COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Ohio State national champion and current OSU wrestling volunteer assistant coach Tommy Rowlands won gold at the 2005 World University Games Sunday evening, August 15, in Izmir, Turkey. Rowlands, who competed in the 211.5-pound (96kg) freestyle weight class, claimed his fourth medal, including his first gold, for Team USA in four competitions since completing his OSU career in 2004.

"I knew it was going to be a lot of fun," Rowlands said. "My whole goal was to take the crowd out of it right away. I scored that three-point move in the first 30 seconds of the first period and that was big."

In the championship bout, Rowlands defeated Turkey's Hakan Koc, 3-0, 2-2, to become the fifth U.S. wrestling gold medalist in the history of the games. Rowlands jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period after scoring a takedown 22 seconds into the match, before immediately turning Koc with a gut wrench. In the second period, Rowlands continued to gain the advantage, scoring another takedown for a 2-0 lead. Koc recorded a takedown soon afterward to tie the score, 2-2, but Rowlands was awarded the victory based on the criteria of most two-point scoring moves.

During the opening, Rowlands pinned Nadeem Maeem of Pakistan in 17 seconds, before he defeated Sergey Pernikau of Belarus, 2-0, 2-2. In the first period, Rowlands took a 2-0 advantage after forcing Pernikau out of bounds twice. Rowlands rebounded from a takedown in the second period with a takedown of his own, tying the score at 2-2 and earning the tiebreaker advantage.

In the semifinals, Rowlands pinned his second opponent, Bartolomeij Bartnicki of Poland in 42 seconds (7-0, 0:42), qualifying for the gold-medal round.

After capping his collegiate career in 2004 as the most decorated wrestler in OSU history, which included two NCAA heavyweight championships (2002 and 2004), Rowlands went on to compete in the 2004 Pan American Games in the 211-pound division. The Hilliard, Ohio native scored a silver medal in the event before falling short of an Olympic bid at the 2004 U.S. team trials. In 2005, Rowlands earned a silver medal at the Yarygin Memorial tournament in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and followed his second-place performance with a bronze medal showing at the Cerro Pelado tournament in Cuba.

-- Courtesy Ohio State