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Day 4 wrap: USA men’s freestylers are World champs; Winchester claims silver, Page gets bronze; Kilty to go for gold, Maroulis & Hildebrandt for bronzes

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

The 2023 World Team Champions in men's freestyle wrestling, The United States of America (Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors)

BELGRADE, Serbia – It was another busy and successful for Team USA at the World Wrestling Championships at Stark Arena on Tuesday.


The U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team was crowned World Team Champions, the fifth-time ever and the first time that the team has won back-to-back World Team Titles. The USA men’s freestylers finished with seven medals (three gold, one silver and three bronze medals).


Team USA scored 148 points, well ahead of runner-up Iran with 108 points. Georgia claimed the third-place trophy with 80 points. The United States won men’s freestyle World Team titles in 1993, 1995, 2017, 2022 and 2023.


Kyle Snyder capped off a full week of success by winning his ninth straight World or Olympic medal for the United States by claiming a bronze medal at 97 kg. He won a Tuesday morning repechage match, then received the bronze medal Tuesday night when Abulrashid Sadulaev, a two-time Olympic champion and an Individual Neutral Athlete, could not compete due to injury. Snyder began his medal streak in 2015 with a World gold medal and now has two Olympic medals and seven World medals, including four golds.


Nick Lee, the other wrestler in Group Three, placed seventh at 65 kg, with a 3-1 record.


Golds were won by Vitali Arujau (61 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg) and David Taylor (86 kg), a silver by Kyle Dake (74 kg) and bronze medals by Snyder, plus Zahid Valencia (92 kg) and Mason Parris (125 kg).


The top five in each Olympic weight class earn a Paris Olympics berth for their nation at that weight class. The USA earned four Olympic quota spots with the men’s freestyle performances (74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg). Two weight classes were not qualified, 57 kg and 65 kg, but there are two other competitions ahead where these can be qualified.


It was a busy day for the U.S. women’s freestyle team as well, collecting its first two World medals, a silver medal by 2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester (55 kg) and a bronze medal by Jennifer Page (59 kg), competing in her first Senior Worlds.


Winchester made the World finals for the second time and was defeated in the finals by Haruna Okuna of Japan, 4-2. Okuna scored two takedowns in the first period to lead 4-0. Winchester was able to get a pair of one-point step outs in the second period but could not close the gap. Okuna became a three-time World champion.


Winchester, also a 2020 Olympian, won three matches on the way to the finals, including two by technical fall.


Page pinned Alyona Kolesnik of Azerbaijan in the bronze-medal bout in 1:40. She scored two points on a crotch lift to lead 2-0. Page nailed a hip toss and put Kolesnik on her back, finishing off the pin.


Page won her first two matches, including a huge 6-4 victory over Sae Nanjo of Japan in the second round. She was defeated in the semifinals, 6-4, by Qi Zhang of China, who went on to get the gold.


After the first two weight classes, the USA women were in first place with 35 points, followed by China with 31 points and Japan with 25 points.


In the Group Two semifinals, Macey Kilty earned a spot in the World finals at 65 kg after scoring an impressive 10-0 technical fall over Tatsiana Paulava, an Individual Neutral Athlete from Belarus, 5-2. Kilty scored a takedown and turned an ankle lace three times to lead 8-0. Kilty added a takedown to earn the technical fall.


Kilty will battle Nonoka Ozaki of Japan in the finals, a 2022 World champion at 62 kg. Wisconsin native Kilty, who won four matches on Tuesday to reach the finals, is wrestling in her first Senior World Championships.


Dropping semifinals matches and qualifying for Wednesday’s bronze medal matches are Olympic champion and three-time World champion Helen Maroulis (57 kg) and three-time World medalist and Olympic medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg).


Maroulis was defeated by Tsugumi Sakurai of Japan in the semifinals, 6-0, in a rematch of the 2022 World Championship finals won by Sakurai. With a first-period takedown, and two takedowns in the second period, Sakurai also did not allow Maroulis to get her offense untracked.


Maroulis must wait to find out her opponent in the bronze medal bout. The repechage leading up to her bronze bout will set the winner, between Aurora Russo (Italy), Iryna Kurachkina (Individual Neutral Athlete) and Anhelina Lysak (Poland)


Hildebrandt was edged by two-time World medalist Otgonjargal Dolgorjav of Mongolia, 7-5. Dolgorjav was able to take down Hildebrandt and turn her twice, jumping to a 7-1 lead. Two late Hildebrandt takedowns were not enough to close the gap.


Hildebrandt will face the winner of the repechage match between Evin Demirhan (Turkey) and Kseniya Stankevich (Individual Neutral Athlete) in her bronze-medal bout.


