Japan Advances Five to #Zagreb2018 Semifinals, USA Has Four

By Taylor Miller

ZAGREB, Croatia – Women’s freestyle powerhouse Japan put wrestlers in all five of Thursday night’s Cadet World semifinals in Zagreb, Croatia. USA follows closely behind with four advancing to tonight’s semis.

Other countries to land multiple semifinalists after Thursday morning’s session are China with three and India with two.

At 40 kg, Karin UEMATSU (JPN), who finished 5th at the 2017 Cadet Asian Championships, will face 2018 Cadet Asian champion Muno SAMIEVA (UZB).

On the other side of the bracket, 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist and 2017 European runner-up Luchana BEKBAULOVA (RUS) will face off against 2016 Schoolboy/girl Pan American champion Sterling DIAS (USA).

The 46 kg semifinals feature two Cadet Asian medalists.

Otgonjarga DOLGORJAV (MGL), who won bronze at this year’s continentals, will see Olivia SHORE (USA) in the semis. Shore is making her second Cadet World appearance.

The bottom semi will pit 2018 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Kalmira BILIMBEK (KGZ) against Sakura MOTOKI (JPN).

Cadet Asian champion Zhaojing SHI (CHN) highlights the semifinals at 53 kg. She will take on Mako OONO (JPN) tonight, while Meenakhsi MEENAKHSI (IND), who took fourth at Asian Championships, has Leilah CASTRO (USA) on the opposite side.

At 61 kg, Anshu ANSHU (IND) seeks out her second-straight Cadet World title and third-consecutive World medal after a 2017 gold-medal showing and a 2016 bronze finish. In the semifinals, Anshu will wrestle Qin ZHAO (CHN), the sixth-place finisher at the 2018 Cadet Asian Championships.

In the other semifinal at the weight, Rito TAKAYAMA (JPN) will challenge Antonyna KULAKHINA (UKR), the 2018 Cadet European champion.

Macey KILTY (USA) is back on the World stage after a 2016 medal-winning performance, taking third. Tonight, she’ll take on two-time Asian medalist and 2018 Cadet Asian champion Mengwei ZHANG (CHN) in the 69 kg semis.

Opposite of them, 2017 Cadet Nordic champion and 2018 Cadet European bronze medalist Julia FRIDLUND (SWE) will do battle with Rin TERAMOTO (JPN).

The semifinals will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET, followed by the medal matches from yesterday’s five weights at 12 p.m. ET live on unitedworldwrestling.com.

Semifinals pairings

40 kg
Luchana BEKBAULOVA (RUS) vs. Sterling DIAS (USA)

46 kg
Olivia SHORE (USA) vs. Otgonjarga DOLGORJAV (MGL)
Kalmira BILIMBEK (KGZ) vs. Sakura MOTOKI (JPN)

53 kg
Zhaojing SHI (CHN) vs. Mako OONO (JPN)
Leilah CASTRO (USA) vs. Meenakhsi MEENAKHSI (IND)

61 kg
Qin ZHAO (CHN) vs. Anshu ANSHU (IND)

69 kg
Mengwei ZHANG (CHN) vs. Macey KILTY (USA)