Amit Elor repeats as world wrestling champion at age 19 before Olympic shift
Amit Elor, who last year became the youngest American to win an Olympic or world wrestling title, repeated as world champion at 72kg on Thursday.
Elor, 19, won her four matches over the last two days by a combined 33-4, one year after outscoring opponents 27-2 in her senior worlds debut. She defeated Davaanasan Enkh Amar of Mongolia 8-2 in the final in Belgrade.
Elor, born Jan. 1, 2004, was one day too young to be eligible for the Tokyo Olympic Trials.
Since, she won two senior world titles, plus five junior world titles among U17, U20 and U23 divisions. Last year alone, she won U20 worlds in August, senior worlds in September and U23 worlds in October. She is two-thirds of the way to another U20, senior, U23 three-peat this year.
“It’s an opportunity that I can’t miss,” Elor, the youngest of six siblings born in California to parents from Israel, said of competing so much. “You’re only eligible for age-group world championships for so long. ... Every time I go to world championships, any age group, I grow as a wrestler.”
If she makes the 2024 Olympic team, she is in line to become the youngest U.S. Olympic female wrestler in history, according to Olympedia.org.
But first, she must change weight classes as 72kg is not contested at the Olympics. She said Thursday that she is leaning to going down to 68kg rather than up to 76kg and will probably decide by January.
“That is a challenge for me to figure out which weight is best for my body,” she said. “Growing up, I almost never cut weight. My parents were against it. When I was younger, like 12 years old, I would go in a plus weight class and go with kids that were 30, 40 pounds heavier than me. I just want to take care of my body and not starve myself, not dehydrate myself.”
American Tamyra Mensah-Stock won the Tokyo Olympic 68kg title, plus world titles at the weight in 2019 and 2022. But Mensah-Stock announced a retirement from wrestling in May to sign with the WWE.
Emma Bruntil, the new top American at 68kg, lost a bronze-medal match at worlds later Thursday. If she had won, she would have earned a bye into the Olympic Trials finals at the weight as a reigning world medalist.
NBC Sports’ Nina Weiss contributed to this report from Belgrade.