To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


    GUANGZHOU, China (October 1) - Kaori Icho gave Japan its fifth gold medal of the wrestling world championships, but Kyoko Hamaguchi had to settle for silver for the second straight year.

   Hamaguchi, who had been seeking her sixth world title, fell to European champion Stanka Zlateva of Bulgaria 3-1 1-2, 0-6 in the women’s 72-kg final at Tianhe Gymnasium. The loss in the championship match of the world meet was Hamaguchi’s second in a row following her loss to American Iris Smith one year ago in Budapest. Hamaguchi now has five world titles as well as two silver medals and a bronze from the world championships along with a bronze medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics. 

   Meanwhile, Icho won her fifth senior world-level crown and gained a measure of revenge against Xu Haiyan of China who defeated Icho in the finals of the Asian Games in 2002. Icho, who has been troubled with a sore shoulder all week, wrestled cautiously against Xu in the 63-kg final waiting until the closing moments of each period to strike.

   The Athens Olympics gold medalist scored with a double-leg takedown in the first period and then dragged to another double-leg to end the second.

   The bronze medals at 63 kg went to two-time former European champion Monika Rogien of Poland, who won her first senior world-level medal, and Sweden’s Helena Allandi.

   At 72 kg, the bronze medals went to Russia’s Elena Perepelkina, the European champion at 67 kg, and American Kristie Marano -- a former world champion up from 67 kg.

   At 67 kg, Eri Sakamoto gave Japan its seventh medal of the women’s competition -- a bronze -- with a hard-fought 1-0, 1-0 win over Diana Mudrag of Romania. Maria Muller of Germany won the other bronze medal.
In the gold medal match, Jing Ruixue made it two in a row for China in this weight category with a 2-1, 2-0 triumph over Martine Dugrenier of Canada. Meng Lili won the 67-kg title for China last year in Budapest with a victory also over Dugrenier.

Results of matches involving Japanese entries:

63 kg - ICHO, Kaori (1st, 28 entries)
Pr - df. Megan Dolan (CAN), 2-0 (4-0, 7-2)
Icho gets flipped over in the middle of the second period, but recovers to drop Dolan for three points at the end.

R1 - df. Nguyen Thi Hai Yen (VIE) by fall, 2P=0:26
After six easy points in the first period, Icho counters Nguyen’s tackle attempt and drives her to her back for the fall.

QF - df. Yoselin Rojas (VEN), 2-0 (3-0, 4-0)
Icho wrestles cautiously against the Pan America champion, taking single-legs and go-behinds.

SF - df. Monika Rogien (POL), 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)
Icho struggles against the two-time former European champion, but spins around twice in the first period for points and wins the clinch in the second.

F1 - df. Xu Haiyan (CHN), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Icho scores with a pair of double-leg takedowns at the end of each period for her fifth senior world-level title.
67 kg - SAKAMOTO, Eri (3rd, 18 entries)

Pr - df. Ashlea McManus (GBR), 2-0 (6-0, 2-0)
Sakamoto scores big with a pair of crotch lifts in the first period and then scrambles for a pair of takedowns in the second.

R1 - df. Gelegjamts Narachimeg (MGL), 2-1 (1-0, 0-3, 1-0)
Sakamoto wins on a pair of clinches against the university world champion.

QF - lost to Martine Dugrenier (CAN) by fall, 2P=1:20
Sakamoto does not finish a single leg and is driven to her back in the second period.

r1 - df. Voleriya Zlatova (UKR), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Sakamoto fights off the clinch in the first period and then spins around behind former world university bronze medalist in the second to advance to the bronze medal match.

F3 - df. Diana Mudrag (ROM), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
Sakamoto loses the toss for the clinch twice, but sneaks around behind for the points in both periods for the bronze medal.
72 kg - HAMAGUCHI, Kyoko (2nd, 20 entries)

Pr - df. Burmaa Ochirbat (MGL) by fall, 2P=0:28
Hamaguchi takes the front headlock and reaches across for outside thigh trap and finishes with the fall.

R1 - df. Kristie Marano (USA) by fall, 1P=0:30
Another front headlock and outer thigh trap by Hamaguchi spells an early end for the 2003 world champion at 67 kg.

QF - df. Svitlana Saenko (UKR) by fall, 1P=1:35
Hamaguchi loosens the European silver medalist up with some takedowns before pulling her down with the front headlock and rolling her over for the fall.

SF - df. Ohenewa Akuffo (CAN), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
Hamaguchi stumbles on the mat but sneaks around behind when Akuffo lunges for her -- one point and the first period. Hamaguchi wins the toss for the clinch in the second period and dumps Akuffo on her back to avenge a loss in the World Cup in May.

F1 - lost to Zlateva Stanka (BUL), 1-2 (3-1, 1-2, 0-6)
Hamaguchi drops Stanka to her back in the first period for a 3-1 win. The European champion comes back with a pair of force-out points to take the second. In the third, Hamaguchi attacks twice but cannot score. Stanka scores with a whip-over counter for four points and then again to end the match.