On the first day of women’s finals at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway, the U.S. reached the podium twice thanks to Jenna Burkert and Kayla Miracle.
After losing in her first match of the competition, Burkert worked her way back through the 55kg repechage bracket to win bronze, defeating Pinki of India. It marked Burkert’s first world medal in her fourth world championship appearance. (Video of Burkert’s bronze medal match is embedded above.)
Earlier this year, Burkert missed out on making the U.S. team for Tokyo, losing to 2016 Olympic gold medalist Helen Maroulis 2-1 in the best-of-three finals at U.S. Olympic Trials. Burkert was competing at Trials just a week after her mother died from complications from open-heart surgery.
Miracle claimed silver in the women’s 62kg weight class, falling to Olympic silver medalist Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the gold medal match.
The U.S. women are guaranteed to win at least two more medals on Wednesday as both Adeline Gray and Sarah Hildebrandt reached the gold medal matches in their weight classes (76kg and 50kg, respectively), while Forrest Molinari will wrestle for bronze at 65kg.
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Gray, who won Olympic silver in Tokyo, could become the first American wrestler (of any gender, in any style) to win six world titles. In 2019, she became the first U.S. wrestler to claim five – a record that Jordan Burroughs matched earlier this week. So far in Oslo, Gray has pinned all three of her opponents.
UPDATE: Adeline Gray becomes first U.S. wrestler to win six world titles
The final four U.S. women – Tamyra Mensah-Stock, Helen Maroulis, Maya Nelson, and Kylie Welker – will be begin competition on Wednesday.
Women’s Wrestling Coverage at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships
- Wednesday, October 6: 12pm-2pm ET – Finals LIVE on Olympic Channel
- Thursday, October 7: 12pm-2pm ET – Finals LIVE on Olympic Channel
- Friday, October 8: 12pm-2pm ET – Finals LIVE on Olympic Channel
Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC