Gomez and Hamilton eye gold at the U17 World Championships
by Ellen Paddock, USA Wrestling
Valerie Hamilton at the U17 World Championships. Photo by United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan
ROME, Italy – The U.S. women’s freestyle team advanced two finalists on Thursday at the U17 World Championships in Rome. Gabriella Gomez and Valerie Hamilton will wrestle for gold on Friday at noon U.S. ET.
Gomez, wrestling at 46 kg, stopped U17 European Champion Kornelia Laszlo of Hungary with a 3-3 win by criteria. She rose from a 3-0 deficit with a reversal and match-winning takedown as time expired.
Gomez moves to the finals against Koko Matsuda of Japan, who does not currently have international credentials. So far this tournament, Matsuda teched 2022 U17 European runner-up Alexandra Voiculescu of Romania and defeated 2022 U17 Asian champion Shruti of India 4-0.
The Carol Steam, Illinois native and 2021 USMC 16U National runner-up has been on a tear in Rome. She won 8-2 over Yelyzaveta Kulakivska of Ukraine in her opening bout. Kulakivska placed eighth at 2021 U17 Worlds, has a gold medal from the 2021 U15 European Championships and a bronze from the 2021 U17 Europeans Championships. In match two Gomez defeated Norway’s Daniella Beky 12-1. Beky won gold at the 2022 U17 Nordic Championships and placed fifth at the 2022 U17 European Championships.
Girley, Illinois native Hamilton earned a trip to the finals at 61 kg today after sweeping 2022 U17 Asian bronze medalist Sevinch Sultonova of Uzbekistan 5-0 in the semifinals. Hamilton scored off a shot clock point and two takedowns.
She will take on 2022 U17 Asian Champion Savita from India for gold. Savita won her first two matches by technical fall and defeated Japan’s Suzu Sasaki in the semifinals.
Hamilton, a U15 World champion and 2021 USMC U16 National champion, pinned Petra Mrackova of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals and stopped 2019 U15 World Championships fifth place finisher Yen-Yi Li of Taipei in the round of 16.
Megan Valdez at 40 kg, Elena Ivaldi at 53 kg and Jasmine Robinson at 69 kg were eliminated when the opponents who defeated them earlier in the day did not advance to the finals.
Ivaldi, a 2021 USMC U16 National runner-up from Newcastle, California, came away with a 8-7 win over the 2022 U17 African champion Manar Elmasry of Egypt in her first match. She dropped match two with Mongolia’s 2022 U17 Asian runner-up and 2021 U17 World fifth-place finisher Khaliun Byambasuren. Byambasuren will wrestle for bronze on Friday.
Valdez was eliminated when her round one opponent Yagmur Karabacak of Turkey lost in the semifinals to Mona Ezaka of Japan, a 2022 U17 Asian runner-up who sits in the gold medal match.
Robinson dropped her first bout to Veronika Vilk or Croatia by fall. Vilk, a 2022 U17 European bronze medalist and 2021 U15 World runner-up, was stopped by finalist Harshita of India. Harshita placed fifth at last year’s U17 World championships.
U17 World Championships
Rome, Italy | July 25-31
U17 women’s freestyle results
40 kg: Megan Valdez (San Jacinto, Calif.) – eliminated
LOSS Yagmur Karabacak (Turkey), 8-6
46 kg: Gabriella Gomez (Carol Stream, Ill.) - semifinals
WIN Yelyzaveta Kulakivska (Ukraine), 8-2
WIN Daniella Beky (Norway), 12-1
WIN Kornelia Laszlo (Hungary), 3-3
vs. Koko Matsuda (Japan), no international credentials
53 kg: Elena Ivaldi (Newcastle, Calif./MatTime) – eliminated
WIN Manar Elmasry (Egypt), 8-7
LOSS Khaliun Byambasuren (Mongolia), fall
61 kg: Valerie Hamilton (Gridley, Ill./SOT-C) - semifinals
WIN Yen-Yi Li (Taipei), 7-6
WIN Petra Mrackova (Czech Republic), fall
WIN Sevinch Sultonova (Uzbekistan), 5-0
vs. Savita (India), 2022 U17 Asian Champion
69 kg: Jasmine Robinson (Allen, Texas /Best Trained Wrestling) - eliminated
LOSS Veronika Vilk (Croatia), fall
Schedule (Local time, six hours ahead of U.S. ET)
Friday, July 29
11:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (MFS 48, 55, 65, 80, 110kg), repechage (WFS 40, 46, 53, 61, 69kg)
5 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 48, 55, 65, 80, 110kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (WFS 40, 46, 53, 61, 69kg)
Saturday, July 30
11:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg), repechage (MFS 48, 55, 65, 80, 110kg)
5 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (MFS 48, 55, 65, 80, 110kg)
Sunday, July 31
4:30 p.m. – Repechage (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg)