UPDATE: Francis wins bronze and USA women place fifth at FILA Junior Worlds in Croatia

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Aug. 08, 2014, 2:47 p.m. (ET)
Victoria Francis of the USA battles Francy Radelt of Germany in the bronze-medal bout at the FILA Junior World Championships. Photo by T.R. Foley.

ZAGREB, Croatia –Victoria Francis (Litchfield, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Lindenwood) finished a strong day with a bronze-medal win at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. on the final day of women’s freestyle at the FILA Junior World Championships on Friday.

Francis scored an impressive 16-6 technical fall in the bronze-medal bout over Francy Radelt of Germany, giving Team USA its third bronze medal of the women’s tournament.

Francis was very effective with her counter defense, stopping Radelt’s double leg attacks and spinning behind for multiple takedowns. Radelt scored one four-point double leg to tighten up the match in the first period, but Francis continued her effective wrestling, reaching the 10-point lead as time ran out.

“I knew what she was coming with. I knew she would come with the double. The first few times, I wasn’t quite ready. Once I got my head into the match, I was ready,” she said.

She won her first match with a pin in 39 seconds over Pooja of India. In the second round, she fell behind early and lost to Anzhela Kataeva of Russia, 9-2. In the repechage round, she defeated Canada’s Gracelyn Doogan, 9-1.

Francis competes for Lindenwood University, where her coach is 2004 Olympian Toccara Montgomery.

Becka Leathers (Choctaw, Okla. (Choctaw WC) finished eighth at 55 kg/121 lbs., winning her first match by pin over Anastassia Krasanova of Estonia in 2:32. She lost to eventual silver medalist Tetyana Kit of Ukraine, then was eliminated in the repechage by Amber Maschke of Canada by fall.

The other two U.S. athletes competing on Friday, Cody Pfau (Brush, Colo./OKCU Gator RTC) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Alexis Porter (Ballston Lake, N.Y./New York AC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. were eliminated in the preliminaries and did get to wrestle in the repechage rounds.

Winning bronze medals for the USA on Thursday were Marina Doi (Kingsburg, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) at 44 kg/97 lbs. and Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville, Ky./Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs.

“We made a huge investment this summer, between camps and finances and training and it is great for it all to pay off. I am really glad I could represent my country. I am glad we have two other medals under our belt also. I wish I could have done better, but I did what I could,” said Francis.

The United States finished fifth in the team standings with 27 points. Japan won the team title with 57 points, with Russia in second with 45 points, Azerbaijan in third with 33 points and Turkey in fourth with 30 points.

“We are young. One of our wrestlers has another year of high school. Six of these young ladies will be back next year for the Junior team. I see nothing but positive things for all of them. They were good in training camp. It was work hard, have a good time, care about each other and pick each other when things went wrong,” said U.S. coach Ron Tirpak.

Japan won its fourth gold medal of the women’s division with Yu Miyahara repeating as the 48 kg champion. Also winning individual gold medals on Friday were Altantsetseg Battsetseg of Mongolia at 55 kg, Liubov Ovcharova of Russia at 63 kg and Sabira Aliyeva of Azerbaijan at 72 kg.

At Zagreb, Croatia, August 8

U.S. Women’s freestyle performance on Friday

48 kg/105.5 lbs. –Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (OKCU Gator RTC), dnp/21st
LOSS Milana Dadisheva (Russia), pin 0:36

55 kg/121 lbs. –Becka Leathers, Choctaw, Okla. (Choctaw WC), 8th
WIN Anastassia Krasanova (Estonia), pin 2:32
LOSS Tetyana Kit (Ukraine), 4-4
LOSS Amber Maschke (Canada), pin 0:41

63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Alexis Porter, Ballston Lake, N.Y. (New York AC), dnp/12th
WIN Signe Fidje (Norway), 6-2
LOSS Burneebaatar Nyamgerel (Mongolia), 2-7

