Live Updates: 2017 World Championships Day Three

Tony Rotundo Helen Maroulis



We have arrived at the women's freestyle portion of the competition. Complete brackets and breakdown can be found here.

We're into the quarterfinals at 75kg. No Americans are involved, and no repechage is at stake. Top seed Yasemin Adar (TUR) is coming out firing against Hiroe Suzuki (JPN). She's already up 6-0 not even two minutes in. Having a lot of fun going over the journalist picks for champs here on press row. This is an interesting field at 75kg with Adeline Gray and Erica Wiebe out. Marzaliuk, who beat Gray at the Olympics, looked ready to go on a run. The semis will feature Epp Mae of Estonia against Yasemin Adar of Turkey on the top side, and Paliha of China against Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus on the bottom half.

63kg semis now. Turkey came to party, some of their girls have looked dominant. Wow! Jackeline Renteria Castillo (COL) with a quick pin and gives us our 11th different semifinalist already.

Tremendous semifinal round. Helen Maroulis makes her second world championship final, and third in a row including the Olympics last year. She will wrestle Rio bronze Marwa Amri of Tunisia, the first ever women's wrestler from Africa to make the world finals. Minutes later, Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria became the second. There were 14 different countries represented in the semifinals.

In the 63kg finals, we'll see Orkhon Purevdorj (MGL) take on Yulia Tkach (UKR). Last year in the Yarygin finals, Purevdorj beat four-time Olympic gold medalist Kaori Icho. Watch that match here. Tkach was a 2014 world champ, beating American Elena Pirozhkova in the finals.

Today we will see Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) at 58kg. She will be the very first match on Mat D to start us off. Making her first world championshipappearances is Victoria Francis (Titan Mercury) at 75kg, who will be up in six matches on B. We also Mallory Velte (Titan Mercury) at 63kg, who will be up in eight matches on B. Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury) is at 55kg and will be the 12th match on Mat C.

The French women's crowd has been banging drums and cheering for the better part of 15 minutes and we haven't even started yet. Couple Pan Am wrestlers on the mat now, had three to start us off. Bunch of techs and pins to start us off, great way to start off the leg grabbing portion of our competition.

Our first French girl is up and their corner are waving flags and going nuts. Gotta love the support from the home crowd. Unfortunately for them, she was pinned pretty quickly. Three-time Olympic champ Saori Yoshida is sitting two rows behind us on press row and is getting VERY into the match Sakagami is having with Ukraine on Mat B. Good start for China, typically one of the strongest teams in the world. Rolling through this round of 32 at 58kg quickly.

Future Campbellsville wrestler Grace Bullen up now. 2015 jr world champ Elin Nilsson won her first match 8-4 over Belarus, she will be Helen's second round opponent. Bullen is down now though. On Mat C is Tynybekova (KGZ), who could potential be a finals opponent for Maroulis. Bullen storming back now and up 6-4. Another French girl is coming to the mat because the French crowd just exploded.

One of the biggest stars in women's wrestling Adekuoroye (NGR) is up now on Mat B. What a match here! Bullen and Adeniyi (NGR) in an 8-8 barn burner, with the Nigerian coming out on top over the Euro champ. Olympic gold medalist Daniel Igali has helped raise Nigeria's program, particularly on the women's side and we are now starting to see the fruits of that labor.

Round of 16 is set at 58kg. Adekuoroye just got turned for 4 by France! The favorite could be going down in the first round. With the crowd getting into it this is our best match so far. France trailing 9-7 now. We've got a challenge brick after a flurry on the edge. Looks like 13-9, can't see the scoreboard, but the crowd is keeping France in this match. In on a shot again! Adekuoroye wins 13-9, but awesome performance by Riviere, tremendous crowd support. Should have a good shot at getting pulled back into repechage.

Bunch of American matches in a row.

58kg R32 - Helen Maroulis vs Hanbit Kim (KOR)

1st period: Helen coming out cautious, goes into an arm drag for a takedown about 30 seconds in. Took a little bit but working the lace and this one looks over. 49 second tech for the Olympic champ!

75kg R32 - Victoria Francis vs Gulmaral Yerkebayeva (KAZ)

1st period: KAZ in on a shot early, pulled up the single leg and takedown. Francis in on a shot now and forces a stepout to make it 2-1. Swing single giving Francis some issues now as KAZ gets another takedown, but can't turn her. Yerkebayeva able to attack both legs, 6-1 now. Going low to high on her attack, but we have reached the break.

