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Saunders, Murata Unable To Compete in Women's World Championships



USA Wrestling has announced that 2000 U.S. Women's World Team members Tricia Saunders (Phoenix, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 101.25 pounds and Stephanie Murata (Williamsburg, Ky./Sunkist Kids) at 123.25 pounds will not compete at the Women's World Championships due to injury. They will be replaced by Clarrisa Chun (Kapolei, Hawaii/Viking WC) at 101.25 pounds and Patricia Miranda (Saratoga, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 123.25 pounds, the second-ranked athletes at the weight class. Chun and Miranda will be competing in their first World Championships. The six-athlete U.S. team has departed to compete at the 2000 Women's World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept. 1-3. The team trained in late August in Evanston, Ill. to prepare for the tournament. Both Saunders and Murata won Special Wrestle-offs this summer to claim the No. 1 postion on Women's Team USA and qualify for the World Championships. However, the extent of their injuries did not permit them to train for and compete at the World Championships. Saunders is a four-time World Champion and a five-time World medalist. Murata has placed fourth in the last two World Championships. “The athletes have injuries that they sustained during the trials and haven't recovered fully,” said Mike Duroe, USA Wrestling's National Women's Coach. “Neither Chun or Miranda have had Senior-level World Championship experience, but Chun went to the Junior World Championships earlier this year. Chun placed second at the 2000 U.S. Nationals, and was third in the 2000 University Nationals. She won a gold medal at the 2000 Dave Schultz Memorial International Championships. Chun placed eighth in the 2000 Junior World Championships. She competes for Missouri Valley College, one of the three U.S. women's college varsity wrestling programs. Miranda was second in the 1998 and 2000 U.S. Nationals and finished second in the 1998 World Team Trials. She was also third in the 1999 World Team Trials. Among her international medals are a gold medal at the 1999 Sunkist Kids International Open and a bronze medal at the 2000 Dave Schultz Memorial International. She wrestles for Stanford University. The 2000 U.S. Women's World Team will now have only two members with previous World Championship experience: Tina George Wilson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 123.25 pounds and Kristie Marano (Albany, N.Y./ATWA) at 149.75 pounds. Both were members of the 1999 U.S. Women's World Team, which claimed the World Team title. Marano has finished second in the past four World Championships, competing at 165.25 pounds. She dropped to 149.75 pounds for the first time this year. She won the Pan American Championships in 1997 and was a Junior World Champion in 1998. Marano has won four career U.S. Nationals titles (1996-1999). Marano has yet to have her Special Wrestle-off for the No. 1 postion on the Women's Team USA. Sandra Bacher (San Jose, Calif./Dave Schultz WC), the defending Women's World Wrestling Champion at 149.75 pounds and the 2000 U.S. Nationals champion was unable to participate in the World Championships because she is competing in the Olympic Games in judo. The Special Wrestle-off will be held at the 2000 Sunkist Kids International Open, scheduled for Nov. 3-5 in Tempe, Ariz. George-Wilson placed sixth in the 1999 World Championships, and also competed in the 1998 World Championships. U.S. team members Sara McMann (Lock Haven, Pa./Sunkist Kids) at 136.5 pounds and Iris Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 165.25 pounds will be competing in their first World Championships. Both claimed spots on the U.S. team with victories at the Women's World Team Trials in Battle Creek, Mich. in June. “One of our brightest prospects is Tina George-Wilson, who will be going to her third World Championships,” said Duroe. “She has been wrestling well and has had a strong training camp. Kristie Marano is down a weight class from the past, but is a defending three-time World silver medalist. Her prospects are good at her new weight division.” “It will be difficult to defend the World Team title,” said Duroe. “Not having two World Champions on the team will be a factor. There is an opportunity for us to score team points with our new athletes. Every athlete we are taking has the ability to win matches and score team points.” The competition will be held in the hall “Universiada” in Sofia. Competition in all six weight classes will be held Friday, September 1, Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3. U.S. WOMEN'S WORLD TEAM to compete in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept. 1-3 46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Clarrisa Chun, Kapolei, Hawaii (Viking WC) 51 kg/112.25 lbs - Patricia Miranda, Saratoga, Calif. (Dave Schultz WC) 56 kg/123.25 lbs. - Tina George-Wilson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) 62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Sara McMann, Lock Haven, Pa. (Sunkist Kids) 69 kg/149.75 lbs. - Kristie Marano, Albany, N.Y. (ATWA) 75 kg/165.25 lbs. - Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) Co-Head Coaches - Rob Eiter, Chicago, Ill. and Jack Griffin, Evanston, Ill. National Coach - Mike Duroe, Colorado Springs, Colo. WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE Friday, September 1 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Preliminaries in all weight classes 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Preliminaries in all weight classes Saturday, September 2 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Preliminaries in all weight classes 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Quarterfinals in all weight classes Sunday, September 3 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Semifinals in all weight classes 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Gold and Bronze medal matches and awards ceremony
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