The U20 World Championships parties on its merry way in Sofia, Bulgaria, with the women's freestyle team firing up and occupying the middle portion of the event. The Americans will try to improve on the U17 team's very respectable fourth place showing from earlier this summer and try and match the lofty heights set by last year's team title-winning performance.
Read on for a day by day summary of all the major happenings from the Ameets Arena and peruse brackets, results, and more inside FloArena. Cereals Packing Machines
For a list of all the American results, scroll to the end of the article.
Quick and dirty recap of Day 3
50: Audrey Jimenez, 3-0, will wrestle for gold
55: Adriana Dorado Marin, 0-1, eliminated
76: Tristan Kelly, 1-1, will wrestle for bronze
Five women will take the mat to represent the red white and blue on the third day of this week-long wrestling bonanza. Unfortunately, these early rounds did not portend as auspicious a start as Team America would have liked. Only one wrestler, Audrey Jimenez, advanced to the semifinals.
Destiny Rodriguez ran into a 68 kilo Italian buzzsaw in her first bout. Rodriguez was tournament was then cut short when her first round opponent dropped her quarterfinal bout to Kyrgyzstan. However, many more successful tournaments are no doubt in the future for the young woman from Oregon.
The three other weights that failed to reach the semis still have hopes of being pulled into the repechage. At 55kg, Adriana Dorado Marin was bested by Hungary, who we are now all hoping pulls out an upset over tournament favorites Japan in her next bout.
Savannah Cosme dropped a frustrating 1-1 match with Turkey at 59kg where both points came by way of the activity clock. Cosme has a bright future, however, and the Coloradan will no doubt learn from this experience and apply the lessons learnt in her subsequent competitions. Her Turkish opponent unfortunately also has a Japanese opponent that she must upset to keep Cosme's medal hopes alive.
Tristan Kelly overpowered her Pan-Am rival from Brazil in her first contest, winning 9-0 and advancing to the 76kg quarterfinals. There she met a Japanese wrestler, and although Kelly wrestled tough and held the lead at one point in the second period, her opponent eventually turned the tables and won via pinfall, as the titans of women's wrestling so often do. Kelly has a very good chance of being drawn into repechage (for as we keep pointing out, Japan is very good at women's wrestling).
This brings us to Audrey Jimenez, the pocket Hercules from Sunnyside, Arizona. Jimenez is no doubt looking to rebound from her disappointing finish at the 2022 U17 Worlds at 49kg, where she went one-and-done, losing to the eventual bronze medalist on her side of the bracket in round one. This naturally means Audrey is 17 or younger, and in fact, doesn't turn 17 until December.
And Jimenez has already succeeded in her goal of surpassing her U17 result. Now at the lightest U20 weight class of 50kg, Audrey won her first round bout in a convincing manner. She dismantled her Azerbaijani opponent 13-2, advancing to the quarterfinals. There, she faced Lithuania's Gabija Dilyte. Jimenez made sure it was no delight for her opponent (pun regrettably intended), earning an activity clock point in the first period, taking her down in the second and then lacing her up in a tornado of doom to win 11-0.
Watch highlights of the match:
Jimenez now faces Walczak of Poland in the semifinals. On the opposite side of the bracket is Japan and India.
Semifinals are next, then tomorrow the second half of the distaff squad takes the mats and the first half wrestle for medals!
We'll start with the good news: Audrey Jimenez pinned her Polish opponent and will wrestle for U20 gold tomorrow in Sofia Bulgaria!
It was the most dramatic of Jimenez's matches so far. Audrey fell behind four points early in the first before shooting in on a single, winning a scramble with a key step over and then locking down her opponent for the fall. Jimenez will wrestle (you guessed it) Japan in the 50kg finals.
In other good news, Tristan Kelly was pulled into the repechage when Japan won her 76kg final. She'll wrestle Poland for bronze tomorrow.
In less than good news (I'd go as far as to say the news stinks), Dorado Marin and Cosme's tournaments have ended, as Japan wrestler beat the women that beat the Americans at both 55 and 59kg. If you've been paying attention, you'll know that that means Japan put all five wrestlers in the finals. Dang.
But tomorrow is another day, and five more American women will start their quests for glory, and Team USA will wrestle for two medals, one of gold, the other of bronze. See you then!
Quick and dirty recap of the only day of only women's wrestling.
53: Katie Gomez, pulled back into repechage
57: Sofia Macaluso, advanced to finals
62: Adaugo Nwachukwu, pulled back into repechage
65: Reese Larramendy, pulled back into repechage
72: Amit Elor, advanced to finals
A little bit better start for the Americans on the second day of the women's freestyle in Sofia, Bulgaria. All five wrestlers who to started their tournament did so with a victory in their first match.
Not only did Katie Gomez, Sofia Macaluso, Adaugo Nwachukwu, Reese Laramenday, and Amit Alor all win their round of 16 matches, but they all ended their matched early via tech or pinfall.
