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Miracle drops her Olympic women’s freestyle opener to Long of China and is not eligible for repechage

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Kayla Miracle of the USA secures a single leg on Jia Long of China at the Olympic Games. Photo by Larry Slater.

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan - Competing in her first Olympics, Kayla Miracle (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) dropped her opening bout at 62 kg in women’s freestyle, and will not be eligible to compete in Wednesday’s repechage round.

Miracle, who was a member of the 2019 Senior World Team, dropped a close 3-2 decision in her opener to 2021 Asian Olympic Games qualifier champion Jia Long of China.

Long got the first point, when Miracle was put on the shot clock and could not score in 30 seconds. Miracle scored an exposure and took a 2-1 lead going into the break. Midway through the second period, Long scored two on a crotch lift to take the 3-2 lead, which she did not relinquish in the closing minute.

In the quarterfinals, 2019 World silver medalist Iryna Koliadenko of Ukraine pinned Long in 2:03. This eliminated Miracle from the tournament. Long would have needed to reach the gold-medal finals for Miracle to get pulled back into repechage.

Miracle competed at the 2019 Senior World Championships where she placed eighth. She has won three U.S. Senior Nationals titles. Her international career includes a silver medal at the 2012 Cadet World Championships, bronze medals at the 2014 and 2016 Junior World Championships and a silver medal at the 2019 U23 World Championships. She was a four-time WCWA national champion for Campbellsville University, and hails from Culver, Ind.

The USA did not have any women athletes in the repechage this morning. Tamyra Mensah Stock has qualified for tonight’s gold-medal finals at 68 kg in women’s freestyle.

With Adeline Gray’s silver medal on Monday night, and Mensah Stock guaranteed a medal tonight, the USA has won two Olympic medals in women’s freestyle so far this Olympics, with three more wrestlers still to come later in the Games.

Group 3 U.S. women’s freestyle results

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

LOSS Jia Long (China), 3-2

Group 3 women’s freestyle semifinal pairings

62 kg

Aisuluu Tynbekova (Kyrgyzstan) vs. Iryna Koliadenko (Ukraine)

Yukako Kawai (Japan) vs. Taybe Mustafa Yusein (Bulgaria)