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U.S. claims men’s freestyle world title; Winchester captures silver medal

The U.S.. men’s freestyle team won their fifth world champiionship Tuesday in Serbia. (Photo courtesy United World Wrestling)

Courtesy USA Wrestling

With three gold medalists, a silver medalist and three wrestlers taking bronze, the U.S. men’s freestyle won the world championship on Tuesday. The Americans finished first with 148 points with Iran in second place with 108. Georgia was third.

It’s the first time that the Americans have won back-to-back world championships. The U.S. also won men’s freestyle titles in 1993, 1995, 2017 and 2022.

On Tuesday, Kyle Snyder (97 kilograms) won his ninth straight medal in a world championship or Olympic tournament with a bronze medal.

Snyder won a Tuesday morning repechage match, then received the bronze medal Tuesday night when Abulrashid Sadulaev, a two-time Olympic champion and an Individual Neutral Athlete, could not compete due to injury. Snyder began his medal streak in 2015 with a World gold medal and now has two Olympic medals and seven World medals, including four golds.

Nick Lee placed seventh at 65 kg, with a 3-1 record.

Gold medals were won by Americans Vitali Arujau (61 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg) and David Taylor (86 kg), a silver by Kyle Dake (74 kg) and bronze medals by Snyder, Zahid Valencia (92 kg) and Mason Parris (125 kg).

The top five in each Olympic weight class earn a Paris Olympics berth for their respective nation at that weight class. The USA earned four Olympic quota spots with the men’s freestyle performances (74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg). Two weight classes were not qualified, 57 kg and 65 kg, but there are two other competitions ahead where these can be qualified.

It was a busy day for the U.S. women’s freestyle team as well, collecting its first two medals, a silver medal by 2019 world champion Jacarra Winchester (55 kg) and a bronze medal by Jennifer Page (59 kg), competing in her first world championship meet.

Winchester made the finals for the second time and was defeated in the finals by Haruna Okuna of Japan, 4-2. Okuna scored two takedowns in the first period to lead 4-0. Winchester was able to get a pair of one-point step outs in the second period but could not close the gap. Okuna became a three-time world champion.

Winchester, also a 2020 Olympian, won three matches on the way to the finals, including two by technical fall.

Page pinned Alyona Kolesnik of Azerbaijan in the bronze-medal bout in 1:40. She scored two points on a crotch lift to lead 2-0. Page nailed a hip toss and put Kolesnik on her back, finishing off the pin.

Page won her first two matches, including a huge 6-4 victory over Sae Nanjo of Japan in the second round. She was defeated in the semifinals, 6-4, by Qi Zhang of China, who went on to get the gold.

After the first two weight classes, the USA women were in first place with 35 points, followed by China with 31 points and Japan with 25 points.

In the semifinals, American Macey Kilty earned a spot in the finals at 65 kg after scoring an impressive 10-0 technical fall over Tatsiana Paulava, an Individual Neutral Athlete from Belarus, 5-2. Kilty scored a takedown and turned an ankle lace three times to lead 8-0. Kilty added a takedown to earn the technical fall.

Kilty will battle Nonoka Ozaki of Japan in the finals, a 2022 world champion at 62 kg. Kilty, who won four matches on Tuesday to reach the finals, is wrestling in her first Senior World championships.

Dropping semifinals matches and qualifying for Wednesday’s bronze medal matches are Olympic champion and three-time world champion Helen Maroulis (57 kg) and three-time world medalist and Olympic medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg).

Maroulis was defeated by Tsugumi Sakurai of Japan in the semifinals, 6-0, in a rematch of the 2022 world championship finals won by Sakurai. With a first-period takedown, and two takedowns in the second period, Sakurai also did not allow Maroulis to get her offense untracked.

Maroulis must wait to find out her opponent in the bronze medal bout. The repechage leading up to her bronze bout will set the winner, between Aurora Russo (Italy), Iryna Kurachkina (Individual Neutral Athlete) and Anhelina Lysak (Poland).

