USA women make gold history at UWW Worlds

Updated: September 20, 2019

Photo: Jacarra  Winchester (left), Adeline Gray (center) and Tamyra Mensah-Stock celebrated with the American flag as each won gold medals at the 2019 UWW World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. (Photos by Mark Lundy)

2019 UWW World Championships – Women’s Freestyle Recap

It was an historic World Championships for USA women’s freestyle as Adeline Gray became America’s first five-time World champion — in any style — as the four days of competition — Sept. 17-20 — in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, also produced a record-three gold medals for the USA.

Capturing their first World championships were Jacarra Winchester and Tamyra Mensah-Stock at 55 and 68 kilograms, respectively. These were the only medals won by the 10 American women, who finished 21-10 overall and claimed third in the team standings behind Japan and Russia.

Gray’s and Mensah-Stock’s championships also clinched the USA automatic berths to the 2020 Olympics — Winchester competed at a non-Olympic weight. The USA will look to qualify the four other weights — 50k, 53k, 57k and 62k — over the next year.

Two Americans — Forrest Molinari (65k) and Victoria Francis (72k) — competed in bronze medal matches, but came on the short end.

The 2019 World Championship will continue with men’s freestyle through Sunday. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe to WIN Magazine, which will provide comprehensive coverage and additional stories in its next issue, which will be mailed Oct. 4.


50k – Whitney Conder (0-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 17

Whitney Conder (left), competing in her fifth Worlds, saw her all-time record fall to 4-6 in loss to North Korea’s Son Kim. (Justin Hoch photo)

1stround – lost to Son Hyang Kim (North Korea), 6-0

All of Kim’s points came off three takedowns: two in the first period off an ankle pick

50 seconds into the bout and on a power double with 38 seconds left in the frame. The final takedown came with 1:27 when Kim countered a Conder shot and turned it into a single-leg takedown. Conder was eliminated when Kim lost her next match to Yanan Sun of China.


53k – Sarah Hildebrandt (1-2, seventh place)

Competed Sept. 17-18

2018 World silver medalist came up short in wrestling for bronze in 2019. (Justin Hoch photo)

1stround – won by TF over Thi Dao Bui (Vietnam), 10-0

Hildebrandt, a 2018 World silver medalist, scored the bout’s only takedown 50 seconds into the match, then used the advantage to leg lace Bui five straight times for a technical fall that ended with 1:46 left in the first period.

Quarterfinals – lost by TF to Mayu Mukaida (Japan), 12-1

Mukaida, the 2018 World champ at 55k, scored four takedowns, including three in the first period. The third takedown off a duck-under with 20 seconds left in the first period turned the advantage into a trapped-arm gut for an 8-0 lead. Hildebrandt scored a reversal with nine seconds left in the first, but then gave up another takedown and gut with 1:17 left in the match.

Repechage – lost to Vinesh Vinesh (India), 8-2

Vinesh scored three takedowns, including a second one off a snap-down with one second left in the first period. But more importantly, the Indian wrestler prevented Hildebrandt from scoring on several deep takedown attempts of a far-leg single. Hildebrandt got on the board when both wrestlers earned exposure points during a scramble with 10 seconds left.


55k – Jacarra Winchester (4-0, Gold Medalist)

Competed Sept. 17-18

1stround – won by TF over Madina Nadirova (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0

Jacarra Winchester, who lost a last-second World semifinal in 2018, defeated Turkey’s Bendiha Gun to reach this year’s gold medal bout. (Mark Lundy photo)

Winchester needed 1:05 to score this technical fall with three takedowns, including a headlock 35 seconds into the match that also turned into a high gut for an 8-0 lead. Winchester used a throw-by to end the bout.

Quarterfinal – won by TF over Bolortuya Bat Ochir (Mongolia), 13-2

Winchester scored three takedowns in the first period, all coming by countering shots and a scramble where she put Ochir on her back for exposure, including a third exposure position with seconds left in the first period that put the Mongolian on her back for a 9-0 lead. Ochir got on the board with an arm spin 30 seconds into the second period before Winchester reversed her foe to her back for the technical fall.

Semifinal – dec. Bediha Gun (Turkey), 6-4

Winchester clinched her first medal and World final by scoring three takedowns, including a high crotch with 48 seconds left after Gun cut the margin to 4-3. The Turk used a defensive tilt to lead 2-0 nearly two minutes into the bout before Winchester turned a single into a double for her first takedown. Winchester extended her lead to 4-2 as her power double drove Gun off the mat.

