What is expected to be a powerful U.S. women’s Freestyle team claimed the first American medal of the United World Wrestling 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan (KAZ) with a gold medal from Jacarra Winchester at 55 kg.
After disposing of her first two opponents by 10-0 and 13-2, Winchester defeated Bedina Gun of Turkey in a tight semifinal by 6-4. In the final against Japan’s Nanami Irie, Winchester scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. But Irie responded with a takedown and a force-out and had a 3-2 lead with a minute left. But Winchester scored a single-leg takedown for a 4-3 lead and time ran out. Irie’s corner asked for a review of a possible takedown in the final seconds, but this was denied, and Winchester was awarded a final point for a 5-3 win.
It was Winchester’s second appearance at the Worlds, finishing fifth last year.
Victoria Francis got to a bronze medal match at 72 kg, but lost to Ukraine’s Alina Stadnik, 4-0, and then was defeated by Paliha of China, 2-1 in the bronze match.
The U.S. has two more medal bouts tomorrow, as four-time World Champion Adeline Gray goes for a fifth title at 76 kg vs. Hiroe Minagawa Sukuzi of Japan, and Forrest Molinari will wrestle for the bronze medal at 65 kg.
The top six athletes in each of the Olympic weight classes qualify their country for a quota spot at the Tokyo Games.
In the men’s Greco-Roman division, both Russia and Japan won two titles and the Russian team won for the fourth consecutive Worlds.
The Russians piled up 132 points, winning at 72 kg with Abuiazid Mantsigov and a successful title defense at 97 kg by Musa Evloev. Russia also had three defending champions who reached the final, but had to settle for silver in Sergey Emelin (60 kg), Stepan Maryanyan (73 kg) and Artem Surkov (67 kg).
There were two Greco-Roman winners who moved up from silver to gold in 2019: Hungary’s Tomas Lorincz at 77 kg and Ukraine’s Zhan Beleniuk at 87 kg.
The first day of women’s finals saw a great story in the 50 kg class as Mariya Stadnik, 31, won her second Worlds title some 10 years after her first, in 2009! In between, she won silver medals in 2011, 2015 and 2018 (plus the 2016 Olympic Games), but finally got back to the top.
“Maybe some things changed mentally,” she said. “Ten years ago, I was younger and I wrestled with emotion and a burning heart. Now, I’m older, and I use my head more.”
Yong Mi Pak surprised at 53 kg, becoming North Korea’s first women’s World Champion, stunning two-time Worlds winner Mayu Mukaida (JPN) by 12-1 in 4:31, and Russia’s Natalia Vorobina – the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist – came back from a 2 1/2-year layoff to defeat Alina Makhynia of Ukraine.
The World Championships continue through the weekend in Nur-Sultan. The men’s Freestyle competition will begin on Friday. Summaries so far:
United World Wrestling World Championships
Nur-Sultan (KAZ) ~ 14-22 September 2019
(Full results here)
55 kg: Gold: Nugzari Tsurtsumia (GEO) d. Khorlan Zhakansha (KAZ), 9 – 0; Bronze: Shota Ogawa (JPN) d. Liguo Cao (CHN), 11-2; Eldaniz Azizli (AZE) d. Max Nowry (USA), 8-0.
60 kg: Gold: Kenichiro Fumita (JPN) d. Sergey Emelin (RUS), 10-5; Bronze: Ali Reza Nejati (IRI) d. Elmurat Tasmuradov (UZB), 7-5; Mirambek Ainagulov (KAZ) d. Lenur Temirov (UKR), 10-0.
63 kg: Gold: Shinobu Ota (JPN) d. Stepan Maryanyan (RUS), 10-4; Bronze: Almat Kebispayev (KAZ) d. Tynar Sharshenbekov (KGZ), 9-0; Slavik Galstyan (ARM) d. Meysam Karamali Dalkhani (IRI), 7-5.
67 kg: Gold: Ismael Borrero Molina (CUB) d. Artem Surkov (RUS), 3-1; Bronze: Frank Staebler (GER) d. Mohamed El Sayed (EGY), 6-5; Mate Nemes (SRB) d. Fredrik Bjerrehuus (DEN), 10-0.
72 kg: Gold: Abuiazid Mantsigov (RUS) d. Aram Vardanyan (UZB), 9-0. Bronze: Balint Korpasi (HUN) d. Jiyeon Lee (KOR), 9-0; Aik Mnatsakanian (BUL) d. Michael Widmayer (GER), 3-3 (criteria).
77 kg: Gold: Tamas Lorincz (HUN) d. Alex Bjurberg Kessidis (SWE), 8-0; Bronze: Jalgasbay Berdimuratov (UZB) d. Askhat Dilmukhamedov (KAZ), 3-1; Mohammadali Geraei (IRI) d. Karapet Chalyan (ARM), 9-6.
82 kg: Gold: Lasha Gobadze (GEO) d. Rafig Huseynov (AZE), 5-3; Bronze: Saeid Morad Abdvali (IRI) d. Iurii Shkriuba (UKR), 7-0; Haitao Qian (CHN) d. Nurbek Khashimbekov (UZB), 4-4.
87 kg: Gold: Zhan Beleniuk (UKR) d. Viktor Lorincz (HUN), 2-1. Bronze: Rustam Assakalov (UZB) d. Atabek Azisbekov (KGZ), 6-2; Denis Kudle (GER) df. Mikalai Stadub (BLR), 2-1.
97 kg: Gold: Musa Evloev (RUS) d. Artur Aleksanyan (ARM), 0-0 (criteria); Bronze: Cenk Ildem (TUR) d. Giorgi Melia (GEO), 4-1; Mihail Kajaia (SRB) d. Tadeusz Michalik (POL), 9-1.
130 kg: Gold: Riza Kayaalp (TUR) d. Oscar Pino Hinds (CUB), 3 – 1. Bronze: Iakobi Kajaia (GEO) d. Eduard Popp (GER), 5-0; Heiki Nabi (EST) d. Amir Ghasemimonjezi (IRI), 8-0.
Team Leaders: 1. Russia, 132; 2. Uzbekistan, 80; 3. Georgia, 79; 4. Iran, 75; 5. Kazakhstan. 72. Also: 20. United States, 18.
50 kg: Gold: Mariya Stadnik (AZE) d. Emilia Vuc (ROU), 13-0. Bronze: Ekaterina Poleshchuk (RUS) d. Yanan Sun(CHN), 9-9 (criteria); Valentina Islamova Brik (KAZ) d. Oksana Livach (UKR), 5-0.
53 kg: Gold: Yong Mi Pak (PRK) d. Mayu Mukaida (JPN), 12-1. Bronze: Qianyu Pang (CHN) d. Roksana Marta Zasina (POL), 0-0 (criteria); Vinesh Vinesh (IND) df. Maria Prevolaraki (GRE), 4-1.
55 kg: Gold: Jacarra Winchester (USA) d. Nanami Irie (JPN), 5-3. Bronze: Bolortuya Bat Ochir (MGL) d. Bediha Gun (TUR), 12-9; Olga Khoroshavtseva (RUS) d. Marina Sedneva (KAZ), 13-0.
72 kg: Gold: Natalia Vorobeva (RUS) df. Alina Berezhna Stadnik Makhynia (UKR), 4-2. Bronze: Paliha Paliha (CHN) d. Victoria Francis (USA), 2-1; Masako Furuichi (JPN) df. Zhamila Bakbergenova (KAZ), 2-0.