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Patricia Miranda wins bronze medal at World Championships



GUANGZHOU, China - Patricia Miranda is officially back on the World stage.

Miranda took the 2005 season off after beginning Law School at Yale University and moved up a weight class when she returned this year. But she still managed to claim a bronze medal Saturday night at the World Championships.

Miranda (New Haven, Conn./Sunkist Kids) won her fourth World-level medal by downing Junior World Champion Oleksandanda Kohut of the Ukraine 1-0, 1-0 at 51 kg/112.25 pounds on Saturday at the Tianhe Sports Center.

Miranda won World silver medals in 2000 and 2003 before capturing a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics at 48 kg/105.5 pounds. Miranda fell to Japan's Hitomi Sakamoto in the quarterfinals Saturday morning. Sakamoto won her fourth World title on Saturday night.

"Nobody wants to seem ungrateful for a World medal," Miranda said. "I definitely am grateful for the medal. There are definitely things today that I need to improve on. There are things I disappointed myself with. For instance, I have to hold myself accountable if I don't get going in matches."

"I see this weight class as a two-horse race. Right now, Hitomi (Sakamoto) is winning. But, I am making progress. I am taking small steps. There were 30 seconds to a minute where I wrestled how I need to, how I must to win. She was mortal for 30 seconds. I hadn't seen that before. It's a step. The rest of the four minutes I have to work on. It's a mixed emotional day. I didn't do what I wanted to. My attitude is not to give up. It is to be accountable and work on it immediately when I get home."

The U.S. now has won a total of eight medals (four in men's freestyle, three in Greco-Roman and one in women's freestyle) at the 2006 World Championships with one day left in the seven-day event. Three more women's weight classes will be contested on Sunday. The United States stands seventh with 14 points, but could still finish as high as second.

Erin Tomeo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) came up win one win short of the bronze-medal match at 59 kg/130 pounds. Tomeo fell 2-0, 4-1 to Natalya Sinishin of the Ukraine in the second round of the Repechage late Saturday afternoon. Tomeo finished 2-2 in her second World meet after pinning her first two foes. Tomeo placed seventh overall.

"I didn't put it all out there," Tomeo said. "It wasn't my best wrestling for sure. I think my head was in a good place. I left the loss to China behind me. I had a good warmup. I was relaxed and ready to go. But something changed when I stepped on the mat."

The U.S. suffered a stunning setback in the first round when two-time World silver medalist Tina George (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was upset by Thi Giang Nghiem of Vietnam in the first round at 55 kg/121 pounds. George was eliminated after Nghiem lost her next match. Nghiem's best international showing was third at the 2006 Asian Championships.

Japan, as expected, is running away from the rest of the field. They have won championships in the first four weight classes with a chance to add three more gold medals Saturday night.

The final day of the World Championships is set for Sunday. The Americans will send three World medalists to the mat. They include Sara McMann (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 pounds, Katie Downing (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 67 kg/147.5 pounds and Kristie Marano (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 72 kg/158.5 pounds.

Marano, competing in her first World meet since 2003, is a seven-time World medalist and two-time World Champion. McMann and Downing each won bronze medals at the 2005 World meet.
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