Update: Gray wins historic fourth World gold medal, Mensah-Stock gets a bronze, Molinari takes fifth place

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 24, 2018, 2:58 p.m. (ET)
Adeline Gray of the USA celebrates her fourth World title taking a few laps with the American flag. Photo by Robbert Wijtman.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Adeline Gray (Kingston, Pa./New York AC) continues to add to her legacy as one of the greatest U.S. wrestlers in history.

With a dominant performance in the finals, Gray won her fourth career World gold medal, scoring a 13-1 technical fall over 2017 World champion Yasemin Adar of Turkey on the big stage in the Papp Laszlo Sports Arena at the 2018 World Championships on Wednesday night.. Gray has been in four World finals and won them all.

Gray’s finals match ended quickly. Trailing 1-0 after she was put on the shot clock, Gray scored her first takedown then locked up her patented ankle lace. Gray turned Adar five times to make the score 12-1. The Turkish coaches challenged, hoping time had run out. The challenge was denied, and Gray got her final point and had her hand raised in victory again.

“I feel great. I did such a good job mentally. I’m so proud of myself, proud of my body, proud of my team. I’m so proud of everything that happened. This has been a wonderful two days!," said Gray.

Gray took the 2017 year off to heal from surgery after her seventh place finish at the 2016 Olympic Games. She came back in 2018 with a new perspective about wrestling, and quickly returned to high-level championship performances.

To reach the finals, Gray won three times on Tuesday. She beat past World medalist Epp Mae of Estonia by a 10-0 technical fall, then pinned Olympic bronze medalist Elmira Syzdykova of Kazakhstan in 4:49. In the semifinal, she won a clutch 3-1 match over 2016 Olympic champion Erica Wiebe of Canada, 3-1.

“Man, the talent in this bracket is insane, and I came out on top! We had Olympic and World champions. The technique and the quality there has just been so awesome. Talk about woman power. The heavyweight division of the world is stacked. It’s a good day," said Gray.

Adeline Gray becomes the fourth U.S. wrestler to win four World Championships gold medals, joining legends John Smith, Tricia Saunders and Jordan Burroughs. Four World Championship titles is the most for any U.S. wrestler.

This is also her sixth career World medal. Her other World titles came in 2012, 2014 and 2015, with World bronze medals in 2011 and 2013.

Claiming a bronze medal for Team USA at 68 kg/149.5 lbs. was Tamyra Mensah-Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/OTC), who secured her first Senior World medal with a 7-4 win over Canada’s Olivia Di Bacco.

The first period ended 1-0 in favor of Mensah-Stock, when Di Bacco was unable to score on the shot clock in the first period. Mensah-Stock got her offense rolling in the second period, scoring a double leg takedown and a turn to go ahead 5-0. The Canadians challenged the call, but it was denied, giving Mensah-Stock another point and a 6-0 lead. DiBacco scored a takedown and picked up another two points during a scramble, but Mensah-Stock ended up on top by a 7-4 score.

“I didn’t reach my goal. I imagined myself running across the mat [with the flag], thinking ‘I did it!’ Bronze is the next best thing. I’ll take it," said Mensah-Stock.

Mensah-Stock had a pair of 10-0 technical fall wins on Wednesday morning, putting away Yudaris Sanchez Rodriguez of Cuba and two-time World champion Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia. In the semifinals, she lost a tough one to 2017 World bronze medalist Koumba Larroque of France, 2-1, with all three points coming on the shot clock.

Mensah-Stock is competing in her second straight Senior Worlds for Team USA after placing ninth at the 2017 Worlds in Paris.

At 65 kg, Forrest Molinari (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/OTC) dropped a close 1-1 criteria decision in the bronze-medal match to Iryna Netreba of Azerbaijan and placed fifth.

There were no technical points earned in the match. Molinari led 1-0 at the break, after Netreba had been put on the shot clock and could not score with 30 seconds. In the second period, it was Molinari who was put on the shot clock and did not score, tying the bout at 1-1. Molinari was unable to complete her attacks late in the match, and Netreba won the criteria by scoring the last point.

