Amit Elor works an underhook in her quarterfinal contest against Brenda Sterling Martinez of Cuba at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in Acapulco, Mexico.
Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

Amit Elor works an underhook in her quarterfinal contest against Brenda Sterling Martinez of Cuba at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in Acapulco, Mexico.


Parrish, Miracle and Elor leap to women’s freestyle Olympic quotas for Team USA

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

ACAPULCO, Mexico – Team USA picked up three weight class quotas for the 2024 Olympic Games in women’s freestyle wrestling with masterful efforts at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier from Dom Parrish at 53 kg, Kayla Miracle at 62 kg and Amit Elor at 68 kg.

It was an intense set of semifinal matches on Thursday evening at Hotel Mundo Imperial in Acapulco, Mexico, with no exception for the American participants. All three contests went the distance and were decided in the final moments.

The 2022 World champion Parrish got the ball rolling for Team USA with a wild 9-6 win over 2020 Olympian and 2023 Pan American Games silver medalist Laura Herin Avila of Cuba in the 53 kg semifinals.

After giving up the first takedown of the bout, Parrish went big with an upper body attack to the back, which netted seven points in total—four for the feet-to-back score, two caution points for Herin Avila fleeing the mat on her back, and one for a lost Cuba challenge. Herin Avila utilized two second-period takedowns to cut Parrish’s lead to 7-6 with short time remaining. The final attempt from the relentless Cuban competitor resulted in a Parrish takedown at the buzzer.

Earlier in the day, Parrish topped Pan American Games bronze medalist Antonia Valdes Arriagada of Chile by technical fall, 10-0. Her time in Acapulco should prove momentous for Parrish, who has struggled to reach an international podium since the 2023 Worlds Championships, as she looks toward the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April.

Miracle continued her winning ways with a calculated 3-0 win over two-time age-group World medalist Astrid Montero Chirinos of Venezuela, 3-0. A first period shot clock point and vintage Miracle fireman’s takedown were the only points collected in the bout. It was her second win over the upstart Montero Chirino in as many weeks.

The Tokyo Olympian and two-time World finalist earned gold at last week’s Pan American Championships, which put her in prime position to qualify the Olympic weight as the top seed at 62 kg. She pinned Pan American Games silver medalist Maria Santana Garcia of Cuba in her quarterfinal contest in 2:44.

Down at her new weight class of 68 kg, the two-time Senior World champion Elor found her way through some unexpected adversity to top Thamires Martins Machado of Brazil, 10-4, and earn the Olympic quota spot.

Elor stared down a 4-0 deficit early in the contest after getting countered to her back from too much forward underhook pressure. However, it was all Elor thereafter, as she continued the forward pressure with the confidence befitting a World champion, eventually breaking Martins Machado. Elor reeled off 10-straight points to finish the match.

Her morning session quarterfinal was less intense, as she walked through Brenda Sterling Martinez of Cuba, 12-1. Elor now has two competitions under her belt at 68 kg and has shown no signs of wear for it. In addition to her two Senior World titles, Elor owns six age-group World gold medals—two U23, three U20 and one U17.

The U.S. women’s freestyle team has now qualified all six weight classes for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. The first three weights were qualified at the 2023 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, with medal performances by Sarah Hildebrandt at 50 kg, Helen Maroulis at 57 kg and Adeline Gray at 76 kg.

The Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier resumes at 10 a.m. (CT) on Friday with the six men’s freestyle Olympic weights. The U.S. has two athletes in action—Zane Richards at 57 kg and Nick Lee at 65 kg. The all-important semifinal round, where each winner earns an Olympic quota for her country, is set for 5 p.m. (CT).

The U.S. audience can watch this event live through FloWrestling—monthly and annual subscription options are available. Brackets and updated results can be found on UWW Arena.

For those unable to tune in live, USA Wrestling will provide continued coverage from Acapulco on and its various social media platform. Add to the conversation using #WrestleAcapulco.


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