2nd period: Victoria keeping her space, you can see KAZ trying to time another shot. Francis going into a collar tie, and KAZ wants no part of it. Francis tried to time her sprawl and square up but Yerkebayeva is just a little too quick at getting the leg up, 8-1. Francis going back to the tie up but the ref blows the whistle. Francis is able to time her sprawl this time, stuffs the head, heavy hips and go behind. Desperation shot for Francis and KAZ goes right over her for a 10-3 lead. That'll be your final, so we need Yerkebayeva to make the finals for Victoria to get pulled back in.

63kg R32 - Mallory Velte vs Blessing Oborududu (NGR)

1st period: Velte level changing early and looking for a short tie. The Nigerian's reach looks difficult to handle at first. Passive offered and confirmed against Nigeria. NGR in on a shot, Velte feeding her hips. Has head in the hole now, trying to pick a side. Front head fought off and back on their feet. NGR looking to finish a single while Velte tries to hip tip. Velte into the zone but dances out. And there's the first takedown as Oborududu changes direction and finishes a double. The Nigerian keeps firing off shots. Velte is fighting them off well but having trouble finding time to create offense of her own.

2nd period: Oborududu continuing to push but Velte fights off a single and fires off one of her own, stalemated though. 4-2 here halfway through. Well timed sprawl but NGR comes up on the go behind and it will be stalemated. Velte trying to run through a double, but heavy hips shutting her down once again. 8-2 now in the final minute after that takedown and turn. NGR continuing to pull away, finishes off another takedown. Final will be 10-2 Nigeria.

58kg R16 - Helen Maroulis vs Elin Nilsson (SWE)

1st period: Maroulis gets two takedown and two laces early on. She finishes off with a beautiful re-shot and is into the quarterfinals. She will face Yessica Oviedo Perez (DOM), who has a 10-0 win and a pin so far.

55kg R16 - Becka Leathers vs Ramona Galambos (HUN)

1st period: Leathers beat her 11-0 in Spain. Starting off with a 2-on-1 key lock. Passive confirmed against Galambos. Becka in on a shot and runs through a double. Trying to go bent leg and what a fall! Starting off right with a pin. Richard Immel calling it a lazy man's cradle, either way, it was a sweet pin.

REPECHAGE UPDATE: Tough break for Mallory Velte. Gulmarai Yerkebayeva (KAZ) lost to Andrea Olaya (COL) 8-0 at 75 kg. Since Yerkebayeva beat Velte in the first round, Velte is now eliminated from the tournament and will not wrestle for a medal. 

REPECHAGE UPDATE: Blessing Oborududu (NGR) beats Taybe Yusein (BUL) keeping Mallory Velte's bronze medal hopes alive. Oborududu needs to win two more matches to make the finals and pull Velte into the repechage. 

58kg QF - Helen Maroulis vs Yessica Oviedo (DOM)

1st period: Maroulis takes the mat again, after two consecutive first round techs (11-0 and 10-0). Oviedo comes out swinging. Helen counters with snapdowns in a very physical start to the bout. After on stalemate Maroulis gets her 2 and the early lead. Helen showing off her versatility, goes heel trip right into another leglace and jumps to a 6-0 lead with 30 seconds remaining in the first. Helen drops down and attempts a double but settles for the step out point. 7-0. Another takedown right before the buzzer makes it 9-0. Impressive start for the champ, although Oviedo is the first opponent of Maroulis' to make it out of the first period. 

2nd period: Maroulis gets another takedown in 23 seconds and picks up her third tech of the day, this time 11-0. Helen advances to the semifinals an will wrestle for a medal! Helen will wrestle Fazzari from Canada next round. Canada has been having a great tournament as expected. 

55kg QF - Becka Leathers vs Haruna Okuno (JPN)

1st period: Becka stomps her way onto the mat. It's her second match of the day. She crunched up her first opponent with a pinfall in the first period. Okuno goes to work, furiously looking to set up a shot, and succeeds, penetrating very deep on a double. Leathers trails 0-2. Becka is trying to find her offense but Okuno is doing a good job keeping her off balance. Becka gets nothing from a front a headlock and then after a restart Okuno level changes and gets another deep shot. Leathers trails by 4, and thats how the period ends. 

