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|Olympic medalists McMann, Miranda win exhibition bouts against stars from China during Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
The two U.S. women wrestlers who won medals at the 2004 Olympic Games won two matches each against top Chinese stars in exhibition matches held alongside the Arnold Wrestling Challenge in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 4.
In addition to top youth wrestling competitions already announced, there will be special exhibition matches between world-class women wrestlers from the United States and China as part of the first annual Arnold Wrestling Challenge, set for March 3-5 in Columbus, Ohio.
2004 Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) won two matches against Xu Haiyan, the 2002 Asian Games champion.
In the first match, McMann needed three periods to beat Xu, 1-0, 1-1, 1-1. In the second match, McMann lost the first period, but won in the second period when Xu received her third and final caution and was disqualified.
Xu, who is 21 years old, was fourth at the 2002 World Championships, and a bronze medalist at the 2002 World University Championships. These athletes compete at 62 kg/138.75 lbs.
In addition to her Olympic medal, McMann was a 2003 World silver medalist and a 2005 World bronze medalist. McMann, who is 25 years old, won a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games, and boasts four U.S. Nationals titles during her career.
2004 Olympic bronze medalist Patricia Miranda (New Haven, Conn./Sunkist Kids) won her two bouts against Ren Xuecheng, the 2005 World Champion.
In her first match, Mirnada stopped Ren, 5-1, 2-1. In the second match, Miranda won the first period, 1-1, then pinned Ren in the second period with one second left.
Ren, who is 20 years old, was also a 2005 Asian Championships gold medalist.
In addition to her Olympic medal, Miranda was a 2000 World silver medalist and a 2003 World silver medalist. Miranda, who is 26 years old, also won a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Championships, and has captured three U.S. Nationals titles during her career. She is currently attending Yale Law School, and returned to the mats this year after over a year away from the sport.
The two Chinese athletes in the special matches are part of a team of top Chinese women wrestlers who are coming to the United States for joint training with the U.S. women's national team. These are among the most powerful women's wrestling nations in the world, as China placed second and the United States placed third at the 2005 World Wrestling Championships in women's freestyle wrestling.
The First Annual Arnold Wrestling Challenge is part of the multi-sport Arnold Sports Festival, held March 3-5 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The wrestling event featured the USA Wrestling Ultimate Challenge Series for wrestlers between 9 and 15 years of age and the USGWA Wrestling Challenge for females, elementary school through college age.
112.25 lbs./51 kg
Bout 1- Patricia Miranda (USA) dec. Ren Xuecheng (China), 5-1, 2-1
Bout 2 - Patricia Miranda (USA) dec. Ren Xuecheng (China), 1-1, pin 3:59
136.5 lbs./63 kg
Sara McMann (USA) dec. Xu Haiyan (China), 1-0, 1-1, 1-1
Sara McMann (USA) dec. Xu Haiyan (China), 0-1, disq. in 2nd period