USA Wrestling GOLDEN AGAIN! Adelin...

GOLDEN AGAIN! Adeline Gray captures second World title

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Sept. 11, 2014, 11:34 a.m. (ET)

Adeline Gray captured a gold medal at the World Championships on Thursday night. Larry Slater photos.

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – The second time was even sweeter for Adeline Gray.

The 23-year-old Gray capped a memorable performance with a 2-1 win over Brazil’s Aline da Silva to capture a gold medal at the World Championships on Thursday night at the Gymnastics Palace.

Gray turned in a superb tournament by scoring five wins in a tough road to the title in women’s freestyle at 75 kg/165 lbs.

Gray won her second World title after also striking World gold in 2012.

“I don’t know if women get the same credit for winning the 2012 World championship,” Gray said. “It’s the same year as the Olympics and some countries don’t come. In my heart, I consider it a World championship. I definitely earned the World championship this year. I’m the best girl in the World and that’s an amazing feeling.”

Gray scored what proved to be the winning points against da Silva by shooting in on a single-leg attack and finishing for a takedown midway through the first period.

Gray was put on the shot clock for passivity late in the match even though da Silva was wrestling defensively the entire time. The Brazil wrestler was awarded a point after Gray failed to score in 30 seconds, but Gray held her off in the final 20 seconds to prevail 2-1.

Gray had beaten da Silva, ranked 10th in the World, 7-0 in the New York AC tournament in November.

“She’s always dangerous,” Gray said. “I tried to play it a little more safe this time. But a win’s a win. I got that gold medal and that’s what matters.”

Gray, who also won World bronze medals in 2011 and 2013, becomes just the fourth American woman to win at least four medals at the World Championships. She joins Kristie Marano, Trish Saunders and Shannon Williams in that exclusive group. Marano won nine World medals while Saunders and Williams won four each.

Gray joins Saunders and Marano as the only Americans to win two World titles in women’s freestyle. Saunders won four World titles and Marano two.

American Alli Ragan finished fifth after falling to Anastassia Huchok of Belarus in the bronze-medal bout at 58 kg/128 lbs. Ragan trailed 4-1 before gaining a shot-clock point and then scoring two points late in the match.

The match ended in a 4-4 deadlock, but Huchok won the match by virtue of scoring with a pair of two-point moves.

The U.S. is now in third place in the team standings with 32 points. Japan leads with 55 points and Russia is second with 40. Mongolia is fourth with 22 points with one weight class left to be contested on Friday.

The U.S. will send World champion Elena Pirozhkova to the mat on Friday at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

Gray opened by pulling out an improbable 11-10 win over Zhou Qian of China in the first round. Gray trailed 9-2 late in the match before scoring a takedown and a succession of leg laces to tie the match 9-9.

Zhou came back with a pushout to lead 10-9 before Gray countered a shot and exposed Zhou’s back to the mat with six seconds left for two points to earn a dramatic win.

“I just had to keep fighting,” Gray said. “I gave everything I had and put it all into that match. My experience paid off. I was behind 9-2, but I was still just a few laces away. I knew I still had time to come back.”

Gray trailed 6-5 early in the second period before breaking and pinning 2013 World fifth-place finisher Yasemin Adar of Turkey in the second round. Gray took Adar down and drove her weary opponent to her back with a fall at the 4:42 mark.

Gray, ranked fourth in the World, held off World No. 2 Hiroe Suzuki of Japan 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Suzuki beat Gray twice this season.

Gray capped her amazing four-win first session with a 5-1 semifinal victory over World University silver medalist Epp Mae of Estonia in the women’s freestyle semifinals.

Ragan rallied from a 4-0 deficit to storm past Aisylyy Tynbekova of Kyrgyzstan 7-6 in the first round.

Ragan then fell by technical fall to three-time Olympian champion and eight-time World champion Kaori Icho of Japan in the quarterfinals

Ragan advanced to the bronze-medal bout with a 10-0 technical fall over Uzbekistan’s Asem Seydametova in the repechage round.

American Whitney Conder opened with a strong 6-0 win over France’s Tatiana Debien at 53 kg/116.5 lbs.

Conder came back to rally for a dramatic win over 2013 World silver medalist Sumiya Erdenechimeg of Mongolia in the second round. Trailing 4-2 late in the bout, Conder scored a takedown to tie it 4-4. She won the match on criteria by virtue of scoring last.

Conder then lost by fall to World champion Sofia Mattson of Sweden in the quarterfinals. Conder was eliminated after falling 8-2 to North Korea’s Myong-Suk Jong in the repechage round.

“It was definitely a challenging day,” Conder said. “I fought as hard as I could. It’s definitely not what I wanted, but I gave it everything I had.”

Champions also crowned on Thursday included Japan superstars Saori Yoshida at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. and Kaori Icho at 58 kg/128 lbs. Both have moved down to lower weight classes after United World Wrestling, formerly FILA, changed the weight classes this year.

Yoshida, 31, won her record 12th World title. She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Icho, 30, won her ninth World title. She is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

2014 World Championships
Sept. 8-14
Gymnastics Palace, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

53 kg/116.5 lbs.
Gold – Saori Yoshida (Japan)
Silver – Sofia Mattsson (Sweden)
Bronze – Myong-Suk Jong (North Korea)
Bronze – Jillian Gallays (Canada)

58 kg/128 lbs.
Gold – Kaori Icho (Japan)
Silver – Valeria Koblova (Russia)
Bronze – Elif Jale Yesilirmak (Turkey)
Bronze – Anastassia Huchok (Belarus)

75 kg/165 lbs.
Gold – Adeline Gray (USA)
Silver – Aline da Silva (Brazil)
Bronze – Zhou Qian (China)
Bronze – Burmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia)

Finals results

53 kg/116.5 lbs.
Saori Yoshida (Japan) dec. Sofia Mattsson (Sweden), 6-0

58 kg/128 lbs.
Kaori Icho (Japan) won by tech. fall over Valeria Koblova (Russia), 10-0

75 kg/165 lbs.
Adeline Gray (USA) dec. Aline da Silva (Brazil), 2-1

U.S. women’s freestyle results

53 kg/116.5 lbs. – Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) – 9th
WIN Tatiana Debien (France), 6-0
WIN Sumiya Erdenechimeg (Mongolia), 4-4
LOSS Sofia Mattsson (Sweden), fall 1:40
LOSS Myong-Suk Jong (North Korea), 2-8

58 kg/128 lbs. – Alli Ragan, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) – 5th
WIN Aisylyy Tynbekova (Kyrgyzstan), 7-6
LOSS Kaori Icho (Japan), tech. fall 0-10
WIN Asem Seydametova (Uzbekistan), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Anastassia Huchok (Belarus), 4-4

75 kg/165 lbs. – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) – GOLD MEDAL
WIN Zhou Qian (China), 11-10
WIN Yasemin Adar (Turkey), fall 4:43
WIN Hiroe Suzuki (Japan), 2-1
WIN Epp Mae (Estonia), 5-1
WIN Aline da Silva (Brazil), 2-1