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Gray earns silver at 76 kg; Mensah-Stock moves into gold medal match

American Adeline Gray shows over her silver medal after finishing second in women’s freestyle at 76 kg at the Olympics. (Tony Rotundo photo courtesy United World Wrestling)

Adeline Gray claimed the first wrestling medal for the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games by earning a silver medal at 76 kg (167 pounds) in women’s freestyle while American teammate Tamyra Mensah-Stock earned herself a medal by qualifying for the finals at 68 kg (149 pounds) with a win in the semifinals.

Gray was defeated in the gold-medal finals by 2014 world champion Aline Rotter Focken of Germany, 7-3. She becomes the sixth U.S. wrestler to earn an Olympic medal in women’s freestyle since the sport joined the Olympic program in 2004.

Rotter Focken scored first to lead 1-0, after Gray was placed on the shot clock and could not score in the required 30 seconds. Late in the period, Gray secured a single leg but Rotter Focken was able to counter the move and score two points and take a 3-0 lead into the break.

In the second period, Rotter Focken extended her lead with a four-point takedown to lead 7-0. Gray got things rolling later in the period, forcing a stepout for a point, then adding a takedown with 26 seconds to close it to 7-3. Gray was unable to turn Rotter Focken after the takedown, and did not score in the closing seconds with the wrestlers on their feet.

Rotter Focken is Germany’s first women’s freestyle Olympic medalist and its nation’s first women’s freestyle Olympic champion tonight.

Gray won three matches on Sunday to qualify for the gold-medal bout. She opened with a pin over Zaineb Sghaier of Tunisia in 2:11, then stopped 2017 World champion Yasemin Adar of Turkey, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Her semifinals win was over Aiperi Medet Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan, 3-2.

This is Gray’s second Olympic appearance, after placing seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gray won World titles in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019, and also boasts two world championship bronze medals.

She is a native of Denver, Colo., and lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. She also trains with the Beaver Dam RTC.

Mensah Stock defeated 2018 world champion Alla Cherkasova of Ukraine in the semifinals, 10-4, breaking open a very close battle with a strong second period effort.

Mensah Stock scored first, getting a spin behind takedown while Cherkasova was on the shot clock, for a 2-0 lead which she carried into the break. During an active exchange, Cherkasova scored a spin behind takedown then hit a gut wrench for a 4-2 lead, but a two-point reversal with exposure by Mensah Stock tied it at 4-4. Mensah Stock opened it up with a two-point double leg takedown and a turn to lead 8-4. With Cherkasova trying an attack, Mensah Stock closed it out with a two-point counter takedown and the 10-4 final score.

Mensah Stock, the No. 1 seed, will face No. 2 seed Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria in the gold-medal finals on Tuesday night. The match will be broadcast live on The Olympic Channel beginning at 6:30 a.m. EST.

Oborududu beat Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia, 7-2 in the other semifinal. Oborududu, a three-time Olympian, became the first Nigerian wrestler to secure an Olympic medal, as well as the first African women’s wrestler to reach the Olympic finals.

Mensah Stock had a dominant Monday morning performance, scoring a pair of 10-0 technical falls over high-level opponents. In the first round, she dismantled 2016 Olympic champion Sara Dosho of Japan, with two takedowns and three ankle laces. In the quarterfinals, Mensah Stock had five different takedowns in her shut out of two-time World medalist Feng Zhou of China.

Mensah Stock was a 2019 world champion in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and also won a World bronze medal in 2018.

Greco Roman
Hancock’s Olympic tournament is over
G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who went 1-1 during Monday’s morning session, will not be eligible for Tuesday’s repechage, based upon the results of Monday night’s semifinals  at 97 kg in Greco-Roman.

No. 1 seed and two-time world champion Musa Evloev of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) defeated No. 4 seed Tadeusz Michalik of Poland in the semifinals, 7-1.

Michalik had defeated Hancock, 4-3 in Monday morning’s quarterfinals. Michalik needed to reach the gold-medal finals for Hancock to be pulled back into repechage, so Hancock’s Olympic competition has now ended. Hancock won his first match on Monday morning, a 5-1 decision over Mihail Kajaia of Serbia.

American results
Women’s freestyle
76 kg – Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo.), silver medal
WIN Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia), pin 2:11
WIN Yasemin Adar (Turkey), 6-4
WIN Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), 3-2
LOSS Aline Rotter Focken (Germany), 7-3

Women’s freestyle final results
Gold – Aline Rotter Focken (Germany)
Silver – Adeline Gray (USA)
Bronze – Zhou Qian (China)
Bronze – Yasemin Adar (Turkey)
5th – Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan)
5th – Hiroe Minagawa (Japan)
7th – Natalia Vorobieva (ROC)
8th – Epp Maee (Estonia)
9th – Vasilisa Marzaliuk (Belarus)
10th – Samar Amer Ibrahim Hamza (Egypt)

Medal round results
Gold – Aline Rotter Focken (Germany) dec. Adeline Gray (USA), 7-3
Bronze – Yasemin Adar (Turkey) pin Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), 1:24
Bronze – Zhou Qian (China) pin Hiroe Minagawa (Japan), 2:30

68 kg – Tamyra Mensah Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
WIN Sara Dosho (Japan), tech, fall 10-0
WIN Feng Zhou (China), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Alla Cherkasova (Ukraine), 10-4
Gold Medal finals – vs. Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria)

Gold Medal match
68 kg – Tamyra Mensah Stock (USA) vs. Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria)

68 kg semifinals
Tamyra Mensah Stock (USA) dec. Alla Cherkasova (Ukraine), 10-4
Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria) dec. Battsetseg Soronzonbold (Mongolia), 7-2

U.S. Greco-Roman results
60 kg – Ildar Hafizov (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 12th place
LOSS Luis Orta Sanchez (Cuba), 5-0
LOSS Sergey Emelin (ROC), 7-1

97 kg – G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
WIN Mihail Kajaia (Serbia), 7-1
LOSS Tadeusz Michalik (Poland), 4-3

Connecticut Wrestling Online has been covering the sport of wrestling in Connecticut and New England since 2001.

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