To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By Ikuo Higuchi

(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee

Kyoko Hamaguchi and Cristine Nordhagen fought in Japan
 Kyoko Hamaguchi, a three-time world champion, revenged Cristine Nordhagen, a last year's 75kg world champion, Canada, during the camp of the Japanese national team in Japan on 21-26 August and she will fight with strong confident at the World Championships in New York on 27-29 September.

  The Canada national team came to Japan to train on 14 August. After training at Chukyo Women's University in Aichi prefecture, they joined the Japanese national team at Tokamachi city in Niigata prefecture on 21. Kyoko Hamaguchi and Cristine Nordhagen met there after one year. They enjoyed re-meeting like a sisiter and trained together.

  Nordhagen was a 68kg world champion and Hamaguchi was a 75kg world chmpion in 1998. Since Nordhagen went up to 75kg for her challenge next year, two world champion fought together at the semi-final at 75kg. Hamaguchi beat the great Canadian wrestler by 5-3 and got a valuer world champion. However Nordhagen beat Hamaguchi by 8-4 at the semi-final in the 2000 world championships.

 Nordhagen will particate at 68kg this year, so they won't compete together in New York. When Hamaguchi knew this fact, she was very disappointed because she lost the oppotunity of revenging Nordhagen. But this time she could get the chance to fight against Nordahagen. She became to be very happy and burned her fighting spirit.

  When the sparring started, Hamaguchi's eyes changed to those of a wild animal. There weren't any cheering parties and any referees. The rule was respests for their opponent. The result would remained in only their minds, not in any documents in wrestling comunities. Hamaguchi attacked the greatest and strongest opponent, she thinks, positively and exceeded her. She never lost any points.

  Hamaguchi said, "I didin't expect to fight against Nordhagen, but I wanted to do even if a sparring. It is very lucky for me. (By beating her) I could prove my training in this one year is right. I am very happy to meet her here and fight against the current world champion." Since they won't fight together this year, Hamaguchi has more feeling of the best senior and freind than that of a rival to Nordhagen.

 Both wrestlers sweared the victories in the World championshoips in New York on 29 September. Madison Square Garden was the palace for pro-wrestlers. Hamaguchi's father, Heigo "Animal" Hamaguchi, who was a famous pro-wrestler, aspired to fight, but he never fought there. Kyoko Hamaguchi will burn her all passion to come true her father's unachieved dream.

 We believe she will win in New York.