Connect with us


Elor wins gold medal; U.S. women finish second at world championships

Amit Elor won her second world championship on Thursday in Serbia. (Photo courtesy USA Wrestling)

Courtesy USA Wrestling

The United States women’s freestyle team closed out the 2023 world championships with its first individual world champion of the year, Amit Elor at 72 kg and placed second in the team standings behind powerhouse Japan in Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday.

Elor defeated Davaanasan Enkh Amar of Mongolia, 8-2 in the finals, to win her second straight Senior World title at this weight class. Elor went to the break with a 3-0 lead, with two step out points and a point when Enkh Amar was placed on the shot clock and did not score. In the second period, Elor and Enkh Amar each got a takedown to make it 5-2, but Elor reversed to make it 6-2. A last-second counter takedown closed the scoring for Elor.

Elor won four matches on the way to the title. Last year, she became the youngest U.S. Senior World champion at age 18. She is now a two-time Senior World champion while still a teenager.

In addition to her two Senior World titles, Elor has won three U20 world titles, a U17 world title and a U23 world title. Last year, she won the Senior, U23 and U20 all in the same season. This year, she has already won the Senior and U20 World titles and is expected to compete in the U23 World Championships in Tirana, Albania at the end of October.

Emma Bruntil, competing in her first Senior World Championships, placed fifth at 68 kg. She battled two-time world medalist Kounba Larroque of France in a bronze medal bout. Larroque opened the match with a four-point arm throw to lead 4-0 at the break. Larroque added three takedowns in the second period to secure a 10-0 technical fall. Bruntil placed fifth in the weight class.

Since only five athletes in each weight class qualify their nation for the Olympics, Bruntil wrestled an Olympic playoff match at 68 kg against Ami Ishii of Japan after the finals concluded. This is basically a “true fifth place” match between both fifth-place athletes, with the winner securing the Olympic quota for their nation.

The match with Ishii was very close. Ishii scored a first-period takedown to lead 2-0, and neither wrestler could score in the second period. Ishii won the Olympic playoff match, 2-0, giving Japan the fifth and final berth in the Paris Games at 68 kg from Belgrade. There are additional opportunities for the USA to qualify either at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Mexico, or the World Olympic Qualifier in Turkey this spring.

Two other U.S. women competed in the tournament. 2022 world champion Dom Parrish at 53 kg and two-time world silver medalist and Olympian Kayla Miracle at 62 kg were eliminated on Wednesday. These are both Olympic weight classes as well.

Overall, the USA qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in three weight classes in women’s freestyle (50 kg, 57 kg, 76 kg).

The U.S. women’s freestyle team won seven medals this year, matching the record of three previous world Teams that also had seven medals  (2003, 2021, 2022).The seven U.S. medalists included gold medalist Amit Elor (72 kg), silver medalists Jacarra Winchester (55 kg) and Macey Kilty (65 kg) and bronze medalists Jennifer Page (59 kg), Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg), Helen Maroulis (57 kg) and Adeline Gray (76 kg).

The United States placed second in the team standings with 135 points, behind only Japan with 195 points. Earning the third-place team trophy was Mongolia with 80. The USA was also second in the 2022 world championships in women’s freestyle.

The first day of Greco-Roman competition began Thursday with four weight classes. Kamal Bey is the only U.S. athlete who will compete on Friday morning in repechage, after going 1-1 at 77 kg on Thursday.

Bey opened up with a solid 4-1 victory over Fabio Dietsche of Switzerland. In the next round, he lost by technical fall to World silver medalist Sanan Suleymanov of Azerbaijan, 8-0. Tonight, Suleymanov won his semifinal match over Malkhas Amoyan of Armenia, 5-0, which pulled Bey back into the repechage. Only losers to finalists qualify for repechage.

Bey will open repechage with a match against Jonni Sarkinen of Finland. Bey must win three repechage matches on Friday morning to qualify for a bronze-medal match against Amoyan. Bey is competing in his third world championships.

The other three wrestlers competing on Thursday were eliminated after the athlete who beat them failed to reach the finals. Brady Koontz (55 kg), Spencer Woods (82 kg) and Cohlton Schultz (130 kg).

Koontz won his opening match, a 7-3 win over Hyeokjin Jeon of Korea, 7-3. He was defeated in his second match by Denis Mihai of Romania in a 9-0 technical fall. Mihai lost his next match. Koontz, who wrestled at Univ. of Dubuque and Ohio State, was in his first Senior Worlds.

Schultz also opened with a big win, pinning Marcel Albini of Czechia in 5:03. In his second match, Romas Fridrikas of Lithuania threw and pinned Schultz in the first period. Fridrikas lost his next match. Schultz, an All-American for Arizona State, was wrestling in his third Senior World Championships, and won three age-group world medals.

Wrestling is his second straight Senior Worlds, Woods was edged in his only match by Individual Neutral Athlete Stanislaw Shafarenko, 5-3. Shafarenko was defeated in the next round.

Greco-Roman continues on Friday and will include two-time Olympian Ildar Hafizov (60 kg) and a pair of multiple-time world team member, Patrick Smith (72 kg) and Josef Rau (97 kg).

