Elor wins second gold, leads USA women’s freestyle to seven World medals

Updated: September 21, 2023

Photo: Amit Elor posed with the American flag as she captured her second straight World championship, at just 19 years old, at the 2023 UWW Worlds in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Durwood Tenny Photography)

Amit Elor capped off the United States’ final day of women’s freestyle at the UWW World Championships on a high note as the 19-year-old California native captured a second straight gold medal at 72 kilos on Thursday evening in Belgrade, Serbia.

Elor’s title put an exclamation mark to a strong Worlds performance by Team USA, which captured seven World medals for a third straight year over the past four days.

In addition to Elor, Jacarra Winchester (55k) and Macey Kilty (65k) settled for silver medals, while Sarah Hildebrandt (50k), Helen Maroulis (57k), Jennifer Page (59k) and Adeline Gray (76k) all earned bronze medals.

In the team race, the United States won 29 of 40 matches to score 135 points and once again finish second to Japan, which won a 26th all-time team championship by capturing gold in six of the 10 individual weight classes.

Top-10 Countries in Women’s Freestyle

Pl. Country (G/S/B) Pts
1. Japan (6/1/1) 195
2. United States (1/2/4) 135
3. Mongolia (0/3/0) 80
4. China (1/0/2) 65
5. Ukraine (0/1/1) 59
6. Moldova (0/1/2) 58
7. Turkey (1/0/0) 55
8. Kyrgyzstan (1/1/0) 47
9. Bulgaria (0/0/1) 35
9. Germany (0/0/1) 35

The top-five World performances by Hildebrandt, Maroulis and Gray also came at Olympic weight classes; earning Team USA an automatic spot at those weights in the 2024 Paris Games.

Unfortunately, past World medalists Dominique Parrish (53k) and Kayla Miracle (62k) as well as first-time World member Emma Bruntil (68k) failed to place in the top five, so the United States must still qualify those weight classes for the 2024 Olympics.

The 2023 World Championships will continue through Sunday, when all the 10 Greco-Roman weight classes will be decided. Men’s freestyle ended on Tuesday when the American squad captured a second straight team title with three champs and seven medalists.

WIN Magazine will provide comprehensive coverage of all three styles in the next issue, printed Sept. 28. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.

Highlights from all the American matches can be seen below. The weight classes marked with a (•) are non-Olympic weight classes.

50 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt (USOPTC/NYAC), Bronze Medalist

Round of 16 – won by TF over Miseon Kwon (Korea), 10-0, 0:45 — A second takedown off a snatch single led to three straight leg laces and technical fall. Hildebrandt’s first takedown 10 seconds into the match also led to a gut wrench.

Quarterfinal — won by TF over Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan), 14-3, 5:26 — Trailing 3-2 early in the second period, Hildebrandt exploded for five takedowns and ended the bout with a leglace against the 35-year-old two-time World champ and four-time Olympic medalist.

Semifinal — lost to Otgonjargal Dolgorjav (Mongolia), 7-5 — Leading 1-0 heading into the second period, Hildebrandt was put on the shot clock where the 2022 World silver medalist from Mongolia caught the American with a single; trapping her leg that led to a pair of exposures and a 7-1 lead. Hildebrandt fought back with two spin-arounds in the final 26 seconds but time ran out as she was trying to turn Dolgorjav with a bar arm.

Bronze Medal — dec. Evin Demirhan (Turkey), 5-0 — It took Hildebrandt three attempts to finally score a takedown midway through the first period. She later added a passivity point against the Turk before the American clinched the win on a single with one minute left. This marks the second straight bronze by Hildebrandt, the 2020 Olympian, who also earned silver medals in 2018 and 2021.

53 kg – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids WC), did not place

Prelim — lost to Antim Antim (UWW), 3-2 — Parrish, the defending World champ, got off to a quick start by scoring off a single 10 seconds into the match. But she was placed on a shot clock and failed to score about the same time that Antim, the U20 World champ, scored on a single with 1:18 left in the bout. Parrish nearly got pulled back into medal contention when Antim appeared to beat Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (Individual Neutral Athletes) in the semifinals before a late challenge reversed the final score.

• 55 kg – Jacarra Winchester (USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC) – Silver Medalist

Round of 16 — dec. Neha Sharma, UWW, 7-2 — After falling behind 2-0 on single from the Indian wrestler 38 seconds into the bout, Winchester responded with a stepout, two takedowns as well as a lift for exposure points with three seconds left in the first period.

Quarterfinal — won by TF over Mariia Vynnyk, Ukraine, 11-1, 5:40 — Winchester scored five takedowns, the final one coming with 20 seconds left when she countered an inside trip by the Ukrainian.

Semifinal — won by TF over Anastasia Blayvas (Germany), 10-0, 4:02 — Winchester scored a pair of four-point moves in the first period — first taking Blayvas to her back a minute into the match, then added duck under and gutwrench with two seconds left in the frame. Winchester ended the match with 1:58 when she snapped and spun around the German for the final takedowns.

