It wasn't meant to be for the Olympic gold medalist and Penn State University wrestling coach. Cael Sanderson's efforts to claim a medal at the World Championships at age 32 did not go very well. After making it to the bronze medal match, Sanderson couldn't get it done against Russia's Albert Saritov:
Sanderson dropped a controversial 1-0, 3-0 decision to Russia’s Albert Saritov in the bronze-medal match at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Sanderson was on the attack the entire bronze-medal match, peppering the defensive-minded Russian with an array of leg shots. The Russian never took a shot in four minutes as both periods went to ball draws.
Sanderson lost the first period 1-0 after the Russian won the ball draw and finished in the leg clinch. Sanderson won the ball draw in the second period and appeared to finish for a point in the leg clinch, but the referee allowed the match to continue. Saritov countered and was awarded two exposure points. The U.S. challenged the call, but it was upheld and the Russian was given an additional point on the challenge.
"It was a little rough. I got what I deserved," Sanderson said of his performance. "I'm glad I went through this process. One thing is the weight is qualified for the Olympics, but that's not what you come to the World Championships for."
What was supposed to be Sanderson's 'return' to competitive international wrestling clearly did not turn out how Sanderson expected, although he made no comment on whether he'd continue competing.