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With four pins, Gray wins American record sixth world championship

American Adeline Gray won an American record sixth world championship Wednesday in Norway. (Courtesy USA Wrestling)

Courtesy USA Wrestling

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 6, 2021 – It was a historic day for American wrestler Adeline Gray.

Gray won her sixth world championship Wednesday, coming from behind to take over the match and score a last-second pin over two-time world champion Epp Maee of Estonia. Gray earned an American record sixth world title.

Sarah Hildebrandt won a silver medal at 50 kilograms while Forrest Molinari (65 kg) brought home a bronze medal.

Gray’s finals match at 76 kg (167.6 pounds) was full of excitement. Maee controlled the match early and took plenty of momentum into the break, where she was winning 4-0 after an activity clock point against Gray, plus a late-period takedown which the USA challenged and lost.

However, in classic fashion, Gray made a statement in the second period and proved why she is a legend.

After powering through a Maee shot attempt and picking up two points on the edge, Gray scored a takedown, transitioned immediately into a trap-arm gut wrench and forced Maee to her back, where she eventually finished up a pin with under two seconds left in the match.

Gray is the first U.S. wrestler of any style or gender to win six Senior world titles in a career. Two nights ago, right here in Oslo, men’s freestyle superstar Jordan Burroughs won his fifth career Senior world title, to tie Gray in the standings. The ink in the record book did not even have a chance to dry before Gray set the record at six.

What excited Gray the most is that she pinned all four of her opponents in this tournament, the first time in her storied career that she got falls in all of her matches at a Senior world championships.

Gray now has nine world and Olympic medals. This includes her six Senior world titles, her 2020 Olympic silver medal and two Senior world bronze medals. A native of Denver, Colo., she is one of the greatest athletes produced in the history of the state.

Sarah Hildebrandt, the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and 2018 world silver medalist, dropped a 5-3 tough decision to 2017 Cadet world champion Remina Yoshimoto of Japan in the finals.

Hildebrandt and Yoshimoto had one of the most exciting finals matches of the tournament featuring plenty of scrambles and key moments. Hildebrandt opened up a 3-0 lead to take momentum early, taking advantage of a shot clock point and a scramble position. However, Yoshimoto wasted no time before hitting the break, scoring a takedown to cut Hildebrandt’s lead to 3-2 after the first three minutes.

In the second period, Yoshimoto forced multiple key positions and capitalized, earning one point on a step out and two points on exposure in a scramble to take the 5-3 lead which held up to the end.

In the third world Championships bronze-medal match of her career, Forrest Molinari won her first Senior world bronze medal with a dominant 12-1 technical fall over Mariya Mamashuk of Belarus.

Molinari defended multiple early Mamshuk double-leg takedown attempts to set the tone for the match, seemingly gaining control of the match with her defense. After the opening exchanges defended by Molinari, she scored two takedowns and then earned two more exposure points to go into the break with a 6-0 lead.

Mamashuk opened the second period with a step out point, but the rest of the way was controlled by Molinari. The American scored two more takedowns and closed out the match with a leg lace, finishing up a 12-1 win and a bronze medal. Molinari won four matches during the tournament.

The fourth U.S. wrestler in Group Two, Amy Fearnside at 53 kg, lost in her opening match and was not pulled back into repechage. Her final placement in the weight class was 13th.

After the first six weight classes have been completed, Japan leads the team race with 116 points, with the United States in second with 95 points. Third place is way back, with Ukraine with 55 points.

At Oslo, Norway, October 6

Group Two women’s freestyle final results

50 kg
Gold – Remina Yoshimoto (Japan)
Silver – Sarah Hildebrandt (USA)
Bronze – Nadezhda Sokolova (Russian Wrestling Federation)
Bronze – Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia)
Gold – Yoshimoto dec. Hildebrandt, 5-3
Bronze – Sokolova tech fall Kokozei Yashchuk, 12-2 2:30
Bronze – Dolgorjav tech fall Vuc, 10-0 4:11

53 kg
Gold – Akari Fujinami (Japan)
Silver – Iulia Leorda (Moldova)
Bronze – Katarzyna Krawczyk (Poland)
Bronze – Samantha Stewart (Canada)
Gold – Fujinami tech fall Leorda, 10-0 2:15
Bronze – Krawczyk dec. Valverde Melendres, 7-1
Bronze – Stewart fall Bereza, 1:59

65 kg
Gold – Irina Ringaci (Moldova)
Silver – Miwa Morikawa (Japan)
Bronze – Forrest Molinari (USA)
Bronze – Malin Mattsson (Sweden)
Gold – Ringaci dec. Morikawa, 8-6
Bronze – Molinari tech fall Mamashuk, 12-1 4:51
Bronze – Mattsson inj. def. Hristova

76 kg
Gold – Adeline Gray (USA)
Silver – Epp Maee (Estonia)
Bronze – Samar Hamza (Egypt)
Bronze – Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan)
Gold – Gray fall Maee, 5:58
Bronze – Hamza dec. Kiran, 2-1
Bronze – Medet Kyzy tech fall Osniach Shustova, 12-1 1:35

U.S. women’s freestyle Group Two final results

50 kg – No. 1 seed Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC), silver medal
WIN Bohdana Kokozei Yashchuk (Ukraine), tech. fall 10-0, 0:43
WIN Lisa Ersel (Germany), tech. fall 10-0, 1:27
WIN Nadezhda Sokolova (Russian Wrestling Federation), tech. fall 12-1, 5:44
LOSS Remina Yoshimoto (Japan), 5-3

53 kg – Amy Fearnside (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC), dnp/13th
LOSS Katarzyna Krawczyk (Poland), tech. fall 10-0

65 kg – Forrest Molinari (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids), bronze medal
WIN Enkhjin Tuvshinjarga (Mongolia), pin 2:50
WIN Dinara Kadaeva Salikhova (Russian Wrestling Federation), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Koumba Larroque (France), 3-3
LOSS Miwa Morikawa (Japan), 6-2
WIN Mariya Mamashuk (Belarus) tech. fall 12-1

76 kg – No. 1 seed Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC), gold medal
WIN Aysegul Ozbege (Turkey), pin 1:17
WIN Kiran (India), pin 2:33
WIN Samar Hamza (Egypt), pin 4:00
WIN Epp Maee (Estonia), pin 5:58

Team standings after six weights
Top 10 teams — 1. Japan 116, 2. USA 95, 3. Ukraine 55, 4. Moldova 45, 5. Kyrgyzstan 40, 6. Russian Wrestling Federation 39, 7. Mongolia 38, 8. Canada 29, 9. (tie) Germany and India 24

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