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Mensah-Stock claims world title, Cox reaches finals

Tamyra Mensah-Stock jumps for joy after winning the world title at 68 kilograms (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan -- For the first time ever, the United States has three world champions in women's wrestling.

On Friday, Tamyra Mensah-Stock capped her run to a gold medal at 68 kilograms by beating 2012 world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Fransson of Sweden, 8-2, in the finals of the World Championships at Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

"I'm feeling I'm excited," said Mensah-Stock. "I'm overwhelmed. I'm overjoyed. It's an unbelievable feeling. I couldn't control my feelings when I got off the mat. It took about like 30 minutes, but I finally calmed down and I'm so excited."

The 26-year-old Texas native joins U.S. teammates Jacarra Winchester (55 kilograms) and Adeline Gray (76 kilograms) as 2019 world champions. It's the second straight world medal for Mensah-Stock, who won a bronze last year in Budapest, Hungary. She outscored her five opponents at the World Championships by a combined score of 44-4.

Tamyra Mensah-Stock is overcome with emotion after winning gold (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

Mensah-Stock controlled Fransson from start to finish. She scored three first-period takedowns to go up 6-0. In the second period, Fransson scored with a headlock before Mensah-Stock came behind for a reversal. With just over a minute remaining, Fransson shucked Mensah Stock and came around behind, but was not awarded a takedown. Sweden challenged the call, which was upheld, giving Mensah-Stock a six-point lead. She then held on for the final minute to win 8-2.

The United States women's wrestling team placed third at the World Championships (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

Mensah-Stock's gold medal helped the United States finish third in the team standings in women's wrestling. Japan won the team title and totaled 137 points. Russia finished second with 108 points, followed by the United States with 105 points. China (102) and Ukraine (92) rounded out the top five teams.

Cox unscored upon en route to reaching finals, Burroughs falls to Sidakov in semifinals

Returning world champion J'den Cox will wrestle for his second straight world title after advancing to the finals at 92 kilograms without surrendering a point in three matches.

J'den Cox advanced to the finals at 92 kilograms with a 3-0 shutout over Georgia's Irakli Mtsituri (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

Cox, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games, punched his ticket to the finals with a 3-0 victory over Georgia's Irakli Mtsituri in the semifinals. He scored a takedown a minute into his semifinal match, which was challenged by Georgia and upheld. It was all the points Cox needed as the Georgian never threatened him the rest of the match.

Earlier in the day, Cox shut out Mohamad Fardj of Algeria (11-0) and Nurgali Nurgaipuly of Kazakhstan (8-0).

Jordan Burroughs gets driven out of bounds by Russia's Zaurbek Sidakov in the closing moments (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

Jordan Burroughs, a four-time world champion and 2012 Olympic champion, reached the semifinals at 74 kilograms before losing to returning world champion Zaurbek Sidakov of Russia, 4-3. It marks the second straight year Sidakov has defeated Burroughs at the World Championships.

Burroughs struck first in the semifinals, shooting a double leg a minute into the match and driving the Russian out of bounds for a step out. Later in the period, a long flurry resulted in a stalemate and Burroughs took a 1-0 lead to the break.

In the second period, Burroughs was placed on the activity clock and Sidakov scored a takedown to go up 2-1. With 45 seconds remaining, Burroughs countered a shot by Sidkaov and scored a takedown to grab a 3-2 lead. The score stayed that way until late in the match. With under 10 seconds left, Sidakov fired off an attack, driving Burroughs out of bounds for a step out, which was called with one second remaining in the match. The United States challenged the call, but it was upheld and Sidakov moved into the finals with a one-point victory over Burroughs.

Burroughs was pushed in his opening matches, but as he often does, found ways to come from behind and win. In his first match, he faced Azamat Nurykau of Belarus and prevailed, 11-10. Burroughs found himself in a 6-2 hole early in the match after a two-and-two exchange, followed up by a four-point chest lock by the Belarusian. Burroughs turned it up after that, getting three step outs and a takedown in less than two minutes to go up 7-6 at the break.

