Adeline Gray battles Yuanyuan Huang of China at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

Adeline Gray battles Yuanyuan Huang of China at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

USAWInternationalWomen

Star-laden U.S. women’s team receive draws at Zagreb Open

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

2023 Zagreb Open - U.S. Women's Freestyle Brackets

ZAGREB, Croatia – A strong contingent of 10 U.S. women have weighed in and received draws for the Zagreb Open, the first UWW Senior Ranking Series event on the Olympic year.


Six-time World champion and 2020 Olympic silver medalist Adeline Gray leads the charge for the Team USA women in Zagreb. Her first event since the 2023 World Championships, where she finished with a bronze medal, begins against 2018 U20 World champion Yuanyuan Huang of China at 76 kg. Gray defeated Huang, 8-0, in the repechage at Worlds last September.


Three more Olympians join Gray on the U.S. women’s roster in Croatia—Jacarra Winchester and Haley Augello at 53 kg, and Kayla Miracle at 62 kg.


Winchester, a World champion and two-time World medalist, is fresh off a Senior Nationals title in Fort Worth, Texas, where she won the 62 kg title. Back down at her Olympic weight of 53 kg, she will await the winner of Qianyu Pang of China, an Olympic silver medalist and two-time World bronze medalist, and Christianah Ogunsanya of Nigeria, the reigning African champion, to open her Zagreb Open run.


Augello, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, drew 2022 World bronze medalist Karla Godinez Gonzalez of Canada, as she continues her Olympic comeback journey. She made her first appearance of since the 2020 season at the Bill Farrell Memorial International and recently took third place at the Senior Nationals.


Miracle, a two-time World silver medalist and Tokyo Olympian, will either see Virginia Jimenez Fernandez of Chile or three-time age-group World medalist Aleksandra Wolczynska of Poland in her first bout of the tournament.


2022 World champion Dom Parrish will face a stiff test in her opening match at 53 kg, either 2021 World silver medalist Nina Hemmer of Germany or 2023 World bronze medalist Lucia Yepez Guzman of Ecuador. Both Hemmer and Yepez Guzman are Olympians.

2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari is the lone U.S. entrant at 68 kg. She awaits the decision between Yuliana Yaneva of Bulgaria and Sophia Schaefle of Germany, both of whom are age-group World medalists, to determine her first opponent in Zagreb.


Past U.S. World Team member and U20 World champion Kylie Welker gets a solid opener at 76 kg against two-time U23 World medalist Kendra Dacher of France. Dacher placed fifth at the 2023 World Championships.


Three-time age-group World medalist and 2021 U20 World champion Kennedy Blades joins Gray and Welker in the 76 kg field, cementing all three U.S. National Team members in the same bracket. Standing opposite Blades in round one is 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Elmira Syzdykova of Kazakhstan.


2022 U20 World medalist and three-time age-group World Team member Adaugo Nwachukwu is presented with the toughest first round challenge as she drew three-time World champion and Olympic silver medalist Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgystan at 62 kg.


Senior Nationals champion Amanda Martinez rounds out the list of American women in action. She is set to face 2022 World bronze medalist and two-time age-group World champion Anhelina Lysak of Poland at 57 kg.


The women’s freestyle portion of the event begins on Thursday and spans three days of the five-day event. The qualification rounds and repechage begin at 10 a.m. local time followed by the medal matches at 6 p.m. Zagreb, Croatia, is located six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time.


Complete brackets and match-by-match results for all three international styles are available through UWW Arena. A live stream of the event is available to the U.S. audience on FloWrestling.com.

Zagreb Open, UWW Senior Ranking Series

At Zagreb, Croatia, Jan. 10-14


U.S. women’s freestyle draws

53 kg – Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC)

VS Qianyu Pang (China), 2020 Olympic silver, two-time World bronze (2018, 2019), or Christianah Ogunsanya (Nigeria), 2023 African champion


53 kg – Dom Parrish (Scotts Valley, Calif./Sunkist Kids WC)

VS Nina Hemmer (Germany), 2021 World silver, 2016 Olympian or Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador), 2023 World bronze, 2020 Olympian


53 kg – Haley Augello (Lockport, Ill./Izzy Style WC)

VS Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 2022 World bronze


57 kg – Amanda Martinez (Riverside, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Cardinal WC)

VS Anhelina Lysak (Poland), 2022 World bronze, 2021 U23 World champion, 2015 U17 World champion


62 kg – Kayla Miracle (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids WC)

VS Virginia Jimenez Fernandez (Chile), Fifth in 2023 Pan American Games, or Aleksandra Wolczynska (Poland), 2017 U20 World bronze, two-time U17 World medalist (2013, 2014)


62 kg – Adaugo Nwachukwu (San Jose, Calif./Titan Mercury WC)

VS Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan), three-time World champion (2019, 2021, 2023), 2017 World bronze, 2020 Olympic silver, three-time Olympian (2012, 2016, 2020)


68 kg – Forrest Molinari (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids WC)

VS Yuliana Yaneva (Bulgaria), Fifth in 2019 World Championships, 2017 U20 World silver, 2014 U17 World bronze, or Sophia Schaefle (Germany), 2022 U20 World bronze


76 kg – Adeline Gray (New York AC/Beaver Dam RTC)

VS Yuanyuan Huang (China), 2018 U20 World champion


76 kg – Kennedy Blades (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids WC)

VS Elmira Syzdykova (Kazakhstan), 2016 Olympic bronze, two-time Olympian (2016, 2020), two-time Asian champion (2021, 2023)


76 kg – Kylie Welker (Franksville, Wis./Titan Mercury WC/Iowa Women’s WC)

VS Kendra Dacher (France), two-time U23 World medalist (2021, 2022), Fifth in 2023 World Championships


Women’s freestyle event schedule

Thursday, January 11

10:00 a.m. - Qualification and repechage - WFS 50-55 kg

6:00 p.m. – Finals - WFS 50-55 kg


Friday, January 12

10:00 a.m. – Qualification and repechage - WFS 59-62-65-68 kg

6:00 p.m. – Finals - WFS 59-62-65-68 kg


Saturday, January 13

10:00 a.m. – Qualification and repechage – WFS 53-57-72-76 kg

6:00 p.m. – Finals – WFS 53-57-72-76 kg

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