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Molinari and Blades win women’s freestyle gold at Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Event; U.S. in first after day one

by Adam Engel, Special to

Forrest Molinari (USA) has her arm raised after winning Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Event in Egypt
Forrest Molinari (USA) has arm raised in victory in Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Event finals. Photo by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — U.S. women’s freestylers secured two gold medals at the Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Event on Friday/.

The Americans went 2-for-4 in Saturday’s medal matches with gold medals from 2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids) and 2021 U20 World champion Kennedy Blades (Sunkist Kids).

At 68 kg, Molinari earned her third ranking series gold with a 13-2 rout over France’s Koumba Larroque in the finals.

Molinari set the pace from the start with a pushout and passivity point to lead 2-0. More pushouts made it 3-2 Molinari at the break.

Molinari controlled Larroque, a three-time World medalist, and secured a six-point sequence near the edge to blow it open and secure the technical fall.

Blades followed Molinari’s offensive showcase with her own at 76 kg. She waited until a shot clock violation to unleash her offense in a 6-5 triumph over China’s Juan Wang.

In the first period, seconds after she allowed a shot clock point, Blades charged toward Wang and lifted her out of bounds for a four-point move. Blades led 4-1 at the break and added another early in the second. Wang battled to get within one as time expired.

Blades’ win represents her first gold medal at a Senior-level ranking series event.

Moments before, a pair of World medalists clashed at 62 kg for a chance at bronze. Ukraine’s Iryna Koliadenko, an Olympic and World medalist, pinned Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids), at 2:32.

Miracle couldn’t find any offense against Koliadenko and finished fifth. Koliadenko put Miracle in danger, and gradually worked through a headlock and torqued Miracle’s shoulder for the pin.

Kyrgyzstan’s Meerim Zhumanazarova pineed Alex Glaude (TMWC/BDRTC) at 2:57 to secure bronze at 68 kg, with Glaude placing fifth.

Glaude led 1-0 from Zhumanazarova’s passivity point before Zhumanazarova quickly changed things. She shot in on Glaude’s ankles for two. Then she turned Glaude for the pin. Zhumanazarova won a 2021 World championship title.

After the first four weight classes, the U.S. leads the women’s freestyle team race with 60 points. Ukraine trails with 58 while Kyrgyzstan sits third with 55.

Action resumes Saturday at 10:30 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) with women’s freestyle and day one of men’s freestyle. Watch every bout on FloWrestling.


At Alexandria, Egypt, Feb. 24


57 kg

GOLD - Alexandria Town (CAN)

SILVER – Alina Akobiia (UKR)

BRONZE – Luisa Valverde (ECU)

BRONZE – Qi Zhang (CHN)

62 kg

GOLD - Aisuluu Tynybekova (KGZ)

SILVER - Xiaojuan Luo (CHN)

BRONZE - Iryna Koliadenko (UKR)

BRONZE – Luisa Niemesch (GER)

68 kg

GOLD – Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids)

SILVER – Koumba Larroque (FRA)

BRONZE – Alla Belinska (UKR)

BRONZE – Meerim Zhumanazarova (KGZ)

76 kg

GOLD – Kennedy Blades (Sunkist Kids)

SILVER – Juan Wang (CHN)

BRONZE - Elmira Syzdykova (KAZ)

BRONZE - Aiperi Medet Kyzy (KGZ)


57 kg: Amanda Martinez (TMWC/CWC), dnp/11th

LOSS Qi Zhang (China), 11-1, 5:34

62 kg: Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids), 5th place

WIN Ilona Prokopevniuk (Ukraine), 5-4

LOSS Aisuluu Tynybekova (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0, 3:09

WIN Ameline Douarre (France), 10-6

LOSS Iryna Koliadenko (Ukraine), fall, 2:32

62 kg: Jennifer Page (TMWC/NLWC), dnp/13th

LOSS Grace Bullen (Norway), 11-11 criteria

68 kg: Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids), GOLD MEDAL

WIN Saidy Chavez Figueroa (Honduras), fall, 1:34

WIN Marilyn Garcia (USA), fall, 2:45

WIN Meerim Zhumanazarova (Kyrgyzstan), 6-3

WIN Alex Glaude (USA), fall, 3:28

WIN Koumba Larroque (France), 13-2

68 kg: Alex Glaude (TMWC/BDRTC), 5th place

WIN Alexandra Anghel (Romania), fall, 1:43

WIN Soleymi Caraballo (Venezuela), 4-3

LOSS Forrest Molinari (USA), fall, 3:28

LOSS Meerim Zhumanazarova (Kyrgyzstan), fall, 2:57

68 kg: Marilyn Garcia (California), 9th place

LOSS Forrest Molinari (USA), fall, 2:45

WIN Saidy Chavez Figueroa (Honduras), 4-2

LOSS Meerim Zhumanazarova (Kyrgyzstan), 12-0, 5:58

76 kg: Skylar Grote (TMWC/BDRTC), dnp/12th

LOSS Anastasiia Osniach (Ukraine), fall, 4:19

76 kg: Kennedy Blades (Sunkist), GOLD MEDAL

WIN Qian Zhou (China), 11-2

WIN Genesis Reasco Valdez (Ecuador), 4-4

WIN April Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), 12-1

WIN Juan Wang (China), 6-5