Gold Medal – dec. Nanami Irie (Japan), 5-3

Winchester captured her first World championship when she combined a single-leg and a trip with 1:26 left to take a 4-3 lead. Her final point came when Irie’s challenge — believing Winchester stepped out in the closing seconds — was not upheld. Winchester’s first takedown off a single leg with 1:18 left in the first gave her a 2-0 lead. Irie rallied with a single and step-out with 1:57 left to take a 3-2 lead.


57k – Jenna Burkert (1-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 18

Jenna Burkert (top) beat Lenka Martina for her first World Championship victory in her fourth Worlds. (Justin Hoch photo)

1stround – dec. Lenka Martina (Czechia), 8-0

Burkert forced five straight step-outs — including four in the first period — before scoring her only takedown on a go-behind counter with two minutes left in the bout. A sixth step-out against Martina came with 30 seconds left.

2ndround – lost by fall to Marina Simonyan (Russia), 3:39

Simonyan was leading 7-2 when she countered a single by Burkert and put the American on her back eventually got the fall. Burkert, who fell behind 4-0 when the Russian scored on a high crotch 35 seconds into the bout, scored a reversal and exposure points and nearly pinned the Russian with a minute left. Simonyan rallied with a reversal and Russian turk to lead 7-2 at the break. Burkert was eliminated when the Russian was pinned by Ningning Rong of China in the quarterfinals.



59k – Alli Ragan (0-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 18

This marked the first time in six all-time Worlds that Alli Ragan (right) failed to win a match. (Justin Hoch photo)

1stround – lost by fall to Anhelina Lysak (Ukraine), 1:33

Ragan, the two-time World silver medalist, took a 2-0 lead off a low single 35 seconds into the bout before Lysak used a double overhook to take down Ragan to her back and eventually got the fall. Ragan was eliminated when Lysak lost 12-2 to Linda Morais (Canada) in the second round.


62k – Kayla Miracle (2-1, did not place)

Competed Sept. 19

This effective leg lace helped Kayla Miracle rally from a 4-1 deficit against Brazil’s Lais Nunes De Olivei. (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround – won by TF over Nabira Esenbaeva (Uzbekistan), 11-0

Miracle ended the match with 1:19 left when she turned her second takedown into a leg lace for the technical fall. Miracle led 3-0 at the break but added four exposure points in the first minute of the second period when she stopped two takedown shots and put Esenbaeva on her back.

2ndround – won by TF over Lais Nunes De Olivei (Brazil), 15-4

Miracle actually trailed 4-1 with 2:20 left in the match  — after giving up a pair of single leg takedowns in each period — before she rallied with a pair of takedowns, then ended the match with 1:11 left by executing four straight leglace rolls.

3rdround – lost to Jon Sim Rim (North Korea), 6-6, criteria

Miracle, who led 3-0 with 33 seconds left in the first period, appeared to take a 5-2 lead before a video challenge after a scramble exchange was upheld and tied the bout 4-4 with 226 left in the match. Rim added another takedown to lead 6-4 a minute later. Miracle scored a double with 42 seconds left, but lost on criteria with Rim holding a 3-2 advantage of two-point moves. Miracle was eliminated when Rim lost 7-0 in the semifinals to Aisuluu Tynybekovaof Kyrgyzstan.


65k Forrest Molinari (2-2, 5th place)

Competed Sept. 18-19

For a second straight year, Forrest Molinari (top) settled for fifth place. (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround – pinned Thi Vinh Nguyen (Vietnam), 2:42

Molinari was leading 5-0 off a step-out and fleeing call against Nguyen and a takedown with 36 seconds left in the first period when she used a bar arm to turn and eventually pin the Vietnamese wrestler.

Quarterfinal – dec. Malina Mattsson (Sweden), 3-0

Molinari clinched the victory when she countered a single-leg into a takedown of her own with 1:55 left in the match. The first point came with 1:05 left in the first period when Mattsson failed to score while on the shot clock.

Semifinal – lost to Iryna Koliadenko (Ukraine), 6-5

Koliadenko scored two exposure points with 10 seconds left when Molinari attempted to roll through a takedown attempt by the Ukrainian, who added a final point when Molinari’s challenge was not upheld. Molinari led 4-1 with 1:39 left in the bout shortly after she scored a takedown off a low single and Koliadenko was penalized for stalling. The Ukrainian wrestler scored off a double to cut the margin to 4-3 with 1:22 left before Molinari scored another point when Koliadenko’s challenge with 47 seconds was not upheld.

Bronze Medal – lost by TF to Xiaoqian Wang (China), 10-0

The match only lasted 1:08 as Wang scored the bout’s only takedown 27 seconds into the bout and used four effective gut wrenches for the technical fall.


