Young wrestler takes 1st place in world contest

HONOLULU — A new world wrestling champion is a 9-year-old Hawaii girl.

Kaiulani Diamond Kekahuna of Waianae, Oahu, won first place April 17 at the World of Wrestling 2021 Reno Worlds in the 65-pound weight class.

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The third-grader at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama campus competed in the 9 and younger division. She defeated Mireya Barraza of New Mexico in the quarterfinal, Harley Miller of Oklahoma in the semifinal and Mylah Henebry of Idaho in the final.

She is trained in folk style, freestyle and Roman Greco wrestling by the Golden Back wrestling club.

Her coach and father, Keli‘imana Kekahuna, said the young wrestler prepares for tournaments by wrestling the best Hawaii male competitors in her weight class.

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Kaiulani has been wrestling since she was 3 years old in a family where everyone has been involved in mixed martial arts.

She hopes to make it to the Olympics someday.

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