Molinari won her first match, then lost to Danielle Lappage of Canada, who reached the finals and pulled Molinari into the repechage. On Wednesday morning, Molinari came from behind to pin Mariia Kuznetsova of Russia in their repechage match, which advanced Molinari to the bronze-medal match.

At 72 kg/158.5 lbs., Erin Clodgo (Richmond, Vermont/Sunkist Kids) went 1-1 in her matches on Wednesday morning and was not eligible for repechage. However, based upon the points she did score in her bouts, Clodgo placed seventh in the standings, which is worth eight team points and could be helpful in the final team race.

After the first two days, with the completion of six weight classes, the United States stands in third with 68 points, behind first place Japan with 86 points and second place Canada with 74 points.

However, the final four weight classes went through the semifinals today, which guaranteed a number of placement points. The United States has Sarah Hildebrandt in the 53 kg gold-medal finals and Mallory Velte in the 62 kg bronze-medal bout, adding a minimum of 30 points to the team total. Canada currently has one wrestler who could win a medal, which means Team USA could move up higher in the final standings.

The story will be updated with quotes from medalists Adeline Gray and Tamyra Mensah.

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary

Group Two U.S. women’s freestyle results


65 kg/143 lbs. - Forrest Molinari, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/OTC), 5th place
WIN Leidy Izquerdo Mendez (Colombia), 4-0
LOSS Danielle Lappage (Canada), 6-2
WIN Mariia Kuznetsova (Russia), pin 5:25
LOSS Iryna Netreba (Azerbaijan), 1-1

68 kg/149.75 lbs. - Tamyra Mensah-Stock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC), bronze medal
WIN Yudaris Sanchez Rodriguez (Cuba), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Battsetseg Soronzonbold (Mongolia), tech. fall 10-0
LOSS Koumba Larroque (France), 2-1
WIN Olivia Di Bacco (Canada), 7-4

72 kg/158.5 lbs.- Erin Clodgo, Richmond, Vermont (Sunkist Kids), 7th place
WIN Anastasia Zimiankova (Belarus), 5-0
LOSS Tatiana Kolesnikova Morozova (Russia), 6-4

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Adeline Gray, Kingston, Pa. (New York AC), gold medal
WIN Epp Mae (Estonia), 10-0 technical fall
WIN Elmira Syzdykova (Kazakhstan), pin 4:49
WIN Erica Wiebe (Canada), 3-1
WIN Yasemin Adar (Turkey), tech. fall 13-1

Group 2 Medal Match pairings


65 kg
Gold - Petra Olli (Finland) dec. Danielle Lappage (Canada), 6-5
Bronze – Ayana Gempei (Japan) dec. Ritu (Japan), 7-2
Bronze - Irina Netreba (Azerbaijan) dec. Forrest Molinari (USA), 1-1

68 kg
Gold - Alla Cherkasova (Ukraine) dec. Koumba Larroque (France), 15-10
Bronze – Feng Zhou (China) tech. fall Maria Mamashuk (Belarus), 12-1
Bronze - Tamyra Mensah-Stock (USA) dec. Olivia Di Bacco (Canada), 7-4

72 kg
Gold - Justina Di Stasio (Canada) dec. Nasanburmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia), 4-2
Bronze –Martina Kuenz (Austria) dec. Samar Hamza (Egypt), 2-1
Bronze - Bose Tusun (Turkey) dec. Juan Wang (China), 5-2

76 kg
Gold - .Adeline Gray (USA) tech. fall Yasemin Adar (Turkey), 13-1
Bronze – Hiroe Minagawa Suzuki (Japan) inj. dft. Zsanett Nemeth (Hungary), 0:00
Bronze - Erica Wiebe (Canada) dec. Epp Mae (Estonia), 4-0

Top five teams after first six weight classes
1. Japan , 86
2. Canada, 74
3. United States, 68
4,. China, 58
5. Mongolia, 57
Note: The USA is guaranteed at least 30 points on Thursday,