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Elor to wrestle for second-straight U20 World title, Macaluso pins her way to finals

by Taylor Gregorio, USA Wrestling

Photo of Amit Elor by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling.

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Amit Elor and Sofia Macaluso cruised to the U20 World finals in their respective weight classes on Thursday night in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Medal matches are set for Friday at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. U.S. ET) live on FloWrestling.


At 72 kg, Amit Elor seeks her second-straight U20 World title and third age-group World gold overall. In the semifinals, she faced Reetika of India, who is a 2022 U23 Asian gold medalist. Reetika earned the first point, a step out, but Elor quickly rallied, collecting three takedowns and three turns for a 12-1 technical fall in the first period.

For gold, she will face Anastassiya Panassovich of Kazakhstan, who was seventh at last year’s U20 World Championships. Panassovich defeated 2022 Senior Asian silver medalist Sumire Niikura of Japan in the semis.

The last time Elor competed in Sofia, Bulgaria, was the 2019 U17 Worlds, where she took bronze.

Sofia Macaluso admittedly surprised herself with her Thursday performance, pinning her way to the 57 kg World finals. After defeating two U20 World medalists earlier in the day, Macaluso downed 2022 U20 European bronze medalist Melda Dernekci from Turkey with a first-period fall. Macaluso led 12-1 at the time of the pin.

In the finals, she will take on 2019 U17 World champion Ruka Natami from Japan.

Three Americans were pulled into repechage when their first-session victors advanced to the finals.

At 53 kg, 2021 U17 World champion Katie Gomez will face Nazife Tair from Bulgaria in repechage. Tair was fifth at the 2022 U23 European Championships.

Adaugo Nwachukwu will go against 2022 U20 Asian silver medalist Tynys Dubek from Kazakhstan at 62 kg.

2019 U15 silver medalist Reese Larramendy will take on Enikoe Elekes from Hungary in her first repechage match at 65 kg. It’s a rematch of the 2019 U15 World finals, which Elekes won 10-2.

The tournament continues Friday, with the start of Greco-Roman action at 11 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET). Semifinals are set for 4:45 pm (9:45 a.m. ET), followed by medal matches at 6 p.m. (11 a.m. ET). Fans can watch all the action live on FloWrestling and get live updates on Twitter @USAWrestling.


Aug. 15-21, 2022 | Sofia, Bulgaria

U.S. women’s freestyle results

53 kg – Katie Gomez (Van Nuys, Calif./Sunkist Kids) – REPECHAGE
WIN Emine Cakmak (Turkey), 10-0
LOSS Altyn Shagayeva (Kazakhstan), fall 4:48
vs. Nazife Tair (Bulgaria)

57 kg – Sofia Macaluso (Otisville, N.Y./Team New York) – GOLD MATCH
WIN Sito Sito (India), fall 5:53
WIN Aurora Russo (ITA), fall 2:11
WIN Melda Dernikci (Turkey), fall 2:36
vs. Ruka Natami (Japan)

62 kg – Adaugo Nwachukwu (San Jose, Calif./Swamp Monsters WC) – REPECHAGE
WIN Iris Thiebaux (France), fall 2:56
LOSS Sonam Sonam (India), 5-5
vs. Tynys Dubek (Kazakhstan)

65 kg – Reese Larramendy (Reno, Nev./Nevada Elite Wrestling/Hawkeye WC) – REPECHAGE
WIN Zofia Polowczyk (Poland), 12-2
LOSS Mahiro Yoshitake (Japan), 10-0
vs. Enikoe Elekes (Hungary)

72 kg – Amit Elor (Walnut Creek, Calif./NYC RTC/ Titan Mercury WC) – GOLD MATCH
WIN Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia), fall 1:34
WIN Zsofia Virag (Hungary), 10-0
WIN Reetika (India), 12-1
vs. Anastassiya Panassovich (Kazakhstan)

Schedule (local time 7 hours ahead of U.S. ET)

Friday, Aug. 19
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 55, 63, 77, 87, 130 kg)
11 a.m. – Repechage (WFS 53, 57, 62, 65, 72 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (GR 55, 63, 77, 87, 130 kg)
6 p.m. – Medal matches (WFS 53, 57, 62, 65, 72 kg)

Saturday, Aug. 20
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 60, 67, 72, 82, 97 kg)
11 a.m. – Repechage (GR 55, 63, 77, 87, 130 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (GR 60, 67, 72, 82, 97 kg)
6 p.m. – Medal matches (GR 55, 63, 77, 87, 130 kg)

Sunday, Aug. 21
4 p.m. – Repechage (GR 60, 67, 72, 82, 97 kg)
6 p.m. – Medal matches (GR 60, 67, 72, 82, 97 kg)