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Kayla Miracle at the 2023 World Championships.

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Miracle, Molinari advance to women’s freestyle finals at Zagreb Open

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

The U.S. women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman athletes kicked off action at the Zagreb Open, United World Wrestling’s first Ranking Series event of the Olympic year, on Friday. Two women’s freestyle athletes, Kayla Miracle and Forrest Molinari, will wrestle for gold later today.


Two-time Senior World medalist Kayla Miracle reached the finals, going 3-0 in the first session on Friday. Miracle opened her tournament with a 10-0 technical fall over Virginia Jimenez Fernandez of Chile. In a tough battle in the quarterfinals, Miracle emerged victorious in a close match over Individual Neutral Athlete Veranika Ivanova. She punched her ticket into the finals with a  4-2 decision over three-time age-group World medalist Ana Godinez Gonzalez of Canada. Miracle matches up against three-time World champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.


Forrest Molinari, competing at 68 kg, edged out Yuliana Yaneva in a close 3-3 match to open her tournament. Molinari pushed her way into the semifinals, defeating two-time age-group World medalist Tetiana Sova Rizhko of Ukraine, 5-1. It was a low-scoring bout in the semifinals, as Molinari brought down Qian Jiang of China, 2-0, to reach the gold medal match. Molinari will face two-time World medalist Feng Zhou of China in the finals.


At 62 kg, Adaugo Nwachukwu dropped her opening match to Tynybekova. She was pulled into repechage after Tynybekova reached the finals, where she fell to Yara Wu of China, 11-5, ending her tournament in Zagreb.


In U.S. Greco-Roman action, Benjamin Peak, at 77 kg, had a setback in his opening match against Riccardo Abbrescia of Italy. Abbrescia lost his next match, ending Peak’s tournament. Ravaughn Perkins cautioned out of his first match and was eliminated when Vikas of UWW lost his following match.


At 87 kg, Spencer Woods took an early 1-0 lead but couldn't maintain it as Aleksandr Komarov of Serbia defeated Woods by a 9-1 technical fall. Komarov failed to make the finals, eliminating Woods.


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.


Women’s Freestyle Results

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

WIN Virginia Jimenez Fernandez (Chile), 10-0

WIN Veranika Ivanova (AIN), 8-8

WIN Ana Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 4-2

Gold Medal – Vs. Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan)


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

LOSS Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan), 4-0

LOSS Yara Wu (China), 11-5


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

WIN Yuliana Yaneva (Bulgaria), 3-3

WIN Tetiana Sova Rizhko (Ukraine), 5-1

WIN Qian Jiang (China), 2-0

Gold Medal – Vs. Feng Zhou (China)


Greco-Roman Results

77 kg: Benjamin Peak (Sunkist Kids), eliminated

LOSS Riccardo Abbrescia (Italy), 3-0


77 kg: Ravaughn Perkins (New York AC), eliminated

LOSS Vikas (UWW), disq. 5:22


87 kg: Spencer Woods (Army WCAP), eliminated

LOSS Aleksandr Komarov (Serbia), 9-1


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