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UPDATED: Chun wins gold, Maroulis bronze on first day of Open Cup in Russia

Clarissa Chun after a victory at the 1988 Olympic Games. Chun took a gold at the Open Cup in Russia today. Larry Slater photo

CHEKHOV, Russia – Two U.S. women wrestlers won medals on the first day of the Open Cup of Russia on Saturday.

Capturing a gold medal was 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.

Winning a bronze medal was 2008 U.S. World Team member Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs.

Chun defeated four tough young Russian opponents on the way to the title. She defeated Valeria Chepsarakova of Russia, by pin in the second period of the gold-medal match. Chepsarakova was a Junior World champion at 51 kg in 2009.

She also defeated two past Junior World bronze medalists from Russia, with victories over Anastasia Tabaeva in the quarterfinals and Tatiana Samkova in the semifinals. Her opening victory was over Lyubov Kuzmina of Russia.

It was Chun’s second straight international tournament victory, after capturing a gold medal at the New York AC Freestyle International in November.

Maroulis went 3-1 on the day, with a victory of Kondrashkina of Russia by pin in the bronze-medal match.

Her only loss came in the second round to Maria Gurova of Russia, who placed fifth in the 2010 World Championships.

Maroulis, a two-time Junior World bronze medalist, competes for Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Competition was in the four Olympic weight classes of 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg and 72 kg on Saturday.

2010 World silver medalist Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) was defeated in her only bout at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. when she was pinned by 2010 Junior World silver medalist Valeria Lazinskaya of Russia. When Lazinskaya failed to make the finals, Pirozhkova was eliminated from the repechage.

“We need to step on that mat ready to fight for points,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner. “People will not fall down for us. We missed a lot of scoring today.”

Medalists in this competition receive prize money, with gold medalists earning $3,000, silver medalists earning $2,000 and bronze medalists earning $1,000.

The three non-Olympic weights, 51 kg, 59 kg and 67 kg, will be contested on Sunday, Dec. 5. The U.S. will have five entries on Sunday, including two-time World bronze medalist Tatiana Padilla (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs.

At Chekhov, Russia, Dec. 4

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
1. Clarissa Chun (USA)
2. Valeria Chepsarakova (Russia - Kemerovo)
3. Tatiana Samkova (Russia - Novosibirsk)
3. Natalya Vasilyeva (Russia - Chuvashia)

55 kg/121 lbs.
1. Maria Gurova (Russia - Moscow region).
2. Natalia Smirnova (Russia - Stavropol)
3. Helen Maroulis (USA)
3. Irina Ologonova (Russia - Moscow, Buryatia)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
1. Julia Ostapchuk (Ukraine)
2. Alaina Kartashova (Russia - Moscow)
3. Inna Trazhukova (Russia - Moscow)
3. Valeria Lazinskaya (Russia - Moscow region)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
1. Alaina Perepelkina (Russia - St. Petersburg)
2. Vasilisa Marzaliuk (Belarus)
3. Marina Kolobaeva (Russia - Moscow)
3. Oksana Vashchuk (Ukraine)

U.S. women’s freestyle performances

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 1st
WIN Lyubov Kuzmina (Russia), 1-0, 1-0
WIN Anastasia Tabaeva (Russia), 4-0, pin
WIN Tatiana Samkova (Russia), 4-0, 3-0
WIN Valeria Chepsarakova (Russia), 5-0, pin

55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Mereutza (Russia), 6-0, 4-0
LOSS Maria Gurova (Russia), 1-1, 0-1, 0-5
WIN Svetlana Sherayava (Russia), 8-1, pin
WIN Kondrashkina (Russia), pin

63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), dnp
LOSS Valeria Lazinskaya (Russia), pin

U.S. competitors on Sunday
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Sara Fulp-Allen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Jessica Medina, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Tatiana Padilla, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
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