Bruntil becomes seventh U.S. woman to win Yariguin, Maroulis and Kilty to wrestle for gold, Dieringer and McKenna in hunt for bronze
by Taylor Miller-Gregorio, USA Wrestling
Photo of Emma Bruntil at the 2020 Olympic Trials. Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.
KRASNOYARSK, Russia – Emma Bruntil became just the seventh U.S. woman to win a gold medal at the always-tough Ivan Yariguin Grand Prix, defeating USA teammate and 2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari in the 65 kg women’s freestyle finals on Friday. Additionally, the U.S. advanced three other athletes to Saturday’s medal matches.
After an impressive run to the finals, Emma Bruntil, a 2021 U23 World Team member, went head-to-head with Forrest Molinari for the 65 kg gold medal. Molinari was on the board first with a step out from a scramble, but the period ended in favor of Bruntil, who scored a takedown with about a minute left. Halfway through the second period, Molinari tied it up with another step out. In the final seconds of the bout, Bruntil picked up a takedown, countering a shot from Molinari to win the title, 4-2.
Bruntil joins an elite group of American women to win the Yariguin, including Tela O’Donnell, Iris Smith, Sally Roberts, Marcie VanDusen, Kelsey Campbell and Tamyra Mensah Stock.
Two other U.S. women look to join that group as 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis and 2017 Cadet World champion Macey Kilty advanced to Saturday’s finals at 57 kg and 62 kg, respectively.
Maroulis, the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic medals, dominated at 57 kg on Friday, going 3-0. She opened the tournament with a 9-6 decision over 2016 University World champion Veronika Chumikova of Russia. In the next round, she overpowered Kyrgyzstan’s Bermet Nuridin Kyzy, 10-1, before securing her spot in the finals with an 8-0 shutout against Kristina Mikhneva, a 2021 U23 World silver medalist from Russia. For gold, Maroulis will face Russia’s Olga Khoroshavtseva.
Wrestling at 62 kg, Kilty, a 2019 U23 World silver medalist, returned to competition after suffering an injury at the 2020 Olympic Team Trials last April. She looked sharp, recording a 2-0 record, including a 10-0 technical fall over Dilnaz Sazanova and a 9-6 win against 2021 Junior World champion Alina Kasabieva of Russia. In the finals, Kilty will take on 2014 Senior World champion Tserenchimed Sukhe from Mongolia.
Three men’s freestylers from the USA competed today, with one guaranteed a spot in a medal match.
Junior World silver medalist Alex Dieringer was solid at 79 kg, moving onto the semifinals, thanks to three decisive wins over Russian opponents, including pins against Alik Badtiev and U23 World champion Magomed Magomaev and 9-5 against Dmitry Kuprin. In the semifinals, the multiple-time National Team member fell to 2021 Senior World bronze medalist Radik Valiev, 5-2, sending Dieringer to the bronze-medal match. His opponent will be determined in tomorrow’s repechage.
Joey McKenna, a U23 World bronze medalist, is still alive for a medal opportunity and will wrestle in repechage at 65 kg. He won his first bout with a 12-2 technical fall against Vladislav Koika from Belarus but dropped his next match to Ramazan Ferzaliev of Russia, 6-1. Ferzaliev advanced to the finals, pulling McKenna into repechage. The American will wrestle Ibragim Abutalimov to keep his medal hopes alive.
At 125 kg, Ty Walz lost his tournament opener to 2019 Cadet World champion Arsamag Zasseev of Russia, 12-2. Because Zasseev lost in a later round, failing to make the finals, Walz was eliminated from the competition.
Maroulis and Kilty will compete for gold, while Dieringer will wrestle for bronze on Saturday with medal matches beginning at 6:15 a.m. ET. Fans can watch live online:
The final four Americans will begin their tournaments on Saturday, including 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder (97 kg MFS), 2017 Junior World silver medalist Zahid Valencia (86 kg MFS), 2020 Pan American champion Jason Nolf (74 kg MFS) and Josh Shields (74 kg MFS). Action begins at 11 a.m. local time Saturday (11 p.m. ET Friday).
Draws are available on TheMat.com.
2022 IVAN YARIGUIN GRAND PRIX
Jan. 27-30, 2022 | Krasnoyarsk, Russia
U.S. men’s freestyle results
65 kg: Joey McKenna (Pennsylvania RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – repechage
WIN Vladislav Koika (Belarus), 12-2
LOSS Ramazan Ferzaliev (Russia), 6-1
vs. Ibragim Abutalimov (Russia)
79 kg: Alex Dieringer (Michigan RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – bronze match
WIN Alik Badtiev (Russia),fall
WIN Magomed Magomaev (Russia),fall
WIN Dmitry Kuprin (Russia), 9-5
LOSS Radik Valiev (Russia), 5-2
125 kg: Ty Walz (Southeast RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – eliminated
LOSS Arsamag Zasseev (Russia), 12-2
U.S. women’s freestyle results
57 kg: Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids WC) – finalist
WIN Veronika Chumikova (Russia), 9-6
WIN Bermet Nuridin Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), 10-1
WIN Kristina Mikhneva (Russia), 8-0
vs. Olga Khoroshavtseva (Russia)
62 kg: Macey Kilty (TarHeel WC/Sunkist Kids) – finalist
WIN Dilnaz Sazanova (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0
WIN Alina Kasabieva (Russia), 9-6
vs. Tserenchimed Sukhe (Mongolia)
65 kg: Emma Bruntil (Titan Mercury WC) – GOLD
WIN Daria Bobrulko (Russia), 2-0
WIN Maria Lachugina (Russia), 4-0
WIN Dinara Kudaeva (Russia), 4-3
WIN Forrest Molinari (USA), 4-2
65 kg: Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids) – SILVER
WIN Bolortungalag Zorgit (Mongolia), 15-5
WIN Anna Krasnova (Russia), 10-0
WIN Maria Kuznetsova (Russia), 10-0
LOSS Emma Bruntil (USA), 4-2
Schedule (12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time)
Saturday, Jan. 29
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds and semifinals (MFS 74, 86, 92, 97 kg, WFS 68, 72, 76 kg)
11 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 65, 79, 125 kg, WFS 53, 57, 62 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (MFS 65, 79, 125 kg, WFS 53, 57, 62 kg)
Sunday, Jan. 30
11 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 74, 86, 92, 97 kg, WFS 68, 72, 76 kg)
1 p.m. – Finals (MFS 74, 86, 92, 97 kg, WFS 68, 72, 76 kg)