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Mensah Stock to compete for gold medal, after Olympics semifinal win over Cherkasova in women’s freestyle

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Tamyra Mensah Stock turns Alla Cherkasova for exposure points during their Olympic Games semifinals match. Photo by Larry Slater.

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan –2019 World champion Tamyra Mensah Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC) won her semifinal match and has qualified for Tuesday night’s gold medal finals at 68 kg in women’s freestyle wrestling at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Mensah Stock defeated 2018 World champion Alla Cherkasova of Ukraine in the semifinals, 10-4, breaking open a very close battle with a strong second period effort.

Mensah Stock scored first, getting a spin behind takedown while Cherkasova was on the shot clock, for a 2-0 lead which she carried into the break. During an active exchange, Cherkasova scored a spin behind takedown then hit a gut wrench for a 4-2 lead, but a two-point reversal with exposure by Mensah Stock tied it at 4-4. Mensah Stock opened it up with a two-point double leg takedown and a turn to lead 8-4. With Cherkasova trying an attack, Mensah Stock closed it out with a two-point counter takedown and the 10-4 final score.

Mensah Stock, the No. 1 seed, will face No. 2 seed Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria in the gold-medal finals on Tuesday night. Oborududu beat Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia, 7-2 in the other semifinal. Oborududu, a three-time Olympian, became the first Nigerian wrestler to secure an Olympic medal, as well as the first African women’s wrestler to reach the Olympic finals.

Mensah Stock becomes the second U.S. women’s freestyle wrestler to reach the gold-medal finals, joining Adeline Gray, who is in the 76 kg finals later tonight. This also gives the U.S. its second women’s freestyle medal of the Olympics, which ties the effort of the 2004 U.S. Olympic women’s team which also won two medals. (There are four more U.S. women wrestlers yet to wrestle in these Games).

The gold-medal finals on Tuesday night which will include Mensah Stock will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time, which is 6:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern time.

Mensah Stock had a dominant Monday morning performance, scoring a pair of 10-0 technical falls over high-level opponents. In the first round, she dismantled 2016 Olympic champion Sara Dosho of Japan, with two takedowns and three ankle laces. In the quarterfinals, Mensah Stock had five different takedowns in her shut out of two-time World medalist Feng Zhou of China.

Mensah Stock was a 2019 World champion in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and also won a World bronze medal in 2018. She was also a member of the 2017 Senior World Team. Mensah Stock won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but did not compete in Rio de Janeiro because the U.S. did not qualify her weight class for the Games. She was a two-time WCWA national champion for Wayland Baptist University, and is originally from Katy, Texas.


At Makuhari, Chiba, Japan, August 2

Group Two U.S. women’s freestyle performances

68 kg – Tamyra Mensah Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC)

WIN Sara Dosho (Japan), tech, fall 10-0

WIN Feng Zhou (China), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Alla Cherkasova (Ukraine), 10-4

Gold Medal finals – vs. Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria)

Group Two finals pairings

68 kg - Tamyra Mensah Stock (USA) vs. Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria)

Group Two Semifinal results

68 kg

Tamyra Mensah Stock (USA) dec. Alla Cherkasova (Ukraine), 10-4

Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria) dec. Battsetseg Soronzonbold (Mongolia), 7-2