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|Gray, Carlson & Mango weigh in and receive draws at World Championships in Hungary|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
World Champion Adeline Gray is shown in victory at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials. Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers Are Warriors photo
BUDAPEST, Hungary – The final two U.S. women wrestlers and the first U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler have weighed in and received their draws for the fifth day of the World Wrestling Championships on Friday.
2012 World Champion Adeline Gray looks for a second straight World title. This year, she is competing up one weight class at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Last fall, she won her World title at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. She was also a 2011 World silver medalist at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Gray will face Andrea Alaya Gutierrez of Colombia, who was third in 2013 Pan American Championships.
She is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete, who grew up in the Denver area. She attends UCCS.
“Adeline is one of those people who have an incredible amount of belief in herself. She is moving up a weight, but she is not a small 72 kg. She has very high expectations. When the lights are on, Adeline is a performer. She has won at every level. She is a Junior World champion, a University World champion and a Senior World champion. That doesn’t just happen. She has to let that shine,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner.
Competing in her first Senior World Championships is Veronica Carlson at 67 kg/147.5 lbs., who drew Nadia Anter of Egypt, who was second in the 2013 Mediterranean Games.
Carlson was second at the 2009 Junior World Championships and fifth at the 2013 World University Games. She is also a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.
“Veronica is physically strong and has a few things she does exceptionally well. The key for her tomorrow is if she stays in her areas. If she stays in the realm she is comfortable in, she is very effective. The key is to be disciplined and to open up at key points,” said Steiner.
The Greco-Roman competition opens on Friday with one weight class, the 55 kg/121 lbs. division. The USA will be represented by two-time Olympian Spenser Mango, who opens against. Jani Haapamaki of Finland. Haapamaki was fifth in 2004 and 2008 European Championships and seventh in the 2010 World Championships.
Mango has competed on the last six U.S. teams, including two Olympic teams and four U.S. World teams. He seeks his first World-level medal.
“The training for Spenser has been outstanding. I am really, really happy with Spenser’s preparation all year, especially the last month or two. He is making very good improvements on his feet and in par terre. He deserves to win his medal. I am very confident that he will wrestle his best,” said National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser.
Fraser feels good about his American team, which is a mix of veterans and talented newcomers.
“We’ve had really good training. The team is in great spirits. We had just enough training, not too much. I am excited about what is going to happen. We are ready to go,” said Fraser.
WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Budapest, Hungary
U.S. Women’s Freestyle draws for Friday
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Veronica Carlson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
Vs. Nadia Anter (Egypt), 2nd in 2013 Mediterranean Games
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC)
Vs. Andrea Alaya Gutierrez (Colombia), 3rd in 2013 Pan American Championships
U.S. Greco-Roman draws for Friday
55 kg/121 lbs. – Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
Vs. Jani Haapamaki (Finland), 5th in 2004 and 2008 European Championships; 7th in 2010 World Championships