Helen Maroulis competes in the women’s class 57kg final of the 2021 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships on Oct. 7, 2021 in Oslo, Norway.
Two-time Olympian Helen Maroulis has had quite the journey over the past five years.
From becoming the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold in wrestling to dealing with debilitating injuries and nearly leaving the sport to mounting a comeback that led to Olympic bronze this year, the 30-year-old has experienced enough highs and lows for a lifetime.
That journey led her back to the top on Thursday.
Maroulis earned her third world title, and first since 2017, when she beat India’s Anshu Malik for gold in the 57 kg. class at the World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway. Olympic champion Tamyra Mensah Stock won bronze for the U.S. on the third and final day of women’s medal matches.
Malik got a shot clock point and held that 1-0 lead at the break, but Maroulis opened the second half with a spin-behind takedown for a 2-1 lead. With two minutes left in the match, Maroulis pinned her opponent for the title. She now has five world championship medals.
Mensah Stock crushed the second period of her bout against Czech Republic’s Adela Hanzlickova for the bronze medal at 68 kg. Despite Hanzlickova taking a 1-0 lead, it was all Mensah Stock from that point forward. She led, 4-1, at the break on a pair of takedowns and with 30 seconds remaining she held an 8-1 lead. She finished with a 10-1 victory.
Maya Nelson wrestled for a bronze medal at 59 kg. for a spectacular showing at her first-ever senior world championships. She took a 3-0 lead against Mongolia’s Baatarjavyn Shoovdor, but then took an injury timeout and that opened the door for Shoovdor. She scored on a pair of takedowns and finished with a 4-3 victory. Nelson finished fifth overall.
In total, U.S. women won seven medals, adding to Team USA’s leading total of 14. In team rankings, the Team USA women finished second with 147 points behind Japan with 196. The World Wrestling Championships conclude Sunday after three days of finals in Greco-Roman.