2021 Junior World Championships

Team USA Earns Three Gold Medals to Conclude Day Four in Russia; Four Others to Wrestle Friday

Photo of the three USA champions (L to R): Kylie Welker, Emily Shilson and Amit Elor. Photo by Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling.

As day four entered the second session on Thursday (session eight overall), Team USA women’s freestylers had a lot on the line at the 2021 Junior World Championships inside Ufa Arena in Ufa, Russia.

Coming into session eight, with 98 total team points, the USA was alone in first-place, eight points ahead of second-place India (90) and 12 points above third-place Russia (78).

Hoping to add to that point total, the Americans had six women wrestling in the session, three hoping to advance to the gold-medal finals on Friday and another three going for gold today. In the end, the USA came up victorious in all three gold-medal matches and one semifinal bout.

With three World champions, the 2021 Words are historic. For the first time in history, Team USA has multiple Junior World champions in women’s freestyle.

Gold-Medal Matches

Emily Shilson was the first American woman to bring home gold. The Minnesota native, who already has a 2018 Cadet World champion and a 2017 Cadet World silver medalist, brings home her first Junior-level World medal (a gold) with an 11-0 tech of Mongolia’s Enkhzul Batbaatar. After an initial takedown, Shilson added a go-behind right into a gut wrench for three turns to close it out.

At 68 kg, Amit Elor earned the second gold of the session for Team USA after tallying a first-period technical fall of her own. Elor, a newly-minted 2021 Cadet World champ, used a go-behind for the match’s first takedown and immediately transitioned to a leg lace for three turns. From there, two more step-out points earned her the 10-0 tech for 2021 World gold. This title is her second age-level in as many months.

At 76 kg, Welker, a 2019 Cadet World bronze medalist, completed the trifecta in gold-medal matches. Welker won 10-0 against Bipasha Bipasha of India. Welker earned four on a feet-to-back takedown from a single-leg shot attempt. Welker then added another takedown with a pair of laces to end the match early.

The trio outscored opponents a combined 31-0 and none of the three gold-medal bouts lasted longer than two minutes. 

USA leads India 123-120 heading into the final day of women’s freestyle at Junior Worlds.

Semifinal Bouts

In semifinal matchups, the Red, White, and Blue won once and lost twice. Kennedy Blades (72 kg) recorded her third straight technical superiority decision in as many matches. This time though, Blades added some fireworks via a massive five-point throw over India’s Saneh Saneh in the first. The Wyoming Seminary star followed up with another two takedowns and a gut wrench to win 11-0 and advance to the gold-medal match Friday.

Teammates Jaslynn Gallegos and Korina Blades were on the wrong end of technical superiority decisions in their respective semifinal bouts at 53 kg and 62 kg. Gallegos lost 12-1 to Sweden’s Emma Malmgren, who put the American on her back multiple times. Gallegos  was able to muster a reversal, but that was all. 

In the semifinal at 62 kg, Korina Blades fell victim to Alina Kasabieva of Russia after the Russian took down the American five times for the 10-0 tech.

 Gallegos and Korina will be in bronze-medal bouts tomorrow. Additionally, Irina Ringaci of Moldova, who defeated Alara Boyd in the first round, advances to the finals with a tech fall over Vesso of Estonia, bringing Boyd into tomorrow’s repechage. 

Day Four Event Results 

Aug. 16-22 | Ufa, Russia

U.S. women’s freestyle results
53 kg: Jaslynn Gallegos (Brighton, Colo./Blue Chip WC) – bronze match
WIN Chamodya MADURAVALAGE DON (Sri Lanka), 13-3
LOSS Emma MALMGREN (Sweden), 12-1

57 kg: Claire DiCugno (Lake Taps, Wash./Takedown Express WC) – eliminated
LOSS Mansi MANSI (India), 16-4

62 kg: Korina Blades (Broadview, Ill./Izzy Style WC) – bronze match
WIN Nadzeya BULANAYA (Belarus), 8-2
WIN Yagmur CAKMAK (Turkey), fall 5:08
LOSS Alina KASABIEVA (Russia), 10-0

65 kg: Alara Boyd (Muncie, Ind./McKendree Bearcat WC) – repechage
LOSS Irina RINGACI (Moldova), 9-2

72 kg: Kennedy Blades (Broadview, Ill./Izzy Style WC) – FINALS
WIN Mariam GUSEINOVA (Russia), 10-0
WIN Nurzat NURTAEVA (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0
WIN Saneh Saneh (India), 11-0
vs. Lilly Schneider (Germany)

Aug. 16-22 | Ufa, Russia

U.S. women’s freestyle results
50 kg: Emily Shilson (Maple Grove, Minn./Titan Mercury WC) – GOLD
WIN Natallia VARAKINA (Belarus), 6-3
WIN Viktoriia ALEKSANDROVA (Russia), 10-7
WIN Simran SIMRAN (India), 10-0
WIN Enkhzul BATBAATAR (Mongolia), 10-0

55 kg: Payton Stroud (Buckley, Wash./McKendree Bearcat WC) – EIGHTH
WIN Antonia VALDEZ ARRIAGADA (Chile), 5-2
LOSS Kalmira BILIMBEK KYZY (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0
LOSS Munkhgerel MUNKHBAT (Mongolia), 10-0

59 kg: Mia Macaluso (Otisville, N.Y./Team New York) – 10th
LOSS Ebru DAGBASI (Turkey), fall 1:25

68 kg: Amit Elor (Walnut Creek, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) – GOLD
WIN Arju ARJU (India), 10-0
WIN Zsuzsanna MOLNAR (Slovakia), 11-0
WIN Elizaveta PETLIAKOVA (Russia), 10-0

76 kg: Kylie Welker (Franksville, Wisc./Titan Mercury WC) – GOLD
WIN Laura KUEHN (Germany), 10-0
WIN Mariia SILINA (Russia), 11-0
WIN Kseniya DZIBUK (Belarus), pin 1:05
WIN Bipasha BIPASHA (India), 10-0

Other TOM Coverage 

Session One recap

Session Two recap

Session Three and Four recap

Session Five recap

Session Six recap

Session Seven recap

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