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|Gray, Maroulis win golds, Chun adds bronze at Mongolian Nationals on Saturday|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Adeline Gray at 67 kg (on left) and Helen Maroulis at 55 kg (on right) received their gold medals at the Mongolian National Championships on Saturday
ULAN BAATOR, Mongolia – All three U.S. women wrestlers competing at the Mongolian National Wrestling Championships on Saturday won medals.
Capturing gold medals were Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Claiming a bronze medal was 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.
The Mongolian Wrestling Federation opened its women’s national championship event to other nations this year. The United States brought six of its 2011 U.S. Open champions to compete, as well as participate in an international training camp.
National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner said that “the athletes competed well today.”
Maroulis, a two-time Junior World bronze medalist, pinned Nominerdene Batbaatar of Mongolia in the second period of their gold-medal bout. Batbaatar was seventh in the 2010 Junior World Championships.
Maroulis went 4-0 in the tournament. A key win came in the second round, when she defeated 2007 World bronze medalist Dorj Narmandakh of Mongolia, 1-0, 9-3.
“Helen is starting to believe in her ability and she has a lot of it. She looked confident. She has things to work on but gained some great experience,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner.
Gray pinned all four of her opponents during the day, including a second-period pin over 2010 University World bronze medalist Banztaragzh Oyunsuren of Mongolia in the finals.
Gray, a 2008 Junior World champion, was fifth in the 2009 Senior World Championships. She recently returned to action after missing the 2010 season to injury.
“Coach Izzy (Izboinikov) says that Adeline is like a freight train. She gains speed and power as the competition goes on. She pinned everyone today,” said Steiner.
In her bronze-medal bout, Chun defeated 2009 Asian Cadet bronze medalist Tsogtbaatar Tsendjav of Mongolia, 0-3, 1-0, 6-0.
Chun finished with a 3-1 record. Chun lost in the second round to Enkhjargal Tsogtbazar of Mongolia, 4-5, 3-0, 2-4. Tsogtbazar, a two-time Asian champion, was fifth in the 2008 World Championships. Chun responded with two wins in the repechage to take the bronze.
“Clarissa wasn't at the top of her game but had some great matches from the standpoint of finding away to win even when you are not at your best,” said Steiner.
Three more 2011 U.S. Open champions compete on Saturday, Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., Deanna Rix (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs. and 2010 World silver medalist Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.
MONGOLIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Ulan Bator, Mongolia, April 30
U.S. women’s results
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN Gantuya (Mongolia), 4-0, 4-0
LOSS Enkhjargal Tsogtbazar (Mongolia), 4-5, 3-0, 4-2
WIN Buyanbazya (Mongolia), 0-1, 3-0, 1-0
WIN Tsogtbaatar Tsendjav (Mongolia), 0-3, 1-0, 6-0
55 kg/121 lbs. - Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC), 1st
WIN Chunbat (Mongolia), pin
WIN Dorj Narmandakh (Mongolia), 1-0, 9-3
WIN name unavailable (Mongolia), 1-0, 6-1
WIN Nominerdene Batbaatar (Mongolia), 0-1, pin
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 1st
WIN Tungalag Monkhtuya (Mongolia), pin
WIN name unavailable (Mongolia), pin
WIN Buyanjargal (Mongolia), pin 1:39
WIN Banztaragzh Oyunsuren (Mongolia), 1-1, pin