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Hildebrandt, Snyder dominate for gold medals at Zouhaier Sghaier in Tunisia

by Taylor Gregorio, USA Wrestling

TUNIS, Tunisia – Team USA locked up six medals on Saturday at the Zouhaier Sghaier International in Tunis, Tunisia, including two golds, three silvers and one bronze. The tournament serves as UWW’s fourth Ranking Series event of the year.

2020 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt kicked off a successful session for the USA, facing teammate Emily Shilson, a Cadet, Junior and U23 World champion, in the finals at 50 kg. Hildebrandt’s senior experience proved too much for Shilson as she tallied four takedowns, a step out and exposure for an 11-0 win. It marks Hildebrandt’s second international gold of the season, and Shilson’s second international medal in the month of July. She is fresh off a bronze-medal performance at last week’s Grand Prix of Spain.

The second gold medal of the day came from World and Olympic champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kg. Snyder made quick work of 2022 Asian Championships bronze medalist Mamed Ibragimov of Kazakhstan, collecting nine points in the first period, including two dominant takedowns. Just seconds into the final frame, Snyder scored a go-behind takedown to close out the match, 11-0. Snyder is now 3-for-3 in gold-medal performances this year.

In a rematch from pool action earlier in the day, 2022 World Team member Hayden Zillmer faced Olympic silver medalist and three-time World champion Geno Petriashvili of Georgia for gold at 125 kg. In their first meeting, the Georgian emerged with an 8-2 victory. This time, Zillmer closed the gap, leading Petriashvili 4-1 early in the second period, but Petriashvili stormed back with two takedowns and exposure for an 8-4 win, leaving Zillmer with the silver medal, his first international medal of the year.

National Team member and U23 World Team member Emma Bruntil earned silver at 65 kg. Earlier in the day, Bruntil finished her competition in a three-woman round-robin, going 1-1. She had to await the third-round results to determine her medal color. At the conclusion of the tournament, all three athletes finished 1-1. Khadija Jlassi of Tunisia earned gold by scoring more match points throughout the day with 14, while Bruntil and Manisha of India both scored eight. The tiebreaker between silver and bronze came down to points given up during the tournament. Bruntil gave up eight and Manisha gave up nine.

Winning the lone bronze medal of the day was National Team member Skylar Grote at 72 kg. After a first-round loss, Grote was pulled into the bronze match, where she bounced back dominantly. Facing Manju Manju of India, Grote used three takedowns and two sets of exposure to propel her to an early second-period 10-0 technical fall for her third international medal of the year.

At 53 kg, 2022 Senior World Team member Dom Parrish finished in fourth place after forfeiting her bronze-medal match due to an injury. Also forfeiting her bronze match was fellow World Team member Amit Elor at 72 kg. Because she did not compete, she took seventh at the weight.

Earlier in the day, Marilyn Garcia, a National Team member, was eliminated from the tournament at 72 kg after going 0-1. She eventually received a seventh-place finish, tying with U.S. teammate Elor.

Action wraps up on Sunday with the remaining men’s freestyle weight classes. Representing the U.S. will be Thomas Gilman (57 kg), Seth Gross (61 kg), Yianni Diakomihalis (65 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg) and Chance Marsteller (79 kg). The first session begins at 5 a.m. ET, followed by the medal matches at 1 p.m. ET live on FloWrestling.

ZOUHAIER SGHAIER – UWW RANKINGS SERIES EVENT #4

Tunis, Tunisia | July 14-17, 2022

U.S. men’s freestyle results
97 kg: Kyle Snyder (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC) – GOLD
WIN Burak Sahin (Turkey), fall 3:18
WIN Polat Polatci (Turkey), 12-1
WIN Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan), 11-0

125 kg: Hayden Zillmer (Gopher RTC WC) – SILVER
WIN Mohit Mohit (India), 7-0
LOSS Geno Petriashvili (Georgia), 8-2
WIN Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan), 6-5
LOSS Geno Petriashvili (Georgia), 8-4

U.S. women’s freestyle results
50 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt (USOPTC/NYAC) – GOLD
WIN Patricia Bermudez (Argentina), fall 2:17
WIN Neelam Neelam (India), 5-2
WIN Emily Shilson (USA), 11-0

50 kg: Emily Shilson (Twin Cities RTC/TMWC) – SILVER
WIN Zehra Demirhan (Turkey), fall 3:51
WIN Lisa Ersel (Germany), 11-1
LOSS Sarah Hildebrandt (USA), 11-0

53 kg: Dom Parrish (Sunkist Kids) – FOURTH
WIN Luisa Valverde Melendres (Ecuador), 7-4
LOSS Antim Antim (India), 11-0
WIN Nour Raouafi (Tunisia), 10-0
LOSS Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 3-1
LOSS Esra Pul (Turkey), injury default

65 kg: Emma Bruntil (USOPTC/TMWC) – SILVER
WIN Khadija Jlassi (Tunisia), 7-6
LOSS Manisha Manisha (India), 2-1

72 kg: Skylar Grote (Beaver Dam RTC/NYAC) – BRONZE
LOSS Buse Cavusoglu Tosun (Turkey), 10-0
WIN Manju Manju (India), 10-0

72 kg: Amit Elor (NYC RTC/TMWC) – SEVENTH
LOSS Bipasha Bipasha (India), forfeit
LOSS Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia), forfeit

72 kg: Marilyn Garcia (Victory School of Wrestling) – SEVENTH
LOSS Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia), 4-1

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