2021 Senior World Championships

USA Advances Three to Senior World Semifinals in Women’s Freestyle, Another Wrestling for Bronze at 2021 Worlds

Sarah Hildebrandt (center) celebrates after claiming a bronze medal (50kg) at the Tokyo Olympic Games in August 2021. Photo by Aaron Favila/The Associated Press.

As day four (session 7) inside Jordal Amfi gets underway on today (Tuesday) from Oslo, Norway, the women’s U.S. freestyle squad will proceed with its brackets. With that, four more Americans got to begin their quests for a 2021 World medal. 

USA’s 2021 Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50kg), two-time Senior World fifth-place finisher Forrest Molinari (65kg), Amy Fernside (53kg), and eight-time World/Olympic medalist Adeline Gray (76kg) hit the mats. 

Hildebrandt,  Molinari (65kg), and Gray advanced to the semifinals. Jenna Burkert (55kg) also won in repechage to battle for a bronze next session. 

Inside the Repechage Bout

Overall, session seven was nearly perfect for the Red, White, and Blue. After stumbling in her opening match yesterday  in Norway, Jenna Burkert recorded a 4-2 nail-biter of a decision over Ukraine’s Bohdana Kokozei Yashchuk. The win started the session off on the right foot. 

Burkert was winning 3-0 at the break thanks to a takedown and a step-out. The American added an insurance point, a step-out in the second, to extend the lead to 4-0. Burkert gave up a takedown at the buzzer, but it wouldn’t matter. Jenna won and will go for bronze vs. India’s Pinki later today. 

Inside the Preliminary Bouts 

Forrest Molinari was on a tear early in Oslo. In her opener against Mongolia’s Enkhjin Tuvshinjargala, a  shot clock point and takedown gave Forrest the early 3-0 lead. From there, Molinari added another two and used an arm bar to end the match early. Molinari secured the first-period fall with 10 seconds remaining. 

In the Round of 16, Molinari ended her match early again. Against Russia’s Dinara Kudaeva Salikhova, Forrest secured a takedown late in the first and transitioned to a lace for three turns. Leading 8-0 to start period two, Molinari got the final takedown 22 seconds into the final frame. The American won 10-0.

She’ll have her toughest bout of the tournament thus far in the quarters when she battles France’s Koumba Larroque. 

At 50kg, the weight’s top seed, Sarah Hildebrandt made quick work of her opponent both times out on the mat this morning. After an early takedown, Sarah transitioned to a lance and turned the Ukrainian Bohdana Kokozei Yashchuk four times. Sarah needed just 41 seconds to record the technical superiority in her Round of 16 bout. She received bye the round prior. 

Adeline Gray proved precisely why she is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Team USA history. The five-time World gold medalist and recent 2020 Olympic silver medalist shined against Turkey’s Aysegul Ozbege. A spin-behind gave her a 2-0 lead. Then, an arm bar put Ozbege on her back. Gray fought for the fall at 1:17.

The only loss of the session came in Fernside’s opening-round match to Katarzyna Krawczyk of Poland in the Round of 16. Fernside was the victim of a pair of four-point arm spins, and then a takedown at the edge, which led to an early first-period tech for Poland.

Fernside awaits Krawczyk’s result in the semifinal to see if she will be brought back in through repechage.

Inside the Quarterfinal Bouts

It was a different type of match for the always-physical Forrest in the quarters, but she came out on top, 3-3 on criteria over France’s Koumba Larroque, a 2020 Olympian and two-time World medalist. The match came down to the final 10 seconds.

Molinari led 1-0 on a step-out point at the break. Then, the American was taken down, and  behind 2-1 late but was not deterred. Molinari landed two points for exposure in a wild exchange on the edge at the buzzer. A huge win for Molinari.

She’s on to the semifinal and guaranteed an opportunity to wrestle for a 2021 World medal in Oslo. 

As for Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Hildebrandt, the lace was tremendous once again. Sarah got the first takedown for a 2-0 lead. She transitioned to a lace on her second takedown and then  ended it with three turns against Lisa Ersel of Germany. The match took just under 90 seconds. 

Different opponent, same result for Gray in the quarterfinals against India’s Kiran at 76kg. Gray earned the first point of the match on a shot clock point. After, Adeline added her first takedown of the of the match to extend the lead. From there, Gray turned Kiran and secured her second fall of the tournament. 

Just two sessions into the women’s freestyle tournament, the Americans have come out strong.


Session 1 Recap here

Session 2 Recap here

Session 3 Recap here

Session 4 Recap here

Session 5 Recap here

Session 6 Recap here


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