Former Iowa wrestler Thomas Gilman took home a bronze medal in Tokyo Thursday. The three-time All-American beat Reza Atrinagharchi from Iran, 9-1 to make it on the 57-kilogram freestyle wrestling podium.
Gilman started off his first Olympics with a very narrow loss in the closing seconds to two-time defending world champion and eventual gold medalist Zavur Uguev by a 5-4 score. It was one of Uguev’s closest match in this year’s Olympics.
That loss knocked Gilman out of gold medal contention, but because Uguev made it to the final, Gilman was able to come through the repechage or consolation bracket. That gives wrestlers who lose to finalists in the first round, a chance to still medal.
He took full advantage of the second chance, beating Uzbekistan’s Gulomjon Abdullaev 11-1 to advance to the bronze medal match. Later in the day, he beat Atrinagharchi for bronze.
It’s the tenth Olympic medal in Iowa Wrestling program history and the first since 2000 in Sydney.