Hildebrandt was edged by two-time world medalist Otgonjargal Dolgorjav of Mongolia, 7-5. Dolgorjav was able to take down Hildebrandt and turn her twice, jumping to a 7-1 lead. Two late Hildebrandt takedowns were not enough to close the gap.

Hildebrandt will face the winner of the repechage match between Evin Demirhan (Turkey) and Kseniya Stankevich (Individual Neutral Athlete) in her bronze-medal bout.

Both 50 kg and 57 kg are Olympic weight classes. If Maroulis and Hildebrandt win the bronze, they clinch an Olympic quota for the USA. If they lose, they must win a special wrestle-off for fifth place to get the USA an Olympic berth at the weight class.

Six-time world champion Adeline Gray, will compete in the repechage rounds on Wednesday. Gray won her first two matches, then was defeated in the quarterfinals by Yuka Kagami of Japan, 4-1. When Kagami won her semifinal bout, Gray was pulled back into repechage.

Gray will wrestle the winner of a match between Yuanyuan Huang of China and Kamile Gaucaite of Lithuania. If she wins, she advances to a bronze-medal bout.

76 kg is also an Olympic weight class, so Gray must place in the top five at her weight to earn the USA an Olympic quota at this weight class.

The final four U.S. women wrestlers begin competition on Wednesday morning including 2022 world champion Dominique Parrish (53 kg), two-time World silver medalist Kayla Miracle (62 kg), Emma Bruntil (68 kg) and 2022 World champion Amit Elor (72 kg).

At Belgrade, Serbia, September 19

Men’s Freestyle
Final team standings
– 1. United States 148, 2.  Iran, 108, 3. Georgia, 80, 4. Kazakhstan, 74, 5. Azerbaijan, 66, 6. Japan, 65, 7. Armenia, 49, 8. Serbia, 40, 9. Bahrain, Hungary, Ukraine, 35

Men’s freestyle results
65 kg
Gold – Ismail Musukaev (Hungary) tech fall Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico), 11-0
Bronze – Shamil Mamedov (Individual Neutral Athlete) dec. Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran), 8-6
Bronze – Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia) dec. Maxim Sacultan (Moldova), 5-1
Olympic Playoff – Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran) tech fall Maxim Sacultan (Moldova), 10-0

97 kg
Gold – Akhmed Tazhudinov (Bahrain) pin Magomedkhan Magomedov (Azerbaijan), 2:50
Bronze – Kyle Snyder (USA) inj. dft. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Individual Neutral Athlete), 0:00
Bronze – Givi Matcharishvili (Georgia) dec. Ibrahim Ciftci (Turkey), 6-2
Olympic Playoff – Ibrahim Ciftci (Turkey) by inj. dft. over Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Individual Neutral Athlete)

U.S. men’s freestyle results
65 kg – Nick Lee (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), 7th place
WIN Kryzsztof Bienkowski (Poland), 6-0
WIN Austin Gomez (Mexico), pin 3:58
WIN Umidjon Jalolov (Uzbekistan), 4-3
LOSS Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran), 7-4

97 kg – Kyle Snyder (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), bronze medal
WIN Nishan Randhawa (Canada), tech fall 11-0
WIN Radu Lefter (Moldova), tech fall 12-1
LOSS Akhmed Tazhudinov (Bahrain), tech fall 11-0
WIN Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan)
WIN Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Independent Neutral Athlete), inj. dft, 0:00

American coach Bill Zadick talks about the U.S. men’s freestyle team that won a second world championship in Serbia on Tuesday.

