To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


   NAGOYA (May 21) - Japan racked up 6-1 victories over Ukraine and Canada to secure its third straight and fifth overall title in the World Cup of women's wrestling. Local favorite Saori Yoshida extended her winning streak in international competitions to 96 and was named the outstanding wrestler of the tournament. Yoshida was presented with a Vitz automobile from World Cup sponsor Toyota Motors.

   Also at Inaei Sports Center in Nagoya, the United States defeated European champions Russia 5-2 for third place, while China closed out a disappointing tourney with a 5-2 win over Ukraine for fifth-place.

   In the championship final, Hitomi Sakamoto opened with an arm bar to pin at 51 kg and Japan dominated through the first six matches against Canada. In the final match of the tourney, however, five-time former world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi wrestled tentatively with Ohenewa Akuffo and was unable to generate any offense against her dangerous Canadian rival in an upset loss.

   Akuffo took the first period 1-0 by driving Hamaguchi out of bounds. She then countered a takedown attempt by Hamaguchi midway through the second period for two points and then held on for the win.

   In the final Pool A match for Japan, European bronze medal winner Oleksandra Kohut opened with a fall at 51 kg over Yuri Kai to give Ukraine a short-lived lead. Japan, however, rebounded with six straights wins to advance to the final.

Dual meet results (Results of individual matches posted separately):

Championship final
Japan 6, Canada 1
51 - Hitomi Sakamoto (JPN) df. Belinda Chou(CHN) by fall, 1P=1:23
59 - Mio Nishimaki (JPN) df. Breanne Graham (CAN), 2-0 (2-0, 4-0)
67 - Mami Shinkai (JPN) df. Megan Buydens (CAN), 2-0 (3-0, 4-0)
48 - Chiharu Icho (JPN) df. Carol Huynh (CAN), 2-0 (1L-1, 5-0)
55 - Saori Yoshida (JPN) df. Tonya Verbeek (CAN), 2-0 (3-0, 6-0)
63 - Kaori Icho (JPN) df. Megan Dolan (CAN) by fall, 2P=1:11
72 - Ohenewa Akuffo (CAN) df. Kyoko Hamaguchi (JPN), 2-0 (1-0, 2-1)
Third-place final
United States 5, Russia 2
Fifth-place final
China 5, Ukraine 2
Pool A
Japan 6, United States 1
United States 6, Ukraine 1
Japan 6, Ukraine 1
51 - Oleksandra Kohut (UKR) df. Yuri Kai (JPN) by fall, 1P=0:21
59 - Mio Nishimaki (JPN) df. Olena Komarova (UKR), 2-0 3-0, 4-0)
67 - Yoshiko Inoue (JPN) df. Voleriya Zlarovo (UKR), 2-0 (1-0, 3-1)
48 - Chiharu Icho (JPN) df. Ludmila Balushka (UKR), 2-0 (6-0=1:01, 8-3)
55 - Saori Yoshida (JPN) df. Nataliya Synyshyn (UKR) by TF, 2-0 (8-1=1:26,
63 - Kaori Icho (JPN) df. Ludmila Golovchenko (UKR) by TF, 2-0 (6-0=1:59,
72 - Kyoko Hamaguchi (JPN) df. Svitlana Sayinko (UKR), 2-0 (2-0, 2L-2)
Pool B
Canada 4, China 3
Canada 5, Russia 2
Russia 4, China 3