Miracle qualifies for semifinals in women’s freestyle, Burkert drops opener at Senior Worlds in Norway

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Kayla Miracle (USA) puts Alina Kasabieva of the Russian Wrestling Federation on her back during the 2021 World Championships. Photo by Justin Hoch.

OSLO, Norway – The first two U.S. women’s freestyle wrestlers hit the mats on Monday morning at the Senior World Championships. 2020 Olympian and 2019 World Team member Kayla Miracle won her two matches at 62 kg and has advanced to the semifinals.

Miracle received the No. 3 seed in the weight class. She started off with a nice 14-4 technical fall over two-time U23 World bronze medalist Gantuya Enkhbat of Mongolia. Enkhbat got off strong with a takedown and turn to lead 4-0, then Miracle opened up her offense. Miracle scored a takedown and four ankle-lace turns for a 10-4 lead, then put the bout away with another takedown and turn.

Miracle continued her strong wrestling in the quarterfinals, with a 13-3 technical fall over Alina Kasabieva of the Russian Wrestling Federation. Miracle jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first period, on the strength of two takedowns, a gut wrench turn and a step out. After Kasabieva scored her first takedown to make it 7-2, Miracle responded with a powerful takedown to push it to 9-2. A counter takedown and a turn completed the technical fall.

Miracle will now face Pan American rival Lais Nunes de Oliveira of Brazil in the semifinals. Nunes has placed as high as fifth at the World Championships.

Four-time Senior World Team member Jenna Burkert lost a tough battle in her opening match at 55 kg, falling 14-4 to 2019 European Games bronze medalist Nina Hemmer of Germany. Hemmer scored a takedown and turn for a 4-0 lead. Burkert was able to answer with a step out point, then scored a takedown with Hemmer getting points on the reversal to make it 6-3. A Hemmer exposure jumped it to 8-3, but she was hit with a caution and one point penalty to make it 8-4 at the break. Hemmer scored a four-point move and a turn in the second period to complete the technical fall.

Hemmer won a tight match in the quarterfinals, keeping Burkert’s hopes alive for the possibility of being pulled back into repechage. Hemmer must beat Pinki of India in Monday’s semifinals in order for Burkert to get back into the tournament with a chance to pursue a bronze medal.

The semifinals round for both the men’s and women’s freestyle groups that started today begins at 4:45 p.m. local time in Oslo, which is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time. All of the action is live on FloWrestling.


At Oslo, Norway, October 4

Group One women’s freestyle semifinal pairings

55 kg

Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan) vs. Olga Khoroshatseva (Russian Wrestling Federation)

Nina Hemmer (Germany) vs. Pinki (India)

62 kg

Iliona Prokopevniuk (Ukraine) vs. Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgzstan)

Kayla Miracle (USA) vs. Lais Nunes de Oliveira (Brazil)

U.S. Women’s freestyle Group One results

55 kg – Jenna Burkert (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP)

LOSS Nina Hemmer (Germany), tech fall, 14-4

62 kg – No. 3 seed Kayla Miracle (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)

WIN Gantuya Enkhbat (Mongolia), tech. fall 14-4

WIN Alina Kasabieva (Russian Wrestling Federation) tech. fall 13-3

Semifinals – Lais Nunes de Oliveira (Brazil)