USA Wrestling

Aug 14 UPDATED Pirozkhova wins gold and Bernard wins bronze at Poland Open

By Gary Abbott | Aug. 14, 2009, 3:41 p.m. (ET)
U.S. coach Keith Wilson and Polish Open champion Elena Pirozkhova stand atop the awards podium with gold medals. Ikuo Higuchi photo

WARSAW, Poland - 2009 U.S. World Team member Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) won a gold medal at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. on the first day of competition at the Poland Open.

Competitors from most of the world's most successful women's wrestling programs are entered in this prestigious pre-World Championships tuneup event.

Pirozkhova defeated 2007 Junior World champion Yulia Ostapchuk of Ukraine in the championship finals on Thursday night, 3-1, 1-0.

To reach the finals, Pirozkhova beat three talented opponents. She opened by defeating 2008 University World champion Justine Bouchard of Canada, 0-1, 3-1, 1-0. In the second round, she beat 2008 Junior World silver medalist Paulina Grabowska of Poland, 2-0, 1-0. Her semifinals win was against two-time World bronze medalist Monika Mihalik-Rogien of Poland, 1-0, 1-0.

Pirozhkova, a 2008 University World champion, was eighth in the 2008 World Championships for the United States. She is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.

At 72 kg/158.5 lbs., 2008 Olympian and 2009 U.S. World Team member Ali Bernard (New Ulm, Minn./Gator WC) won a bronze medal.

Bernard opened the tournament with a victory over 2009 European silver medalist Alena Starodubsteva of Russia, 2-0, 3-2. In the next round, Bernard lost to 2007 Junior World silver medalist Ekatarina Bukina of Russia, 6-5, 2-5, 1-3. When Bukina reached the gold-medal finals, where she will face 2008 World champion Stanka Zlateva of Bulgaria, Bernard was pulled back into the repechage rounds.

Bernard defeated Preetkaur Gursharan of India, 3-0, 2-0 in her first repechage match. She then won her bronze-medal match against 2006 Junior World champion Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus, 4-3, 4-2.

Bernard is a two-time Junior World champion and three-time Junior World medalist.

Four other U.S. athletes will weigh in Thursday and will compete on Friday: Jessica Medina (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., Deanna Rix (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 59 kg/130 lbs., Leigh Jaynes (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Kelsey Campbell (Milwaukie, Ore./Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs.

Held alongside the Poland Open is the Ziolkowski International, a Senior men's freestyle tournament. A U.S. team of University-age athletes has entered. Three U.S. team members dropped matches in the preliminary rounds and were eliminated: Zach Sanders (Wabasha, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J./Minnesota Storm) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Clayton Foster (Kamiah, Idaho/Gator WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

POLAND OPEN
At Warsaw, Poland, August 13


Women's results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Maria Stadnyk (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Lorisa Oorzhak (Russia)
Bronze - Lyudmula Balushka (Ukraine)
Bronze - Anna Lukasiak (Poland)
5th - Sarianne Savola (Finland)
5th - Malgorzata Swierk (Poland)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Malgorzata Kruza (Poland)
Silver - Natalya Synyshyn (Ukraine)
Bronze - Sylwia Bilenska (Poland)
Bronze - Valentina Minguzzi (Italy)
5th - Gudrun Hoie (Norway)
5th - Juliya Ratkevich (Azerbaijan)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold - Elena Pirozkhova (USA)
Silver - Yuliya Ostapchuk (Ukraine)
Bronze - Justine Bouchard (Canada)
Bronze - Diana Maria (Italy)
5th - Monika Mihalik (Poland)
5th - Suman Kundu (India)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gold - Stanka Zlateva (Bulgaria)
Silver - Ekatarina Bukina (Russia)
Bronze - Guzel Manurova (Russia)
Bronze - Ali Bernard (USA)
5th - Kyoko Hamaguchi (Japan)
5th - Vasilisa Marzaliuk (Belarus)