At Belgrade, Serbia, September 20

Women’s freestyle team results
Final standings:
1. Japan 195, 2. United States, 135, 3. Mongolia, 80, 4. China, 65, 5. Ukraine, 59, 6. Moldova, 58, 7. Turkey, 55, 8. Kyrgyzstan, 47, 9. UWW, 39, 10. Germany, 35

Women’s Freestyle
53 kg
Gold – Akari Fujinami (Japan) tech. fall Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-0
Bronze – Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador) dec. Maria Prevolaraki (Greece), 10-3
Bronze – Antim (UWW) tech. fall Emma Malmgren (Sweden), 16-6
53 kg Olympic Playoff – Emma Malmgren (Sweden) pin Maria Prevolaraki (Greece), 1:03

62 kg
Gold – Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan) dec. Sakura Motoki (Japan), 4-1
Bronze – Grace Bullen (Norway) dec. Bilyana Dudova (Bulgaria), 3-0
Bronze – Iryna Koliadenko (Ukraine) tech. fall Luisa Niemesch (Germany), 10-0
62 kg Olympic playoff – Luisa Niemesch (Germany) dec. Bilyana Dudova (Bulgaria), 3-2

68 kg
Gold – Buse Cavusoglu Tosun (Turkey) pin Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia), 3:15
Bronze -. Koumba Larroque (France) tech. fall Emma Bruntil (United States), 10-0
Bronze – Irina Ringaci (Moldova) dec. Ami Ishii (Japan), 8-8
68 kg Olympic playoff: Ami Ishii (Japan) dec. Emma Bruntil (United States), 2-0

72 kg
Gold – Amit Elor (United States) dec. Davaanasan Enkh Amar (Mongolia), 8-2
Bronze – Zhamila Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan) dec. Natalia Strzalka (Poland), 4-1
Bronze – Miwa Morikawa (Japan) dec. Kendra Dacher (France), 4-2

U.S. women’s freestyle results
53 kg – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids), 22nd place
LOSS Antim (UWW), 3-2

62 kg – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids), 14th place
WIN Subeen Jo (Korea), tech fall 12-2
LOSS Kriszta Incze (Romania), 6-3

68 kg –Emma Bruntil (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC), 5th place
WIN Alexandra Anghel (Romania), 2-2
WIN Feng Zhou (China), 6-3
WIN Vusala Parfianovich (Individual Neutral Athlete), 2-1
LOSS Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia) pin 2:45
LOSS Koumba Larroque (France), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Olympic Playoff – Ami Ishii (Japan), 2-0

72 kg – Amit Elor (Titan Mercury WC/NYC RTC), Gold Medal
WIN Nesrin Bas (Turkey), 7-0
WIN Miwa Morikawa (Japan), 6-0
WIN Kendra Dacher (France), tech. fall 12-2
WIN Davaanasan Enkh Amar (Mongolia), 8-2

Friday’s matches
Greco-Roman finals pairings
55 kg – Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan) vs. Nugzari Tsurtsumia (Georgia)
77 kg – Sanan Suleymanov (Azerbaijan) vs. Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan)
82 kg – Rafig Huseynov (Azerbaijan) vs. Alireza Mohmadipiani (Iran)

U.S first round pairings
60 kg –Ildar Hafizov (U.S. Army WCAP)
Vs. Mehdi Mohsen Nejad (Iran), 2nd in 2022 Asian Championships, 2nd in 2021 U23 Worlds, 3rd in 2018 and 2019 U23 Worlds

72 kg –Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)
Vs. Kamil Czarnecki (Poland), 3rd in 2023 Europeans, 5th in 2019 Junior Worlds

97 kg – Josef Rau (Titan Mercury WC/Wildcat WC)
Vs. Filip Smetko (Croatia), 8th in 2022 World Championships, 5th in 2022 Zagreb Open (Croatia)

Thursday’s results
Greco-Roman semifinal results
55 kg
Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan) dec. Poya Soulat Dad Marz (Iran), 3-2
Nugzari Tsurtsumia (Georgia) dec. Jasurbek Ortikboev (Uzbekistan), 7-4

77 kg
Sanan Suleymanov (Azerbaijan) dec. Malkhas Amoyan (Armenia), 5-0
Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan) dec. Nao Kusaka (Japan), 7-5

82 kg
Rafig Huseynov (Azerbaijan) dec. Burhan Akbudak (Turkey), 5-5
Alireza Mohmadipiani (Iran) dec.Mihail Bradu (Moldova), 5-1

130 kg
Riza Kayaalp (Turkey) dec. Lingzhe Meng (China), 3-1
Amin Mirzazadeh (Iran) dec. Oscar Pino Hinds (Cuba), 1-1

U.S. Greco-Roman results
55 kg – Brady Koontz (Titan Mercury WC/Dubuque RTC), eliminated
WIN Hyeokjin Jeon (Korea), 7-3
LOSS Denis Mihai (Romania), tech fall 9-0

77 kg – Kamal Bey (U.S. Army WCAP), in repechage
WIN Fabio Dietsche (Switzerland), 4-1
LOSS Sanan Suleymanov (Azerbaijan), tech fall, 8-0
Repechage – Jonni Sarkinen (Finland)

82 kg – Spencer Woods (U.S. Army WCAP), eliminated
LOSS Stanislaw Shafarenko (Individual Neutral Athlete), 5-3

130 kg – Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids), eliminated
WIN Marcel Albini (Czechia), pin 5:03
LOSS Romas Fridrikas (Lithuania), pin 0:56

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

More in International