Parrish, Mensah Stock, Elor Strike Gold, American Women Take Second Place

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The US Women’s Freestyle Team continues to outdo themselves. After last year’s performance of seven medals and two gold medals, this year’s team put together a performance of seven medals and three gold medals as Dominique Parrish (53 kg), Tamyra Mensah Stock ( 68 kg) and Amit Elor (72 kg) won titles at the world championships in Belgrade.

If you were asked to bet on who could win gold this year, the money might not have been on two newbies, especially since one of them is 18 years old. But they did, as Parrish battled his way through tough fights against elite, world-class opponents to win it all, followed by Elor who shocked the world with a dominant final victory. To reach the final, the young star knocked out Turkey’s Buse Tosun, a bronze medalist in Oslo last year, in the semi-finals 3-2.

Parrish picked up a 4-2 win in the 53kg final against Mongolian Khulan Batkhuyag. Meanwhile, Elor quickly beat 2021 Worlds silver medalist Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan in the final with a 10-0 first-half technical fall.

It was hard to say how good Elor would be at the senior level. She graduated from high school earlier this year and appeared to be on her way to a world junior title last month. Now we know she’s not just an age talent. She is the top 72kg senior wrestler on the planet. Wrestling fans aren’t the only ones surprised.

“I’m in shock,” Elor told the media after the final. “I kept struggling, and that’s where I am.”

With the gold medal, Elor also became the youngest American wrestler to win a senior world title. Parrish and Elor also became the 11th and 12th American women to win world championships.

One of those 12 champions is Mensah Stock, who became a three-time world and Olympic champion with her title in Belgrade this year. After a surprising defeat last year in Oslo, where she took third place, no one was close to the Olympic champion this time. She got a fall over 2022 U20 world champion Ami Ishii of Japan in the final after knocking out last year’s world champion Irina Ringaci of Moldova in the semi-final 10-0.

In the team race, the American team again took second place ahead of Japan, which won five weights and finished with 190 points to 157 for the United States. China finished third with 84 points.

Four more medalists put the USA women’s team in silver position, as Helen Maroulis (57kg) won her eighth world and Olympic medal with silver, losing in the final 3-0 to to Tsugumi Sakurai of Japan, 2021 world champion at 55 kg. .

At 62kg, Kayla Miracle won her second straight World Championship silver medal, losing to Japan’s 2021 world bronze medalist Nonoka Ozaki in the final 10-0.

Sarah Hildebrandt won a bronze medal in the 50kg, her fourth world and Olympic medal, while Mallory Velte (65kg) became a two-time bronze medalist, winning her second this year after winning her first in 2018.

Hildebrandt dominated her bronze match, scoring a 10-0 technical fall over 2019 world silver medalist Emilia Vuc of Romania. It was a brave match for the American, who came back after being choked to unconsciousness by Vuc at one point in the affair.

Velte was also superior in her match for bronze, earning an 11-2 win over 2022 European champion Mimi Hristova of Bulgaria. Velte scored four takedowns in the game, owning the neutral position.

At 55kg, Jacarra Winchester finished fifth, losing heartbreakingly in her bronze medal match. Winchester scored early in an unorthodox fashion, getting corners with double boots, and at one point got the 10-0 technical fall on China’s Mengyu Xie, but the score was canceled after the corner of Xie was disputed. It looked like the American was poised to seal the victory late in the match, holding a 12-4 lead, when she got caught on a corner after Xie took the step and scored the pinfall.

At 59kg, Abigail Nette, competing in her first world championships, was defeated in the repechage after being brought back into the tournament and placed 10th, earning two team points for Team USA.

At 76kg, Dymond Guilford lost to Japan’s Yuka Kagami 3-0 in her opener, having been put on the shot clock twice. Kagami lost her next match 4-2 to Olympic bronze medalist Adar of Turkey, knocking Guilford out of the tournament.

With the seven medals this year, the U.S. Women’s Program tied the most ever won by a U.S. Senior World Team, matching the 2003 and 2021 Women’s World Teams.

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