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Yelena Makoyed will go for gold after dominating performance this morning at the Matteo Pellicone ranking event

by Ellen Paddock, USA Wrestling

Yelena Makoyed at Final X Stillwater. Photo by Tony Rotundo.

Makoyed of Cardinal WC/TMWC made her presence known this morning at the Matteo Pellicone ranking event in Italy. She laced together three dominant wins in the round-robin bracket and pinned her opponent in the semifinals.


Makoyed, who is second on the National Team, a two-time NCWWC national champion for North Central College and a 2021 Junior Pan American champion, will wrestle Anastasiya Alpyeyeva of Ukraine in the gold medal match this afternoon. Alpyeyeva is a 2021 U23 World Champion and 2018 Junior World bronze medalist.


In her closest match of the day, Makoyed defeated Epp Mae, a two-time Olympian and 2021 World silver medalist from Estonia.  She was winning 4-3 at the break until Mae took her down and scored on exposure. As time was expiring, Makoyed found a way to win. She willed two late takedowns for the victory, 8-7.


Makoyed also defeated Martina Kuenz of Austria, 10-2, and Francy Raedelt of Germany by fall during her trek to the semifinals against Cataline Axente of Romania. After a pair of takedowns and turns put Makoyed up 8-0, she took Axente down to her back for the fall, punching her ticket to the gold medal match.


Amanda Martinez of Cardinal WC/TMWC, who is third on the National Team, also competed today at 57 kg. She drew Patrycja Gill of Poland who was a 2019 Junior World champion. Martinez scored on a pushout, but Gill was dominant most of the match, winning 10-1.


Three Greco-Roman weight classes competed alongside the women this morning. Patrick Smith of Minnesota Storm, Kamal Bey of Army WCAP and Spencer Woods of Army WCAP were all eliminated after their opponents lost in the semifinal bout.


At 77 kg Bey fell to 2022 European champion Robert Fritsch of Hungary. Bey was put down for passivity and turned. He reversed Fritsch for his only point of the match. Fritsch finished with two pushouts, winning 5-1. Fritsch was defeated in the semifinals by Zoltan Levai of Hungary, eliminating Bey from the tournament.


At 82 kg Woods drew Matteo Maffezzoli of Italy, a 2022 Muhamet Malo International runner-up. Woods controlled the first period. Maffezzoli was put down for passivity where Woods turned him for two points. Maffezzoli scored two points on exposure during the exchange, but with a pushout Woods was winning 4-2 at the break. In period two, Woods was put down on passivity and turned, losing 5-4. Maffezzoli lost in the semifinals to Rasoul Garmsiri of Iran, eliminating Woods from the tournament.


At 72 kg Smith lost by forfeit to Haavard Joergensen of Norway. Team USA has concluded all Greco-Roman competition for this tournament.


Finals will begin at noon EST featuring Makoyed and Alpyeyeva. The action can be streamed live on FloWrestling. Rome is six hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.



At Rome Italy, June 23, 2022


U.S. performances


57 kg - Amanda Martinez (Cardinal WC/TMWC)

LOSS Patrycja Gill (Poland), 10-1


76 kg - Yelena Makoyed (Cardinal WC/TMWC)

WIN Martina Kuenz (Austria), 10-2

WIN Epp Mae (Estonia), 8-7

WIN Francy Raedelt (Germany), Fall 3:52

WIN Cataline Axente (Romania), Fall 2:01


72 kg - Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)

LOSS Haavard Joergensen (Norway), FF


77 kg - Kamal Bey (Army WCAP)

LOSS Robert Fritsch (Hungary), 5-1


82 kg - Spencer Woods (Army WCAP)

LOSS Matteo Maffezzoli (Italy), 5-4


Schedule (six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone)


Thursday, June 23

6 p.m. – Medal matches (GR 72, 77, 82 & WFS 57, 62, 68, 76)


Friday, June 24

10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage (WFS 50, 53, 55, 59, 65, 72 & FS 97,125)

6 p.m. – Medal matches (WFS 50, 53, 55, 59, 65, 72 & FS 97, 125)


Saturday, June 25

10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage (FS 57, 61, 65, 70, 74, 79, 86, 92)

7 p.m. – Medal matches (FS 57, 61, 65, 70, 74, 79, 86, 92)