Mensah Stock and Elor close out women’s freestyle with two more World gold medals

Updated: September 15, 2022

Photo: Amit Elor posed with her first Senior World Championship gold medal after the 18-year-old dominated the No. 1 seed at 72 kilos in women’s freestyle Thursday in Belgrade, Serbia. (Justin Hoch photo)

By Mike Finn

Tamyra Mensah Stock and Amit Elor put an exclamation mark on one the most successful World Championships ever for the United States women’s program as the two freestylers captured gold medals in dominating fashion on the final day of women’s competition in Belgrade, Serbia, where Helen Maroulis also earned a silver medal on Thursday.

Tamyra Mensah Stock celebrated a second World championship at 68 kilos. (Justin Hoch photo)

Overall, this American World women’s freestyle team collected seven medals in the 10 weight classes over the past four days in Stark Arena. In 2021, the American women captured two gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

This year, Team USA captured three gold medals, including a World title by Dom Parrish (53k) on Wednesday, as well as a silver medals by Kayla Miracle (62k) and bronze medals by Sarah Hildebrandt (50k) and Mallory Velte (65k) earlier this week.

WIN Magazine will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2022 Worlds, including men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman, in the next issue that will be printed Sept. 29. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe to WIN Magazine.

Mensah-Stock, a 2019 World champ and 2020 Olympic gold medalist who settled for a World bronze medal last fall, dominated her four opponents this year. The 29-year-old native of Katy, Texas, scored two technical falls and pinned two foes at 68 kilos, including Japan’s Ami Ishil in the gold-medal match.

Amit Elor used this leg lace to defeat the No. 1 seed Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan in the 72-kilo final. (Justin Hoch photo)

The 18-year-old Elor, who already won a U20 World gold medal a month ago, dominated the No. 1 seed and 2021 silver medalist Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan in the 72-kilo final with a 10-0 technical fall. The native of Walnut Creek, Calif., will also wrestle in the U23 Worlds later this fall.

Maroulis, a three-time World champ and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, finished with a silver; her eighth World/Olympic medal. The 30-year-old native of Rockville, Md., lost in the 57-kilo final to Japan’s Tsugumi Sakurai, a defending World champ at 55 kilos.

Overall, Japan (with five gold medals and nine medals overall) won the team title with 190 points, while Team USA finished second with 157 points.

Thursday’s action also saw the start of men’s freestyle, where three Americans — Zain Retherford (70k), Jordan Burroughs (79k) and David Taylor (86k) — earned spots in Friday’s gold-medal matches. Unfortunately, Hayden Zillmer just missed out on a medal-round match, losing in the quarterfinals to Georgia’s Geno Petriashvilli after wins in the first two rounds.

Six additional men’s freestyle weights will be contested over the next three days.

2022 UWW World Championships Women’s Freestyle

U.S. Results/Match Notes for Sept 15

57 kg: Helen Maroulis (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) – silver

1st round – pinned Emma Tissina (Kazakhstan), 0:17 – A double-leg put Tissina on her back five seconds into the first period before Maroulis earned the fall eight seconds later.

Quarterfinal – won by TF over Anhelina Lysak (Poland), 10-0, 3:20 – After scoring three takedowns off counters from headlocks, Maroulis ended the bout on a single-leg seven seconds into the match and quickly added a leg lace.

Semifinal – pinned Davaachimeg Erkhembayar (Mongolia), 5:20 – Moments after Maroulis was penalized after a shot clock ran out, the American used a trip to put the Mongolian on her back with a minute left and scored the fall 20 seconds later.

Gold-Medal Match: lost to Tsugumi Sakurai (Japan), 3-0 — Sakurai, a 2021 World champ at 55 kilos, clinched the victory over Maroulis when she scored on a go-behind against the American with 1:31 left for a 3-0 victory.

59 kg: Abigail Nette (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP) – dnp

1st round lost by TF to Grace Bullen (Norway), 14-4 – Nette gave up four takedowns to Bullen, including a double that put Nette on her back with three seconds left in the first period. The fourth came on a double with 1:08 left in the match. Nette was pulled into repechage when Bullen reached the finals.

Repechage – lost to Erdenesuvd Bat Erdene (Mongolia), 4-0 – While on the shot clock in the first period, the Mongolian forced a step-out with 58 seconds left in the first, then countered a single attempt by Nette with 1:39 left in the match. Nette injured her left knee on the move which required medical care for two and a half minutes. An activity-clock violation against Nette ended the scoring.

68 kg: Tamyra Mensah Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC) – gold

1st round – pinned Alla Belinska (Ukraine), 3:41 — Mensah Stock scored four takedowns, the final one coming off a single with 2:28 left at which point she used a bar arm to turn and eventually pin the Ukrainian seven seconds later.

Quarterfinal – won by TF over Feng Zhou (China), 10-0, 3:49 — Mensah Stock led 6-0 at the break as a second takedown put her Chinese foe on her back midway through the period. The American ended the bout when she countered a Zhou throw and used a gut for exposure points with 2:11 left.

Semifinal – won by TF over Irina Ringaci (Moldova), 10-0, 2:27 – Mensah Stock’s second takedown, a double, put Ringaci on her back and she held her there for an additional two exposure points. A counter to a single with 33 seconds left in the first ended the match.

Gold-Medal Match – pinned Ami Ishii (Japan), 4-0, 2:10 – Moments after receiving a verbal warning for passivity, Mensah Stock first drove through Ishii for a power double and 2-0 lead. Then she countered a single-leg attempt for a second takedown, before snapping the Japanese wrestler to her back with 50 second left in the first period.

72 kg: Amit Elor (New York, N.Y./NYC RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – gold

1st round – won by TF over WIN Anastasiya Alpeyeva (Ukraine), 10-0, 1:42 – The young American was creative in her first World match as she used an upper-body throw of the Ukrainian, putting her on her back. Elor had a 6-0 lead a minute into the match, then cut the corner for a second takedown and a leg lace to end the match with 1:18 left in the first period.

Quarterfinal – pinned Buse Cavusoglu Tosun (Turkey), 0:40 — Elor went upper body again to put the Turk on her back 34 seconds into the match and scored the fall six seconds later.

Semifinal – dec. Masako Furuichi (Japan), 3-2 — Elor countered a headlock for a takedown with 1:21 left in the first period then earned a passivity point against the 2021 World champ, who eventually scored a takedown with six seconds left.

Gold-Medal Match: won by TF over Zhamila Bakbergenova (Kazakhstan), 10-0 (1:12) — The young American dominated the 2021 World silver medalist by scoring a takedown 47 seconds into the match, then laced the Kazakhstan wrestler four times for the technical fall.