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|U.S. to compete at Women’s World Cup in Taiyuan, China, March 21-22|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
The United States will be among the eight top international wrestling teams to compete in the 2009 Women's World Cup in Taiyuan, China, March 21-22.
This is the annual international dual meet championships, and will feature teams from the United States, Japan, China, Canada, Russia, Mongolia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The U.S. team will feature a mix of veteran stars and top young talents, and is expected to be very competitive at this year's event.
Leading the U.S. team is 2008 World Champion Clarissa Chun (Tokyo, Japan/Sunkist Kids), who will compete at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Chun will be competing for the first time since winning her World title in Japan last October.
"All of the top teams will be there. It will be a good competition. I am excited to get back out there competing again," said Chun.
Five members of the 2008 U.S. Women's World Team will participate in the Women's World Cup: Chun, plus Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./New York AC) at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., Deanna Rix (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 59 kg/130 lbs., Elena Pirozkhova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Stephany Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Rix placed fifth at the 2008 World Championships, while Maroulis and Pirozkhova both placed eighth. Pirozkhova and Lee were also 2008 University World Champions.
Competing at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. will be 2008 Junior World Champion Adeline Gray (Denver, Colo./USOEC). Also on the team will be 2007 World Team member Leigh Jaynes (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs., along with talented young Erin Clodgo (Richmond, Vermont/USOEC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.
The team just completed an intense training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"Camp went well. We worked hard," said National Women's Coach Terry Steiner. "We have a team that can compete with anybody in the world. It is a good test to see where we are as a program against other countries. We are focusing on the process of winning, what it takes to have winning results. That includes the travel, making weight, the technology and how we step onto the mat to compete. We are focusing on the process of winning. If we do that, the results will take care of themselves."
China is the defending World Cup team champion, defeating the United States in the championship finals dual meet by a 4-3 margin. At the 2008 World Cup, the United States upset the perennial power Japan in the pool competition, 4-3. The USA also defeated Ukraine during the 2008 Women's World Cup.
The dual meet pairings for the World Cup have not yet been determined, and will set when the teams arrive in China.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Taiyuan, China, March 21-22
U.S. team roster
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Clarissa Chun, Tokyo, Japan (Sunkist Kids)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Leigh Jaynes, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
59 kg/130 lbs. - Deanna Rix, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Elena Pirozkhova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Adeline Gray, Denver, Colo. (USOEC)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Erin Clodgo, Richmond, Vermont (USOEC)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Stephany Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Coaches - National Women's Coach Terry Steiner of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Assistant National Women's Coach Izzy Izboinikov of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Keith Wilson of Colorado Springs, Colo.
Women's World Cup Schedule
Saturday, March 21
9:30 a.m. - Competition sessions 1 and 2
4:30 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies
5:30 p.m. - Competition sessions 3 and 4
Sunday, March 22
10:30 p.m. - Fifth and Seventh Place dual meets
5:00 p.m. - Third Place dual meet
6:00 p.m. - Championship dual meet