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|Conder wins gold, Padilla takes silver at Junior Worlds in China|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
BEIJING, CHINA - Whitney Conder (Payallup, Wash./USOEC) claimed a gold medal at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. and Tatiana Padilla (LaVerne, Calif./California Grapplers) captured a silver medal at 59 kg/130 lbs. at the Junior World Championships on Thursday night.
Conder defeated Kumari Babita of India, 2-1, 3-2 in the finals. Conder scored two takedowns in the first period. In the second period, the difference for Conder was a takedown with exposure points.
"I just really kept moving because I had to win the match," said Conder of the closing seconds of the finals bout. "That is all I wanted to do. It was hard to wrestle, but it was a lot of fun out there."
Conder, who is a member of the U.S. Olympic Education Center program at Northern Michigan Univ., won four matches on the way to the gold medal.
"She had to be very disciplined," said USA Wrestling Women's Developmental Coach Izzy Izboinikov about Conder's finals bout. "The Indian athlete has a really good double leg, so I asked her to be very disciplined with her hands, take a beating on her head, and control the match with her hands."
Li Songni of China edged Padilla, 1-0, 2-0 in their finals bout. Li scored the only takedown of the first period. In the second period, Padilla stepped out of bounds two times, giving Li her two points for the win. The hometown crowd was very supportive of Li throughout the match.
Padilla, who will be a senior in high school next year, won three matches to qualify for the finals. One of the athletes she defeated in the morning session was 2006 Junior World champion Larissa Kanaeva of Russia.
"It feels good, but it doesn't feel as good as gold," said Padilla. "All I know as soon as I get home… well not even when I get home, but tomorrow, we have practice. I might as well practice harder. I'm gonna get the gold. I am not going to stop until I get it."
The United States is second in the team standings after the first night of competition. China leads the team standings with 36 points, including four individual medalists. The United States is in second place with 28 points. Russia is next with 26 points.
Amy Whitbeck (Duanesburg, N.Y./Team New York) placed fifth at 44 kg/97 lbs. losing to Kumari Sudesh of India in the bronze medal match, 3-1, 2-2. Sudesh captured the second period by scoring a two-point counter move.
Erin Clodgo (Richmond, Vermont (USOEC), placed eighth at 67 kg/147.5 lbs., after going 1-1 in the morning session.
The final four U.S. women wrestlers have weighed in and received their draws for Friday's competition.
Junior World Championships
At Beijing, China, August 23
44 kg/97 lbs. - Amy Whitbeck, Duanesburg, N.Y. (Team New York), 5th
WIN Huang Chen-Yu (Taipei), 5-0. 6-0
WIN Rehina Yarova (Ukraine), 4-0, 2-0
LOSS Elena Gnatenko (Russia), 0-4, 1-7
LOSS Kumari Sudesh (India), 1-3, 2-2
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Whitney Conder, Payallup, Wash. (USOEC), 1st
WIN Osocka Dominika (Poland), 4-1, 6-1
WIN Maryna Milevskaya (Belarus), pin 3-1, 1:58
WIN Li Xiao (China), 1-0, 3-2
WIN Kumari Babita (India), 2-1, 3-2
59 kg/130 lbs. - Tatiana Padilla, LaVerne, Calif. (California Grapplers), 2nd
WIN Sona Ahmadi (Azerbaijan), 4-3, 2-0
WIN Larisa Kanaeva (Russia), pin 1-0, 1:52
WIN K. Dombrovska (Ukraine), 0-6, 2-0, 4-0
LOSS Li Songni (China), 0-1, 0-2
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Erin Clodgo, Richmond, Vermont (USOEC), 8th
WIN Desire Smith (South Africa), 1-0, 4-0
LOSS Laura Skujina (Latvia), pin 1:49
U.S. draws for Friday's competition
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Alyssa Lampe, Tomahawk, Wis. (USOEC)
vs. Fuyoka Mimura (Japan)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Cherae Pascua, Oahu, Hawaii (USOEC)
vs. A Sandagdorj (Mongolia)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Deanna Rix, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
vs. Kundu Suman (India)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Paige Rife, Fowlerville, Mich. (USOEC)
vs. Jenny Fransson (Sweden)