To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


TOKYO (October 11) – Three-time world champion Ayako Shoda regained the world title she lost a year ago with a stunning fall over Natalia Golts (RUS) in the 59kg final at the women’s wrestling world championships.

Shoda went behind Golts from the front headlock position midway through the first period at Yoyogi National Gymnasium and then cranked the five-time European champion at 55kg over with an arm bar for the fall at 1:38. The 26-year-old Osaka native lost the world title in Baku and had to settle for a seventh place after a third-round loss last year.

Golts, despite the loss, improved one notch in the world championships after finishing with a bronze medal at 55kg in four earlier trips to the world meet.

In the semifinals, Golts cranked over two-time European junior champion Sabrina Esposito (ITA) for the fall at 0:31, while Shoda had to work a little harder against Europe No. 2 Elvira Mursalova (AZE) before getting the fall at 1:37.

In the bronze medal matches, Mursalova scored off a pair of clinches to take a 1-0, 1-0 from Deanna Rix (USA) while this year’s European junior champ Agata Pietrzyk (POL) wrapped up Esposito with a headlock in the first period and pressed for the fall.

In an early surprise, last year’s Pan American champion Katie Patroch (CAN) scored a late point in the first period and then rolled in the second for a 1-1, 5-0 win over 2005 world runner-up and Beijing Olympian Marianna Sastin (HUN).