Maroulis aims for historic first Olympic gold, Pirozhkova in for bronze, Gray upset in women’s freestyle

RIO DE JANEIRO – On the fifth day of wrestling at the Olympic Games the U.S. has broken through and guaranteed itself at least one women’s freestyle medal with Helen Maroulis storming to the 53 kg gold medal match and Elena Pirozhkova wrestling for 63 kg bronze tonight.

Maroulis ran the gauntlet of top contenders on Thursday morning inside Carioca Arena 2. The 2015 World champion downed World No. 8 Yulia Khavaldzhy Blahinya of Ukraine, World No. 4 Xuechun Zhong of China, World No. 5 Myong Suk Jong of DPR Korea and World No. 2 Sofia Mattsson of Sweden to clinch a finals berth.

“Helen is wrestling awesome,” said U.S. head coach Terry Steiner. “She had to pull that match out against North Korea. She did a great job just fighting for points out there. Against Mattsson, who is a very talented girl, she had her completely off-balance the whole time. She dominated that match from start to finish.” Continue reading at