Johnstown has a world champion.
Bo Bassett pinned Russia’s Alikhan Ashinov on Wednesday at the Cadet World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, to capture the 45-kilogram freestyle title.
Bassett, 14, is believed to be the first world champion in any sport from Cambria County, as well as the youngest world champion wrestler in history.
He was still in awe nearly an hour after his victory, speaking with The Tribune-Democrat via telephone as he waited for the results of the mandatory drug test that winners face.
“It was an unbelievable moment,” Bassett said of the medal ceremony, where he stood atop the podium while “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over the PA system. “Just standing there with my hand over my heart, representing America, representing Pennsylvania, representing my hometown of Johnstown. The support has been amazing.”
Amazing is a description that fits Bassett quite well. The Bishop McCort Catholic student breezed through the world championships, pinning three of his foes and scoring a technical fall over the other one.