2024 Olympic Games Watch Party

Dom Parrish Seeking Olympic Wrestling 2024 Gold In Paris

Dom Parrish Seeking Olympic Wrestling 2024 Gold In Paris

A full preview of the women's freestyle wrestling event in the 53-kilogram weight class at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

May 27, 2024 by Kyle Klingman

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American Dom Parrish was a World champion in 2022 but missed out on a medal last year. She attempts to reach the podium during her first Olympic Games. 

Parrish is in the 53 kg field and fans can watch her compete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games on August 7-8 on NBC or Peacock. Wrestling takes place at Grand Palais Éphémère in Champ de Mars. FloWrestling will have on-the-ground coverage, and a live watch party during the Olympic wrestling competition.

Here's what to know about the 53 kg field. 

The Olympic Gold Medal Favorite

A healthy Akari Fujinami might be the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the world. The 20-year-old Japanese star won her first senior world title in 2021 at 17 and another in 2023 at 19. She missed the 2022 World Championships due to an injury. 

Her other-worldly low-level attacks are a sight to behold. Her opponent’s leg looks firmly planted in cement as she misdirects to the side for a takedown. That’s on top of her relentless pace, constant motion, impeccable defense, stellar mid-range shots, slick slide-bys, and a leg lace. 

Akari Fujinami has all the tools. 

Nine matches at the Senior World Championships have resulted in eight shutout techs and one fall. Interestingly, the win by fall offers the most insight into defeating Fujinami. 

Ecuador’s Lucia Yepez Guzman raced to an early lead during her quarterfinal match against Fujinami at the 2023 World Championships. Yepez used a slingshot double to blast Fujinami off her feet and score seven points. The Ecuadorian was down 16-7 when pinned, but it was the first time anyone scored on Fujinami at the World Championships. 

It will take more than a four-point takedown to knock off Fujinami. It takes a complete match and a well-executed game plan. Even that might not be enough.

Akari Fujinami at the Worlds Championships

2021 Worlds (17)2023 Worlds (19)
W - Pooja Jatt (IND), 11-0W - Tuba Demir (TUR), 10-0
W - Luisa Valverde (ECU), 10-0W - Oh Jeong-bin (KOR), 10-0
W - Katarzyna Krawczyk (POL), 11-0W - Lucía Yépez (ECU), Fall
W - Iulia Leorda (MDA), 10-0W - Maria Prevolaraki (GRE), 10-0

W - Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (BLR), 10-0

The American: Dom Parrish

Dom Parrish had her breakout performance at the 2022 World Championships. Her first international gold medal was on the biggest stage, setting the stage to make this year’s Olympic Team.

The Scots Valley, California, native made the 2023 World team but lost 3-2 in the opening round to India’s Antim Panghal, an eventual bronze medalist. Parrish qualified the United States for the Olympics at the 2024 Pan-American Qualifier with an entertaining 9-6 win over 2020 Olympian Laura Herin of Cuba. She followed that with two wins over 2016 Olympian Haley Augello in the best-of-three Olympic Trials finals to make the Olympic Team.

“Anyone who has been in the flow state knows you’re going to win,” Parrish said after defeating Herin. “I didn’t know how it was going to happen but I knew it was going to happen. I felt tingling through my whole body warming up so I felt so ready going out to wrestle and give it my all. I felt very excited to qualify the weight. The process is hard so it’s nice to win.”

Her quarterfinal match against Guzman at the 2022 Worlds was Parrish at her best. She controlled the tie, scored on a go-behind, and secured an air-tight leg-lace for a 10-0 first-period tech. She won 3-1 in the semis over three-time World bronze medalist Maria Prevolarki of Greece before a 4-2 win over Batkhuyagiin Khulan of Mongolia in the finals. 

The 27-year-old has developed into a star since dropping from 55 kg in 2020. Her colorful personality and entertaining interviews enhance her accomplishments on the mat. 

Winning an Olympic medal isn’t easy, but Parrish has what it takes to reach the podium.


