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Marano, Miranda qualify for semifinals at Women's World Championships


By winning their pool competition, two U.S. wrestlers have qualified for the semifinals at the Women's World Wrestling Championships, in Sofia, Bulgaria, September 2.

The U.S. semifinalists are Patricia Miranda (Saratoga, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 123.25 pounds and Kristie Marano (Albany, N.Y./ATWA) at 149.75 pounds.

On Saturday, Miranda pinned Semra Aydin of Turkey in 4:26 to capture her pool competition, and move into the championship bracket. Miranda had scored a 12-2 technical fall over Wu Li-Chauan of Taipei on Friday. Miranda's opponent in the semifinals was not determined as of press time.

Miranda is competing in her first World Championships. She was second in both the 2000 U.S. Nationals and 2000 World Team Trials. She also finished third in the 1999 World Team Trials. Miranda wrestles for Stanford University. Miranda was named to the U.S. team when No. 1 ranked athlete Stephanie Murata was unable to wrestle due to injury.

Marano did not wrestle on Saturday. She had clinched her pool competition on Friday, by pinning Sakizligi Gamze of Turkey in 5:16 and Ewelina Pruszko of Poland in 2:26. In the semifinals, she will face Galina Ivanova of Bulgaria.

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.

The other four U.S. wrestlers were eliminated from medal contention, after their pool competition was completed. In order to advance to the championship bracket, an athlete must win their pool, and each of these U.S. athletes were beaten at least once in their pool.

Two wrestlers finished with 1-1 records in their pool, and did not advance: Sara McMann (Lock Haven, Pa./Sunkist Kids) at 136.5 pounds and Iris Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 165.25 pounds. Both were competing in their first World Championships.

On Saturday, McMann lost to four-time World Champion Nikola Hartmann of Austria, 5-2. McMann had won her first match held on Friday by pin.

Smith won her match on Saturday, scoring an impressive 10-0 technical fall over Yildirim Zarife of Turkey in 3:25. Smith was pinned in her first match by 1998 World bronze medalist Edyta Witkowska of Poland.

Two U.S. wrestlers finished with an 0-2 record in their pool and did not advance: Clarrisa Chun (Kapolei, Hawaii/Viking WC) at 101.25 pounds and Tina George Wilson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 123.25 pounds.

On Saturday, Chun lost by pin to two-time World bronze medalist Inga Karamchakova of Russia in 1:21. George-Wilson was defeated by Tatiana Lazareva of Ukraine, 4-3, in overtime at 6:12 on Saturday.

Chun was competing in her first World Championships, replacing four-time World Champion Tricia Saunders, who was injured and could not compete. George was competing in her third straight World Championships, and was sixth in the 1999 World Championships

The competition is held in the hall "Universiada" in Sofia. Competition concludes on Sunday, September 3, with the awarding of medals in all six weight divisions. The United States is the defending World Team champions in women's wrestling, but is not expected to challenge this year based upon the performance from the first two days of wrestling.

The U.S. team is led by co-head coach Rob Eiter of Chicago, Ill., and USA Wrestling National Women's Coach Mike Duroe of Colorado Springs, Colo. Co-head coach Jack Griffin of Evanston, Ill. could not attend but participated in the training camp.


U.S. results on Saturday

46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Clarrisa Chun, Kapolei, Hawaii (Viking WC) - lost pin to Inga Karamchakova (Russia), 1:21

51 kg/112.25 lbs - Patricia Miranda, Saratoga, Calif. (Dave Schultz WC) - pin Semra Aydin (Turkey), 4:26

56 kg/123.25 lbs. - Tina George-Wilson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) - lost dec. to Tatiana Lazareva (Ukraine), 4-3, ot, 6:12

62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Sara McMann, Lock Haven, Pa. (Sunkist Kids) - lost dec. to Nikola Hartmann (Austria), 5-2

75 kg/165.25 lbs. - Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) - won by tech. fall over Yildirim Zarife (Turkey), 10-0, 3:25

U.S. semifinal matches on Sunday

51 kg/112.25 lbs - Patricia Miranda, Saratoga, Calif. (Dave Schultz WC) - vs. opponent to be determined

69 kg/149.75 lbs. - Kristie Marano, Albany, N.Y. (ATWA) - vs. Galina Ivanova (Bulgaria)

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