Elena Pirozhkova of the USA controls Yurika Ito of Japan in the 63 kg gold-medal finals in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo by Martin Gabor, FILA.
BAKU, Azerbaijan - Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC) won a gold medal at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., one of four U.S. medalists at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals on Saturday.
Pirozhkova, the 2012 World champion and three-time World medalist, won three matches on the way to the title.
Pirozhkova defeated Yurika Ito of Japan in the finals, 7-4. Pirozhkova dominated early, jumping to a 7-0 lead, then held on for the 7-4 victory.
She scored two decisions on the way to the finals, beatingYulia Takach of Ukraine, 8-2 and Lais Oliveira of Brazil, 3-2.
Pirozhkova earned $10,000 for her victory, as did the other champions. The FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals is a major prize money event. Silver medalists earned $5,000, and bronze medalists won $2,000 each.
Pirozhkova joined U.S. men’s freestyle wrestler Brent Metcalf as FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals champions this year. Metcalf claimed the 65 kg gold medal on Friday.
Claiming silver medals were Alli Ragan (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 58 kg/128 lbs. and Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 75 kg/ 165 lbs.
Ragan won two close matches to reach her final. She defeated Ayaka Ito of Japan, 4-4 in the first round. Ito was fifth in the 2013 World Championships. She then stopped North American rivals Joice Silva of Brazil, 3-5.
In the finals, she was defeated by 2011 World champion Ganna Vasylenko of Ukraine by pin.
Gray had an amazing start to the tournament, defeating two-time World medalist Burmaa Ochirbat of Mongolia, 3-2, then beat five-time World champion and two-time Olympic champion Stanka Zlateva of Bulgaria, by technical fall 12-2.
In the championship finals, Gray lost a 1-1 match to 2010 World University silver medalist Hiroe Suzuki of Japan by criteria. Gray scored her point when Suzuki failed to score during a first-period shot clock. Suzuki also scored by defending a shot clock in the second period. The tiebreaker that went to Suzuki was last point scored.
Winning a bronze medal was 2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids at 55 kg/121 lbs., who finished with a 2-1 record. Her only loss came in the semifinals to 2012 Junior World champion Chiho Hamada of Japan, 2-7.
Just missing a medal was Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP) at 53 kg/116 lbs., who lost a bronze-medal bout and placed fifth.
The United States brought its full 2014 U.S. World Team to the event, and came home with the second place team trophy with 50 points. Japan won the team title with 63 points. Taking third was host Azerbaijan with 43 points.
FILA GOLDEN GRAND PRIX FINALS
At Baku, Azerbaijan, July 26, 2014
Women’s freestyle results
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold – Mariya Stadnyk (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Elena Vostrikova (Russia)
Bronze – Narangerel Erdenesukh (Mongolia)
Bronze – Yuki Irie (Japan)
5th – Kamala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan)
5th – Tatyana Amanzhol-Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan)
53 kg/116 lbs.
Gold – Maria Prevolaraki (Greece)
Silver – Nadzeya Shushko (Belarus)
Bronze –Nanami Irie (Japan)
Bronze – Zhuldyz Eshimova Turtbayeva (Kazakhstan)
5th – Whitney Conder (USA)
5th – Patimat Bagomedova (Azerbaijan)
55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Chiho Hamada (Japan)
Silver – Orkhon Purevdorj (Mongolia)
Bronze – Helen Maroulis (USA)
Bronze – Katerina Gancar (Belarus)
5th – Yuliya Yatkouskaya (Belarus)
5th – Aiym Abdildina (Kazakhstan)
58 kg/128 lbs.
Gold – Ganna Vasylenko (Ukraine)
Silver – Alli Ragan (USA)
Bronze – Emese Barka (Hungary)
Bronze – Ayaka Ito (Japan)
5th – Irina Netreba (Azerbaijan)
5th – Joice Silva (Brazil)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Yuliya Ratkevich (Azerbaijan)
Silver – Katsuki Sakagami (Japan)
Bronze – Petra Olli (Finland)
Bronze – Malin Mattson (Sweden)
5th – Anna Maksimova (Russia)
5th –Anastasia Huchok (Belarus)
63 kg/138.75 lbs
Gold – Elena Pirozhkova (USA)
Silver – Yurika Ito (Japan)
Bronze – Irina Bogdanova (Russia)
Bronze – Yulia Takach (Ukraine)
5th – Dailane Gomes (Brazil)
5th – Lais Oliveira (Brazil)
69 kg/152 lbs.
Gold – Anna Fransson (Sweden)
Silver – Odonchimeg Badrakh (Mongolia)
Bronze – Alina Makhynia (Ukraine)
Bronze – Laura Skujina (Latvia)
5th – Darima Sanzheeva (Russia)
5th – Anastasia Shchavlinskaya (Russia)
75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold – Hiroe Suzuki (Japan)
Silver – Adeline Gray (USA)
Bronze – Stanka Zlateva (Bulgaria)
Bronze – Vasilisa Marzaliuk (Belarus)
5th – Burmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia)
5th – Guzel Mayurova (Kazakhstan)
U.S. women’s performances
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 9th
LOSS Yuki Irie (Japan), 3-6
53 kg/116 lbs. – Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 5th
LOSS Nadzeya Shushko (Belarus), pin
WIN Roksana Zasina (Poland), 3-6
LOSS Nanami Irie (Japan), pin
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN Aiym Abdildina (Kazakhstan), 4-5
LOSS Chiho Hamada (Japan), 2-7
WIN Yuliya Yatkouskaya (Belarus), tech. fall, 10-0
58 kg/128 lbs. - Alli Ragan, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 2nd
WIN Ayaka Ito (Japan), 4-4
WIN Joice Silva (Brazil), 3-5
LOSS Ganna Vasylenko (Ukraine), pin
60 kg/132 lbs. – Jenna Burkert, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 9th
LOSS Mariana Sastin (Hungary), 3-0
63 kg/138.75 lbs – Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC), 1st
WIN Yulia Takach (Ukraine), 8-2
WIN Lais Oliveira (Brazil), 3-2
WIN Yurika Ito (Japan), 7-4
69 kg/152 lbs. – Randi Miller, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 7th
WIN Nadya Sementsova (Azerbaijan), 7-1
LOSS Laura Skujina (Latvia), inj. dft.
75 kg/ 165 lbs.- Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 2nd
WIN Burmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia), 3-2
WIN Stanka Zlateva (Bulgaria), tech. fall 12-2
LOSS Hiroe Suzuki (Japan), 1-1
1. Japan, 63 pts.
2. United States, 50
3. Azerbaijan, 43
4. Kazakhstan, 38
5. Mongolia, 37
6. Belarus, 37
7. Russia, 35
8. Ukraine, 33
9. Sweden, 24
10. Brazil, 24
11. Hungary, 13
12. Greece, 10
13. Bulgaria, 8
14. Finland, 8
15. Latvia, 8
16. Spain, 3
17. Moldova, 3
18. Poland 3
19. Italy 2
20. Kyrgystan, 1
21. Netherlands, 1