Hildebrandt to go for World gold after semifinals win, Velte to compete for bronze medal in Budapest

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 24, 2018, 11:53 a.m. (ET)
Sarah Hildebrandt of the USA has her arm raised in victory over Diana Weicker of Canada in the 53 kg semifinals. Photo by Robbert Wijtman.

BUDAPEST, Hungary –Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/OTC) has qualified for Thursday’s gold medal finals at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. with an impressive performance at the Papp Laszlo SportsArena today.

Hildebrandt was dominant in her semifinal victory, putting away 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Diana Mary Weicker of Canada in a 10-0 technical fall. She established her control early, with a takedown and two turns for a 6-0 lead. Another takedown gave her an 8-0 margin at the break. Hildebrandt finished it off with a second-period takedown.

Her opponent in the gold-medal finals will be 2017 World champion Haruna Okuno of Japan.

“It is about staying focused in the moment and believing in my training. It is nice to go out there and show all of the work. It has been my goal to really work in par terre. You put matches away. That’s the reason I am in the finals tomorrow because of my par terre game. I have made really sure to tune in on that during the championships,” said Hildebrandt.

Hildebrandt came in as the No. 1 seed after a strong international season. To reach the finals, she was strong in two victories, stopping Jyldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan, 5-1 and Anzhela Dorogan of Azerbaijan, 15-9.

Hildebrandt was 10th in the 2016 World Championships, which was also held in Budapest. She is a three-time Pan American champion. Originally from Granger, Ind., she won two WCWA titles at King University and is now a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.

Velte was in an even 0-0 match midway through the first period against four-time World medalist Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria, when Yusein locked up a cradle to score a takedown and pressed Velte to the mat for a pin in 2:17.

With the loss, Velte will compete in a bronze-medal match on Wednesday night. Her opponent will be determined during Thursday morning’s repechage matches.

Velte had three straight wins to qualify for the finals. She had a pair of technical falls over Sara Dal Col of Italy, 10-0 and Gantuya Enkhbat of Mongolia, 14-4 and a big 14-6 win over two-time Olympic medalist Jackeline Renteria Castillo of Colombia, 14-6.

She is in her second straight Senior World Championships for Team USA. Velte was a three-time WCWA national champion for Simon Fraser and is from Sacramento, Calif.

At 50 kg/110 lbs., Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) came into the session with a possibility to continue competing, but was eliminated when Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan beat Sonhyang Kim of North Korea, 4-2 in the semifinals. Conder lost to Kim on Wednesday morning, and Kim needed to reach the finals for Conder to be eligible for the repechage.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary

Group Three U.S. women’s freestyle performances


50 kg/110 lbs. - Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
LOSS Son-Hyang Kim (North Korea), 7-2

53 kg/116.5 lbs. - Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/OTC)
WIN Jyldyz Eshimova (Kazakhstan), 5-1
WIN Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan), 15-9
WIN Diana Mary Weicker (Canada), tech. fall 10-0
Gold medal match – Vs. Haruna Okuno (Japan)

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, New York, N.Y. (Sunkist Kids/NYCRTC)
LOSS Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), pin 3:46

62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Mallory Velte, Sacramento, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Sara Dal Col (Italy), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Jackeline Renteria Castillo (Colombia), 14-6
WIN Gantuya Enkhbat (Mongolia), tech. fall 14-4
LOSS Taybe Yusein (Bulgaria), pin 2:17
Bronze medal – Opponent to be determined

Finals pairings

50 kg - Yui Sasaki (Japan) vs. Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan)
53 kg - Sarah Hildebrandt (USA) vs. Haruna Okuno (Japan)
57 kg - Bilyana Dudova (Bulgaria) vs. Ningning Rong (China)
62 kg - Yukako Kawai (Japan) vs. Taybe Yusein (Bulgaria)

Semifinal results

50 kg
Yui Sasaki (Japan) tech. fall Oksana Livach (Ukraine), 10-0
Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan) dec. Sonhyang Kim (North Korea), 4-2

53 kg
Sarah Hildebrandt (USA) tech. fall Diana Mary Weicker (Canada), 10-0
Haruna Okuno (Japan) dec. Katarzyna Krawczyk (Poland), 8-1

57 kg
Bilyana Dudova (Bulgaria) dec. Emese Barka (Hungary), 6-2
Ningning Rong (China) tech. fall Grace Bullen (Norway), 12-2

62 kg
Yukako Kawai (Japan) dec. Yuliia Tkach Ostapchuk (Ukraine), 4-3
Taybe Yusein (Bulgaria) pin Mallory Velte (USA), 2:17