68k – Tamyra Mensah-Stock (5-0, Gold medalist)

Competed 19-20

Tamyra Mensch-Stock beat former Olympic champ Jenny Fransson of Sweden for her first gold medal. (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround – won by TF over Michelle Montague (New Zealand), 10-0

A second single leg takedown with 1:21 left in the first period ended the match that saw Mensah-Stock use a leglace series to score six straight exposure points.

2ndround – dec. Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria), 6-1

Mensah-Stock scored all of her points in the first period with three single-leg takedowns at the 1:50, 1:02 and 0:14 marks. Oborududu forced a stepout with 1:21 left in the match.

Quarterfinal – dec. Sara Dosho (Japan), 10-1

After Dosho, the 2016 Olympic champ, cut the margin to 4-1 by forcing a stepout with 2:18 left in the bout, Mensah-Stock exploded with a power double with 50 seconds left and added a two-point leglace 10 seconds later. The American ended her scoring barrage by countering a Dosho throw with 14 seconds left.

Semifinal – won by TF over Anna Schell (Germany), 10-0

Mensah-Stock ended the match with 17 seconds left in the first period by scoring a third takedown. The American’s first two takedowns, coming 15 seconds into the bout and with 1:21 left, also led to effective turks by Mensah-Stock that led to a pair of two-point exposure points.

Gold Medal – dec. Jenny Fransson (Sweden), 8-2

Mensah-Stock scored all three takedowns in the first period — off two singles and a duck-under —to lead 6-0 at the break. Fransson, a 2012 Olympic champ and 2018 World bronze medalist, got on the board with a headlock at the 2:36 mark before Mensah-Stock tallied a reversal, then earned another point when Fransson lost a challenge to a possible takedown with 1:07 left.


72k – Victoria Francis (1-2, 5th place)

Competed Sept. 17-18

Victoria Francis (right) settled for fifth place at 72 kilos. (Mark Lundy photo)

1stround – pinned Dejah Anie Slater (Canada), 2:30

Moments after scoring a takedown for a 3-0 lead, Francis used a bar arm to turn Slater to her back, and then switched to a headlock for the fall.

Quarterfinal – lost to Alina Berezhina Stadni (Ukraine), 4-0

The only points came with 1:12 left in the first period when a Stadni headlock put Francis on her back and she held her there for 40 seconds before coming off her back.

Bronze Medal – lost to Paliha Paliha (China), 2-1

Leading 1-0 at the break — after Paliha failed to score on the shot clock — the Chinese wrestler rallied when Francis failed to score on the shot clock with 1:48 left, then stepped out eight seconds later.


Adeline Gray (5-0, Gold medalist)

Competed Sept. 18-19

Five-time World champion Adeline Gray (left) has now won 21 straight World matches. (Justin Hoch photo)

1stround – won by TF over Eleni Pjollaj (Italy), 10-0

A second single-leg takedown a minute into the bout led to three straight leg-lace turns that ended the match with 1:45 left in the first period.

2ndround – won by TF over Elmira Syzdykova (Kazakhstan), 10-0

Gray’s second takedown with 15 seconds left in the first period quickly ended the match six seconds later when she executed two leg-laces for the technical fall. Gray’s first takedown came off a single a minute into the match, then used a leg-lace to lead 4-0 with 1:41 left in the period.

Quarterfinal – won by TF over Hui Tsz Chang (Taipei Chinese), 10-0

Gray ended the match with 1:01 left in the bout when she scored a single then used a gut to turn Chang for the technical fall. Gray also scored two takedowns in the first period, including an arm drag with 1:10 left in period that led to two exposure points.

Semifinal – dec. Aline Rotter Focken (Germany), 5-2

Gray clinched a gold-medal match when she first countered a Focken shot with 42 seconds left then added a gut-wrench for a 5-1 lead with 25 seconds left. The German led 1-0 at the break after Gray failed to score on the shot clock two minutes into the match. Gray tied the bout 1-1 when Focken was unable to score on the shot clock with 1:25 left. Focken’s final point came when she reversed Gray with 19 seconds left.

Gold Medal — dec. Hiroe Minagawa Suzuki (Japan), 4-2

Gray became the first American wrestler in any style to win five World gold medals. Trailing 1-0 after she failed to score on the shot clock, Gray tallied the bout’s only takedown with six seconds left in the first period and quick added two more exposure points with a gut-wrench. Suzuki’s final point came from stepout with two seconds left.

Gray, whose other World championships came in 2013, ’14, 15 and ’18, was tied with Patricia Saunders (1992, ’86, ’98, ’99) for the most World titles.