Both 50 kg and 57 kg are Olympic weight classes. If Maroulis and Hildebrandt win the bronze, they clinch an Olympic quota for the USA. If they lose, they must win a special wrestle-off for fifth place to get the USA an Olympic berth at the weight class.


The fourth U.S. women’s wrestler in Group Two, six-time World champion Adeline Gray, will compete in the repechage rounds on Wednesday. Gray won her first two matches, then was defeated in the quarterfinals by Yuka Kagami of Japan, 4-1. When Kagami won her semifinal bout, Gray was pulled back into repechage. Gray will wrestle the winner of a match between Yuanyuan Huang of China and Kamile Gaucaite of Lithuania. If she wins, she advances to a bronze-medal bout.


76 kg is also an Olympic weight class, so Gray must place in the top five at her weight to earn the USA an Olympic quota at this weight class.


The final four U.S. women wrestlers begin competition on Wednesday morning: 2022 World champion Dominique Parrish (53 kg), two-time World silver medalist Kayla Miracle (62 kg), Emma Bruntil (68 kg) and 2022 World champion Amit Elor (72 kg).

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Belgrade, Serbia, September 19


Men’s freestyle Group Three results


65 kg

Gold - Ismail Musukaev (Hungary)

Silver - Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico)

Bronze - Shamil Mamedov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Bronze - Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia)

5th - Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran)

5th - Maxim Sacultan (Moldova)

7th – Nick Lee (USA)

8th - Haji Alyev (Azerbaijan)

9th - Abdulmazhid Kudiev (Tajikistan)

10th - Ayub Muratovitch Musaev (Belgium)

Gold - Ismail Musukaev (Hungary) tech fall Sebastian Rivera (Puerto Rico), 11-0

Bronze - Shamil Mamedov (Individual Neutral Athlete) dec. Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran), 8-6

Bronze - Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia) dec. Maxim Sacultan (Moldova), 5-1


Olympic Playoff – Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran) tech. fall Maxim Sacultan (Moldova), 10-0


97 kg  

Gold - Akhmed Tazhudinov (Bahrain)

Silver - Magomedkhan Magomedov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze – Kyle Snyder (USA)

Bronze - Givi Matcharishvili (Georgia)

5th - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Individual Neutral Athlete)

5th - Ibrahim Ciftci (Turkey)

7th - Erik Thieke (Germany)

8th - Mojtaba Goleij (Iran)

9th - Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan)

10th - Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)

Gold - Akhmed Tazhudinov (Bahrain) pin Magomedkhan Magomedov (Azerbaijan), 2:50

Bronze – Kyle Snyder (USA) inj. dft. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Individual Neutral Athlete), 0:00

Bronze - Givi Matcharishvili (Georgia) dec. Ibrahim Ciftci (Turkey), 6-2


Olympic Playoff - Ibrahim Ciftci (Turkey) by inj. dft. over Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Individual Neutral Athlete)


U.S. men’s freestyle Group Three results


65 kg – Nick Lee (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), 7th place

WIN Kryzsztof Bienkowski (Poland), 6-0

WIN Austin Gomez (Mexico), pin 3:58

WIN Umidjon Jalolov (Uzbekistan), 4-3

LOSS Rahman Amouzadkhalili (Iran), 7-4


97 kg - Kyle Snyder (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), bronze medal

WIN Nishan Randhawa (Canada), tech fall 11-0

WIN Radu Lefter (Moldova), tech fall 12-1

LOSS Akhmed Tazhudinov (Bahrain), tech fall 11-0

WIN Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan)

WIN Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Independent Neutral Athlete), inj. dft, 0:00


Final Men’s Freestyle Team Standings

1. United States, 148

2. Iran, 108

3. Georgia, 80

4. Kazakhstan, 74

5. Azerbaijan, 66

6. Japan, 65

7. Armenia, 49

8. Serbia, 40

9. Bahrain, Hungary, Ukraine, 35


Women's Freestyle Group One results


55 kg

Gold - Haruna Okuno (Japan)

Silver - Jacarra Winchester (United States)

Bronze - Mariana Dragutan (Moldova)

Bronze - Anastasia Blayvas (Germany)

5th - Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada)

5th - Sharma (UWW)

7th - Otgontuya Chinbold (Mongolia)

8th - Min Zhang (China)

9th - Erika Bognar (Hungary)

10th -  Mariia Vynnyk (Ukraine)

Gold - Haruna Okuno (Japan) dec. Jacarra Winchester (United States), 4-2

Bronze - Mariana Dragutan (Moldova) dec. Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 3-2

