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Adeline Gray Claims U.S. Record Fifth World Title In Wrestling

By Chrös McDougall | Sept. 19, 2019, 10:57 a.m. (ET)

Adeline Gray celebrating her victory following the women's 76 kg final at the World Wrestling Championships on Sept. 19, 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.


Another year, another world title for wrestler Adeline Gray.

Gray, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, won her fifth world title and second in a row on Thursday when she defeated Japan’s Hiroe Suzuki 4-2 in the women’s 76 kg. class in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

With the win, Gray becomes the most decorated U.S. wrestler in world championships history with five wins, surpassing the mark of four held by Jordan Burroughs, Tricia Saunders and John Smith. Burroughs is also set to compete later this week. Gray’s seven total world championships medals trail only Kristie Davis’ nine among U.S. women.

Suzuki took an early 1-0 lead when Gray was put on the shot clock but failed to score. However, Gray closed out the first period with a double-leg takedown and a tilt to take a 4-1 lead into the break.

Just before time expired Suzuki forced Gray to step out and gained another point, but it was not enough.

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A Denver native, Gray, 28, broke onto the senior world championships stage in 2009 at the 67 kg. class, and she won her first medal, a bronze, in 2011. This year marks her eighth time competing at the world championships, and her seventh medal. She also won world titles in 2012, ’14, ’15 and ’18.

Going into the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as the top-ranked wrestler in her 75 kg. class, Gray was limited by a shoulder injury and fell in the quarterfinals, ultimately finishing seventh. Taking a year off to recover, Gray missed the 2017 world championships but returned in 2018, defeating Turkey’s Yasemin Adar, the defending champ, for the title.

Thursday’s win makes Gray 5-for-5 in world championships finals.

Gray’s win marked the second medal, and second finals win, so far for the U.S. at these world championships, which continue through Sunday. Jacarra Winchester won the women’s 55 kg. division on Wednesday. Tamyra Mensah-Stock has also qualified for Friday’s gold-medal match in the women’s 68 kg. class.

Fellow American Forrest Molinari also wrestled for a medal on Thursday, though she fell to China’s Xiaoqian Wang in one of the 65 kg. bronze-medal matches.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.