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Watch Dom Parrish's win over Cuba's Laura Herin to qualify the United States for the Olympics at 53 kg

The Paris Olympic Games Wrestling Contenders 

Guzman is the only wrestler in the field to score on Fujinami at the World Championships, so she is at the top of the contenders' list. Her explosive style makes her a can’t-miss wrestler and she seems to improve every time she competes. 

The 23-year-old flipped a 14-4 loss to Prevolarki in the 2022 World bronze medal match into a 10-3 win over her for bronze the following year. Guzman has a big upside and should be a factor at the Olympics and beyond.

Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus has the best credentials. She’s a two-time World champion (2012, 2017), a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, and a 2023 World silver medalist. The 31-year-old wasn’t afraid to mix it up with Fujinami during her World finals match. She eventually gave up a 10-0 tech but didn’t get turned and made Fujinami work to get takedowns. 

India’s Antim Panghal is a two-time U20 World champion who secured a senior-level bronze last year. The 19-year-old is good from a two-on-one, likes to control wrists, and shoots a sweep single. Panghal can get into wild exchanges, making her unpredictable and fun to watch. Parrish hit her with a straight-on single during the first 10 seconds of their match, so openings are available. 

China’s Qianyu Pang had a good run from 2018 through 2021, winning two World bronze medals and a silver at the 2020 Olympics. She hasn’t maintained that level since, but she is someone to watch.

Keep an eye on Moldova’s Mariana Dragutan (2023 World bronze at 55 kg) and Mongolia’s Batkhuyag Khulan (2022 World silver at 53 kg). North Korea’s Hyogyong Choe hasn’t competed from 2010 until she won a bronze medal at the 2023 Asian Games. 

Sweden’s Emma Malmgren might be the breakout surprise at this weight. Her constant motion, laser focus, and high pace could frustrate some of her opponents. The 22-year-old is a 2021 Junior World champion and a two-time European champion who won her fifth-place match at the 2023 World Championships to qualify for the Olympics. She’s just getting started.

Here’s one more: Andreea Ana of Romania was the 2021 U23 World champion at 55 kg when she was 19 and she has three European titles and three medals. 

2020 Through 2023 Olympic Quad

2020 Olympics2021 Worlds2022 Worlds2023 Worlds
GoldMayu Mukaida (JPN)Akari Fujinami (JPN)Dominique Parrish (USA)Akari Fujinami (JPN)
Silver Qianyu Pang (CHN)Iulia Leorda (MDA)Batkhuyagiin Khulan (MGL)Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (BLR)
BronzeVanesa Kaladzinskaya (BLR)Katarzyna Krawczyk (POL)Vinesh Phogat (IND)Lucía Yépez (ECU)
BronzeBolortuyaa Bat-Ochiryn (MGL)Samantha Stewart (CAN)Maria Prevolaraki (GRE)Antim Panghal (IND)
FifthJacarra Winchester (USA)Luisa Valverde (ECU)Jonna Malmgren (SWE)Jonna Malmgren (SWE)
FifthJoseph Essombe (CMR)Khrystyna Bereza (UKR)Lucía Yépez (ECU)Maria Prevolaraki (GRE)

The 2024 Olympic Wrestling Field

These women's freestyle wrestlers qualified their countries for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Gold - Akari Fujinami (JPN)
Silver - Vanesa Kaladzinskaya (BLR)
Bronze - Lucia Yepez Guzman (ECU)
Bronze - Antim Panghal (IND)
5th Place - Emma Malmgren (SWE)

Continentals Qualifiers
Pan-Ams - Dominique Parrish (USA)
Pam-Ams - Betzabeth Arguello (VEN)
African & Oceania - Mia Aquino (GUA)
African & Oceania - Christiana Ogunsanya (NGR)
Euros - Natalia Malysheva (RUS)
Euros - Andreea Ana (ROU)
Asians - Qianyu Pang (CHN)
Asians - Hyogyong Choe (PRK)

Last Chance World Qualifier
Mariana Dragutan (MDA)
Batkhuyag Khulan (MGL)
Zeynep Yetgil (TUR)

FloWrestling Archived Footage

Video footage from all events on FloWrestling will be archived and stored in a video library for FloWrestling subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscription.

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