Gold Medal — lost to Haruna Okuno (Japan), 4-2 — The two-time World champ from Japan scored all her points in the first period with effective duck-unders. Winchester had to settle for a pair of stepouts in the second period, the second one coming with 32 seconds left. Winchester, who has competed in four World Championships, now has a silver to go with her 2019 World title and two fifth-place finishes.

57k – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids WC), Bronze Medalist

Helen Maroulis settled for her ninth World/Olympic medal at 57 kilos. (Tony Rotundo photo)

Prelim — Pinned Nes Marie Rodriguez Tirado (Puerto Rico), 10-0, 1:27 — Maroulis used a fireman’s carry to score her first four points before she added two more takedowns, then flipped Tirado to her back for the fall.

Round of 16 — Pinned Graciela Sanchez Diaz (Spain) 1:14 — Maroulis scored a pair of four-point takedowns, the second one putting Diaz on her back for good and the fall.

Quarterfinal — dec. Zhala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan), 8-3 — Leading just 3-2 at the break, Maroulils opened with two more takedowns to lead 7-2 with 1:27 left in the match.

Semifinal — lost to Tsugami Sakurai (Japan), 6-0 — The two-time defending World champ from Japan scored three takedowns, including two in the second period, where she was effective tying up with Maroulis before dropping down to single-leg takedowns.

Bronze Medal — dec. Ahelina Lysak (Poland), 10-6 — Maroulis’ eighth all-time World/Olympic medal proved to be very difficult and scary when the Polish wrestler — famous for her upper body attacks — threw the American for four points that cut the margin to 7-6 with 40 seconds left. But Maroulis, who led 6-0 after countering a throw 30 seconds into the second frame, added a final takedown with 20 seconds left to preserve the victory. The 32-year-old Maroulis now has three bronze medals (including 2014 World and 2020 Olympics) to go with her four gold medals (2015, 2017, 2022 Worlds and 2016 Olympics) and one silver (2022 Worlds).


• 59 kg — Jennifer Page-Rogers (Nittany Lion WC / Titan Mercury WC), Bronze Medalist

Round of 16 — won by TF over Anjli Anjli (UWW), 11-0, 4:32 — Rogers showed plenty of offensive diversity in her first-ever World bout as she scored three second-period takedowns in three different ways: the first two were four-pointers off a headlock and taking her off-balanced Indian foe to her back, before ending the bout on an arm throw.

Quarterfinal — dec. Sae Nanjo (Japan), 6-4 — Trailing 4-2 at the break, Rogers executed a pair of successful headlocks, the final one coming with three seconds left, to secure the victory. She also used a front headlock to score exposure points midway through the first period.

Semifinal — lost to Qi Zhang (China), 5-1 — The Chinese wrestler, who had finished as high as fifth in three past Worlds, led just 1-0 at the break before scoring off a single-leg takedown and countering a Rogers shot to lead 5-0. She scored her point of a stepout with five seconds left.

Bronze Medal — pinned Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), 4-0, 1:40 — The 30-year-old Rogers first fought off a tough single-leg attack by Kolesnik, then scored her first two points off a defensive lift 45 seconds into the first period. Then she caught her foe off balance and threw Kolesnik to her back with 1:25 left in the frame before scoring the fall five seconds later.

62 kg – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids WC), did not place

Prelim — won by TF over Subeen Jo (Korea), 12-2, 5:47 — Moments after Jo tied the match 2-2 with nine seconds left in the first period, Miracle scored a reversal and added two leg laces to take a 7-2 lead. The two-time World silver medalist and 2020 Olympian from Indiana then ended the match with another takedown, leg lace and stepout.

Round of 16 — lost to Kriszta Tunde Incze (Romania), 6-3 — The Romanian took a 4-0 lead with a pair of throw-bys in the first period before the two women swapped exposure points as Miracle attempted a high crotch. The final Miracle point came on a stepout with 40 seconds left. Miracle was eliminated when Incze lost her next match to Norway’s Grace Bullen, 10-0.


• 65k — Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids WC), Silver Medalist

Prelim — won by TF over Valeriia Dondupova Suvorova (Individual Neutral Athletes), 10-0, 1:20 — After scoring her only takedown off a low single, Kilty twice used a trap-arm gut to lead 6-0, then ended the match with a suples throw that gave her a technical fall in her first-ever World match.

Round of 16 – pinned Albina Drazhi (Albania), 2:28 — Kilty scored four takedowns with the final one stacking Drazhi for the fall. An earlier takedown also led to a successful gut wrench for Kilty.

Quarterfinal – dec. Mimi Hristova (Bulgaria), 11-2 — After giving up a takedown to Hristova a minute into the match, Kilty exploded for 11 straight points, including seven in the final period when she added two more takedowns and added a leg lace with 56 seconds left.

