Audrey Jimenez will return to Tucson from the 2021 Cadet World Championships at Hungary, Budapest, with a bronze medal in the 49 kg (108-pound) weight class after her technical fall win Thursday over Romania’s Delia Voiculescu.
Jimenez, a Sunnyside High School sophomore, defeated Voiculescu in 1:45 after generating a leg lace and operating two turns to reach the 10-0 victory.
Jimenez earned her second international medal — she won the U15 gold in the 2019 Pan Am Games — after rebounding from Wednesday’s 8-6 loss in the semifinals to Svenja Jungo of Switzerland.
“I was just wrestling to my best effort and scoring the next point,” Jimenez told FloWrestling about earning the bronze. “My semifinals match, I didn’t do that, so I was focusing on putting my full effort out there on my last match showing what I can do.”
Jimenez won four matches in the Cadet World Championships by technical fall using her potent leg-lace maneuver.
Jungo went on to lose by technical fall (11-0) in the gold-medal match to Mariia Yefremova of the Ukraine.
Audrey Jimenez shuts it down early in her🥉match and adds another piece of hardware to Team USA’s bag pic.twitter.com/UF8BJLc9mG
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) July 22, 2021
“I learned a lot (from the loss to Jungo) — it’s definitely not what I wanted,” said Jimenez, who tried to work her way back from 4-0 and 8-4 deficits to Jungo. “It was more of a mental loss. I wasn’t too focused out there. I kind of slowed my pace down when I thought I felt comfortable. I learned that I just need to keep pushing the pace and keep on trying to score the next point.
“I also learned not to put myself down if I am down in the match.”
She first defeated India’s Neha Chougale in only 34 seconds, needing one takedown before picking up four turns with the lace,
She then beat Kazakhstan’s Laura Ganikyzy in 1:03 after scoring two takedowns, making three turns on the second takedown with her lace for the victory.
The third opponent was Austria’s Sarah Lins, whom she defeated in 1:39. Jimenez again rolled Lins with her leg lace, scoring a takedown and two turns for a 6-0 lead. She then had two more takedowns.
Asked if she is happy with her performance, Jimenez answered, “I am happy. I learned a lot. I’m not complaining.”
Jimenez was recently ranked No. 1 in the nation among high school wrestlers at 106 pounds by The Open Mat coming off her state championship for Sunnyside. Jimenez made history becoming the first female in Tucson and Sunnyside to win a state championship.
Jimenez mentioned when she returns to Tucson she will continue training and preparing for the upcoming high school season, which begins in November.
Jimenez is being trained and coached by Sunnyside coach Anthony Leon, who traveled to Budapest with her. Leon has coached Sunnyside to four consecutive state titles.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District