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Pools drawn for Women’s World Cup in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on March 1-3

The pools have been drawn for this weekend’s Women’s World Cup, taking place Saturday and Sunday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Athletes weigh-in on Friday. Session 1 will begin Saturday and final matches will take place Sunday.

The World Cup is an international dual meet championship featuring the top eight nations in the world.

In Pool A is the United States, set to compete against China, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Leading this year’s U.S. team is Elena Pirozhkova, who was the 2012 World champion and also served on the 2012 Olympic Team. In 2010 she won gold at the World University Championships and silver at the World Championships.

Other World medalists competing for the USA are 2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis at 55 kg and 2012 World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe at 48 kg. Two-time World Team member Jessica Medina at 51 kg and Junior World medalists Veronica Carlson at 67 kg and Alli Ragan at 59 kg are also set to weigh-in today.

The team to beat in Pool A could be China, which features four World medalists and two defending World Cup champions. Leading team China is 2010 Junior World champion and 2012 World silver medalist Yanan Sun at 48 kg. World silver medalists Haiyan Xu at 67 kg and Fengliu Zhang and Yan Hong at 72 kg will also be competing for China. Xu was a 2008 Olympian and is a defending World Cup champion and Hong won bronze at the 2012 World Championships. Hui Li will also be defending her World Cup title at 59 kg this weekend.

China most recently won the Women’s World Cup in 2010 and 2011, beating the USA in both finals.

Zhuldyz Eshimova is a star athlete competing for Team Kazakhstan at 51 kg this weekend. Eshimova was a 2008 World silver medalist, 2011 World bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian. Also competing for Kazakhstan will be Junior World medalists Zulfiya Yakhyarova at 48 kg and Elmira Syzdykova at 72 kg. Six-time World Team member and 2008 Olympian Tatyana Amanzhol-Bakatyuk at 51 kg and other former World Team members Akziya Dautbayeva at 55 kg, Lyudmila Mironova at 59 kg and Darya Khamdiyeva at 63 kg will also compete.

Finally in Pool A, Team Belarus boasts 2012 Junior World champion Anastasiya Huchok at 63 kg. Also on the team are former World Team members Alina Ryzhova at 48 kg, Katsiaryna Hanchar at 55 kg and Nadzeya Mikhalkova at 59 kg.

Competing in Pool B on Saturday will be Canada, Mongolia, Japan and India. The top teams from each pool will compete for first place on Sunday; second place pool winners will compete for third place, and so on.
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