photo courtesy of USA Wrestling
The women’s freestyle portion of the U23 World Championships has concluded, and the United States came away with two bronze medals and had two other women wrestle in bronze medal matches. McKendree University teammates Alex Glaude (68 kg) and Korinahe Bullock (76 kg) both won bronze medals on Thursday two distinct performances. First was Glaude who was stymied by her opponent Khishigmaa Munkhbat (Mongolia) for the first five-plus minutes of the match. With only about 20 seconds left in the bout, Alex was able to peek out of a front headlock and spin for her first two points of the match. The official blew the whistle and had the women restart with 8.6 seconds remaining and the American trailing 5-2. After the action resumed, Glaude hit a huge double leg which exposed the Mongolian’s back and gave her the four points needed for a victory. Munkhbat’s corner would challenge the call, which was overturned and gave Alex a seventh point and bring the official score to 7-5. For Glaude, it was her first world medal, and for Team USA it was a huge spark, as the men’s Greco-Roman team went winless in their leg of the tournament.
Just a few matches later, Bullock would add a piece of hardware of her own. Korinahe’s match would play out in a fashion that is typical of upperweight wrestlers with such high stakes. Both wrestlers were tentative to overcommitting, and it became a tactical, deliberate struggle. Her opponent, Gracelynn Doogan (Canada), a silver medalist at this tournament in 2017, broke first and fired off a pair of ill-advised attacks, which Bullock countered and converted into a pair of takedowns. She would hold on for a 4-1 victory, and her first world medal, as well.
Dominique Parrish (55 kg) and Kayla Miracle (62 kg) both wrestled for fifth-place but ultimately came up short. Parrish was matched up with the eventual world champion Saka Igarashi (Japan), and her 3-0 loss was the closest match for Igarashi the entire tournament. The WCWA national champion Parrish then would win a repechage match by technical superiority which thrust her into the bronze medal match. Miracle fell in the quarterfinals and then rebounded to win a repechage match herself, but she ultimately suffered the same fate as Parrish, a loss to a German foe a match shy of a medal.
2017 Senior world bronze medalist Becka Leathers (57 kg) was the only other wrestler to participate in the repechage, though she was eliminated in her first match. The overall performance at the U23 World Championships is a slight improvement from the women’s side as they did not come away with a single medal during last years competition.