To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


TOKYO (October 12) – Mio Nishimaki (JPN) stepped in for five-time world champion Kaori Icho and made it six in a row for Japan at 63kg with a one-side victory at the women’s wrestling world championships. Nishimaki, a two-time junior world champion, defeated Lyubov Volossova (RUS) 5-0, 4-0 in the championship final at Yoyogi National Gymnasium with Icho watching from the sidelines.

Icho injured her knee in the gold medal final at the Beijing Olympics and decided to pull out of the world championships because she had problems with her movement side-to-side. Icho has won five world titles and two Olympic gold medals since 2002.

In the final, Nishimaki scored with sharp leg attacks early in each period and then countered Volossova’s attempts to come from behind late.

In the semifinals, Nishimaki stuck to basic leg attacks to edge Oleysa Zamula (AZE) 3-0, 1-0, while Volossova overcame an early scare after being tossed in a three-point throw by Audrey Bokhashvili-Prieto (FRA) and came back to score a fall at 0:54 of the first period.

In the bronze medal matches, two-time former world champion Meng Lili (CHN) scored a double-leg takedown midway through the third period and held on for a 1-0, 0-7, 1-0 win over Olesya Zamula (AZE).

Bokhashvili, the world champion at 59kg a year ago in Baku, cranked Hanna Beliayeva (BLR) over with the front headlock and spin, and quickly moved in for the fall at 1:43 of the first period.

In the quarterfinals, Nishimaki caught Meng on her back in the middle of a front-headlock and spin-under, and pressed for the fall at 1:56 of the first period.

Meng, who won world titles in 2001 and 2005, was trying to overcome an early 0-3 deficit and had narrowed the gap to 2-3 with one successful turn of the front headlock.

Also in the quarters, Zamula edged a five-time world champion Nikola Hartmann (AUT) 1-0, 1-0 on a clinch and a takedown counter.