Women’s freestyle team standings
After two weight classes:
1. United States, 35, 2. China, 31, 3. Japan, 25, 4. Germany 25, 5. Ukraine, 22 

Women’s freestyle results
55 kg
Gold – Haruna Okuno (Japan) dec. Jacarra Winchester (United States), 4-2
Bronze – Mariana Dragutan (Moldova) dec. Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 3-2
Bronze – Anastasia Blayvas (Germany) dec. Sharma (UWW), 2-2

59 kg
Gold – Qi Zhang (China) dec. Yuliia Tkach (Ukraine), 4-1
Bronze – Jennifer Page (United States) pin Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), 1:40
Bronze – Othelie Hoeie (Norway) dec. Elena Brugger (Germany), 5-1

U.S. women’s freestyle results
55 kg –Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC), Silver Medal
WIN Neha Sharma (UWW), 7-2
WIN Mariia Vynnyk (Ukraine), tech fall 11-0
WIN Anastasia Blayvas (Germany), tech fall 10-0
LOSS Haruna Okuno (Japan), 4-2

59 kg –Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), Bronze Medal
WIN Anjli (UWW), tech fall 11-0
WIN Sae Nanjo (Japan), 6-4
LOSS Qi Zhang (China), 5-1
WIN Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), pin 1:40

Tuesday’s results
Women’s Freestyle semifinals results
50 kg
Yui Susaki (Japan) dec. Ziqi Feng (China) , 8-2
Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia) dec. Sarah Hildebrandt (United States), 7-5
57 kg
Anastasia Nichita (Moldova) tech fall Elvira Kamaloglu (Turkey), 10-0
Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan) dec. Helen Maroulis (United States) 6-0
65 kg
Macey Kilty (United States) tech fall Tatsiana Paulava (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-0
Nonoka Ozaki (Japan) tech fall Lili (China), 10-0
76 kg
Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan) pin Tatiana Renteria (Colombia), 2:32
Yuka Kagami (Japan) dec. Milaimys Marin Potrille (Cuba), 5-2

U.S. Women’s freestyle results
50 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt (New York AC/USOPTC), in bronze medal match
WIN Miseon Kwon (Korea), tech fall 10-0
WIN Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan, tech fall 14-3
LOSS Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia), 7-5
Bronze Medal – Evin Demirhan (Turkey) vs. Kseniya Stankevich (Individual Neutral Athlete)

57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids), in bronze medal match
WIN Nesmarie Rodriguez (Puerto Rico), pin 1:28
WIN Graciela Sanchez Diaz (Spain), pin 2:13
WIN Zhala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan), 8-3
LOSS Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan), 6-2
Bronze Medal – winner of Aurora Russo (Italy), Iryna Kurachkina (Individual Neutral Athlete) and Anhelina Lysak (Poland)

65 kg –Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids), in gold medal match
WIN Valeriia Dondupova Suvorova (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 10-0
WIN Albina Drazhi (Albania), pin 2:28
WIN Mimi Hristova (Bulgaria), 11-2
WIN Tatsiana Paulava (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 10-0
Gold Medal – Nonoka Ozaki (Japan)

76 kg –Adeline Gray (New York AC), in repechage
WIN Jimin Baek (Korea), tech fall 10-0
WIN Epp Maee (Estonia), tech fall 11-0
LOSS Yuka Kagami (Japan), 4-1
Repechage – winner of Yuanyuan Huang (China) and Kamile Gaucaite (Lithuania)

Wedneday’s championship matches
Women’s freestyle
50 kg – Yui Susaki (Japan) vs. Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia)
57 kg – Anastasia Nichita (Moldova) vs. Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan)
65 kg – Macey Kilty (United States) vs. Nonoka Ozaki (Japan)
76 kg – Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan) vs. Yuka Kagami (Japan)

Wednesday’s matches
Women’s freestyle
53 kg – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Antim (UWW), 2023 U20 World champion, 2022 U20 Asian champion
62 kg – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Subeen Jo (Korea), 9th in 2023 Asian Championships, 5th in 2016 Asian U20 Championships
68 kg –Emma Bruntil (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC)
Vs. Alexandra Anghel (Romania), 2023 European champion, 2022 World bronze medalist, 5th in 2019 World Championships
72 kg – Amit Elor (Titan Mercury WC/NYC RTC)
Vs. Nesrin Bas (Turkey), 3rd in 2023 European Championships, 2023 European U23 champion, 2022 U23 World champion

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

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