Aaron Brooks is developing into one of the most feared wrestlers in the world. That was on display once again at the Junior World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia. Brooks decimated his competition on his way to a silver medal, showing why he is among the most coveted wrestling talents in the United States before falling to Hayato Ishiguro in the final 11-10.
Brooks made very quick work of his first opponent, Daniyar Meldebek of Kazakhstan. He was able to get to his offense and Meldebek's legs at will, winning 12-1 via technical superiority.
Here is Brooks displaying his leg attacks:
Brooks then met Andrian Grosul (Moldova) in the quarterfinals. This was a much tougher match than the opener. Grosul has strong credentials of his own, finishing with a silver medal at the Junior European Championships. However, Brooks won 9-4, displaying his impressive strength. Here is a takedown where he essentially attempts a body slam like he's Stone Cold Steve Austin or something:
Aaron Brooks' semifinal opponent, Orkhan Abasov (Azerbaijan), but the match ended due to a disqualification. Abasov was cautioned out of the match for fleeing the hold and a headbutt, and Brooks was handed a spot in the final. Books' strength clearly led to a some frustration.
Brooks and Ishiguro had a high scoring war in the final. Ishiguro is well-credentialed, having won the senior freestyle Ali Aliev Tournament this year. These two kept going back and forth with big moves, with plenty of controversy as well. Ishiguro managed to get a takedown and gut-wrench to take an early 4-0 lead. Brooks responded with a four point move of his own to take the lead via criteria. The score was 4-4 at the end of the first period and the action was only getting started.
Brooks and Ishiguro spent the second period trading takedowns, but the controversial moment came with Brooks leading 8-6. He appeared to have secured a takedown, but Ishiguro was able to reverse. In international rules, a reverse counts for one point, so the score should have been 10-7, but the refs ruled that it was Ishiguro who scored the takedown, which did not appear to be the correct call. The USA challenge failed, giving a challenge loss point, and a 9-8 lead, to Ishiguro. Brooks scored one more takedown late in the second to take a 10-9 lead. However, Ishiguro was able to secure two exposure points late and clinch the title.
Aaron Brooks will spend this season training at the Olympic Training Center, and it stands to reason that we will probably see him on this stage again in 2019. It is expected that he will enter the Penn State lineup for the 2019-20 season as the 184 pound starter, replacing Shakur Rasheed.
Congratulations to Aaron Brooks on his silver medal and success at the junior world championships!