Nurykau retook the lead with a takedown a minute into the second period before using a gut wrench to go up 10-7. Burroughs inched closer with takedown off a double leg with 45 seconds remaining. Moments later, Burroughs was given a point off a caution, which made the score 10-10, with Nurykau still leading on criteria. In the final 15 seconds, the two wrestlers got into a flurry, with Burroughs initially being awarded two points for an exposure. The call was challenged by Belarus and changed to a step out, and Burroughs survived with a one-point win.

Burroughs faced Hungary's Murad Kuramagomedov in his second match. The Hungarian led 4-0 at the break after a pair of takedowns. But Burroughs took the lead in the second period off one move, a double leg takedown for four points. The call was challenged by Hungary and upheld, giving Burroughs an additional point. Burroughs scored an additional point off a step out with 35 seconds left and held on for the 6-4 victory.

Jordan Burroughs scores a takedown off a double leg in his quarterfinal match (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

In the quarterfinals, Burroughs dominated Khadzhimur Gadzhiyev of Azerbaijan, 8-1. He picked up two takedowns and a turn in the first period to go up 6-0 at the break. In the second period, Burroughs added a third takedown while only giving up one point off a step out.

World medalists Green, Gwiazdowski eliminated

Two-time world bronze medalist James Green went 1-1 at 70 kilograms and was eliminated from the tournament.

In the round of 16, Green lost narrowly to 2017 world finalist Magomedmurad Gadzhiev of Poland, 4-3. Green scored the first point of the match off the activity clock and took a 1-0 lead into the break. Green extended his lead to 3-0 in the second period after scoring a takedown off a double leg. With just over a minute left in the match, Green was put on the activity clock and was unable to score, giving Gadzhiev his first point. With 15 seconds left, Gadzhiev shot a single leg and scored a takedown on the edge of the mat with seven seconds remaining. The United States challenged the call, but it was upheld and Gadzhiev claimed the one-point victory over Green.

Gadzhiev failed to make the finals, losing in the semifinals to Russia's David Baev, which eliminated Green from the tournament.

Green opened his tournament with a 10-0 technical superiority over Canada's Vincent De Marinis. He went up 6-0 in the first minute after a pair of takedowns and a gut wrench. Midway through the period, Green shot a double leg and converted it to a takedown before using a gut wrench to end the match.

Nick Gwiazdowski, a two-time bronze medalist, had a disappointing tournament at 125 kilograms, losing his first match in the round of 16 to Iran's Yadollah Mohebi, 5-2. Gwiazdowski scored first, getting a step out a minute into the match. A short time later, Mohebi sunk in an underhook and drove Gwiazdowski out of bounds. The American was called for a caution, giving Mohebi a point and the lead on criteria.

Early in the second period, Gwiazdowski shot a single leg and drove Mohebi out of bounds for a step out, which gave him a 2-1 lead. But the Iranian came back, countering a Gwiazdowski shot and getting a go-ahead takedown midway through the period. Trailing 3-2 late in the match, Gwiazdowski shot a low single leg, which Mohebi countered and scored two points off an exposure to go up three. He then held off Gwiazdowski for the final 10 seconds.

Mohebi was edged in his quarterfinal match by Ukraine's Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi, which eliminated Gwiazdowski from the competition.

Michigan wrestler Stevan Micic, who is representing Serbia, won his repechage match on Friday to reach the bronze-medal match at 57 kilograms. He then fell to Kazakhstan's Nurislam Sanayev, 4-3, to place fifth.

The final four freestyle weight classes will begin competition on Saturday. Tyler Graff (61 kilograms), Kyle Dake (79 kilograms), Pat Downey (86 kilograms) and Kyle Snyder (97 kilograms) will compete for the United States.

Comments

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coolbeans (1) about 2 months ago
Tamyra Mensah-Stock is very impressive and simply imposing.

Good job the Steiner brothers in coaching the lady's Always good words from the corner.

Hopefully Cox rises to the top again !
blackmario (1) about a month ago
blackmario (1) about a month ago