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Turner and Fowler to go for gold, Crull to battle for bronze in women’s freestyle at U17 World Championships

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Morgan Turner (USA) competition portrait from 2023 U17 World Championships.
Morgan Turner (USA) competition portrait from 2023 U17 World Championships. Photo by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling.

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Morgan Turner of Illinois (43 kg) and Piper Fowler of Tennessee (73 kg) will compete for a gold medal in women’s freestyle at the U17 World Championships on Thursday night after winning their semifinals matches this evening.

Turner defeated Nilufar Nurmukhammadova of Uzbekistan in the semifinals, 4-2. Turner scored all of her points in the first period, with a blast double takedown and a counter exposure. Nurmukhammadova scored two points late in the second period but was unable to score again as time ran out.

Turner was dominant in her victories on Wednesday morning, winning both by technical fall. She will battle 2022 U17 World silver medalist Mona Ezaka of Japan in the gold-medal finals.

In her semifinals, Fowler opened up her offense in the second period to dominate Alikaksandra Kazlova, an Individual Neutral Athlete, 10-2. The bout was tied at 2-2 at the break, but Fowler came right out and scored a big four-point takedown to start the second period. She added two more takedowns to finish off the win. Kazlova, a silver medalist at the 2023 U17 European Championships, resides in Belarus.

Fowler shut out her first two opponents on Wednesday morning by a combined 19-0 margin. She will battle 2022 U17 World bronze medalist Lotta Englich of Germany in the championship finals.

Going for a bronze medal on Thursday is Heather Crull of Indiana (49 kg). Crull was defeated in the semifinals by 2023 European U17 champion Svitlana Katenka, an Individual Neutral Athlete who resides in Belarus. Katenka led 2-1 at the break but was able to open it up with a takedown and leg lace early in the second period, adding a four-point takedown later to seal the win.

Crull looked strong in her two Wednesday morning victories. She will battle in a bronze-medal match against Lonisa Rika of Kosovo.

All three of the U.S. semifinalists are competing in their first age-group World Championships event.

The two other U.S. athletes who competed Wednesday morning lost their first bout and did not get pulled back into repechage: Everest Leydecker of Arizona (57 kg) and May Prado of Georgia (65 kg).

Japan leads Group One of women’s freestyle with four finalists. The United States and host Turkey are the only other nations with two finalists.

Five other U.S. U17 World Team members in women’s freestyle will begin their competition on Thursday: Jaclyn Bouzakis of Pennsylvania (40 kg), Rianne Murphy of Indiana (46 kg), Karlee Brooks of Arizona (53 kg), Haylie Jaffe of Pennsylvania (61 kg) and Jasmine Robinson of Texas (69 kg).

Thursday morning's first session is at 11:00 a.m. local time, with semifinals of Group Two at 5:00 p.m. and finals of Group One at 6:00 p.m. Istanbul local time is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone. All of the action is live on FloWrestling.


At Istanbul, Turkey,

Women’s Freestyle Group One Finalist pairings

43 kg - Mona Ezaka (Japan) vs. Morgan Turner (United States)

49 kg - Sviatlana Katenka (Individual Neutral Athlete) vs. Rinka Ogawa (Japan)

57 kg - Sowaka Uchida (Japan) vs. Eylem Engin (Turkey)

65 kg - Duygu Gen (Turkey) vs. Chisato Yoshida (Japan)

73 kg - Piper Fowler (United States) vs. Lotta Englich (Germany)

Women’s Freestyle Group One Semifinal results

43 kg

Mona Ezaka (Japan) pin Maria Louiza Gkika (Greece),3:18

Morgan Turner (United States) dec. Nilufar Nurmukhammadova (Uzbekistan), 4-2

49 kg

Sviatlana Katenka (Individual Neutral Athlete) dec Heather Crull (United States), 10-1

Rinka Ogawa (Japan) pin Tana Tiuliush (Individual Neutral Athlete), 2:46

57 kg

Sowaka Uchida (Japan) tech fall Yeojin Min (Korea), 10-0

Eylem Engin (Turkey) dec. Aziza Keldibekova (Kyrgyzstan), 4-2

65 kg

Duygu Gen (Turkey) dec. Maryia Makarchanka (Individual Neutral Athlete),10-1

Chisato Yoshida (Japan) dec. Margarita Salnazarian (Individual Neutral Athlete), 5-0

73 kg

Lotta Englich (Germany) dec. Asaloy Amangeldieva (Uzbekistan), 2-1

Piper Fowler (United States) dec. Aliaksandra Kazlova (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-2

U.S. Women’s Freestyle Group One results

43 kg: Morgan Turner, Lockport, Illinois (Sunkist Kids), in finals

WIN Saadat Guliyeva (Azerbaijan), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Alina Mazharouskaya (Individual Neutral Athlete), tech fall 10-0.

WIN Nilufar Nurmukhammadova (Uzbekistan), 4-2

Gold Medal – vs. Mona Ezaka (Japan)

49 kg: Heather Crull, Richmond, Indiana (Northeastern WC), in bronze bout

WIN Nil Aktas (Turkey), tech fall 10-0

WIN Lucja Korcz (Poland), 13-8

LOSS Svitlana Katenka (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-1

Bronze medal - Lonisa Rika (Kosovo)

57 kg: Everest Leydecker, Phoenix, Arizona (Thorobred WC), eliminated

LOSS Neha (India), 5-0

65 kg: May Prado , Marietta, Georgia (Level Up Wrestling Center), eliminated

LOSS Mukhayyo Rakhimjonova (Uzbekistan), 8-0

73 kg: Piper Fowler, Cleveland, Tenn. (Higher Calling WC), in finals

WIN Ako Uchiyama (Japan), 6-0

WIN Laia Horta Gallardo (Spain), tech fall, 13-0

WIN Alikaksandra Kazlova (Individual Neutral Athlete), 10-2

Gold Medal – vs. Lotta Englich (Germany)