Aiello claims bronze at U23 World Championships

Courtesy UVA Media Relations


(© Michael Chamberlin –

Jay Aiello of the Virginia wrestling team won the bronze medal at 97kg in the U23 World Championships on Saturday as he represented the United States in the international event.

Aiello claimed his spot on the podium with a 13-2 victory over Vasil Pauliuchenka of Belarus. Aiello stormed out of the gates, jumping out to a quick six-point lead and holding the 9-2 advantage after three minutes of wrestling.

In the opening day of action Friday, Aiello won his first two matches of the day to advance to the semifinals, taking wins over Feyzullah Aktürk of Turkey in the opening round before defeating Shamil Ghadzialiev of Russia by criteria in the second match of the day. He then dropped his semifinal match to Iran’s Amriali Azarpira – the eventual gold medalist – to move to the bronze-medal match on Saturday.


“We are so proud of Jay. He is just such a tough kid. He works really hard and focuses on the process. He has a strong faith and is a great leader; he trusts his coaches, invests in his teammates and he loves his family. We are so blessed to coach him.”


“While I trained all summer to be a world champion, it still feels amazing getting the bronze medal. I’m content, but not complacent and more than grateful for the people God has placed in my life. I’m ready to get back to the homeland to start training to win an NCAA title.”