Pirozhkova wins gold and four American women medal at FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals in Azerbaijan

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Nov. 23, 2013, 10:33 a.m. (ET)

Photos of Elena Pirozhkova at the 2013 World Championships by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers Are Warriors.

BAKU, Azerbaijan – World champion Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC) moved up a weight to win the gold medal at 67 kg/147.5 lbs., and four American women wrestling stars won medals at the Heydar Aliyev FILA Golden Grand Prix on Saturday.

Pirozhkova, a three-time World medalist, won four matches on the way to the title, defeating Alina Makhynia of Ukraine in the finals, 3-1.

Pirozhkova opened with a 4-0 victory over U.S. teammate Veronica Carlson (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC). In the quarterfinals, she scored an 8-0 technical fall over Nasanburmaa Ochirbat of Mongolia. Her semifinal win was over Yoshiko Inoue of Japan, 2-0.

With the victory, Pirozhkova earned the $10,000 prize money awarded to champions by the event hosts, as well as $3,000 in USA Wrestling National Team bonuses, for a total of $13,000 for the victory.

Winning a silver medal at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. was two-time Junior World champion and 2013 World Team member Victoria Anthony (Huntington Beach, Calif./Sunkist Kids). Anthony was defeated in the finals by Japan’s Yuka Yago, 9-2.

She opened with three straight wins, stopping Anzhela Dorogan of Azerbaijan, 4-1, then pinning Narangerel Erdenesukh of Mongolia. In the semifinals, Anthony edged Fredrika Petersson of Sweden, 5-4.

Anthony was at her normal weight class, although she moved up in weight to compete at the 2013 World Championships and placed fifth at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.

Anthony earned a combined $7,000 for her performance, with $5,000 from event organizers and $2,000 in USA Wrestling National Team bonuses.

The U.S. had a pair of bronze medalists, Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Veronica Carlson (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.

Maroulis, a 2012 World silver medalist, opened with a 9-2 victory over Byambatseren Sundev of Mongolia. In the semifinals, past World champion Sofia Mattsson of Sweden defeated Maroulis by fall.

In the bronze-medal round, Maroulis put away Aizhan Ismagulova of Kazakhstan.

Carlson, a 2013 World Team member, rebounded from her opening round loss to Pirozhkova with two wins in the repechage. She scored an impressive 12-5 technical fall over Nasanburmaa Ochirbat of Mongolia and followed with a victory over Yoshiko Inoue of Japan, 5-4 in the bronze-medal bout.

Both Maroulis and Carlson earned $3,000 each from the event, the $2,000 prize money from event hosts and $1,000 in bonus from the USA Wrestling National Team program.

In all, the four U.S. women wrestlers netted $26,000 in prize money and National Team bonuses for their efforts in Baku.

Seven men’s freestyle wrestlers weighed in and received draws for Sunday’s competition, including 2013 World Team members Angel Escobedo (Columbus, Ohio/New York AC/Ohio RTC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Keith Gavin (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC), the four-time NCAA champion for Cornell, will compete at 74 kg/163 lbs.

At this event, prize money will be awarded to the medalists by the organizers, with $10,000 to gold medalists, $5,000 to silver medalists and $2,000 to bronze medalists. In addition, U.S. athletes are eligible for bonus payments as part of the USA Wrestling National Team contract, which for this event consists of $3,000 for gold, $2,000 for silver and $1,000 for bronze.

To watch the competition in live streaming, please follow the links below. Viewers will need a free Livestream account to watch.




For updated results, visit the FILA results website at:

At Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 23

Women’s freestyle results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold – Yuka Yago (Japan)
Silver – Victoria Anthony (USA)
Bronze – Vakeriya Chepsarakova (Russia)
Bronze – Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan)

51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Gold – Mareka Shidochi (Japan)
Silver – Sumiya Erdenechimeg (Mongolia)
Bronze – Denes Mercedesz (Hungary)
Bronze – Tatyana Amanzhol-Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Sofia Mattsson (Sweden)
Silver – Risako Kawai (Japan)
Bronze – Helen Maroulis (USA)
Bronze – Iryna Husyak (Ukraine)

59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold – Yuliya Ratkevich (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Munkhtuya Tungalag (Mongolia)
Bronze – Katsuki Sakagami (Japan)
Bronze – Ganna Vasylenko (Ukraine)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold – Anastasija Grigorjeva (Latvia)
Silver – Henna Johansson (Sweden)
Bronze – Ragneta Gurbanzade (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Rio Watari (Japan)

67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Gold – Elena Pirozhkova (USA)
Silver – Alina Makhina (Ukraine)
Bronze – Enas Khouesed (Egypt)
Bronze – Veronica Carlson (USA)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gold – Natalia Vorobieva (Russia)
Silver – Hiroe Suzuki (Japan)
Bronze – Jenny Fransson (Sweden)
Bronze – Odonchimeg Badrakh (Mongolia)

U.S. women’s results

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids), silver medal
WIN Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan), 4-1
WIN Narangerel Erdenesukh (Mongolia), pin
WIN Fredrika Petersson (Sweden), 5-4
LOSS Yuka Yago (Japan), 2-9

55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (Sunkist Kids), bronze medal
WIN Byambatseren Sundev (Mongolia), 9-2
LOSS Sofia Mattsson (Sweden), pin
WIN Aizhan Ismagulova (Kazakhstan), pin

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC), gold medal
WIN Veronica Carlson (USA), 4-0
WIN Nasanburmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia), tech. fall, 8-0
WIN Yoshiko Inoue (Japan), 2-0
WIN Alina Makhynia (Ukraine), 3-1

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Veronica Carlson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), bronze medal
LOSS Elena Pirozhkova (USA), 0-4
WIN Nasanburmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia), tech. fall 12-5
WIN Yoshiko Inoue (Japan), 5-4

U.S. men’s freestyle pairings for Sunday

55 kg/121 lbs. – Angel Escobedo, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
Vs. Ruslan Surkhayev (Azerbaijan)

60 kg/132 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
Vs. Gadji Aliyev (Azerbaijan)

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
Vs. Ayad Ibrahim (Egypt)

74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC)
Vs. Ali Shabanau (Belarus)

84 kg/185 lbs. – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
Vs. Andrei Frant (Romania)

84 kg/185 lbs. – Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Wyoming RTC)
Vs. Tamerlan Tagziev (Canada)

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
Vs. Paavlo Oliinyk (Ukraine)