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Marano to wrestle for bronze at U23 World Championships in Belgrade

by Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling

Photo of Kayla Marano by Tony Rotundo


BELGRADE, Serbia – Kayla Marano will wrestle for a bronze medal Friday night at the 2021 U23 World Championships.


After making the semifinals at 72 kg, Marano dropped a tough match in the semifinals to Anastasiya Alpyeyeva of Ukraine. Alpyeyeva scored an early takedown and was able to lock up the win via fall in 1:08.


Earlier in the day, Marano was dominant in her semifinal match against Maria Nitu of Romania, winning 11-0.


Marano is looking to win her second career age-group World medal. She was a Cadet World bronze medalist in 2015. She’ll be a senior this year at McKendree.


Four Americans were officially eliminated from competition when opponents they lost to previously in the tournament did not win their semifinal matches.


At 53 kg, Ronna Heaton was officially eliminated from the tournament when Ukraine’s Mariia Vynnyk was defeated, 9-7, by Columbia’s Lucia Yepez Gusman in the semifinals.


Amanda Martinez, who lost to Nigeria’s Esther Kolawole, was eliminated on Thursday night when Kolawale suffered a semifinal loss to Russia’s Kristina Mikhneva. Kolawale was pinned in the second period, officially ending Martinez’s first appearance at an age-group World Championships.


At 62 kg, Emma Bruntil was eliminated when Italy’s Aurora Campagna lost a last-second match in the semifinals. Bruntil defeated Turkey’s Yagmur Cakmak earlier on Thursday, but lost to Campagna in the semifinals.


Ashlynn Ortega (65 kg) was eliminated when India’s Nisha dropped an 8-4 match in the semifinals against Ukraine’s Anastasiia Lavrenchuk. Ortega went 1-1 in the tournament, defeating Tunisia’s Khadija Jlassi earlier in the day.


The Group Two medal match session starts tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. local time, which is five hours ahead of U.S. eastern time. Marano will know her opponent for the bronze medal bout after tomorrow morning’s repechage round, which begins at 10:30 a.m. local time.


All matches can be watched live on FloWrestling.


U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Belgrade, Serbia, November 4


Women’s freestyle Group Two finals pairings


53 kg

Ekaterina Verbina (Russia) vs. Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador)


57 kg

Kristina Mikhneva (Russia) vs. Alina Akobiia (Ukraine)


62 kg

Ana Godinez Gonzalez (Canada) vs. Kateryna Zelenykh (Ukraine)


65 kg

Dinara Salikhova (Russia) vs. Anastasiia Lavrenchuk (Ukraine)


72 kg

Anastasiya Alpyeyeva (Ukraine) vs. Kendra Dacher (France)

Women’s freestyle Group Two semifinal results


53 kg

Ekaterina Verbina (Russia) dec. Zeynep Yetgil (Turkey), 8-1

Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador) dec. Mariia Vynnyk (Ukraine), 9-7


57 kg

Kristina Mikhneva (Russia) fall Esther Kolawole (Nigeria), 4:49

Alina Akobiia (Ukraine) tech Othelie Hoeie (Norway), 10-0


62 kg

Ana Godinez Gonzalez (Canada) tech Anna Fabian (Serbia), 10-0

Kateryna Zelenykh (Ukraine) dec. Aurora Campagna (Italy), 3-2


65 kg

Dinara Salikhova (Russia) dec. Asli Demir (Turkey), 5-3

Anastasiia Lavrenchuk (Ukraine) dec. Nisha (India), 8-4


72 kg

Anastasiya Alpyeyeva (Ukraine) fall Kayla Marano (USA), 1:08

Kendra Dacher (France) fall Eleni Pjollaj (Italy), 1:16

U.S. women’s freestyle Group Two results


53 kg: Ronna Heaton (Brookings, S.Dak./Wisconsin RTC/Sunkist Kids WC)

WIN Ellada Makhyaddinova (Kazakhstan), fall 4:20

LOSS Mariia Vynnyk (Ukraine), 6-1


57 kg: Amanda Martinez (Riverside, Ill./Cardinal WC)

WIN Zeinep Bayanova (Kazakhstan), 10-0

LOSS Esther Kolawole (Nigeria), 11-0


62 kg: Emma Bruntil (Acme, Wash./Titan Mercury WC/McKendree Bearcat WC)

WIN Yagmur Cakmak (Turkey), 8-3

LOSS Aurora Campagna (Italy), 11-0


65 kg: Ashlynn Ortega (Pueblo, Colo./New York AC)

WIN Winrose Alivisa (Kenya), forfeit

WIN Khadija Jlassi (Tunisia), 4-2

LOSS Nisha (India), fall


72 kg: Kayla Marano (Jefferson, Ga./McKendree Bearcat WC)

WIN Maria Nitu (Romania), 11-0

LOSS Anastasiya Alpyeyeva (Ukraine), fall 1:08

Bronze medal opponent TBD