Helen Maroulis at the 2022 World Championships (photo courtesy of Martin Gabor/UWW)
The Wednesday morning round from the US women's freestyle team was easily the best session of the Senior World Championships thus far, for any American squad. Three of the four women starting their tournaments today made it to this afternoon's semifinal round and did so in dominant fashion.
With a pair of past Olympic champions in the mix (Helen Maroulis and Tamyra Mensah-Stock), it was expected that those veterans would make the semis; however, expectations for the young Amit Elor were unclear.
Less than a month ago, Elor won her second straight U20 world title and metaphorically lapped the field in doing so. At only 18 years old, would she be too young to compete with the seasoned women at the Senior level?
Elor proved that concerns about her age were no issue by crushing 2021 U23 world champion Anastasia Alpyeva (Ukraine) 10-0, in less than two minutes, during her Senior world debut at 72 kg. A match later, in the quarterfinals, two-time world medalist Bose Tosun (Turkey) attempted to outmuscle Elor and was promptly put on her back for a fall in only :39 seconds.
Elor's semifinal opponent is returning world champion and two-time medalist Masako Furuichi of Japan.
Speaking of quick falls, Maroulis was able to top Elor's 39-second fall when she pinned Kazakhstan's Emma Tissina in only :16 in the Round of 16. After a 10-0 tech over Poland's Anhelina Lysak, Maroulis finds herself in a familiar spot, the world semifinals.
Maroulis will need to defeat Mongolia's Davaachimeg Erkhembayar, a 2021 World bronze medalist, to get back to the world finals at 57 kg.
Fellow Olympic gold medalist, Mensah-Stock looked to be in top form as she disposed of two opponents with identical 10-0 scores in the 68 kg bracket. Her quarter's foe, Feng Zhou (China) defeated Mensah at the 2020 Matteo Pellicone. This time it was all-Tamyra early and often.
Mensah-Stock has Moldova's Irina Ringaci in the semis. In 2021, Ringaci won U20 and Senior world titles at 65 kg.
None of the three quarterfinalists surrendered a point during the morning session.
The fourth member of the team in action this morning was Abby Nette at 59 kg. In her opening match, Nette fell to Norway's Grace Bullen, 13-2. Bullen has advanced to the semis and if she defeats Jowita Wrzesien (Poland), it will pull Nette into repechage.
2022 Senior World Championships US Results
57 kg Women's Freestyle
Round of 16 - Helen Maroulis over Emma Tissina (Kazakhstan) Fall :16
Quarterfinals - Helen Maroulis over Anhelina Lysak (Poland) 10-0
59 kg Women's Freestyle
Qualification - Grace Bullen (Norway) over Abby Nette 13-2
68 kg Women's Freestyle
Round of 16 - Tamyra Mensah-Stock over Alla Belinska (Ukraine) 10-0
Quarterfinals - Tamyra Mensah-Stock over Feng Zhou (China) 1-0
72 kg Women's Freestyle
Round of 16 - Amit Elor over Anastasia Alpyeva (Ukraine) 10-0
Quarterfinals - Amit Elor over Bose Tosun (Turkey) Fall :39