NEW YORK — U.S. wrestlers rebounded from a difficult start to win nine straight matches in the third session of the World Freestyle Championships on Saturday.
Jamill Kelley lost a 10-0 technical superiority to Cuba's Serguei Rondon Pedrosa early in the second day of the competition, but the United States rallied and dominated the rest of the session.
Daniel Cormier and Kristie Marano helped lift the Americans by overwhelming their opponents simultaneously on side-by-side mats. Marano pinned Japan's Nori Saito in 2:13, and Cormier completed his 10-0 technical fall over Ricard Pauliukonis of Lithuania in just 2:58.
Cormier pounded his chest to the delight of a group of U.S. fans.
"I think we fed off each other," Marano said. "It was great."
Later, Kerry McCoy pinned Azerbaijan's Mahammadov Davud Abdulla in 2:32, rolling a near-side cradle after a single leg takedown.
A split in the last two matches Friday between wrestlers from the United States and Iran kept the U.S. team from having a perfect opening day at Madison Square Garden.
U.S. wrestlers had won their first 20 matches in the two sessions of pool competition before the two highly anticipated matchups between American and Iranian wrestlers.
Other American wins Saturday included Patricia Miranda's 11-0 technical fall over Spain's M. Del Mar Peralta Osuna at 105 pounds; Jenny Wong's 6-1 decision over Canada's Teresa Piotrowski at 112 pounds; Sally Roberts' 5-0 victory over Spain's Seba Jimenez Valderrama at 130; Tina George's 10-2 decision over Krygyzstan's Elvira Rasulova-Mursalova at 121; Sara McMann taking a 10-0 technical fall from Latvias Kristine Ordina at 138; and Joe Williams pinning Venezuela's Jhonny Cedeno at 4:51.
The top 10 men and five women in each division qualify their nation for the Athens Games, the first Olympics to feature women's wrestling.