In a battle of legendary Penn State wrestlers, David Taylor defeated Bo Nickal in the 86kg finals Saturday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials to earn his first Olympics berth.
In a best-of-three format, Taylor downed Nickal 4-0 in the first match and 6-0 in the second to win the title in Fort Worth, Texas. He will now represent the United States in the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
Nickal earned a spot on the US National Team by finishing second.
David Taylor downs Bo Nickal 6-0, wins finals series 2-0 to earn a trip to the 2020 Tokyo Games
David Taylor // 2-0 series win
2020 Olympian // U.S. National Team member
Bo Nickal // 3-2 incl. 0-2 series w/ DT
U.S. National Team Member // OTT Runner-Up#PSUwr
— Penn State WRESTLING (@pennstateWREST) April 4, 2021
Taylor was a two-time NCAA champion and two-time Hodge Trophy winner at Penn State. Nickal won three NCAA titles and one Hodge Trophy.
The biggest difference between the two certainly seemed to be the experience level in these types of national and international events. The following tweet thread explains that difference in good detail.
While David Taylor has over 40 matches in 3 years, Bo Nickal has wrestled far less.
Since 2018 Bo is:
Best international win for Bo is Batyrbek Tsakulov (RUS). Tsakulov has been Yarygin Gold, Russian Gold, and U23 Silver. https://t.co/xb6Zi8VfuY
— Jon Kozak (@KozakJon) April 3, 2021
The fact that Nickal, an incredible wrestler in his own right, was unable to score a point on Taylor in two matches goes to show just how locked in and prepared Taylor was.
The two are good friends and trained together, so they obviously know each other very well.
Taylor won the gold medal at the 2018 World Championships. He also had won three US championships (2015, ’17 and ’18), but the 30-year-old had yet to make an Olympic team.
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