Greenfield’s Elena Pirozhkova falls in bronze medal wrestling match in Rio

  • Kazakhstan's Yekaterina Larionova, top, competes against United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova during the bronze medal round of the women's 63-kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Markus Schreiber

  • Kazakhstan's Yekaterina Larionova celebrates after beating United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova for the bronze during the women's wrestling freestyle 63-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

  • Kazakhstan's Yekaterina Larionova, top, competes against United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova during the bronze medal round of the women's 63-kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Markus Schreiber

  • Bulgaria's Taybe Mustafa Yusein. left, and United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova compete during the women's wrestling freestyle 63-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

  • United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova, red, competes against Bulgaria's Taybe Mustafa Yusein during the women's 63-kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Markus Schreiber

  • United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova, right, competes with Belarus' Maryia Mamashuk during the women's wrestling freestyle 63-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

  • United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova, left, competes with Belarus' Maryia Mamashuk during the women's wrestling freestyle 63-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

  • United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova, right, competes with Belarus' Maryia Mamashuk during the women's wrestling freestyle 63-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

  • United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova, red, competes against Bulgaria's Taybe Mustafa Yusein during the women's 63-kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Markus Schreiber

  • Bulgaria's Taybe Mustafa Yusein. left, and United States' Elena Sergey Pirozhkova compete during the women's wrestling freestyle 63-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel

Recorder Staff
Published: 8/18/2016 9:37:29 PM

Greenfield’s Elena Pirozhkova was three minutes away from earning a bronze medal when Yekaterina Larionova of Kazakhstan crashed the party.

Larionova recorded a critical takedown and eventually pinned Pirozhkova at 3 minutes, 55 seconds in their bronze medal bout of the 63-kilogram (138 pounds) freestyle class of the Olympic wrestling tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Although she didn’t win a medal, it was still a successful day for Pirozhkova, who posted a 2-2 record and finished tied for fifth overall out of 19 competitors in that weight class.

Pirozhkova lost her opening match and did not place in her Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games.

Pirozhkova had earned the first point of the match just after the 2-minute mark, then scored a takedown right before the break to take a 3-0 lead. Larionova came out of the break on the offensive, threw Pirozhkova on her back for a takedown and subsequently scored two more points to take a 4-3 lead before registering the pin.

“I knew she was a thrower,” Pirozhkova said. “I know she will give up points just trying to throw, throw, throw. When she threw me, I thought I stepped out far enough. This is really hard. I thought I was going to win.”

Pirozhkova opened the competition against Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria and posted an exciting 10-7 victory. She was trailing 4-2 after 4 minutes but reeled off four consecutive crotch lifts in a span of 16 seconds for eight points that produced a commanding 10-4 lead. She then held off a brief rally by Yusein to post her first career Olympic victory.

Perhaps one of the bigger highlights of the tournament occurred in Pirozhkova’s quarterfinal match, when she upset reigning world champion Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia, 3-2, to advance to the semifinals.

Pirozhkova’s gold medal hopes were dashed when she fell 3-2 to Maria Mamshuk of Belarus, who won the European championship at 69 kilogram.

Risako Kawai of Japan defeated Mamshuk, 6-0, to win the gold medal.

Pirozhkova, 29, entered the Olympics as the veteran member of the U.S. squad. She had qualified for every World-Championships team since 2008 and captured four medals, including one gold.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy