To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


   TOKYO (June 5) - Reigning world champion Ayako Shoda defeated Seiko Yamamoto 2-0 in a special world team wrestle-off to earn the final berth on the Japanese women’s squad for this fall’s world championships in China.

   Shoda, who won her second career world title last year in Budapest, downed Yamamoto 2-1 off a fireman’s carry and 3-0 out of clinch to secure the 59-kg slot on the women’s team. The wrestle-off, held during the men’s world team trials at Komazawa Gymnasium, was set up when Shoda defeated Yamamoto in the Japan Queen’s Cup meet in March.

   Yamamoto, a four-time former world champion, won the national championship title in December with a victory over Shoda. Shoda won the Asian championship title at 63 kg in April and was a member of the Japanese team for last month’s World Cup in Nagoya although she did not have a chance to wrestle.

   Shoda indicated that this year’s world championships in Guangzhou will be her last appearance at 59 kg since she plans to make a bid for the 2008 Japanese Olympic team at 63 kg. “I’m thinking of the world championships in China as a warm-up to the Beijing Olympics. I’m confident that I can win and I definitely want to repeat as world champion,” Shoda said.
World Team Wrestle-off Result

Ayako Shoda df. Seiko Yamamoto, 2-0 (2-1, 3-0=2:04)