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Hildebrandt wins Olympic bronze medal at 50 kg, gives USA women its fourth medal in Tokyo

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Photo of Sarah Hildebrandt celebrating by Larry Slater. Photo of Sarah Hildebrandt with Olympic bronze medal by John Sachs,

MAKUHARI, Chiba, Japan - 2018 World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/New York AC) closed out a great Tokyo Olympics for the U.S. women’s program by earning a bronze medal at 50 kg during the final session of wrestling at the Olympic Games on Saturday night at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Hildebrandt got her offense going in the second period, finishing off a 12-2 technical fall over 2018 World bronze medalist Oksana Livach of Ukraine in the bronze-medal bout.

Livach scored first when Hildebrandt was put on the shot clock and could not score in 30 seconds. In the closing seconds of the opening period, Hildebrandt finished off a shot before the buzzer and went to the break leading 2-1. Hildebrandt got a takedown with 48 seconds left to make it 4-1. She finished strong with a single leg takedown, followed by three ankle laces to complete the technical fall.

On Friday, Hildebrandt opened up with a pair of technical falls. She scored an 11-0 technical fall over 2017 World bronze medalist, Evin Demirhan of Turkey then blitzed 2020 European champion Miglena Selishka of Bulgaria, 12-2. In the semifinals, she was edged by 2013 World champion Sun Yanan of China, in a heartbreaking 10-7 loss where Sun scored a big throw in the closing seconds.

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.

The U.S. women’s freestyle team finished with four medals with Hildebrandt coming through tonight. The U.S. women were led by Olympic champion Tamyra Mensah Stock at 68 kg. Adeline Gray won a silver medal at 76 kg and Helen Maroulis won a bronze medal at 57 kg. Maroulis became the first U.S. woman to win two career Olympic medals, with the bronze to go with her 2016 gold medal. This is the most medals a U.S. women’s Olympic wrestling team has ever won, with two medals in 2004 being the most previously.

Her medal also gave the United States nine medals in wrestling for the tournament, the most in an Olympic Games since the 1984 Los Angeles Games when the USA had 13 medals.


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), bronze medal

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

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

LOSS Sun Yanan (China), 10-7

WIN Oksana Livach (Ukraine), tech. fall 12-1

Group 6 women’s freestyle results

50 kg

Gold - Yui Susaki (Japan)

Silver - Sun Yanan (China) , 10-0

Bronze - Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Sarah Hildebrandt (USA)

5th - Oksana Livach (Ukraine)

5th - Namuunrsetseg Tsogt Ochir (Mongolia)

7th - Miglena Georgieva Selishka (Bulgaria)

8th - Lucia Yamileth Yepez Guzman (Ecuador)

9th Sarra Hamdi (Tunisia)

10th - Stalvira Orshush (ROC)

Gold – Yui Susaki (Japan) tech. fall Sun Yanan (China) , 10-0

Bronze – Sarah Hildebrandt (USA) tech. fall Oksana Livach (Ukraine), 12-1

Bronze - Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Namuunrsetseg Tsogt Ochir (Mongolia), 10-0