To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports


HERNING, Denmark (September 23) ? Yuri Kai won a bronze medal on the third day of the wrestling world championships in Herning, but it was a pair of surprise losses that marred the opening of the women’s wrestling events for Japan.

Kai fell in the semifinals at 51kg to eventual winner Sofia Mattsson (SWE), a wrestler she had defeated twice over the summer, and two-time world bronze medalist Makiko Sakamoto was ambushed by the wide-open, unorthodox wrestling of Lindsay Rushton (CAN).

Rushton, No. 2 at the Pan-American championships, caught Sakamoto with a well-timed arm throw in the second period and a lateral drop in the third to leave the gold medal hopeful in eighth place overall.

In the final event of men’s freestyle, Kazuyuki Nagashima fell to Olympic bronze medalist Kiril Terziev (BUL) and had to settle for 21st at 74kg

Japan finished the men’s freestyle competition with a bronze medal and a fifth place for 14 points and 11th place in the team standings overall. Russia won with four champions and 63 points, followed by Azerbaijan (48) and Iran (40).

Action continues on the fourth day of the championships in women’s wrestling ? 55kg, 59kg, 63kg -- with world champions Saori Yoshida and Mio Nishimaki taking to the mats for Japan.

74kg ? NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (31 entries)

R1 ? lost to Kiril Terziev (BUL), 1-2 (3-1, 0-2, 0-2)

Nagashima takes the first period with a single-leg and go-behind, but gives up the second with a force-out and single-leg. In the third period, Nagashima attempts a low-single attack but is countered for the decisive point. Nagashima was eliminated with Terziev’s loss in the quarterfinals.

Women’s freestyle

48kg ? SAKAMOTO, Makiko (8th, 25 entries)

R1 ? df. Ommariel Valenzuela (VEN) by fall, 1P=0:57 (F4-0)

Sakamoto attacks with double-leg for the takedown and moves quickly to a bar arm and body press for the fall.

R2 ? lost to Lindsay Rushton (CAN), 1-2 (2-0, 4-6, 2-3)

Sakamoto is stunned with an arm throw in the second period and a lateral drop in the third. She avoids getting pinned in both situations, but is still saddled with an upset loss by the Pan American silver medalist.

Rushton fell in the quarterfinals, dashing Sakamoto’s hopes a medal.

51kg ? KAI, Yuri (3rd, 27 entries)

R1 ? df. Mariya Ivanova (BLR), 2-0 (1-0=2:15, 1-0=2:30)
Kai wins both sides of the clinch to defeat the 2006 world runner-up at 55kg. Kai was in deep on leg attacks three times, but was unable to finish for points in regulation.

R2 ? df. Emese Szabo (HUN), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 1-0)
Szabo takes the first period with an underarm spin and go-behind, but Kai comes back with single-leg takedowns in the second and third periods.

QF ? df. Isabelle Sambou (SEN) by fall, 2P=1:26 (1-0, F5-0)
Kai starts cautiously against the African champion, taking the first period with a lone snap down and go-behind. Kai opens up in the second, however, hitting a double-leg attack midway through the period and pressing for the fall.

SF ? lost to Sofia Mattsson (SWE), 0-2 (0-3, 0-2)
Mattsson comes out attacking with low sweep single-leg attacks, keeping Kai on the defensive while avenging two losses to the former World Cup champion over the summer. Kai is in deep on Mattsson a couple times during the match, but cannot convert for points.

F3 ? df. Hong Di (CHN) by fall, 1P=1:38 (F4-0)
Kai hits a low sweep single to open the bronze medal final and moves quickly to gain back exposure and press for the fall.