Gomez 10-0'd her Turkish opponent at 50kg, scoring three takedowns and two turns in the process. Larramendy used a variety of attacks to dish out a 12-2 drubbing to her Polish opponent at 65kg.
Macaluso and Nwachukwu both went for big upper body throws and found success, earning pins at 57 against India and 62kg against France, respectively. Elor joined the pin party at 72kg after running up the score in her match with Tunisia to 9-0.
In the quarterfinals, Gomez was up 2-1 against Kazakhstan before getting bear-hugged to the mat and pinned. She'll need Kazakhstan to win her next match to have a shot at a bronze.
Larramenday ran into the buzzsaw that is Japan and lost a 10-0 bout, however, there's an exceedingly good chance Reese will be in the repechage tomorrow.
Adaugo 'No Fear' Nwachukwu tirelessly attacked her Indian opponent with feet-to-back technique but dropped a heartbreaking 5-5 match via criteria.
But in the good news department, Macaluso wow'd the crowd again with a big move pin, pancaking her Italian foe, a 2021 U20 world silver medalist, to her back for the fall.
And elite Amit Elor continued her dominant ways, tech slaying Hungary with relative ease.
Next session we'll see two Americans wrestle for a spot in the finals and two more wrestle for medals!
We kick off the evening session with Kazakhstan pinning her Egyptian opponent at 53kg, which means Katie Gomez will wrestle Bulgaria tomorrow for a shot at bronze against the same Egyptian that just lost in the semis.
Sofia Macaluso, inspired by being in her namesake city, has become a pinning machine. Up 10-1 thanks to a few leg laces, she ices her Turkish opponent with a fall in the first period. She’ll wrestle Japan with a 57kg U20 gold on the line.
The good news keeps rolling in, as Sonam of India takes care of business and pins her opponent while leading 8-0. That brings Adaugo Nwachukwu back into the repechage where she'll wrestle Kazakhstan before getting a crack at Kyrgyzstan for bronze. Nwachukwu gave Sonam the toughest of her three bouts at 62kgs in Bulgaria by far.
We then wrestle 72kg before 65kg, but don't worry, we'll come back to that weight. Amit Elor has gold in her sights and took one big step closer to it, teching her Indian opponent 12-1.
And now back to 65kg, as Japan did what we all expected them to do and tech-falled her opponent
Two Americans will vie for hardware in the first set of women's freestyle medal matches. First up is Audrey Jimenez in the 50kg gold medal match.
Unfortunately for the 16-year-old Jimenez, she has to face down a Japanese wrestler in her final year of U20 eligibility. Umi Ito proved too much for Jimenez, and though she gave it her all, Audrey was teched 10-0.
Nevertheless, this is a huge improvement over Jimenez's one-and-done result from U17s just a few weeks ago. Jimenez has a long career ahead of her, and many more medal matches in which to wrestle.
Tristan Kelly wrestles for 76kg bronze in the final American bout of Day 4, and the Coloradoan capped off the evening on a high note, stacking and packing her Polish opponent for a pinfall! That win is big for America's team race aspirations as well. The USA currently sits at fourth, just three points behind third-place Turkey and two points ahead of fifth-place Kazahstan.
It'll all come down to the final two sessions of women's wrestling!
A quick and dirty recap of the final day of women's wrestling.
Three repechage matches were on the docket this morning, and all three wrestlers came through to keep Team USA's hopes of finishing the tournament with five medals alive.
Bronze medal matches await Katie Gomez at 53, Adaugo Nwachucwu at 62, and Reese Larramendy at 65 kilos.
Gomez utilized a variety of attacks and a relentless leg lace to tech-fall her opponent from Bulgaria. Nwachukwu held true to form and went upper body, taking her Kazakh foe from her feet to her back with a bone-crushing bear hug. That pinfall advanced her to the bronze medal match.
The final match of the session for Team USA was from Larramendy, who raced out to a lead over Hungary and then held on for dear life to win a barnburner, 10-9.
Later this afternoon we'll see all five women wrestle for medals, with the goal of three bronze and two gold on the table!
We've got an American in every weight!
Katie Gomez gets things started the right way with a four-pointer, followed by a takedown and three turns to win 12-2 over Egypt. A U20 bronze medal is coming home to California!
Sofia Macaluso was right there with her Japanese finalist at 57kg. Just inches away from multiple big throws, but it was not to be, and Macaluso lost to the women's wrestling powerhouse 6-1. A silver medal is still a tremendous achievement for the young New Yorker. Perhaps there was something to the fact that Sofia was wrestling in Sofia, Bulgaria. Or she was just ready to jump levels. Either way, good news for American wrestling fans!