72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Victoria Francis, Litchfield, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Lindenwood), 3rd
WIN Pooja (India), pin 0:39
LOSS Anzhela Kataeva (Russia), 2-9
WIN Gracelynn Doogan (Canada), 9-1
WIN Francy Radelt (Germany), tech. fall 16-6

Women's freestyle results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Yu Miyahara (Japan)
Silver - Ya Xie (China)
Bronze – Milana Dadasheva (Russia)
Bronze – Mamta Mamta (India)
5th – Evin Demirhan (Turkey)
5th - Tsogt Namuuntsetset (Mongolia)
7th - Paula Kozlow (Poland)
8th - Viyaleta Chyryk (Belarus)
9th - Jacquelline Mollocana (Ecuador)
10th - Kang Hyewon (Korea)
Gold – Miyahara dec. Ya, 4-0
Silver – Dadasheva dec. Demirhan, 9-7
Bronze – Mamta tech fall Namuuntsetset, 11-1

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold –Altantsetseg Battsetseg (Mongolia)
Silver - Tetyana Kit (Ukraine)
Bronze – Nanami Irie (Japan)
Bronze – Hashimzade Solmaz (Azerbaijan)
5th – Xuejing Wang (China)
5th – Amber Maschke (Canada)
7th – Bediha Gun (Turkey)
8th – Becka Leathers (USA)
9th – Carola Raniero (Italy)
10th – Iryna Kurachkina (Belarus)
Gold – Batytsetseg tech. fall Kit, 10-0
Bronze – Irie pin Wang
Bronze – Solmaz dec. Maschke, 9-6

63kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold - Liubov Ovcharova (Russia)
Silver - Yekaterina Larionova (Kazakhstan)
Bronze - Burneebaatar Nyamgerel (Mongolia)
Bronze - Kiwa Sakae (Japan)
5th - Elmira Gambarova (Azerbaijan)
5th - Ogunjimi Temitope (Canada)
7th – Agnieszka Krol (Poland)
8th – Luie Manzake (Germany)
9th – Heo Jeongin (Korea)
10th – Buse Tosun (Turkey)
Gold – Ovharova pin Larionov
Bronze – Nyamgerel pin Gambarova
Bronze – Sakae dec. Temitope, 9-0

72 kg/156.5 lbs.
Gold – Sabira Aliyeva (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Anzhela Kataeva (Russia)
Bronze – Zahmila Bagbergenova (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Victoria Francis (USA)
5th – Gamze Durkan (Turkey)
5th – Francy Radelt (Germany)
7th – Andrea Olya (Colombia)
8th – Natalia Lanko (Belarus)
9th – Purvee Nomin-Erdene (Mongolia)
10th – Rino Abe (Japan)
Gold – Aliyeva dec. Kataeva, 13-5
Bronze – Bagbergenova dec. Durkan, 9-6
Bronze – Francis tech. fall Radelt, 16-6

Team Standings
1. Japan, 57 pts.
2. Russia, 45 pts.
3. Azerbaijan, 33 pts.
4. Turkey, 30 pts.
5. United States, 27 pts.
6. Mongolia, 26 pts.
7. China, 25 pts.
8. Kazakhstan, 24 pts.
9 (tie) India, 21 pts.
9 (tie) Canada, 21 pts.
9 (tie) Ukraine, 21 pts.
12. Germany, 18 pts.
13. Poland, 16 pts.
14. Italy, 14 pts.
15. Belarus, 13 pts.
16. Bulgaria, 11 pts.
17. Hungary, 9 pts.
18 (tie) Finland, 8 pts.
18 (tie) Lithuania, 8 pts.
20 (tie) Sweden, 6 pts.
20 (tie) Romania, 6 pts.
22 (tie) Ecuador, 4 pts.
22 (tie) Moldova, 4 pts.
22 (tie) Colombia, 4 pts.
25. Korea, 3 pts.
26. Austria, 2 pts.