Former World medalist Pirozhkova stunned in first-round lost

Elena Pirozhkova, the 2010 World silver medalist for the United States had a short-lived Olympic experience after she was defeated by Latvia’s Anastasija Grigorjeva, 0-2, 5-0, 2-0.

Elena Pirozhkova (left) found herself manhandled by Lativa’s Anastasija Grigorjeva in their Round of 16 match at 138.75 pounds. (John Sachs image)

Pirozhkova was later eliminated from the tournament when Grigorjeva lost to Mongolian Otgontsetseg Davaasuhk in a quarterfinal match.

Pirozhkova looked strong in the first period, getting two takedowns at the :48 mark and with 12 seconds left in the second to take the 2-0 first-period win.


But it went all downhill from there, with the former World silver medalist from 2010 looking like she did not have any energy, especially from preventing tie-ups by the Lativan wrestler, who took Pirozhkova down four times in the second and was pushed out for a fifth point in the 5-0 loss.

Grigorjeva kept coming at Pirozhkova in the third as well. The Latvian pushed her out at the :28 mark, then added another point just before the midway point. The two points were enough as Pirozhkova just wasn’t able to get anything going.

“It was just a really high-paced match,” said Pirozhkova. “After first period, I don’t think I was ready for the second period. It wasn’t that I got hurt. I just didn’t come out the same as I did in the first period.”

Pirzohkova admitted that her opponent was a lot more aggressive the second and third periods.

“She definitely had a good strategy against me, wear me out and keep pressuring me,” Pirozhkova said. My body was starting to tighten up. I just couldn’t sustain that match pace that she was putting on to me. I saw opportunities for shots, but I was just trying to keep up. I felt good coming in. I guess there’s a lot more mat conditioning I need to work on. It definitely showed in this match. It’s one of those things I know I’m going to have to work on.

“Our strategy going into the match was correct,” said U.S. coach Izzy Izboinikov. “We watched plenty of film. We knew everything about the girl. It was hard to match the pace of the match. We couldn’t slow her down, and raise our level up. It was something that was addressed in the past, and not fixed.”

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