More good news for American wrestling fans? Ok sure, how about Adaugo Nwachukwu tech-mauling her Kyrgyzstani opponent in barely over a minute? Sounds like good news to us! That's another bronze medal for Team USA, this time at 62kg. Iowa Wesleyan got themselves a good one!
Watch the bone-crushing highlights here:
Things were not so rosy for Reese Larramendy at 65, unfortunately. She was right there with her Tunisian opponent until late in the match when Khadija, the 2022 African U20 gold medalist and the Tunisian Ranking Series champ, pulled away, eventually winning 9-2. But Hawkeye fans should still be thrilled that they'll be gaining the services of this young wrestler from Reno, Nevada as they inaugurate their varsity women's wrestling program in Iowa City.
And how about we cap off the women's tournament with a gold medal? Let's ask Amit Elor. She says sounds like a plan! Elite Amit Elor scores a 10-0 tech-fall in her typically dominant fashion. Elor outscored her four opponents 41-1, notching three tech-falls and a pin.
That brings the total medal haul up to six for the Americans: three bronze, two silvers and a gold. Plus the team finished on the podium in third place. Not bad at all in my humble opinion!
Great days two and three for the women, as they pulled away from the rest of the back and put 35 points between them and fourth-place Turkey. Final scores for the top three teams: Japan 230, India 160, USA 124.
50 Round of 16: Audrey Jimenez (United States) VSU1 Gultakin Shirinova (Azerbaijan), 13-2 5:08
50 Quarterfinal: Audrey Jimenez (United States) VSU Gabija Dilyte (Lithuania), 11-0 3:57
50 Semifinal: Audrey Jimenez (United States) VFA Natalia Walczak (Poland), 4-2 2:49
50 Gold Medal Match: Umi Ito (Japan) VSU Audrey Jimenez (United States), 10-0 2:19
53 Round of 16: Katie Gomez (United States) VSU Emine Cakmak (Turkey), 10-0 3:43
53 Quarterfinal: Altyn Shagayeva (Kazakhstan) VFA Katie Gomez (United States), 5-2 4:41
53 Repechage: Katie Gomez (United States) VSU1 Nazife Tair (Bulgaria), 13-2 1:48
53 Bronze Medal Match: Katie Gomez (United States) VSU1 Shaimaa Mohamed (Egypt), 12-2 2:51
55 Quarterfinal: Roza Szenttamasi (Hungary) VSU1 Adriana Dorado marin (United States), 12-2 4:03
57 Round of 16: Sofia Macaluso (United States) VFA Site Site (India), 6-4 5:53
57 Quarterfinal: Sofia Macaluso (United States) VFA Aurora Russo (Italy), 8-4 2:11
57 Semifinal: Sofia Macaluso (United States) VFA Melda Dernekci (Turkey), 12-3 2:37
57 Gold Medal Match: Ruka Natami (Japan) VPO1 Sofia Macaluso (United States), 6-1
59 Quarterfinals: Ebru Dagbasi (Turkey) VPO1 Savannah Cosme (USA), 1-1
62 Round of 16: Adaugo Nwachukwu (United States) VFA Iris Thiebaux (France), 8-0 1:56
62 Quarterfinal: Sonam Sonam (India) VPO1 Adaugo Nwachukwu (United States), 5-5
62 Repechage: Adaugo Nwachukwu (United States) VFA Tynys Dubek (Kazakhstan), 4-0 1:29
62 Bronze Medal Match: Adaugo Nwachukwu (United States) VSU Bermet Nuridin kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0 1:17
65 Round of 16: Reese Larramendy (United States) VSU1 Zofia Polowczyk (Poland), 12-2 5:15
65 Quarterfinal: Mahiro Yoshitake (Japan) VSU Reese Larramendy (United States), 10-0 2:05
65 Repechage: Reese Larramendy (USA) VSU1 Zofia Polowczyk (Poland), 12-2 5:15
65 Bronze Medal Match: Khadija Jlassi (Tunisia) VPO1 Reese Larramendy (United States), 9-2
68 Round of 16: Laura Godino (Italy) VSU1 Destiny Rodriguez (United States), 12-1 3:22
72 Round 16: Amit Elor (United States) VFA Zaineb Sghaier (Tunisia), 9-0 1:35
72 Quarterfinal: Amit Elor (United States) VSU Zsofia Virag (Hungary), 10-0 1:45
72 Semifinal: Amit Elor (United States) VSU1 Reetika Reetika (India), 12-1 2:23
72 Gold Medal Match: Amit Elor (United States) VSU Anastassiya Panassovich (Kazakhstan), 10-0 2:07
76 Round of 16: Tristan Kelly (United States) VPO Ana Dos santos (Brazil), 9-0
76 Quarterfinal: Ayano Moro (Japan) VFA Tristan Kelly (United States), 6-3 4:27
76 Bronze Medal Match: Tristan Kelly (United States) VFA Daniela Tkachuk (Poland), 7-2 3:58
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