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|World Championships preview in women’s freestyle wrestling at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
This could be an interesting year at this weight class, since the announcement that there will be six Olympic weights for women in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In the past, this weight class had a lot of turnover, as wrestlers found their way into one of the Olympic weights, either up or down. Nobody knows what the new six weights will be, but the athletes in this division may fit nicely into one of the new weight categories. You may see athletes decide to stay around a bit longer at 51 kg.
That said, the current World champion here is Canadian star Jessica MacDonald, winner of the 2012 Worlds held in her native Canada. She won a bronze medal at the 2011 Worlds as well. MacDonald added another Pan American Championships title this year. She is tall, strong and confident, wrestles an aggressive style, and should be in position to defend her title.
Winning silver in 2012 was China’s Yanan Sun, who was also eighth in 2011. Sun added 2013 titles at the Dave Schultz Memorial and the World Cup.
Another World bronze medalist, Alyssa Lampe of the USA, has returned to her natural weight at 48 kg and is No. 1 ranked in that class. The USA has another 48 kg star moving up to 51 kg this year for the World Championships, two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony, who was second behind Lampe in the USA Trials at the lower weight class. She went up to 51 kg for the U.S. Wrestle-offs and beat some talented veterans to make her first U.S. Senior World Team.
A tough Russian in this division the last three years has been 2011 World Champion Zamira Rakhmanova, who was third in the 2010 World Championships and fifth at the 2012 World Championships. Another possible Russian entry is European bronze medalist Ekaterina Krasnova.
Japan has a young star who will be seeking to reclaim the gold medal for the nation at this weight class, 19 year old Yu Miyahara. A 2013 Junior World champion and 2011 Cadet World champion, she also won the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Add in Senior level golds in Sweden and Azerbaijan, and you have an athlete ready to take the next step as an Olympic star. A winner in the World youth programs, she will also be a winner as a Senior.
Roxana Zasina of Poland had a strong European Championships, winning the gold medal, and also added a gold at the Poland Open, a World Championships tuneup event. The European silver medalist Yulia Blahina of Ukraine added a bronze medal at the University World Games later in the summer. Winning a European bronze medal with her best performance to date was Tiina Ylinen of Finland.
The 2013 Asian Championships showcased a number of talents, including gold medalist Tatyana Amanzol-Bakatyuk of Kazakhstan, who was fifth in the 2010 and 2012 World Championships and won gold medals in Italy and Russia this year. She was also fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games. She has been at 48 kg often, and might still drop there for the Worlds this year. The other medalists from the Asian Championships this year were silver medalist Liu Haiping of China and bronze medalists Vinesh of Indian and So Sim-Hyang of North Korea.
Pan American medalists this year, behind MacDonald in the standings, were silver medalist Aguis Rivas of Venezuela and bronze medalists Patricia Bermudez of Argentina and Idrimis Acea Garcia of Cuba. The Pan American athletes are doing well internationally, and Cuba seems to be putting more effort into its women’s program.
There have been some high performers who have not competed this year, including 2013 World bronze medalist Kumari Babita of India, 2010 World champion Oleksandra Kohut of Ukraine, 2011 World silver medalist Otgontsetseg Davaasukh of Mongolia and others.
Watch out for some young talents who have not yet made a big name for themselves. The first year after the Olympics often opens up opportunities for newcomers to shine. But right now, the measuring stick is Canada’s MacDonald, who has raised the bar at this weight class very high.
