his ability to wear his opponents and stay stingy defensively.
Hardy bringing home a world medal is big for the Huskers. They expect a lot out of the sophomore this year, and it seems he could be a force to be reckoned with.