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Michaelson wins U20 Beach World silver medal; Macaluso and Anderson take fourth place in Romania

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Thor Michaelson (USA) gets a takedown at the 2022 U20 Beach World Championships.
Thor Michaelson (USA) gets a takedown at the 2022 U20 Beach World Championships. Photo by Cheryl Baynard.

CONSTANTA, Romania – Thor Michaelson of Bremerton, Wash. claimed a silver medal at 80 kg, the top U.S. performance at the 2022 U20 Beach World Championships at Mamaia Beach on Friday.

Michaelson won his first four matches, before losing a tough 3-2 match in the championship finals against Denis Chirica of Romania. Michaelson won all three of his Group C matches against opponents from Romania, allowing just one point in his Group bouts. In the semifinals, Michaelson won a tough 3-2 match over Ion Marcu of Moldova.

Michaelson becomes only the second U.S. athlete to win a medal at the U20 Beach World Series. Kristal Betanzo of Hillsbourgh, Calif. won a bronze medal at 50 kg in the women’s division at the 2019 U20 Beach World Championships.

He becomes the second Michaelson brother to win a medal this week, as younger brother Lars captured a U17 World silver medal on Thursday at 80 kg. Thor Michaelson was ranked No. 16 in the final FloWrestling high school ranking of the 2021-22 season.

Two U.S. women athletes reached medal matches but were defeated and finished fourth: Mia Macaluso of Otisville, N.Y. at 60 kg and Maren Anderson of Tinley Park, Ill. at Over 70 kg.

Macaluso had to win a knockout match to qualify for Group B. She went 2-1 in her group, with both of her wins against U.S. teammates. In the semifinals, Macaluso lost to Viorica Adam of Romania, then fell to Ana Maria Puiu of Romania in the bronze-medal bout, 3-0.

Anderson had a 1-1 record in Group A, which gave her second place in Group and qualified her for the semifinals, where she was beaten by Elena Margas of Romania. In the bronze-medal bout, she was pinned by Amalia Ratunzeanu of Romania in their second meeting of the day. In the first round, Ratunzeanu won a 0-0 referee’s decision over Anderson.

All of the seven U.S. women entered in this tournament placed in the top 10 of their weight classes, with Alessandra Elliott of Staten Island, N.J. (70 kg) and Erin Kramer of Covington, Wash. (Over 70 kg) securing fifth place. The other women place winners were Isabella Hoffman of Tega Cay, S.C. (6th at 60 kg), Josie Davis of Sidney, Ohio (8th at 60 kg) and Carmela Castaneda of Defiance, Ohio (10th at 60 kg).

The other U.S. entry, Damon Landreth of Hendersonville, N.C., placed 12th at 70 kg in the men’s division.

The United States placed fourth in the women’s team standings with 34 points. The USA was tied with Greece, which also had 34 points, but Greece won the tiebreaker with a bronze-medal winner. Macaluso, Elliott and Anderson scoring points. In the men’s team standings, the USA was fifth with 20 points, all from Michaelson. Romania won the team title for both the men and the women.

The Beach World Series Final, for Senior-level athletes, start up on Saturday and finish on Sunday. Of those competing in the U20 Worlds, Macaluso, Hoffman, Anderson and Kremer will also be wrestling in the Beach World Series Finals. There will be seven women and six men representing Team USA in the Beach World Series Final.

All of the action for the Beach World Series Final will be live on FloWrestling. Constanta is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone

At Constanta, Romania, September 2

U20 Women's medalists

50 kg
Gold - Ana Maria Pirvu (Romania)
Silver - Justine Fanny Vigouroux (France)
Bronze - Cristina Andujar Ojeda (Spain)

60 kg
Gold - Sofiia Marchenko (Ukraine)
Silver - Viorica Tania Adam (Romania)
Bronze - Ana Maria Puiu (Romania)

70 kg
Gold - Teodora Sirbu (Romania)
Silver - Paula Aurelia Izabela Rotaru (Romania)
Bronze - Drosoula Tzianakopoulou (Greece)

