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Kristie Marano still alive on final day of World Championships; McMann, Downing eliminated



GUANGZHOU, China - In a span of about 20 minutes, a day filled with an abundance of promise turned into a day of frustration and despair for the U.S. women's freestyle team.

World medalists Katie Downing, Kristie Marano and Sara McMann each suffered losses less than 90 minutes into the first session of the final day of the World Championships on Sunday at the Tianhe Sports Center.

Downing (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) fell 1-0, 1-0 to Masira Admiraal of the Netherlands in the second round at 67 kg/147.5 pounds. Downing, a 2005 World bronze medalist, was eliminated when Admiraal lost in the quarterfinals.

McMann (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) fell 1-0, 2-1 to Poland's Monika Rogien in the quarterfinals at 63 kg/138.75 pounds. McMann, who won World-level medals the past three years, was eliminated when Rogien lost in the semifinals.

Two-time World Champion Marano (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) was pinned late in the first period by five-time World Champion Kyoko Hamaguchi of Japan in the second round at 72 kg/158.5 pounds. Marano, a seven-time World medalist, will wrestle back in the Repechage on Sunday afternoon after Hamaguchi advanced to the finals.

The American women are in danger of matching their lowest medal total (one) since it started competing in this event in 1989. Patricia Miranda (New Haven, Conn./Sunkist Kids) won a bronze medal for the U.S. on Saturday.

"You can't win if you don't take shots," U.S. World Team coach Joe Corso said. "You have to take risks. Katie didn't open up. There was no commitment. Kristie faced a tough competitor. She has to wrestle smart. She got caught on the same move twice. These are vital mistakes you can't make. You have to make adjustments. Sara took long shots that were not there and her opponent spun around behind her. Sara got anxious. Some of our women are taking one shot, not wrestling in combinations."

"We have the talent. They are just not winning. I am disappointed in their performance. We didn't get the outcome. It is all about getting the mind right. We did everything to prepare physically. It was mentally where we fell short. We need to be able to attack. We have talented women. We just weren't at the top of our game.

In Downing's loss, neither wrestler scored in the first two minutes of both periods. Admiraal, who had never medaled in this event, won both coin flips and drove Downing out of bounds with a single to end the first and second periods.

Marano, who lost to Hamaguchi in the gold-medal match at the 1997, 1998 and 1999 World Championships, was caught early on a throw to trail 4-0. Marano tried an arm drag late in the first period and was caught and pinned with 13 seconds left.

"The match (against Hamaguchi) is the first time I got caught," Marano said. "I tried a drag. As I tried it, she cranked on my shoulder. I have a shoulder issue. Everything I practiced to protect it went out the window in the match."

"I don't think this match was much different than the others with her. I just got caught. I got worked up for the match. Everything else was working. I lost my mind a little out there."

Rogien, who had never medaled in this event, scored two takedowns in the first period and one in the second. Each time she countered a leg attack by McMann and used a go-behind to score the takedown.

The U.S. had eight overall medals (four in men's freestyle, three in Greco-Roman and one in women's freestyle) entering final day of the seven-day tournament.
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