To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee



   DOHA (December 2) - Japanese gold medal favorite Saori Yoshida led the Japanese delegation into Khalifa Stadium as the 15th Asian Games officially got under way in a gala opening ceremony Friday.

Some 10,000 participants representing 45 national Olympic committees are expected to take part in the 15-day event being held for the first time in an Arab country. Yoshida, unbeaten in international competition, carried Japan's flag at the head of the Japanese delegation, which marched in 13th in the parade of participating countries.

Yoshida was also the flag-bearer for the Japanese delegation at last year's Universiade in Turkey, but after the ceremony said that the feeling in Doha was completely different. ・It was really amazing like the Olympics,・Yoshida told reporters.

The Asian Games wrestling competition gets under way December 9-10 with greco-roman at the Aspire sports complex, followed by the women on December 11 and men's freestyle December 13-14.

 Yoshida, who won the gold medal at the 2002 Asian Games in Korea and is undefeated in international competition, will be the odds-on favorite at 55 kg when the women take to the mats.