Gray Navigates Star-Studded Field to Take Gold at RIO 2016 Test Event

By Tim Foley

RIO DE JANEIRO (January 31) – Adeline GRAY (USA) needed two comeback victories and a little luck, but when the curtain fell at the Arena Carioca 1 the reigning world champion proved she is still the woman-to-beat at 75kg. 

In what was originally supposed to be a modest field, the 75kg women’s weight class ballooned into a meeting of the world’s top talent. In addition to reigning world champion Gray, 2014 world silver medalist ZHOU Qian (CHN), 2013 world silver medalist Aline Da SILVA (BRA), 2013 world champion ZHOU Fengliu (CHN) and former world No.1 Erica WEIBE (CAN) all battled for gold at the RIO 2016 Test Event.

Gray’s first match pitted her against Da Silva, who battled her to a competitive 2-0 finish. Next came a rematch of last year’s world championship final against Zhou. The Chinese wrestler opened with a front headlock and 4-0 lead, which she quickly built into a 7-1 advantage at the start of the second period with a masterful go behind. But with two minutes remaining Gray found a takedown which she then turned into an almost incomprehensibly tight leg lace that she was able to repeat seven times and end the match in an unlikely 17-7 technical fall.

Gray’s long day ended with a back-and-forth match against northerly neighbor Weibe, which ended in a 7-4 advantage for the American.

China had another impressive day on the mats, placing two in the finals at 53kg with 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist ZHONG Xuechun (CHN) taking on teammate LI Hui (CHN). The coaching staff for China didn’t corner the competitors and the match drifted into a lopsided, if defensive affair with Zhong taking the bout 6-1.

Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN) continued to show improvement, beating a game WANG Xiaoqian (CHN), 5-4 in the finals at 63kg,

The RIO 20156 Test Event concluded after two days of competition. A full report, including a review of all referee codes, travel details and competition instructions will be posted in the next few weeks.

Women’s Wrestling --53kg
GOLD: ZHONG Xuechun (CHN) df. LI Hui (CHN), 6-1

Women’s Wrestling -- 63kg
GOLD: Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN) df. WANG Xiaoqian (CHN), 5-4
BRONZE: Lais NUNES de OLIVEIRA (BRA) df. Dailane GOMES dos REIS (BRA), 3-1
BRONZE: Erin CLODGO (USA) df. Valeriia LAZINSKAIA (RUS), 5-4

Women’s Wrestling – 75kg
GOLD: Adeline GRAY (USA) df. Erica WEIBE (CAN), 7-4
BRONZE: ZHANG Fengliu (CHN) df. Keila Cristiana SILVA (BRA) by TF, 10-0
BRONZE: Aline da SILVA FERREIRA (BRA) df. ZHOU Qian (CHN) by Defalut

روز طولانی گری با مبارزه با همسایه شمالی یعنی ویبه از کانادا به پایان رسید که کشتی گیر آمریکایی با نتیجه 7 بر 4 برنده این مسابقه بود.

چین با داشتن دو فینالیست دیگر در وزن 53 کیلوگرم روز خوبی داشت و ژونگ ژچون نفر سوم بازیهای آسیایی 2014 موفق شد هموطنش لی هوی را در فینال مغلوب کند.  این در حالی بود که مربیان چینی در کوچ هیچ کدام از این دو ننشستند و در نهایت مسابقه 6 بر یک به سود ژونگ تمام شد.

دانیل لاپیج از کانادا با برتری 5 بر 4 مقابل وانگ ژیائو کیان از چین در فینال 63 کیلوگرم نشان داد که حرکت رو به جلویی دارد.

در روز نخست این مسابقات نیز سان یان یان از چین در 48 کیلوگرم، ساکانو یوی از ژاپن در 58 کیلوگرم و ژو فنگ از چین در 69 کیلوگرم به مدال طلا رسیده بودند.