To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：firstname.lastname@example.org）
JAPAN STORMS INTO Q'FINALS AT WOMEN'S WORLD C'SHIPS
HALKIDA, Greece (November 2) - Asian Games gold medalists Saori Yoshida
and Kyoko Hamaguchi stormed into the quarterfinals
of the women's world championships with a
pair of pins over reigning European champions.
Yoshida whipped Ukraine's Tatyana Lazareva
onto her back for a fall at 1:17 at Tassos
Kabouris Stadium and then came back with
a 10-1 win over Minerva Montero of Spain
to book her berth in the quarterfinals at
Hamaguchi, meanwhile, chipped away against
Russia's continental champion Svetlana Martinenko
and built up a 9-0 lead before applying the
final squeeze at 4:07 in their 72-kg preliminary
bout. Hamaguchi, a former three-time world
champion who has failed to reach the finals
of the world meet the last two years, secured
her place in the quarters with a 5-1 victory
over Maider Unda of Spain.
Japanese wrestlers breezed through the
first day of the two-day championships, winning
12 of 14 matches in the preliminary rounds
and advancing to the quarterfinals in five
of the seven weight categories.
Asian Games silver medalist Kaori Icho
notched two falls at 63 kg, needing the second
pin to overcome a three-point deficit against
American Sara McMann.
"I was getting worried (after falling
behind), so when I had the chance for the
pin I thought this might be my only chance,''
the 18-year-old Icho said after pinning McMann
at 2:48 of their pool preliminary.
Kaori's older sister Chiharu Icho also
had a tough match against an American opponent,
dropping world silver medalist Stephanie
Murata to her back in the final 20 matches
of their 51-kg bout for a 4-1 victory.
The elder Icho advanced to the championship
bracket with a win by injury default over
Marta Wojtanowska of Poland after a tight
waist grip proved to be too painful for the
1999 European champion.
Rena Iwama, a world silver medalist in
2000, earned Japan's fifth spot in the quarters
by defeating Lauren Lamb of the United States
4-0 at 59 kg and then slapping a pin on Dashjanchiv
Bottsetseg on Mongolia at 1:04.
In the lightest weight category, national
team newcomer Mika Noguchi held on for a
6-4 win at last year's world bronze medalist
Brigitte Wagner of Germany at 48 kg. Noguchi,
however, suffered Japan's only loss of the
morning session when she dropped a one-sided
6-1 decision to China's Li Hui.
Wagner came back with a pin over Li in the
evening session to advance to the second
day of wrestling.
Also for Japan, Norie Saito earned a 10-0
technical fall win over Geta Buliga of Romania
in her first match at 67 kg, but could not
keep up with French European champion Lise
Legrand and fell short of the quarters with
a 7-0 loss.