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Gomez and Hamilton advance to women's freestyle semifinals of U17 World Championships

by Ellen Paddock, USA Wrestling

Gabriella Gomez at the U17 World Championships. Photo by United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan


ROME, Italy – Women’s freestyle is in the running for six medals at the U17 World Championships in Rome after a successful morning session on Thursday, which saw two Americans advance to today's semifinals.


Gabriella Gomez at 46 kg and Valerie Hamilton at 61 kg both advanced to their respective semifinals after going 2-0 in the first session. Semifinals begin at 11 a.m. U.S. ET on Thursday.


Gomez stormed through her competition today winning 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.

Gomez won 12-1 over Norway’s Daniella Beky with three takedowns, a feet-to-back move and a leg lace in the quarters. She will meet Kornelia Laszlo of Hungary in the semifinals who was 13th at the 2019 U15 European Championships. Laszlo has so far defeated European bronze medalists Juliette Lescure of France and Aysel Mammadzada of Azerbaijan in Rome.


Hamilton defeated Yen-Yi Li, who placed fifth at the 2019 U15 World Championships for Taipei, 7-6 in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, Hamilton secured a fall over Petra Mrackova from the Czech Republic, who ended 13th at the 2022 U17 European Championships.

Hamilton has Uzbekistan’s 2022 U17 Asian bronze medalist, Sevinch Sultonova, in the semifinals. Sultonova topped Mariia Miziurko of Ukraine and Wiktoria Kamela of Poland on Thursday in Rome. Kamela finished fifth at the 2021 U17 World Championships.


Sydney Perry at 65 kg, Kaiulani Garcia at 73 kg and Shelby Moore at 57kg earned bids to bronze-medal matches after winning their repechage bouts. They will compete in the medal rounds Thursday at noon ET. Perry, Garcia and Moore were pulled back into the tournament when the athletes who defeated them on Wednesday advanced to the finals.


Perry punched her ticket to the bronze match with a last-second win over Daria Konstantynova of Ukraine. She won 6-6 by criteria after scoring a match-winning takedown as time expired.  She will take on Zharkynai Nurlan (KGZ), a 2022 U17 Asian bronze medalist and 14th place finisher at the 2021 U17 World Championships in the semifinals.


On Wednesday, Perry stopped Hungary’s Szonja Szabo, 5-0, prior to falling to Anju Sato of Japan, 3-0. Sato went on to the finals with a win over Nurlan Zharkynai of Kyrgystan, a 2022 U17 Asian bronze medalist. Perry’s repechage opponent earlier today, Konstantynova, also lost to Sato.


Garcia advanced to the bronze medal match after pinning Dominika Pochowska of Poland in the first period. Pochowska took fifth at the 2021 U15 European Championships. She will wrestle Alina Yertostik of Kazakhstan, who currently has no international credentials.


On Wednesday, Garcia fell 3-1 to Priya, India’s 2021 U17 World Champion, in her first round of action. Priya moved to the finals after teching Pochowska and defeating Alina Yertostik of Kazakhstan.


Moore advanced to the bronze medal match with 2021 U17 World bronze medalist Ulmeken Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan after defeating Annatina Lippuner of Switzerland 10-0 on Thursday. Lippuner finished fifth at the 2021 U17 World Championships and Esenbaeva owns a silver medal from the 2022 U17 Asian Championships.


On WednesdayMoore teched Poland’s Michalina Ignaszak 11-0 in her first bout. In the round of 16, she recovered from a 5-0 deficit using a leg lace to turn Ukraine’s European bronze medalist Alina Flipovych four times before escaping a pin in the final seconds to win 11-8. She fell in the quarterfinals 10-9 to Japan’s Sowaka Uchida who went on to defeat Esenbaeva in the semifinals.  


Megan Valdez at 40 kg, Elena Ivaldi at 53 kg and Jasmine Robinson at 69 kg await Thursday’s semifinal results to see if they are pulled back into the tournament. If the athletes who defeated them Thursday morning advance to the finals, they will wrestle on Friday in repechage.


Valdez fell in the round of 16, 8-6, to European silver medalist Yagmur Karabacak of Turkey. Karabacak, who also won gold at the 2021 U15 Balkan Championships, must defeat 2022 U17 Asian runner-up Mona Ezaka of Japan for Valdez to get another shot.


