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Rain shortens Beach World Series day one in Greece, as two of the four U.S. athletes get started in their Groups

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

U.S. Beach World Series wrestlers (left to right) Maren Anderson, Mitchell Cook, Mia Macaluso and Laura White. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Beach wrestlers.

KATERINI, Greece – Rain delayed the start of the Beach World Series – Katerini today, with only one round of competition being held on Paralia Beach on Saturday.

Two U.S. women were able to get in their first matches, and both were defeated. Two other Americans did not get to compete because of byes in the first round.

The rest of the pool competition, including those rounds not held today, will be made up on Sunday morning, with the championship brackets also held later in the day to wrap up this event, the fourth of the 2022 Beach World Series stops.

Laura White is competing in a five-athlete round robin at 50 kg, and wrestled her first opponent, losing by fall to Cristina Andujar Ojeda of Spain in 2:14. White won a bronze medal last week at the Beach World Series event in France. White is currently No. 12 in the Beach World Series rankings, while Ojeda was ranked No. 10. White will have three more matches to complete her round robin on Sunday.

Mia Macaluso had her first Group A match at 60 kg, dropping a 3-2 decision to Auore Cabanne of France in 1:59. Macaluso, currently ranked No. 21 in her weight in the World Series rankings, will have two more matches on Sunday in Group A. If she places in the top two in Group A, she will advance to the semifinals round later on Sunday.

Mitchell Cook, ranked No. 14 at 70 kg on the men’s side, as well as Maren Anderson, who is making her Beach World Series debut this week at Over 70 kg on the women’s side, both had first round byes. They will both complete their entire tournament on Sunday.

Cook is currently ranked No. 14 in his weight class, and placed fifth in the last two Beach World Series stops in France and Spain. In Group A, he will face the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 70 kg, Levan Kelekhsashvili of Georgia, in his first bout, then has No. 8 ranked Ramiz Hasanov of Azerbaijan in his second bout. He must place in the top two of Group A to advance to the semifinals.

Anderson will have a pair of Group A matches on Sunday, against No. 1 Catalina Axente of Romania and No. 8 Stefania Zacheila of Greece.

White and Macaluso were champions at the 2022 U.S. Beach Nationals, while Cook and Anderson were second at the Beach Nationals.

The event is broadcast live on FloWrestling.

This is the second of five Beach World Series events which will set the field for the 2023 World Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia, next August 5-12. The remaining Beach World Series event in Romania this year will also be a qualifier, as will be the first two Beach World Series events of 2023. The top eight athletes per weight category and gender from these five events will earn a quota place for their National Olympic Committee at the World Beach Games.


At Paralia Beach, Katerini, Greece, July 9-10

U.S. women’s performances

50 kg – Laura White, Duanesburg, N.Y. (Curby 3 Style WC)

Round Robin

LOSS Cristina Andujar Ojeda (Spain), fall 2:14

Vs. Stefania Claudia Priceputu (Romania)

Vs. Blanka Reczi (Hungary)

Vs. Justine Fanny Vigouroux (France)

60 kg – Mia Macaluso, Otisville, N.Y.,

Group A

LOSS Auore Cabanne (France), 3-2, 1:59

Vs. Daria Medvetska (Ukraine)

Vs. Ana Paulos Pereira Monteiro (Portugal)

Over 70 kg – Maren Anderson, Tinley Park, Ill. (Natural Athlete WC)

Group A

Vs. Catalina Axente (Romania)

Vs. Stefania Zacheila (Greece)

U.S. men’s performance

70 kg – Mitchell Cook, Orland Park, Ill. (Natural Athlete WC)

Group A

Vs. Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia)

Vs. Ramiz Hasanov (Azerbaijan)