2021 Junior World Championships

USA Women’s Freestyle Wins 2021 World Championships as Kennedy Blades takes Gold and Sister Korina Finishes with Bronze

The 2021 Team USA women’s freestyle World Team poses for a team photo after winning the 2021 World Championships team title Friday evening, August 20, in Ufa, Russia.  Photo by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling. 

As day five (session 10) concluded at the 2021 Junior World Championships inside Ufa Arena in Ufa, Russia, Friday evening, Team USA women’s freestyle squad put the finishing touches on a historic 2021 team title run.

The momentous occasion was a result of crowning three World gold medalists (Emily Shilson at 50 kg, Amit Elor at 68 kg, and Kylie Welker at 76 kg) Thursday in session eight and one World Gold medalist (Kennedy Blades at 72 kg) and a World bronze medalist in Korina Blades (62 kg), Kennedy’s younger sister.

Also, Jaslynn Gallegos (53 kg) and Alara Boyd (65 kg) both wrestled for a bronze, coming up just short. With that, 70% of the women’s freestyle team competed with a medal on the line at the 2021 World medal over the last three days. 

The Medal-Round Matches 

At 53 kg, Jaslynn Gallegos got things started for the Red, White, and Blue taking on Russia’s Choigana Tumat in a back-and-forth bronze-medal match. After Jaslynn grabbed the bout’s first takedown, the Russian quickly used a well-executed dump to hit a four-pointer for herself. Gallegos earned a step-out to make it 4-3 at the break. In the second, Tumat tossed Gallegos to her back to take an 8-3 lead. Then Gallegos rolled through and nearly got the fall over Tumat, only to to end on her back again and get pinned. In what was a frantic flurry to a fall, the Russian got it done over the American via pin. Gallegos gets fifth as a result. 

 In the 62-kg bronze medal bout, Korina showed resilience, bouncing back from a tough 10-0 loss in the semifinals loss to eventual 2021 World champ Russia’s Alina Kasabieva. Korina responded with a 11-1 tech over Normway’s Viktoria Oeverby in dominant fashion. The American utilized a variety of takedown techniques (slide-by, throw-by, go-behind, and other) plus three step-outs to get the bronze and give USA control of the team race over second-place India and third place Russia.


In the 65-kg bronze medal bout, India took back control of the team race after the USA’s Alara Boyd lost to Viktoria Vesso of Estonia by fall. After an offense-heavy first period, Boyd had a 5-4 lead at the break. In period two, though, Boyd was in on a single-leg, and Vesso caught her in a headlock, sent her to her back, proceeded to secure the fall. Boyd ends her tournament in fifth.

However, Team USA ended on a high note as Kennedy Blades became Team USA’s fourth 2021 World champion, securing a fall over Germany’s Lilly Schneider just 0:17 into that bout after a ferocious double-leg turned into a fall.

With the fall, Team USA Junior women’s freestyle squad leaves Russia with four Junior World gold medalists, one Junior World bronze medalist, and a team title, too.

 Also, of note from session 10, on the Greco-Roman side of things: Tyrone Sterkenburg of Netherlands advances to the finals after a 4-1 victory in his quarterfinal bout with Lachin Valiyev of Azerbaijan, pulling the USA’s Kodiak Stephens (87 kg) into the repechage on Saturday. Stephens now needs two wins to wrestle for bronze.


Session One recap

Session Two recap

Session Three and Four recap

Session Five recap

Session Six recap

Session Seven recap

Session Eight recap

Session Nine recap

Official USA Wrestling Release 

Click here for USA Wrestling’s official Release and Athlete Interviews

Complete Event Results By Team USA Competitor 

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

53 kg: Jaslynn Gallegos (Brighton, Colo./Blue Chip WC) – FIFTH
WIN Chamodya MADURAVALAGE DON (Sri Lanka), 13-3
LOSS Emma MALMGREN (Sweden), 12-1
LOSS Choigan TUMAT (Russia), fall 4:09

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

57 kg: Claire DiCugno (Lake Taps, Wash./Takedown Express WC) – 12th
LOSS Mansi MANSI (India), 16-4

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

62 kg: Korina Blades (Broadview, Ill./Izzy Style WC) – BRONZE
WIN Nadzeya BULANAYA (Belarus), 8-2
WIN Yagmur CAKMAK (Turkey), fall 5:08
LOSS Alina KASABIEVA (Russia), 10-0
WIN Viktoria OEVERBY (Norway), 11-1

65 kg: Alara Boyd (Muncie, Ind./McKendree Bearcat WC) – FIFTH
LOSS Irina RINGACI (Moldova), 9-2
WIN Yana TRETSIAK (Belarus), 12-1
LOSS Viktoria VESSO (Estonia), fall 3:55

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

72 kg: Kennedy Blades (Broadview, Ill./Izzy Style WC) – GOLD
WIN Mariam GUSEINOVA (Russia), 10-0
WIN Nurzat NURTAEVA (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0
WIN Saneh Saneh (India), 11-0
WIN Lilly Schneider (Germany), fall 0:17

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

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