Elena Pirozhkova and Adeline Gray each earned bronze medals for the U.S. in women’s freestyle competition at the 2013 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary Thursday and Friday.
Pirozhkova medaled at 63 kilos/138.75 pounds on Thursday, while teammate Gray placed third at 72 kilos/158.5 lbs. Friday, joining fellow U.S. women’s teammate Alyssa Lampe who won a bronze medal at 48 kilos/105.5 lbs. on Wednesday. In men’s freestyle competition, Team USA’s Jordan Burroughs won his third straight gold medal on Wednesday at 74 kilos/163 lbs. to go with his 2011 World and 2012 Olympic gold. He was the only U.S. men’s freestyle wrestler to win a medal in Hungary.
Pirozhkova shut out Junior World champion Anastasia Bratchikova of Russia, 2-0, in the match for the bronze medal. She now owns World medals of every color, having won a silver medal at the 2010 Worlds, and gold in 2012.
"I'm just really happy I got a medal," Pirozhkova said. "I felt really good. I could've opened up a little more, but I got the job done. I wanted to win the gold, but I was happy to come back and win a bronze. I just need to keep building for the 2016 Olympics."
Gray got a decisive 8-2 win over Turkey’s Yasemin Adar in her bronze match. It was the third straight medal at the World Wrestling Championships for Gray, who had earned a gold medal in 2012 and a bronze in 2011.
"I'm supposed to be an Olympic champion and that's what I want to deliver in 2016," Gray said. "This wasn't the gold I wanted, but I'm still going to celebrate tonight."
Women’s freestyle competition ended Friday, with the U.S. placing third in the overall team standings, with 37 points. Japan came in first with 48 points; Mongolia was a close second with 47 points.
“We are proud of third, but we came in expecting more,” U.S. Coach Terry Steiner said. “I think five medals probably would’ve won this competition for us. We were very, very close, but we left some medals on the table. We can’t be satisfied and content with third. There is no doubt this team can win. We have to get back to work.”
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