Semifinal — won by TF over Tatsiana Paulava (Individual Neutral Athletes), 10-0, 2:30 — Scoring a takedown off a spin-around, Kilty turned that advantage into three straight leg laces, then ended the match on another takedown near the edge of the mat.

Gold Medal — lost by TF to Nokoka Ozaki (Japan), 10-0, 1:01 — The defending World champ from Japan scored a takedown off a single 30 seconds into the match, before adding two leg laces and two more exposure holds for the technical fall.

68 kg – Emma Bruntil (USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC), 5th place

Prelim — dec. Alexandra Nicoleta Anghel (Romania), 2-2 — Bruntil scored the deciding criteria point on a takedown with 1:37 left in the match to win her first-ever World championship bout. Anghel, the 2022 World bronze medalist, scored her takedown midway through the first period.

Round of 16 — dec. Feng Zhou (China), 6-3 — Leading 2-1, Bruntil scored a takedown off a low single with 1:13 in a move that led to exposure points for both women. Bruntil then fought off a late takedown attempt by Zhou and earned another point when China lost a challenge with no time left.

Quarterfinal — dec. Vusala Parfianovich (Individual Neutral Athletes), 2-1 — All three points scored by both women were passivity points as the Russian was twice put on the shot clock — one in each period — but failed to score.  Bruntil also failed to score while on the shot clock, which cut the margin to 2-1 with a minute left.

Semifinal — lost by fall to Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia), 6-0, 2:45 — Trailing 2-0 midway through the first period, Bruntil got caught in a tough headlock and battled for nearly a minute on her back before the fall was called.

Bronze Medal — lost by TF to Koumba Larroque (France), 10-0 — The three-time World medalist and 2020 Olympian from France jumped on top with a four-point arm spin in the first period, then added an ankle pick, double leg and go-behind takedowns in the second period.

Olympic Qualifier — lost to Ami Ishi (Japan), 2-0 — Ishi, who lost her bronze medal on criteria, scored the bout’s only takedown midway through first period.


• 72 kg – Amit Elor (New York RTC/Titan Mercury WC), Gold Medalist

Round of 16 — dec. Nesrin Bas (Turkey), 7-0 — Elor scored two of her three takedowns — one in each period — when she countered headlocks from Bas.

Quarterfinal — dec. Miwa Morikawa (Japan), 6-0 — Elor scored two takedowns against the Japanese wrestler, who won a World title at 65 kilos in 2022, in the second period. Morikawa was twice put on the shot clock but failed to score.

Semifinal — won by TF over Kendra Dacher (France), 12-2 — Elor led 6-0 after one takedown, three stepouts and one caution-and-1 against Dacher. The French wrestler did fight back by scoring back points against Elor, but the American ended the bout with a reversal, takedown and two more exposure points.

Gold Medal — dec. Davaanasan Enkh Amar (Mongolia), 8-2 — Leading 3-0 at the break after a pair of stepouts and a passivity point against the Mongolian, Elor clinched her second straight World championship with two takedowns in the final period. Enkh Amar did score a takedown with 1:35 left, but Elor quickly scored a reversal then added the final takedown with two seconds left. Elor, who looks to also win World titles on both the Junior and U23 level for a second straight year, now has seven age-group World championships. She captured the 2023 Junior title in August and will compete at the U23 Worlds in October.

No American woman has won more World/Olympic medals than Adeline Gray, who settled for bronze at 76 kilos. (Tony Rotundo photo)

76k — Adeline Gray (NYAC/Beaver Dam RTC), Bronze Medalist

Prelim — won by TF over Jimin Baek, Korea, 10-0, 0:29 — Gray countered a headlock in the first 10 seconds for a takedown, then hit four straight leg laces for the easy victory.

Round of 16 – won by TF over Epp Mae (Estonia), 11-0, 2:43 — In a rematch of their 2021 World gold medal final (also won by Gray), the American legend scored her only takedown with 30 seconds left in the first before rocking Mae back and forth with four gut wrenches.

Quarterfinal — lost to Yuka Kagami (Japan), 4-1 — Moments after the Japanese wrestler was penalized for passivity, Kagami exploded on a double-leg takedown with 1:13 left in the match. Despite the loss, Gray, who had not lost a World match since 2013, was pulled back into repechage when Kagami defeated Milaimys Marin Potrille of Cuba, 5-2, in the semifinals.

Repechage — Pinned Yuanyuan Huang (China), 8-0, 2:54 — Gray was leading 6-0 when she slipped in a power half to score the fall. Gray’s previous points came from two takedowns and two exposure points.

Bronze Medal — dec. Milaimys Marin Potrille (Cuba), 10-6 — One year removed from giving birth to twins, the 32-year-old American legend secured her tenth all-time World/Olympic medal — an all-time record by USA women — by jumping out to a 6-0 with a single and to trap-arm guts in the first period. The Cuban made things interesting at the end when her second takedown of Gray also led to back points with 40 seconds left.