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Maroulis wins 57 kg bronze medal, her second career Olympic medal; Winchester is pulled into repechage

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Helen Maroulis with her Tokyo Olympic bronze medal. Photo by John Sachs, Tech

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan – 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) made history again this evening. She has now become the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic wrestling medals, after capturing the bronze medal at 57 kg at the Makuhari Messe Hall A tonight.

Maroulis was dominant in her medal match, scoring an impressive 11-0 technical fall over 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist Khongorzul Boldsaikhan of Mongolia. Maroulis scored two first-period takedowns to lead 4-0 at the break. In the second period, Maroulis got a point on a caution against Boldsaikhan, then added three more takedowns to end the match.

Maroulis opened her tournament with an impressive 8-4 over 2018 World champion Ningning Rong from China/. In the quarterfinals, Maroulis shut out 2015 World bronze medalist Tetyana Kit of Ukraine, 8-0. In the semifinals, she was edged by 2016 Olympic champions Risako Kawai of Japan, 2-1, in a bout where no technical points were scored. Kawai went on to win her second Olympic gold medal.

Maroulis made history at the 2016 Olympics, when she defeated three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida in the finals at 53 kg to become the first American woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold. Now, five years later, she becomes the first U.S. women’s wrestler to return to the Olympics and win another medal.

Maroulis also won World titles in 2015 and 2017. Since then, Maroulis has battled injuries and concussions, but was able to come back in 2020 and qualify the weight class for the USA at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Maroulis is a product of Rockville, Md.

2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC) has been drawn back into Friday’s repechage rounds on Friday, where she will face Laura Herin Avila of Cuba.

2019 World bronze medalist and No. 4 seed Pang Qianyu of China scored a takedown with six seconds left on the clock to defeat two-time World champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus in the semifinals, 2-2. Winchester had lost a 5-1 decision to Pang in the quarterfinals, and when Pang reached the finals, Winchester was back into the tournament.

Winchester opened with a 7-4 win over 2019 World bronze medalist Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia.

Winchester qualified the weight class for USA for the Olympics when she reached the finals of the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Canada. Winchester won her World title in 2019 at 55 kg, a non-Olympic weight and was also fifth at the 2018 Worlds. Originally from Oakland, Calif., Winchester competed collegiately at Missouri Valley College.

Combined with the men’s weight classes contested this evening, with David Taylor getting 86 kg gold and Thomas Gilman getting 57 kg bronze, the U.S. won three medals during the evening. Overall, the USA has won five wrestling medals so far, with a sixth guaranteed when Steveson competes in the finals on Friday. The U.S. women have three medals, a gold from Tamyra Mensah Stock, a silver from Adeline Gray and the bronze from Helen Maroulis.


At Makuhari, Chiba, Japan, August 5

Group 4 U.S. women’s freestyle results

57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids), bronze medal

WIN Ningning Rong (China), 8-4

WIN Tetyana Kit (Ukraine), 8-0

LOSS Risako Kawai (Japan), 2-1

WIN Khongorzul Boldsaikhan (Mongolia), tech fall, 11-0

Group 4 women’s freestyle finals pairings

57 kg –

Gold - Risako Kawai (Japan)

Silver - Iryna Kurachkina (Belarus)

Bronze - Helen Maroulis (USA)

Bronze - Evalina Nikolova (Bulgaria)

5th - Khongorzul Boldsaikhan (Mongolia)

5th - Valeria Koblova (ROC)

7th - Anastasia Nichita (Moldova)

8th - Tetyana Kit (Ukraine)

9th - Anshu (India)

10th - Rong Ningning (China)

Gold – Risako Kawai (Japan) dec. Iryna Kurachkina (Belarus), 5-0

Bronze – Helen Maroulis (USA) tech. fall Khongorzul Boldsaikhan (Mongolia), 11-0

Bronze – Evalina Nikolova (Bulgaria) pin Valeria Koblova (ROC), 2;49

Group 5 U.S. women’s freestyle results

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

WIN Olga Khoroshavtseva (Russia), 7-4

LOSS Pang Qianyu (China), 5-1

Repechage - Laura Herin Avila (Cuba)

Group 5 women’s freestyle finals pairing

Pang Qianyu (China) vs. Mayu Mukaida (Japan)

Group 5 women’s freestyle semifinals results

53 kg

Pang Qianyu (China) dec. Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (Belarus), 2-2

Mayu Mukaida (Japan) dec. Bolortuya Bat Ochir (Mongolia), 6-3