To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


TOKYO (OCTOBER 13) – Saori Yoshida rolled to her sixth straight world title with a victory by injury default at the women’s wrestling world championships. Yoshida’s opponent in the 55kg final at Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tatyana Lazareva (UKR), was forced to default after injuring her left knee in a hard double-leg attack from Yoshida in the second period. Yoshida, who was named the meet’s outstanding wrestler, has now won six world titles along with her two Olympic gold medals.

In the semifinals, Yoshida notched her third fall of the morning session, cranking Brittanee Laverdure (CAN) over with an arm bar for the pin only 23 seconds into the match. Lazareva, meanwhile, scored late with a double-leg in the first period and opened with an arm throw in the second to subdue Pan American champion Tatiana Padilla (USA) 2-1, 3-1.

In the bronze medal matches, Anna Zwirydowska (POL) scored from the clinch in the first period and got her double-leg attack going in the second to take a 1-0, 3-0 win from Laverdure.

Padilla, a bronze medalist at the junior world meet in August, took Ana Maria Pavel (ROU) to the third period after a shaky start and scored a fall from the front headlock position for the win.

Pavel, a fifth place finisher at the Beijing Olympics in August, took the first period 2-0 with a crisp single-leg attack, but Padilla battled back for the second with a front headlock and turn to force the third period.

In the morning session, Laverdure edged two Olympians -- 2001 Asia champion Sun Dongmei (CHN) and 2003 Asia winner Otgonjargal Naidan (MGL) – with no more than a single point in each period she won.

Padilla, meanwhile, upset 2002 world champion Sofia Poumpouridou (GRE) 4-1, 1-0 in the preliminary round.