Adeline Gray celebrates winning a gold medal at the World Wrestling Championships on Oct. 24, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.
Three years removed from her last outing on the world championship mat, Olympian Adeline Gray faced a murderer’s row of talented competitors to make it back to the top of the world podium.
In dominating reigning world champion Yasemin Adar 13-1 for her fourth world title, Gray looked like she never left.
Gray knocked off world bronze medalist Epp Mae, then Olympic bronze medalist Elmira Syzdykova and Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe just to make it to the 76 kg. final. There she faced Adar of Turkey.
After Adar took an early 1-0 lead off a shot clock violation, Gray stormed back. A single leg became a takedown, then five ankle laces to score a technical fall 13-1 victory. In winning her fourth world title, Gray tied wrestling legend Tricia Saunders for most world championships by a U.S. woman. She is one of just four U.S. wrestlers to win four world titles, joining Jordan Burroughs and John Smith from the men’s side.
Gray, 27, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, was wrestling in her first world championships since 2015. Olympic weight classes were not held in 2016, and she took the 2017 season off to recover from shoulder and knee surgeries. She made her Olympic debut in Rio — wrestling through the shoulder injury — and won her first match before falling in the quarterfinals.
Gray now has six world medals overall, passing Saunders for second place, and trailing only Kristie Davis with nine.
She earned bronze at her debut in 2011 at 67 kg., followed by gold in that class the following year. Moving up in 2013, Gray claimed bronze at 72 kg. before claiming gold the next two years at 75.