FILA WORLD RANKINGS
1. Jessica MacDonald (Canada); 2. Yu Miyahara (Japan); 3. Tatyana Amanzhol-Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan); 4. Ekaterina Krasnova (Russia); 5. Roksana Zasina (Poland) 6. Kristina Yalovenko (Kazakhstan); 7. Burcu Kebic (Turkey); 8. Melanie LeSaffre (France); 9. Yulia Blahinya (Ukraine); 10. Whitney Conder (USA); 11. Patricia Bermudez (Argentina); 12. Marina Vilmova (Russia); 13. Isabelle Sambou (Senegal); 14. Angela Dorogan (Azerbaijan); 15. Elena Turcan (Moldova)
RECENT WORLD AND OLYMPIC RESULTS
2012 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold – Jessica MacDonald (Canada); Silver – Yanan Sun (China); Bronze – Alyssa Lampe (USA); Bronze – Kumari Babita (India); 5th - Zamira Rakhmanova (Russia); 5th - Abdutalipova Abdutalipova (Kazakhstan); 7th - Risako Kawai (Japan); 8th - Roksana Zasina (Poland); 9th - Otgontsetseg Davaasukh (Mongolia); 10th - Alina Ryzhova (Belarus)
2011 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold - Zamira Rakhmanova (Russia) ; Silver - Otgontsetseg Davaasukh (Mongolia); Bronze - Patimat Bagomedova (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Jessica MacDonald (Canada); 5th - Rathi Neha (India); 5th - Mareka Shidochi (Japan); 7th - Kum Ok Han (North Korea); 8th - Yanan Sun (China); 9th - Alexandra Engelhardt (Germany); 10th - Maryia Ivanova Yahorava (Belarus)
2010 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold –Oleksandra Kohut (Ukraine); Silver – Yu Horiuchi (Japan); Bronze – Sofia Mattsson (Sweden); Bronze – Zamira Rakhmanova (Russia); 5th – Roksina Zasina (Poland); 5th – Tatiana Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan); 7th – Estera Dobre (Romania); 8th – Isabelle Sambou (Senegal); 9th - Jessica Medina (USA); 10th – Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan)
2009 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold - Sofia Mattsson (Sweden); Silver - Kum Ok Han (North Korea); Bronze - Oleksandra Kohut (Ukraine); Bronze - Yuri Kai (Japan); 5th - Natalia Budu (Moldova); 5th - Di Hong (China); 7th - Alexandra Englehardt (Germany); 8th - Babita Kumari (India); 9th - Tatyana Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan); 10th - Emese Szabo (Hungary)
2008 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold – Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan); Silver – Maryna Markevich (Belarus); Bronze – Vanessa Boubryemm (France); Bronze – Yuliya Blahinya (Ukraine); 5th – Jessica Bondy (Canada); 5th – Marina Vilmova (Russia); 7th – Natalia Budu (Moldova); 8th – Helen Maroulis (USA); 9th – Aguis Rivas (Venezuela); 10th – Dilek Atakol (Turkey)
2007 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold - Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan); Silver - Xuecheng Ren (China); Bronze - Erica Sharp (Canada); Bronze - Anne Catherine Deluntsch (France); 5th - Alexandra Engelhardt (Germany); 5th - Tatyana Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan); 7th - Zamira Rakhmanova (Russia); 8th - Aleksandra Kohut (Ukraine); 9th - Babita Kumari (India); 10th - Georgiana-Mihaela Radoi (Romania)
2006 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold - Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan); Silver - Lindsay Belisle (Canada); Bronze - Patricia Miranda (United States); Bronze - Alena Adashinskaya (Russia); 5th - Okeksandra Kohut (Ukraine); 5th - Brigitte Wagner (Germany); 7th - Park Yeon Jim (Korea); 8th - Dina Mirzaeva (Uzbekistan); 9th - Liao Dong Hua (China); 10th - Maria del Mar Serrano (Spain)
2005 World Championships
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold - Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan); Silver - Vanessa Boubryemm (France); Bronze - Tsogtbaz Enkhjargal (Mongolia); Bronze - Juling Wen (China); 5th - Aleksandra Kohut (Ukraine); 5th - Erica Sharp (Canada); 7th - Stephanie Murata (USA); 8th - Dinara Mirzaeva (Uzbekistan); 9th - Natalya Smirnova (Russia); 10th - Nurzat Shaylobaeva (Kyrgyzstan)