To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


KLIPPAN, Sweden (March 8-9) - Reigning world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi pinned Canadian arch-rival Christine Nordhagen at the Klippan Ladies Open wrestling tournament and went on to win the 72-kg championship crown. Japan also got championship performances from former world champion Seiko Yamamoto at 55 kg and 2002 world silver medalist Chiharu Icho at 51 kg.

   The five-member Japanese squad, however, could manage a only third place in the team standings after world champion Kaori Icho failed to advance beyond the preliminary rounds at 63 kg. The younger Icho suffered an early 6-3 loss to American Sara McMann, who went on to win the championship and lead the United States to the team title. The loss was a shock and disappointment for Japanese wrestling fans and officials since the younger Icho pinned McMann in Greece last November on her way to her first world championship title.

   As for Hamaguchi, who is 1-1 against Nordhagen in the world championships, the fall against the six-time former world champion from Canada in a quarterfinal bout was one of four pins she notched in the tourney. Only 2002 European champion Svetlana Martynenko of Russia took Hamaguchi the distance in a semifinal loss.

   Yamamoto, meanwhile, returning to competition after an injury to her heel last fall, prevailed in overtime against Russia痴 up-and-coming Natalia Golts for the crown at 55 kg. Chiharu Icho breezed through the field at 51 kg with four falls. World team member Norie Saito could only manage a win against a pair of losses in the preliminary rounds at 67 kg and did not advance out of her pool.

A total of 138 wrestlers from 20 countries competed in the tournament.

Japanese results and final place-winners:

48 kg - No Japanese entry

1st - Irina Melnik, Greece; 2nd - Brigitte Wagner, Germany; 3rd - Patricia Miranda, U.S.; 4th - Clarissa Chun, U.S.

51 kg - Chiharu Icho, Chukyo Women痴 University

1R - pinned Chatrine Ericsson, Sweden
2R - bye
3R - pinned Joanna Mills, Britain
SF - pinned Nicole Hauptmann, Germany
CH - pinned Alexandra Demmel, Germany

1st - Chiharu Icho, Japan; 2nd - Alexandra Demmel, Germany; 3rd - Nicole Hartmann, Germany; 4th Therese Ris, Sweden

55 kg - Seiko Yamamoto, Nihon University

1R - pinned Sandra Sobieski, Sweden
2R - pinned Evgenia Stamatakou, Greece
3R - bye
QF - won by tech. sup. Sarina Hengst, Germany
SF - dec. Tonya Verbeek, Canada
CH - dec. Natalia Golts, Russia

1st - Seiko Yamamoto, Japan; 2nd- Natalia Golts, Russia; 3rd - Erica Sharp, Canada; 4th- Tonya Verbeek, Canada

59 kg - No Japanese entry

lst - Lauren Lamb, U.S.; 2nd - Helena Allandi, Sweden; 3rd - Stefanie Stuber, Germany; 4th - Cecelia Arvstam, Sweden

63 kg - Kaori Icho, Chukyo Women's University

1R - bye
2R - lost dec. to Sara McMann, U.S.
3R - pinned Madelen Nilsson, Sweden

1st - Sara McMann, U.S.; 2nd - Nikola Hartmann, Austria; 3rd - Lene
Aanes, Norway; 4th - Lotta Andersson, Sweden

67 kg - Nori Saito, Japan Beverage

1R - pinned Petra Pradlova, Czech Republic
2R - lost dec. to Katie Downing, U.S.
3R - lost dec. to Julia Bartnovskzyn, Russia

1st - Evelina Pruszko, Poland; 2nd - Katie Downing, U.S.; 3rd - Julia
Bartnovskzyn, Russia; 4th - Annika Oertli, Germany

72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi, Japan Beverage

1R - bye
2R - pinned Anita Schatzle, Germany
3R - pinned Cecilia Ahlenius, Sweden
QF - pinned Christine Nordhagen, Canada
SF - dec. Svetlana Martynenko, Russia
CH - pinned Monika Kowalska, Poland

1st - Kyoko Hamaguchi, Japan; 2nd - Monika Kowalska, Poland; 3rd - Nina
Englich, Germany; 4th - Svetlana Martynenko, Russia

Team standings

1st - United States, 14 points; 2nd - Germany, 13 pts; 3rd - Japan, 12 pts; 4th - Poland, 7 pts; 5th - Russia, 6 pts; 6th - Sweden, 5 pts