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American Helen Maroulis lands spot in finals at Women's World Championships

Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
09/28/2012


Helen Maroulis takes control in her semifinal win at the Women’s World Championships. Ikuo Higuchi photo.

SHERWOOD PARK, Canada – American Helen Maroulis has advanced to the finals of the FILA Women’s World Championships.

Maroulis was dominant in rolling past Canada’s Brittanee Laverdure 5-0, 4-2 in the semifinals on Friday afternoon at Millennium Place.

Maroulis, fifth in the 2011 World championships, now advances to face Japanese legend Saori Yoshida in the women's freestyle finals at 55 kg/121 lbs. The medal matches are set for 7 p.m. Mountain Time with Maroulis expected to compete around 7:20.

Yoshida has won a total of 12 Olympic and World titles with nine World and three Olympic gold medals. She is looking to break the all-time international wrestling record she shares with Russia’s Alexander Karelin, who won nine World and three Olympic titles in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Maroulis has come back strong after finishing second earlier this year in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She lost to Yoshida by a first-period fall in the 2011 World Championships.

Maroulis, 21, a native of Rockville, Md., wins her first World-level medal on the Senior level. She has captured a Junior World silver medal and two Junior World bronze medals. Maroulis attends Simon Fraser University in Canada and wrestles for the New York Athletic Club.

The U.S. has its second World finalist in as many days after Adeline Gray won a World gold medal on Thursday night. American Alyssa Lampe captured a World bronze medal on Thursday.

American Iris Smith dropped her first match to Ukraine’s Oksana Vashchuk at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Vashchuk prevailed 3-0, 1-0. Smith was eliminated when Vashchuk lost her next match.

Smith was competing in her first World Championships since she won a World title in 2005.

The conclusion of the three-day event is set for Saturday in Canada. Americans Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) and Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) are scheduled to compete.

Chun, a 2008 World champion, is coming off a bronze-medal performance at last month’s Olympic Games in London. She competes at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.

Pirozhkova, a 2012 Olympian, won a World silver medal in 2010. She competes at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

Competition is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Mountain Time on Saturday with the medal matches set for 5 p.m.

FILA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sherwood Park, Canada

Finals matchups

55 kg/121 lbs.
Saori Yoshida (Japan) vs. Helen Maroulis (USA)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Guzel Manyurova (Kazakhstan) vs. Jenny Fransson (Sweden)

U.S. performances

55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC)
WIN Nadeshda Mikhalkova (Belarus), 3-0, fall 1:04
WIN Maria Prevolaraki (Greece), 3-0, 2-0
WIN Brittanee Laverdure (Canada), 5-0, 4-2
vs. Saori Yoshida (Japan) in gold-medal match

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
LOSS Oksana Vashchuk (Ukraine), 0-3, 0-1
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