Update: Betanzo, Sword compete on day one of Beach Wrestling at ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 14, 2019, 12:27 p.m. (ET)
U.S. wrestlers Kristal Betanzo (left) and Ashley Sword (right) on their day of Beach Wrestling competition at the World Beach Games in Qatar. Photo by Ed Duncan.

DOHA, Qatar – Two U.S. women wrestlers competed on the first day of the Beach Wrestling competition at the historic first ANOC World Beach Games on Monday.

Both U.S. wrestlers wrestled in the pool competition in their weight class, but did not advance to the semifinals, which determines the medalists.

At 50 kg, Kristal Betanzo (Hillsborough, Calif./Leviathon WC) finished with a 2-2 record in Group B of her weight class, placing third in her group.

She opened with a pair of wins, stopping Claudia Cabrera of Argentina, 4-0, and Maybel Zarwea of Liberia, 0-0. Cabrera was a 2017 Brazil Cup champion in freestyle.

Betanzo dropped her two final pool bouts by 3-0 scores, falling to Stefania Priceputu of Romania and Miglena Selishka of Bulgaria. Priceputu was a 2017 Junior World bronze medalist and a 2018 U23 World bronze medalist in freestyle. Selishka was a 2016 Junior World bronze medalist in freestyle.

Betanzo was a 2019 UWW Cadet Beach World Championships bronze medalist, and placed third at the Zagreb Beach World Series Final in Croatia in September. She placed third in the 2019 UWW Beach World Series standings at her weight class. In women’s freestyle, she was a 2017 UWW Cadet Nationals silver medalist.

Going 1-3 in Group B at 70 kg was Ashley Sword (Decatur Ga./Valkyrie WC), to place fourth in her group. She secured a 3-0 victory over Marine LeCour Grandmaison of France in her second bout. Grandmaisson was a 2019 Mediterannean U23 silver medalist in freestyle.

Losses came against Alina Berezhna of Ukraine, Tatiana Renteria of Colombia and Sofiya Georgieva of Bulgaria. Renteria was a 2019 Pan American Junior champion in freestyle. Georgieva was a 2019 European Games bronze medalist in freestyle.

Sword is the head coach for women’s wrestling at Life University in Georgia, and is also a past member of the U.S. Senior Women’s National Team in freestyle. She also coaches with Team Georgia. She was a WCWA All-American for Oklahoma City University.

“I’m super proud of the way that Ashley and Kristal represented us, not only in the competition but in training and preparation, and by sharing their enthusiasm with others around them,” said U.S. Team Leader and Coach Ed Duncan.

“Ashley has no doubt inspired a host of young women throughout her career, and now she has added to her legacy as a trailblazer by competing in these first-ever World Beach Games. Kristal is a favorite on the Beach circuit, and is known for her strong participation in the Beach World Series this summer. This was another amazing experience for her at a young age, and she will no doubt continue to grow and progress as her Senior-level career develops,” he said.

Three U.S. wrestlers will compete on Tuesday: Shauna Isbell-Kemp (Jamestown, N.D. (Titan Mercury WC) at 60 kg and Donell Bradley (Hephizibah, Ga./Morris Fitness) at Over 70 kg in the women’s competition, plus Diante Cooper (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force WCAP) in the Over 90 kg weight class in the men’s competition.

“The event is a celebration of energy, youth and excitement, all on a beautiful beach. The organizers have done an amazing job putting together a truly first-class event. This is one of the coolest wrestling events I have ever been a part of. Our three athletes tomorrow are excited and eager for their turn in the sand,” said Duncan.

The International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Channel will present LIVE streaming coverage of the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games from 12 to 17 October in Doha, Qatar. Daily coverage will be available worldwide on the global digital platform at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps.

Doha is seven hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.

At Doha, Qatar

U.S. Women’s Beach Wrestling results

50 kg - Kristal Betanzo (USA/Hillsborough, Calif./Leviathon WC)
WIN Claudia Cabrera (Argentina), 4-0
WIN Maybel Zarwea (Liberia), 0-0
LOSS Stefania Priceputu (Romania), 3-0
LOSS Miglena Selishka (Bulgaria), 3-0

70 kg - Ashley Sword (USA/Decatur Ga./Valkyrie WC)
LOSS Alina Berezhna (Ukraine), 4-0
WIN Marine LeCour Grandmaison (France), 3-0
LOSS Tatiana Renteria (Colombia), 5-0
LOSS Sofiya Georgieva (Bulgaria), 3-0

Medal Match Results

Women’s 50 kg
Gold – Kamila Barbosa Vito da Silva (Brazil)
Silver - Miesineeie Genesis (Nigeria)
Bronze - Miglena Selishka (Bulgaria)
Gold bout – Barbosa dec. Genesis, 3-2
Bronze bout – Selishka dec. Stefania Priceputu (Romania), 3-1
Semifinal 1 – Genesis dec. Selishka, 3-2
Semifinal 2 – Barbosa dec. Priceputu, 5-1

Women’s 70 kg
Gold – Tatiana Renteria (Colombia)
Silver - Alina Berezhna (Ukraine)
Bronze - Adina Popescu (Romania)
Gold bout – Renteria dec. Berezhna, 3-2
Bronze bout – Popescu dec. Gabriella Sleisz (Hungary), 1-0
Semifinal 1 – Renteria dec. Sleisz, 3-0
Semifinal 2 – Berezhna dec. Popescu, 3-1

Men’s 70 kg
Gold – Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia)
Silver – Panah Ilyasli (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Stefan Coman (Romania)
Gold bout – Kelekhsashvili dec. Ilyasli, 1-0
Bronze bout – Coman dec. Niko Arouzmanidis (Greece), 3-0
Semifinal 1 –Kelekhsashvili dec. Arouzmanidis, 3-1
Semifinal 2 – Ilyasli dec. Coman, 3-0

Men’s 90 kg
Gold – Muhammad Inam (Pakistan)
Silver – Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia)
Bronze – Pedro Garcia Perez (Spain)
Gold – Inam dec. Marsagishvili, 5-2
Bronze – Garcia dec. Mihai Palaghia (Romania), 3-2
Semifinal 1 – Inam dec. Garcia, 3-0
Semifinal 2 – Marsagishvili dec. Palaghia, 4-0