To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


GUANGZHOU, China (September 30) - Saori Yoshida extended her international winning streak to 101 as Japan won all three gold medals on offer on the sixth day of the wrestling world championships.

Hitomi Sakamoto at 51 kg and Ayako Shoda (59) joined Yoshida (55) at the top of the medals podium at Tianhe Gymnasium as Japan maintained a stranglehold on the gold medals in women’s wrestling. Japan has won all four gold medals in women’s wrestling heading into the final day of competition October 1. In the finals of Day 6, Yoshida hit the century mark with a semifinal win over Ida-Theres Karlsson of Sweden and then breezed over Mariya Yahorava of Belarus in the championship final at 55 kg.

Yoshida nailed her trademark double-leg takedown in both periods against Yahorava and then finished the 2005 Eur bronze medalist off on the mat for her fourth straight senior world-level title.

At 51 kg, Sakamoto went through the competition without giving up a point to claim her fourth world crown.
Sakamoto capped her run at Tianhe Gymnasium with textbook display of wrestling in a 4-0, 4-0 win over Lindsay Belisle of Canada. Sakamoto scored with single-leg takedowns, go-behind counters and a gut wrench against Belisle.

Shoda, the defending world champion, had the most difficult final at 59 kg facing hometown favorite Su Lihui of China. Shoda scored with a go-behind point from Su’s front headlock and made it stand in the first period. She then scored a force-out point and single-leg to disappoint the Chinese faithful.

The bronze medals at 51 kg went to Olympic silver medalist Patricia Miranda of the United States and Russian surprise Alena Adashinskaya -- a 12th-place finisher at the junior world championships in August.

At 55 kg, Ida-Theres Karlsson of Sweden upended European champion Natalia Golts for one bronze medal whil Minerva Montero of Spain, a fifth-place finisher in 2005, won the other. At 59 kg, Ukraine’s Nataliya Shinishin turned away last year’s silver medalist Marianna Sastin of Hungary for one bronze medal while Alka Tomar on India won a scrappy battle against Ludmila Cristea of Romania for the second.
Results of matches involving Japanese entries:

51 kg - SAKAMOTO, Hitomi (1st, 20 entries)
R1 - df. Bekzat Mustafina (KAZ), 2-0 (6-0, 6-0)
Sakamoto hits two big double-legs in the first period, then wins with gut wrenches in the second.

QF - df. Patricia Miranda (USA), 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
Sakamoto wrestles cautiously against the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, picking her spots to attack with single-leg takedowns.

SF - df. Aleksandra Kohut (UKR), 2-0 (4-0, 7-0)
Sakamoto overwhelms the European junior champion on her feet and in par terre, where she narrowly misses a fall in the second period.

F1 - df. Lindsay Belisle (CAN), 2-0 (4-0, 4-0)
A single-leg and gut wrench gets Sakamoto rolling in the first period. She spins around behind Belisle three times for the title.

55 kg - YOSHIDA, Saori (1st, 27 entries)
Pr - df. Marcia Andrade (VEN), 2-0 (4-3, 2-0)
Pan American champion Andrade shows a tight defense and throws Yoshida to her back in the first period. Yoshida switches from a frontal assault to attacking from the side for go-behind points.

R1 - df. Natalia Golts (RUS), 2-0 (5-0, 3-0)
Yoshida hits double-legs and single-legs at will against the European champion.

QF - df. Anna Gomis (FRA), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)
Yoshida is careful against the former four-time world champion and avoids tying up with the wily veteran. Yoshida makes a pair of single-leg takedowns stand for the win.

SF - df. Ida-Theres Karlsson (SWE), 2-0 (4-0, 6-3)
After breezing in the first period, Yoshida is dropped to her back by Karlsson to open the second. But, Yoshida has enough time to close the gap and finish with a three-point double-leg, lift and drop for her 100th win in a row in international competition.

F1 - df. Mariya Yahorava (BLR), 2-0 (7-0, 6-0)
With the century mark in the bag, Yoshida opens up against the young European bronze medalist. Yoshida converts a double-leg takedown into a Turk and six points on the mat. Another double leg in the second period leads to an arm bar and more par terre points.

59 kg - SHODA, Ayako (1st, 24 entries)
R1 - df. Alka Tomar (IND), 2-1 (3-4, 1-0, 2-0)
Shoda was fighting to get off her back after getting caught in a reverse arm trap in the first period, but takes safe points to advance.

QF - df. Ochirbat Nasanburmaa (MGL) by fall, 1P=1:51
Shoda scores with her specialty, the fireman’s carry, and turns her opponent over with an arm bar for the fall.

SF - df. Ludmila Cristea (MDA), 2-0 (4-0, 2-0)
Shoda wins with fireman’s carry and some safe but solid wrestling against a dangerous veteran.

F1 - df. Su Lihui (CHN), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)
Shoda and Su circle and look for openings through most of the first period, Su attempts a front headlock and Shoda spins around behind. More circling in the second period, but Shoda scores with a force-out and single-leg.