NewsUSA WrestlingInternationalWomenUSAW

Adeline Gray wins twice to qualify for 76 kg semifinals at Olympic Games in Tokyo

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Adeline Gray (USA) takes down Zaineb Sghaier (TUN) at the Olympics. Photo by John Sachs,

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan - Five-time World champion Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC) opened up the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a strong first session, winning two matches and qualifying for Sunday night’s semifinals at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Gray, the No. 1 seed, opened with a first-period pin of Zaineb Sghaier of Tunisia, the runner-up at the 2021 African/Oceania Olympic qualifier. Gray scored a takedown and gut wrench to lead 4-0. After another takedown, Gray put powered Sghaier to her back and was able to press for the pin in 2:11.

In the quarterfinals, Gray drew 2017 World champion Yasemin Adar of Turkey, an opponent that Gray has defeated a number of times in the past. Gray came out strong in this bout, scoring a bodylock takedown and leg attack takedown to lead 4-0 at the break. Gray added a single leg takedown in the second period for a 6-0 lead. Adar made it close at the end, scoring a takedown and an ankle lace turn to make it 6-4 when time ran out.

Gray has drawn Aiperi Medet Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan in the semifinals, who scored an impressive 12-0 technical fall over 2012 Olympic champion Natalia Vorobieva of ROC in the other quarterfinal in her half-bracket.

“I thought Adeline wrestled really well,” said her personal coach Nate Engel. “She got to her shots and got to her offense. When Adeline gets her hands locked, she can score on anybody. We just talk about one match at a time because we don’t want to look past anybody. It’s important to go out there, get to her attacks and finish and get her hand raised.”

Gray won World titles in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019, and also boasts two World bronze medals. She was seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gray also boasts University and Junior World titles. She is a native of Denver, Colo., and lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The semifinals are set for 6:15 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 13 hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time (which is 5:15 a.m.)

U.S. women’s freestyle results

76 kg – Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC)

WIN Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia), pin 2:11

WIN Yasemin Adar (Turkey), 6-4

Semifnals – Vs. Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan)

Semifinal pairings

Adeline Gray (USA) vs. Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan)

Hiroe Minagawa (Japan) vs. Aline Rotter Focken (Germany)