2nd period: Becka staying aggressive but Okuno is great positionally. She's defending everything Becka is throwing at her and times her level changes perfectly. This time she had to settle for a pushout, making it 5-0 for Japan. Okuno is full defense now, until she hits a slick duck under from a restart. It's 7-0 with less than a minute to go. Another pushout with two seconds left and that's how it ends, 8-0 for the impressive Japanese wrestler. She was superb from neutral, never letting Leather get to her attacks and timing her shots perfectly. Luckily Okuno has a very good shot at winning her next match and pulling Becka into the repechage. 

REPECHAGE UPDATE: Blessing Oborududu (NGR) was pinned by Orkhon Purevdorj (MGL) in the quarterfinals and thus Mallory Velte's competition in Paris is over.


58kg SF - Helen Maroulis vs Michelle Fazzari (CAN)

1st period: Maroulis gets the first takedown in under 30 seconds to race out to a 2-0 lead. She's teched every other opponent she's wrestled today and has given up exactly zero points. Fazzari notably beat the No. 1 seed Koblova of Russia in the round of 16 by injury default. Now a slick counter by Maroulis makes it 4-0. Slide-by and a trip after a restart makes it 6-0, and 2 more rotations via leglace locks up another techfall! Maroulis will wrestle for gold!

That one was never in doubt, and Helen will look to make it three straight world or Olympic golds against Marwa Amri of Tunisia. Amri won a bronze in Rio last year at 58kg.

REPECHAGE UPDATE: Haruna Okuno (JPN) is leading Bilyana Dudova (BUL) 9-0 at the intermission in the semifinals of 55kg. If Okuno wins she will pull Becka Leathers into the repechage. Okuno does it in 4 minutes and 7 seconds! Leathers will need to win 2 more matches to secure a bronze medal. Becka's first match will be with Carola Rainero (ITA), and then she'll get a crack at Dudova. 

55kg CONSI SF - Becka Leathers vs Carola Rainero (ITA)

1st period: Rainero tries to go upper body right off the whistle but Leathers defends. A low leg attack from Leathers and she picks up the first 2 points off the match, then gets a gut wrench to go up 4-0. Rainero counters the second gut attempt and gets 2 exposure points. It's 4-2 Leathers with 2 minutes down in the first. The period ends after more hand fighting but no more scores. 

2nd period: Both wrestlers get upper body locks and it could go either way. Leathers appears to initiate a lat drop and rolls through to end up on top. She gets the initial 4 pt call but Rainero wants to review it. Italy loses the challenge and it's 9-2. Leathers then gets a double leg on a demoralized Rainero and one final leglace turn to wrap up the 13-2 techfall! Leathers will get Dudova with a bronze medal on the line!

55kg Bronze - Becka Leathers vs Bilyana Zhivkova Dudova (BUL)

​1st period: First senior World Championship for the young American wrestler. Leathers on a high crotch and Bulgarian locks through the crotch but neither able to score. Leathers snatches a high single but her opponent able to get her leg back. Passive warning against Dudova. Another and Dudova goes on the shot clock. Becka gives up her leg but counters for the takedown, leads 2-0. Fought off the single and dumped her to the back, and then exposed she leads 4-0 at the break.

​2nd period: ​Couple of attacks from Bulgaria and passive against Leathers, first warning. Becka gets hit again and goes on the shot clock. Shot clock expires and Leathers give up a point. 4-1 now with 2 min to go. John Smith yelling, "Keep wrestling". Leathers gives up a step out late adn wins 4-2. Bronze medalist Becka Leathers!!!

58kg Gold - Helen Maroulis vs Marwa Amri (TUN)

1st period: Helen sets up a leg trip and executes a beautiful feet to back in the first 30 seconds! 4-0 Helen early. Amri gets in on a single leg and nearly finishes but Helen defends with some serious brute strength and collects two more. 6-0 with 90 seconds to go in the first. The two trade re-attacks and Helen ends up with a step out point, running the score to 7-0. Amri with another shot but Helen does her torrero impression and says OLE! as she spins around for two. It's 9-0. Maroulis trying to finish in the first period, and she does, with a modified lace! Not sure exactly what that hold was but who cares, Helen is golden again, three in a row!

Helen takes her well deserved American flag waving victory lap. She won all five matches today in dominant fashion, outscoring her opponents 53-0. She appears to be the best women's wrestler in Paris right now. ​Maroulis moved up five kilograms from Rio and she breezed through her bracket. 

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