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Pirozhkova earns World bronze medal

9/19/2013
Craig Sesker, USA Wrestling

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Elena Pirozhkova added a bronze to her impressive medal collection at the World Wrestling Championships.

Elena Pirozhkova has now won World gold, silver, and bronze medals (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Pirozhkova scored a first-period takedown and completely shut down Junior World champion Anastasia Bratchikova of Russia in a 2-0 win in the bronze match Thursday night at Papp Laszlo Sports Arena.

"I'm just really happy I got a medal," Pirozhkova said. "I felt really good. I could've opened up a little more, but I got the job done. I wanted to win the gold, but I was happy to come back and win a bronze. I just need to keep building for the 2016 Olympics."

Pirozhkova now owns World medals of every color. She captured a World silver medal in 2010 and a World gold medal in 2012 in women's freestyle wrestling at 63 kilos/138.75 pounds.

"Elena looked really solid," U.S. Coach Terry Steiner said. "Her positioning was very good and she did a good job of pressuring her opponent."

The U.S. women now have two bronze medals in this event after Alyssa Lampe won bronze on Wednesday.

The U.S. is in third place in the team standings with 28 points. Japan leads with 38 points and Mongolia is in second with 31 points with two weight classes left to be contested on Friday.

Americans Helen Maroulis and Alli Ragan fell short of the medal round on Thursday.

Maroulis lost by first-period fall to Bulgaria's Maya Hristova in the repechage to come up one match short of the bronze-medal bout at 55 kilos/121 pounds.

Ragan dropped a 3-2 decision to Japan's Ayaka Ito in the quarterfinals at 59 kilos/130 pounds. Ragan was eliminated when Ito was pinned by Hungary's Marianna Sastin in the semifinals.

Champions crowned on Thursday were Japan's Saori Yoshida at 55 kilos/121 pounds, Japan's Kaori Icho at 63 kilos/138.75 pounds and Hungary's Marianna Sastin at 59 kilos/130 pounds.

Yoshida captured her record 11th World title. She owns three Olympic gold medals. Icho won her eighth World title. She also has won three Olympic titles.

Day 5 of the seven-day event is set for Friday in Budapest. World champion Adeline Gray and Junior World silver medalist Veronica Carlson are set to take the mat for the U.S. in women's freestyle along with two-time Olympian Spenser Mango in Greco-Roman.

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