To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


TOKYO (September 25) - The Japan Wrestling Federation announced that Makiko Sakamoto and Mami Shinkai will replace the Icho sisters on the Japan squad for the upcoming women’s world championships in Tokyo.

Chiharu Icho and Kaori Icho said earlier in the week that they would sit out the October 11-13 world championships because of injuries suffered at the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

Chiharu Icho, who took the silver medal at 48kg in Beijing, suffered a pulled calf muscle in her left leg and Kaori Icho, who won a second Olympic gold at 63kg, twisted her knee in the gold medal final.

The JWF said that Sakamoto will wrestle at 48kg while Mio Nishimaki, originally entered at 67kg, will move down to 63kg while Shinkai fills in at 67kg.

Sakamoto, who won a bronze medal in 2005, will get her second shot at the world championships. Shinkai, a junior world champion in 2005, will wrestle in her first senior world meet.