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Hildebrandt gets two technical falls to reach Olympics semifinals; Winchester qualifies for bronze-medal bout

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Sarah Hildebrandt (USA) celebrates her Olympic Games quarterfinals victory. Photo by Larry Slater.

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan 0 2018 World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC) opened up with a pair of technical falls at 50 kg, and will compete in Friday night’s semifinals at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Hildebrandt opened with a dominant 11-0 technical fall over 2017 World bronze medalist, Evin Demirhan of Turkey. Hildebrandt led 3-0 at the break with a takedown and a point from Demirhan not scoring on the shot clock. In the second period, Hildebrandt scored another takedown, then locked up the ankle lace and turned her three times to finish off the technical fall.

In the quarterfinals, Hildebrandt blitzed 2020 European champion and three-time age group World medalist Miglena Selishka of Bulgaria, 12-2. Selishka scored the first takedown, but Hildebrandt came back with her own takedown, locked up an ankle lace and turned it five times to secure the technical fall.

Hildebrandt has drawn 2013 World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sun Yanan of China in her semifinal match. The semifinal round is set for 6:15 p.m. local time in Japan (5:15 a.m. in U.S. Eastern time zone).

Hildebrandt won her World silver medal at 53 kg in 2018. In 2020, Hildebrandt dropped to 50 kg for her Olympic run, and qualified the USA at the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier right before the pandemic hit. Originally from Granger, Ind., Hildebrandt was a multiple-time national champion at King University.

2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC) qualified for a bronze-medal match at 53 kg, where she will battle two-time World champion Vanesa Kaladzinskya of Belarus Friday night.

In her Friday morning repechage match, Winchester stopped Laura Herin Avila of Cuba, 5-0. When Herin was put on the shot clock, Winchester was able to score a takedown on the edge for a 2-0 lead. In the second period, Winchester forced a step out for a 3-0 lead, then added an exposure in the closing seconds to finish with the 5-0 shutout.

On Thursday, Winchester opened with a 7-4 win over 2019 World bronze medalist Olga Khoroshavtseva of Russia. In the quarterfinals, Winchester lost to 2019 World bronze medalist and No. 4 seed Pang Qianyu of China, 5-1. When Pang beat Kaladzinskya in the semifinals, Winchester was pulled back into repechage.

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

In addition to Winchester’s medal match, the U.S. will go for two other medals in men’s freestyle tonight, with Gable Steveson going for 125 kg gold and Kyle Dake going for 74 kg bronze. The medal matches will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time (which is 6:30 a.m. in the U.S. Eastern time zone). Fans can follow the action live on The Olympic Channel.


At Makuhari, Chiba, Japan, August 6

Group 6 U.S. women’s freestyle results

50 kg - Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC)

WIN Evin Demirhan (Turkey), tech fall 11-0

WIN Miglena Selishka (Bulgaria), tech fall, 12-2

Semifinals – Vs. Sun Yanan (China)

Group 6 women’s freestyle semifinal pairings

50 kg

Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan) vs. Yui Susaki (Japan)

Sun Yanan (China) vs. Sarah Hildebrandt (USA)

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

WIN Laura Herin Avila (Cuba), 5-0

Bronze Bout - Vanesa Kaladzinskya (Belarus)

Group 5 women’s freestyle finals pairing

53 kg

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