Bronze - Anastasia Blayvas (Germany) dec. Sharma (UWW), 2-2


59 kg

Gold - Qi Zhang (China)

Silver - Yuliia Tkach (Ukraine)

Bronze - Jennifer Page (United States)

Bronze - Othelie Hoeie (Norway)

5th - Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan)

5th - Elena Brugger (Germany)

7th - Bolortuya Khurelkhuu (Mongolia)

8th - Anastasiia Sidelnikova (Individual Neutral Athlete)

9th - Susana Lozano Veytia (Mexico)

10th - Anjli (UWW)

Gold - Qi Zhang (China) dec. Yuliia Tkach (Ukraine), 4-1

Bronze - Jennifer Page (United States) pin Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), 1:40

Bronze - Othelie Hoeie (Norway) dec. Elena Brugger (Germany), 5-1


U.S. women’s freestyle Group One results


55 kg –Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC), Silver Medal

WIN Neha Sharma (UWW), 7-2

WIN Mariia Vynnyk (Ukraine), tech fall 11-0

WIN Anastasia Blayvas (Germany), tech fall 10-0

LOSS Haruna Okuno (Japan), 4-2


59 kg –Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), Bronze Medal

WIN Anjli (UWW), tech fall 11-0

WIN Sae Nanjo (Japan), 6-4

LOSS Qi Zhang (China), 5-1

WIN Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), pin 1:40


Team Standings after two weight classes

1. United States, 35

2. China, 31

3. Japan, 25

4. Germany 25

5. Ukraine, 22




Women’s Freestyle Group Two finals pairings


50 kg - Yui Susaki (Japan) vs. Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia)

57 kg - Anastasia Nichita (Moldova) vs. Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan)

65 kg - Macey Kilty (United States) vs. Nonoka Ozaki (Japan)

76 kg - Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan) vs. Yuka Kagami (Japan)


Women’s Freestyle Group Two semifinals results


50 kg

Yui Susaki (Japan) dec. Ziqi Feng (China) ,8-2

Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia) dec. Sarah Hildebrandt (United States), 7-5


57 kg

Anastasia Nichita (Moldova) tech fall Elvira Kamaloglu (Turkey), 10-0

Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan) dec. Helen Maroulis (United States) 6-0


65 kg

Macey Kilty (United States) tech fall Tatsiana Paulava (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-0

Nonoka Ozaki (Japan) tech fall Lili (China), 10-0


76 kg

Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan) pin Tatiana Renteria (Colombia), 2:32

Yuka Kagami (Japan) dec. Milaimys Marin Potrille (Cuba), 5-2


U.S. Women’s Freestyle Group Two results


50 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt (New York AC/USOPTC), in bronze medal match

WIN Miseon Kwon (Korea), tech fall 10-0

WIN Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan, tech fall 14-3

LOSS Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia), 7-5

Bronze Medal – Evin Demirhan (Turkey) vs. Kseniya Stankevich (Individual Neutral Athlete)


57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids), in bronze medal match

WIN Nesmarie Rodriguez (Puerto Rico), pin 1:28

WIN Graciela Sanchez Diaz (Spain), pin 2:13

WIN Zhala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan), 8-3

LOSS Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan), 6-2

Bronze Medal – winner of Aurora Russo (Italy), Iryna Kurachkina (Individual Neutral Athlete) and Anhelina Lysak (Poland)


65 kg –Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids), in gold medal match

WIN Valeriia Dondupova Suvorova (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 10-0

WIN Albina Drazhi (Albania), pin 2:28

WIN Mimi Hristova (Bulgaria), 11-2

WIN Tatsiana Paulava (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 10-0

Gold Medal - Nonoka Ozaki (Japan)


76 kg –Adeline Gray (New York AC), in repechage

WIN Jimin Baek (Korea), tech fall 10-0

WIN Epp Maee (Estonia), tech fall 11-0

LOSS Yuka Kagami (Japan), 4-1

Repechage – winner of Yuanyuan Huang (China) and Kamile Gaucaite (Lithuania)


U.S. women’s freestyle Group Three draws for Wednesday


53 kg – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids)

Vs. Antim (UWW), 2023 U20 World champion, 2022 U20 Asian champion


62 kg – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids)

Vs. Subeen Jo (Korea), 9th in 2023 Asian Championships, 5th in 2016 Asian U20 Championships


68 kg –Emma Bruntil (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC)

Vs. Alexandra Anghel (Romania), 2023 European champion, 2022 World bronze medalist, 5th in 2019 World Championships


72 kg – Amit Elor (Titan Mercury WC/NYC RTC)

Vs. Nesrin Bas (Turkey), 3rd in 2023 European Championships, 2023 European U23 champion, 2022 U23 World champion