U.S. women's freestyle performances

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 1st
WIN Justine Bouchard (Canada), 0-1, 3-1, 1-0
WIN Paulina Grabowska (Poland), 2-0, 1-0
WIN Monika Mihalik-Rogien (Poland), 1-0, 1-0
WIN Yulia Ostapchuk (Ukraine), 3-1, 1-0

72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Ali Bernard, New Ulm, Minn (Gator WC), 3rd
WIN Alena Starodubsteva (Russia) 2-0, 3-2
LOSS Ekatarina Bukina (Russia), 6-5, 2-5, 1-3
WIN Preetkaur Gursharan (India), 3-0, 2-0
WIN Vasilisa Marzaliuk (Belarus), 4-3, 4-2

U.S. women's draws for first round on Friday

51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Jessica Medina, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
vs. Roksana Zasina (Poland)

59 kg/130 lbs. - Deanna Rix, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
vs. Johanna Mattsson (Sweden)

55 kg/121 lbs. - Leigh Jaynes, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
vs. Margarita Fatkulina (Russia)

59 kg/130 lbs. - Kelsey Campbell, Milwaukie, Ore. (Sunkist Kids)
vs. Yvonne Englich (Germany)

ZIOLKOWSKI INTERNATIONAL
At Warsaw, Poland, August 13


Men's freestyle results

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Victor Lebedev (Russia)
Silver - Abbas Dabbaghi (Iran)
Bronze - Mykola Aivazian (Ukraine)
Bronze - Konon Matarkin (Russia)
5th - Francisco Sanchez (Spain)
5th - Besarion Cochasvili (Georgia)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Mehdi Taghavi (Iran)
Silver - Ramazan Sahin (Turkey)
Bronze - Chalva Abajev (Georgia)
Bronze - Albert Batyrav (Belarus)
5th - Vadimir Vilmov (Russia)
5th - Nikolai Kurttei (Bulgaria)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Khadimurad Gatsalov (Russia)
Silver - Saied Abrahimi (Iran)
Bronze - Ruslan Sheikav (Belarus)
Bronze - Edgar Yenokyan (Armenia)
5th - Radoslaw Baran (Poland)
5th - Valerii Adtittsev (Ukraine)

U.S. men's freestyle performances

55 kg/121 lbs. - Zach Sanders, Wabasha, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
LOSS Besarian Gochashvili (Georgia), 0-2, 0-4

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Mario Mason, Moorestown, N.J. (Minnesota Storm)
LOSS Abajev (Georgia), 2-1, 0-3, 0-5

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Clayton Foster, Kamiah, Idaho (Gator WC)
WIN Belduki Gavasheleshvili (Georgia), forfeit
LOSS Radoslaw Baran (Poland), 2-0, 1-1, 1-1

U.S. men's draws for first round on Friday

60 kg/132 lbs. - Reece Humphrey, Indianapolis, Ind. (Ohio State)
vs. Mustafa Kartal (Turkey)

74 kg/163 lbs. - Jon Reader, Davison, Mich. (Cyclone WC)
vs. Abulkhahim Shapiyev (Kazakhstan)

74 kg/163 lbs. - Lloyd Rogers, Chattanooga, Tenn. (Sunkist Kids)
vs. Akzhurek Tanatarov (Kazakhstan)

84 kg/185 lbs. - Zach Giesen, Grants Pass, Ore. (DSWC)
vs. Bartosz Sofinski (Poland)

84 kg/185 lbs. - Mike Tamillow, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
vs. Harutyun Yenokyan (Armenia)

120kg/264.5 lbs. - Ryan Tomei, Irwin, Pa. (Pitt)
vs. Dimitar Kumchev (Bulgaria)

120kg/264.5 lbs. - Zach Rey, Hopatcong, N.J. (Lehigh Valley AC)
vs. Fatih Cakiroglu (Turkey)
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