By Karen Price | Oct. 06, 2018, 7:53 p.m. (ET)

Helen Maroulis poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

 

Two-time world wrestling champion Helen Maroulis will have the opportunity to go for her third title after defeating Alex Hedrick in a wrestle-off on Saturday. 

Maroulis, who became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal in 2016, will represent the nation in the 57 kg weight class at the Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary Oct. 20-28. 

She earned that right after defeating Hedrick in two consecutive matches at Grace Hall at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in this best-of-three wrestle-off. The match was originally scheduled to take place in June during the Final X series but Maroulis was injured and requested a delay. 

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Maroulis started by jumping out to an 8-0 lead. After the break, Maroulis scored an additional two points with a takedown and won the match 10-0.

She started off the second bout with a takedown, jumped out to an 8-0 lead and finished it off with a four-pointer to win, 12-0, in just 2:35. 

Maroulis won the gold medal at the world championships in 2015 and 2017 and also silver in 2012 and bronze in 2013. She also made history at Olympic Games Rio 2016 as she won the gold by defeating three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida of Japan.

Hedrick, the 2018 U.S. Open winner, won the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in May, burst onto the scene in 2018 and won the Senior U.S. Open. Her only World Championship experience came at the 2018 Junior World Championships.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.