photo courtesy of Richard Immel
Yesterday Emily Shilson (Maple Grove, MN) made history by becoming the first US wrestler to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games, which currently are being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is Emily’s second world level championship in 2018, as she also captured a Cadet world title in July. Shilson earned her gold medal this time after going 5-0 competing at the 43 kg weight class. During the pool competition portion of the event, Shilson racked up a 12-1 tech fall against Shahana Nazarova (Azerbaijan), her opponent in the 2018 Cadet world finals. To win the championship, Shilson got by a game Simran Simran (India) 11-6. Simran and Shilson also met this year at the Cadet World Championships, whereas on that occasion it was in the world quarterfinals. In her four bouts before the finals, the only point that Emily surrendered was to Nazarova. In addition to her world-level accomplishments, Shilson also won a stop sign in the 100 lb weight class at Junior Nationals. It was her fifth career title in Fargo.
Emily was also the first American, in any sport, to win gold at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Also in action yesterday was Tiare Ikei (Honolulu, HI) who would go on to take sixth-place at 49 kg. Today two men’s freestyle competitors Robert Howard (Bergen Catholic, NJ) 55 kg and Carson Manville (Shakopee, MN) 65 kilograms will be attempting to add gold medals, as well. At previous Youth Olympic Games, the highest finish for an American wrestler was a silver medal, which had been done on four occasions.