Photo: Kayla Miracle in the bronze-medal match at U23 World Championships. Photo provided by United World Wrestling.
BYDGOSZCZ, Poland – Americans Kayla Miracle and Amy Fearnside wrapped up their 2017 U23 World Championships on Friday night in Bydgoszcz, Poland, each taking fifth place.
Both wrestlers dropped heartbreakers in their bronze-medal matches, losing by a combined three points.
Two-time Junior World bronze medalist and 2017 U.S. National Team member Miracle (Campbellsville, Ky./Sunkist Kids) fell to Tetiana Olmechenko of Azerebaijan, who won the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games earlier this year, in the 60 kg/132 lbs. bronze match.
Miracle led 4-0 at the break, thanks to a double she shot, lifting her opponent in the air and putting her to her back for four. In the second period, she began to separate herself, going up 10-2 at one point.
Olmechenko closed in on Miracle’s lead with a takedown and two sets of exposure. With 14 seconds left, Olmechenko was awarded four points and Miracle worked her way to a reversal for a point, but it was not enough as the clock ran out.
USA challenged the four-pointer but lost the challenge, resulting in an additional point for Olmechenko, who took the bronze medal with a 13-11 decision.
“It kind of seemed like I went into this autopilot mode,” Miracle said. “I didn’t know exactly what to do. Her stance was weird and her attacks were weird. I just didn’t know how to react. I just didn’t wrestle my match in the second period. It’s all a process. You can do everything right, but you’re not promised anything. My day will come. I just have to keep grinding it out, and one day it will happen.”
Miracle had a solid first session, claiming wins over Therese Persson of Sweden, who won a Junior World bronze in 2015 and Cadet World silver in 2012, as well as Francesca Indelicato of Italy, who won bronze at the 2015 Senior Mediterranean Championships.
Amy Fearnside (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury) chased her second World medal on Friday night, but fell in a battle to 2017 World Military champion Otgonjargal Ganbaatar of Mongolia at 53 kg/117 lbs.
A 2014 University World silver medalist, Fearnside gave up the first point on passivity, trailing 1-0 at the break. The American was on the board, scoring a takedown off a double shot by Ganbaatar.
Later in the period, the two exchanged takedowns, but it was a feet-to-back takedown from Ganbaatar that ultimately put the match out of reach for Fearnside, despite a last-second takedown for the USA.
The Mongolian won, 7-6.
“It was definitely a really tough match,” Fearnside said. “There are no slouches out here. We’re all good. We’re all here for a reason. There were a couple of things that could have gone differently. It was a one-point match. Definitely really close. It was heartbreaking to not get bronze, but it’s something that I can you for motivation moving forward.”
Fearnside boosted her international resume, adding wins over 2016 Grand Prix of Paris bronze and 2017 Senior World Team member Paula Kozlow of Poland and 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games bronze medalist Aigul Nuralim of Kazakhstan.
Winning gold in tonight’s finals were Evin Demirhan of Turkey at 48 kg, Miho Igarashi of Japan at 53 kg, Yui Sakano of Japan at 60 kg and Koumba Larroque of France at 69 kg.
Tomorrow is the start of the men’s freestyle competition. Representing the USA is Daton Fix (57 kg), Mitchell McKee (61 kg), Sam Brooks (86 kg) and Michael Kroells (125 kg).
The preliminary rounds begin at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), with the medal matches beginning at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) each day. Bydgoszcz is six hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.
Fans can find live streams and brackets on Trackwrestling.com.
2017 U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Bydgoszcz, Poland (Six hours ahead of ET)
Gold - Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR) dec. Ritu RITU (IND), 4-4
Bronze - Turkan NASIROVA (AZE) dec. Rina OKUNO (JPN), 4-4
Bronze - Jiang ZHU (CHN) tech. fall Miglena Georgieva SELISHKA (BUL), 10-0
Gold - Miho IGARASHI (JPN) tech. fall Qi ZHANG (CHN), 12-2
Bronze - Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS) dec. Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR), 2-1
Bronze - Otgonjargal GANBAATAR (MGL) dec. Amy Ann FEARNSIDE (USA), 7-6
Gold - Yui SAKANO (JPN) dec. Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR), 7-3
Bronze - Gantuya ENKHBAT (MGL) dec. Yuliya PISARENKA (BLR), 8-3
Bronze - Tetiana OMELCHENKO (AZE) dec. Kayla Colleen Kiyoko MIRACLE (USA), 13-11
Gold - Koumba Selene Fanta LARROQUE (FRA) dec. Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN), 4-0
Bronze - Yudari SANCHEZ RODRIGUEZ (CUB) fall Khanum VELIEVA (RUS), 4:40
Bronze - Danute DOMIKAITYTE (LTU) dec. Divya KAKRAN (IND), 4-2
U.S. women’s freestyle results
48 kg/106 lbs. – Cody Pfau (Brush, Colo./Titan Mercury)
LOSS Jiang Zhu (China), 11-0
53 kg/117 lbs. – Amy Fearnside (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury), 5th place
WIN Paula Kozlow (Poland), injury default
WIN Aigul Nuralim (Kazakhstan), 6-0
LOSS Qi Zhang (China), 11-6
LOSS Otgonjargal Ganbaatar (Mongolia), 7-6
55 kg/121 lbs. – Dominique Parrish (Scotts Valley, Calif./Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Haruna Okuno (Japan), 10-0
LOSS Alina Akobiia (UKR), fall
58 kg/128 lbs. – Megan Black (Batavia, Iowa/Bearcat WC)
LOSS Nadezhda Dragunova (Belarus), 16-7
60 kg/130 lbs. – Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville, Ky./Sunkist Kids), 5th place
WIN Therese Persson (Sweden), 4-1
WIN Francesca Indelicato (Italy), 10-0
LOSS Yui Sakano (Japan), 3-0
LOSS Tetiana Omelchenko (Azerbaijan), 13-11
63 kg/139 lbs. – Maya Nelson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Tatyana Smoliak (Russia), 4-1
69 kg/152 lbs. – Forrest Molinari (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury)
LOSS Martina Kuenz (Austria), 4-1
75 kg/165 lbs. – Rachel Watters (Ankeny, Iowa/Aries WC)
WIN Aysegul Ozbege (Turkey), 10-0
LOSS Mabelkis Capote Perez (Cuba), 11-0