To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports


  TOKYO (July 16) - The Japan Wrestling Federation named its line-up for the women’s world championships and World Cup meet this fall, including Seiko Yamamoto on a squad that won three individual titles last year. Yamamoto, who has won three world titles in the past at 51 kg and 55 kg, was named to the 59-kg position after she defeated Asia champion Rena Iwama 4-0 in a trial match at the national sports science center in Tokyo.

  In addition to Yamamoto, the team traveling to New York for the world meet in September will include reigning champions Saori Yoshida (55 kg), Kaori Icho (63), Kyoko Hamaguchi (72) and world silver medalist Chiharu Icho (51)
  Chiharu Icho was named to the squad after former FILA wrestler of the year Hitomi Sakamoto withdrew from the July 16 trial matches, citing poor physical condition.

  The JWF, however, selected Sakamoto’s 17-year-old sister Makiko for the spot at 48 kg after the Aichi high school student defeated veteran Miyu Yamamoto for a third time this year.

  Asia champion Norie Saito rounds out the team at 67 kg as she aims to improve on her seventh-place finish in the world meet last year in Halkida, Greece.

  The team will continue to train at the center until July 22 and has scheduled training camps for August 1-7 and August 18-23 for the Nihon University training facility in Niigata Prefecture. The women’s world championships along with the men’s freestyle world championships are scheduled for New York’s Madison Square Garden on September 12-14.

  The women’s World Cup, featuring the top teams in female wrestling, meet will be held in Tokyo at Yoyogi No. 2 Gymnasium on October 11-12. National team selections are:

World championships

48 kg - Makiko Sakamoto (CWU high school)
51 kg - Chiharu Icho (Chukyo Women’s University)
55 kg - Saori Yoshida (CWU)
59 kg - Seiko Yamamoto (Japan Beverage)
63 kg - Kaori Icho (CWU)
67 kg - Norie Saito (Japan Beverage)
72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi (Japan Beverage)

World Cup (two selections per weight category permitted)

48 kg - Makiko Sakamoto (CWU high school), Miyu Yamamoto (Purebred wrestling club)
51 kg - Chiharu Icho (CWU), Hitomi Sakamoto (CWU)
55 kg - Saori Yoshida (CWU)
59 kg - Seiko Yamamoto (Japan Beverage), Rena Iwama (Replay wrestling club)
63 kg - Kaori Icho (CWU), Ayako Shoda (Toyo University)
67 kg - Norie Saito (Japan Beverage), Eri Sakamoto (CWU)
72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi (Japan Beverage)

Final trial match results:

48 kg - M. Sakamoto df. M. Yamamoto 4-2
51 kg - C. Icho df. H. Sakamoto by default
59 kg - S. Yamamoto df. Iwama 4-0
63 kg - K. Icho df. Shoda 3-0
67 kg - Saito df. E. Sakamoto by TF 10-0