| Kayla Miracle and Alexis Porter win bronze medals at the 2016 Junior
World Championships. Photo: Justin Hoch, JHoch.com.
MACON, France – The U.S. picked up bronze medals from Kayla Miracle and Alexis Porter as the first day of women’s freestyle competition came to a close on Thursday evening at the 2016 Junior World Championships.
The American duo proved resilient coming off emotional semifinal losses from earlier in the day to push the U.S. medal count up to four after three days of wrestling in France.
Miracle secured her second Junior World bronze with a controlled 2-0 win over 2016 Junior Asian bronze medalist Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan at 59 kg/130 lbs. Both of Miracle’s points came off shot clock penalties against Esenbaeva.
“I didn’t get the gold like I wanted. I know I could be up there right now. They’re wrestling the gold medal match and that could be me. I’ve made so many strides this summer and the last few years that I’m the best wrestler I’ve been to this day. That’s alright, and if I keep improving like this, a Junior World medal isn’t anything compared, you know, a potential Olympic gold,” said Miracle.
Miracle will return to the U.S. and prepare for the college season with aspirations of winning her third WCWA national title as a junior for Campbellsville University. She was the 58 kg fourth-place finisher at the U.S Olympic Team Trials in April.
In her second visit to the Junior Worlds Porter was able to break through in the 67 kg/147.5 lbs. bronze medal match, dominating Brandy Perry of Canada, 10-0. Porter’s offense was immaculate in the bout as she hit four takedowns and a turn to clinch the win.
“I didn’t make the team last year. I was really disappointed in myself. I felt like that could have been my year to medal, so I worked extra hard to make the team this year,” Porter said. “I got back and I was like ‘you know what, there’s no one left that can compete with me.’ This is my time, and I think just that reassurance and the confidence I’ve been using in my mental preparation made all the difference this time.”
Porter is a two-time WCWA All-American for McKendree University with two years of eligibility remaining. She is a four-time USAW Cadet and Junior Nationals champion.
“Their process, their focus, their game plan, that’s what they had coming in and they stuck to it. That’s what really separated them and got them to that podium,” U.S. coach Erin Vandiver said of Miracle and Porter.
“They both had to dig deep coming back from hard losses in the semis, and that was tough, but they both showed a lot of maturity, a lot of growth, and they brushed that off their shoulder quickly, turned their roles around, and got after it to capture that bronze and bring home some hardware,” added Vandiver.
Americans Marina Doi and Brenda Reyna both finished in eighth place overall with 1-1 records on the day. Both women lost in the quarterfinals to eventual bronze medalists.
Striking gold on the first day of women’s freestyle were Miyu Nakamura of Japan at 44 kg, Kseniia Nezgovorova of Russia at 51 kg, Yuzuru Kumano of Japan at 59 kg and Koumba Larroque of France at 67 kg.
The women’s freestyle competition will resume tomorrow in France at 4 a.m. (ET) with the qualification rounds and repechage followed by the medal matches at 12 p.m. (ET). Taking the mat for the U.S. are McKayla Campbell at 48 kg, Ronna Heaton at 55 kg, Maya Nelson at 63 kg and Rachel Watters at 72 kg.
Flowrestling is providing a live stream of the Junior World Championships at flowrestling.org. Viewers must purchase a FloPro membership to watch the competition live.
For complete brackets and match-by-match results visit unitedworldwrestling.org.
2016 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug. 30 – Sept. 4 in Macon, France
44 kg/97 lbs.
Gold – Miyu Nakamura (Japan)
Silver – Svetlana Ankicheva (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Oksana Livach (Ukraine)
Bronze – Veronika Gurskaya (Russia)
5th – Fatme Mandeva (Bulgaria)
5th – Divya Tomar (India)
7th – Bianka Reczi (Hungary)
8th – Marina Doi (United States)
9th – Emine Cataloglu (Turkey)
10th – Beata Kosla (Poland)
Gold – Miyu Nakamura (Japan) tech. fall Svetlana Ankicheva (Kazakhstan), 10-0
Bronze – Oksana Livach (Ukraine) tech. fall Fatme Mandeva (Bulgaria), 12-0
Bronze – Veronika Gurskaya (Russia) tech. fall Divya Tomar (India), 10-0
51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Gold – Kseniia Nezgovorova (Russia)
Silver – Xuejiao Liao (China)
Bronze – Khrystyna Bereza (Ukraine)
Bronze – Elena Brugger (Germany)
5th – Jo-Cih Chiu (Chinese Taipei)
5th – Kristina Mclaren (Canada)
7th – Marina Zuyeva (Kazakhstan)
8th – Brenda Reyna (United States)
9th – Nodira Sabirova (Uzbekistan)
10th – Sabina Hamzalzada (Azerbaijan)
Gold – Kseniia Nezgovorova (Russia) dec. Xuejiao Liao (China), 6-2
Bronze – Khrystyna Bereza (Ukraine) fall Jo-Cih Chiu (Chinese Taipei)
Bronze – Elena Brugger (Germany) dec. Kristina Mclaren (Canada), 6-4
59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold – Yuzuru Kumano (Japan)
Silver – Anhelina Lysak (Ukraine)
Bronze – Xingru Pei (China)
Bronze – Kayla Miracle (United States)
5th – Madina Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan)
5th – Nabira Esenbaeva (Uzbekistan)
7th – Veranika Ivanova (Belarus)
8th – Derya Bayhan (Turkey)
9th – Emma Johansson (Sweden)
10th – Maria Kotsareva (Russia)
Gold – Yuzuru Kumano (Japan) fall Anhelina Lysak (Ukraine)
Bronze – Xingru Pei (China) fall Madina Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Kayla Miracle (United States) dec. Nabira Esenbaeva (Uzbekistan), 2-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Gold – Koumba Larroque (France)
Silver – Yue Han (China)
Bronze – Alexis Porter (United States)
Bronze – Elis Manolova (Azerbaijan)
5th – Brandy Perry (Canada)
5th – Reshma Mane (India)
7th – Merey Duisenova (Kazakhstan)
8th – Yuliia Lisovska (Ukraine)
9th – Svetlana Velesiuk (Russia)
10th – Mai Hayakawa (Japan)
Gold – Koumba Larroque (France) dec. Yue Han (China), 3-2
Bronze – Alexis Porter (United States) tech. fall Brandy Perry (Canada), 10-0
Bronze – Elis Manolova (Azerbaijan) dec. Reshma Mane (India), 4-2
U.S. women’s freestyle results
44 kg/97 lbs. – Marina Doi, Kingsburg, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), 8th
WIN Obed Perez Solis (Mexico), 10-0
LOSS Veronika Gurskaya (Russia), 5-3
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Brenda Reyna, Mount Vernon, Wash. (Vandit Wrestling Academy), 8th
WIN Hilary Honorine (France), 6-2
LOSS Khrystyna Bereza (Ukraine), 4-1
59 kg/130 lbs. – Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids), Bronze
WIN Viktoria Vilhelm (Hungary), 10-0
WIN Emma Johansson (Sweden), Fall 2:03
LOSS Anhelina Lysak (Ukraine), 6-5
WIN Nabira Esenbaeva (Uzbekistan), 2-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Alexis Porter, Ballston Lake, N.Y. (McKendree University), Bronze
WIN Enrica Rinaldi (Italy), 2-1
WIN Merey Duisenova (Kazakhstan), Fall 1:21
LOSS Yue Han (China), 10-0
WIN Brandy Perry (Canada), 10-0