Ivaldi won her opening bout against Manar Elmasry of Egypt, 8-7, a 2022 African Champion. Ivaldi scored a takedown in the final seconds to tie the match 7-7. Egypt challenged the takedown and lost. She lost her next bout to Khaliun Byambasuren of Mongolia by fall. Byambasuren placed fifth at the U17 World Championships in 2021 and took silver at the 2022 U17 Asian Championships. Byambasuren must defeat returning U17 World Champion Maria Yefremova of Ukraine to pull Ivaldi back in.


Robinson fell in her opening bout, getting pinned in the final seconds of the match by Veronika Vilk of Croatia. She owns a silver from the 2019 U15 World Championship and a bronze from 2022 U17 European Championships. If Vilk defeats Harshita of India in the semifinals, Robinson will be pulled back into the tournament. Harshita finished fifth at the 2022 U7 World Championships.


Perry, Garcia and Moore go for bronze and Erica Pastoriza for 43kg gold at noon ET, while Hamilton and Gomez wrestle in the semifinals at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.


Watch all the action live on FloWrestling and follow along on USA Wrestling’s Twitter (@USAWrestling) for live updates. 


U17 World Championships

Rome, Italy | July 25-31


U17 women’s freestyle results


40 kg: Megan Valdez (San Jacinto, Calif.) - awaiting repechage

LOSS Yagmur Karabacak (Turkey), 8-6


43 kg: Erica Pastoriza (Phoenix, Ariz./Wyoming Seminary WC) – gold medal match 

WIN Elvina Karimzada (Azerbaijan), 7-2

WIN Dominika Konkel (Poland), 10-0 

WIN Arina Abdullina (Kazakhstan), 12-2 

vs. Ritika (India), 2022 U17 Asian champion 


46 kg: Gabriella Gomez (Carol Stream, Ill.) - semifinals

WIN Yelyzaveta Kulakivska (Ukraine), 8-2

WIN Daniella Beky (Norway), 12-1

vs. Kornelia Laszlo (Hungary), 13th at 2019 U15 Europeans


49 kg: Audrey Jimenez (Tucson, Ariz. /Sunkist Kids WC) – eliminated  

LOSS Fabiana Rinella (Italy), 9-2


53 kg: Elena Ivaldi (Newcastle, Calif./MatTime) - awaiting repechage

WIN Manar Elmasry (Egypt), 8-7

LOSS Khaliun Byambasuren (Mongolia), fall


57 kg: Shelby Moore (Buckley, Wash./Takedown Express WC) – bronze match  

WIN Michalina Ignaszak (Poland), 11-0 

WIN Alina Flipovych (Ukraine), 11-8 

LOSS Sowaka Uchida (Japan), 10-0 

WIN Annatina Lippuner (Switzerland), 10-0

vs. Ulmeken Esenbaeva (Uzbekistan), silver at 2022 U17 Asian Championships, bronze at 2021 U17 Worlds


61 kg: Valerie Hamilton (Gridley, Ill./SOT-C) - semifinals

WIN Yen-Yi Li (Taipei), 7-6

WIN Petra Mrackova (Czech Republic), fall

Vs. Sevinch Sultonova (Uzbekistan), bronze at 2022 U17 Asian Championships


65 kg: Sydney Perry (Batavia, Ill./Batavia WC) – bronze match

WIN Szonja Szabo (Hungary), 5-0 

LOSS Anju Sato (Japan), 3-0 

WIN Daria Konstantynova (Ukraine), 6-6

Vs. Zharkynai Nurlan (KGZ), 2022 U17 Asian bronze, 14th at 2021 U17 Worlds


69 kg: Jasmine Robinson (Allen, Texas /Best Trained Wrestling) - awaiting repechage

LOSS Veronika Vilk (Croatia), fall


73 kg: Kaiulani Garcia (Stockton, Calif./NorCal Queens WC) – bronze match  

LOSS Priya Priya (India), 3-1

WIN Dominika Pochowska (Poland), fall

vs. Alina Yertostik (KAZ), no international credentials


Schedule (Local time, six hours ahead of U.S. ET)


Thursday, July 28

5 p.m. – Semifinals (WFS 40, 46, 53, 61, 69kg)

6 p.m. – Finals (WFS 43, 49, 57, 65, 73kg)


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)


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