Over 70 kg
Gold - Elena Margas (Romania)
Silver - Andreea Scarlatescu (Romania)
Bronze - Amalia Ratunzeanu (Romania)

U20 Men's medalists

70 kg
Gold - Daniel Marian Sandu (Romania)
Silver - Ion Marcu (Moldova)
Bronze - Rubail Ibrahimli (Azerbaijan)

80 kg
Gold - Denis Ioan Chirica (Romania)
Silver - Thor Michaelson (USA)
Bronze - Ion Laurentiu Marcu (Moldova)

90 kg
Gold - Farid Jabbarov (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Alexandru Ioan Olteam (Romania)
Bronze - Razvan Dumitru Pavalasc (Romania)

Over 90 kg
Gold - Georgian Florin Tripon (Romania)
Silver - Zafar Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Rafail Gkirnis (Greece)

U.S. U20 women' performance

60 kg – Mia Macaluso, Otisville, N.Y., 4th place
WIN Patricia Iurascu (Romania), 3-2, 1:03
LOSS Sofia Marchenko (Ukraine), 3-1, 2:11
WIN Josie Davis (USA), 3-0, 0:28
WIN Isabella Hoffman (USA), 3-0, 0:37
LOSS Viorica Adam (Romania), pin 1:19
LOSS Ana Maria Puiu (Romania), 3-0, 0:48

60 kg – Josie Davis, Sidney, Ohio, 8th place
LOSS Isabella Hoffman (USA), 3-1, 1:45
LOSS Mia Macaluso (USA), 3-0, 0:28
LOSS Sofia Marchenko (Ukraine), 3-0, 1:02

60 kg – Carmela Castaneda, Defiance, Ohio, 10th place
LOSS Viorica Adam (Romania), 2-0, 3:00

60 kg – Isabella Hoffman, Tega Cay, S.C. (Fort Mill High School), 6th place
WIN Josie Davis (USA), 3-1, 1:45
LOSS Sofia Marchenko (Ukraine), 3-0, 2:18
LOSS Mia Macaluso (USA), 3-0, 0:37

70 kg – Alessandra Elliott, Staten Island, N.Y. (Tottenville High School), 5th place
WIN Caroline Barbey (France), 3-2, 1:42
LOSS Teodora Sirbu (Romania), 3-1, 1:07
LOSS Georgiana Andries (Romania), 3-1, 1:42

Over 70 kg – Maren Anderson, Tinley Park, Ill. (Natural Athlete WC), 4th place
LOSS Amalia Ratunzeanu (Romania), 0-0, 3:00
WIN Erin Kremer (USA), 3-1, 1:52
LOSS Elena Margas (Romania), 3-0, 1:36
LOSS Amalia Ratunzeanu (Romania), pin 1:20

Over 70 kg – Erin Kremer, Covington, Wash. (Bombers WC), 5th place
LOSS Amalia Ratunzeanu (Romania), 3-2, 1:26
LOSS Maren Anderson (USA), 3-1, 1:52

U.S. U20 men's performance

70 kg – Damon Landreth, Hendersonville, N.C. (BaynardTrained), 12th place
LOSS Doru Dinca (Romania), pin 0:41
LOSS Ion Marcu (Moldova), pin 0:28
LOSS Eusebiu Tiba (Romania), 3-0, 0:55

80 kg – Thor Michaelson, Bremerton, Wash. (NWWC), silver medal
WIN Andrei Popescu (Romania), 3-0, 0:22
WIN Lorant Orban (Romania), 3-0, 0:37
WIN Denis Chirica (Romania), 3-1, 2:44
WIN Ion Marcu (Moldova), 3-2, 1:48
LOSS Denis Chirica (Romania), 3-2, 2:53

U20 Men's team standings
1. Romania, 95 pts.
2. Azerbaijan, 68
3. Moldova, 35
4. Greece, 31
5. United States, 20
6. France, 15
7. Italy, 12
8. Norway, 10
9. Bulgaria, 8

U20 Women's team standings
1. Romania, 95 pts.
2. France, 37
3. Greece, 34
4. United States, 34
5. Ukraine, 25
6. Spain, 15
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