To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


WARSAW (August 13) - Five-time former world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi stepped into her competition singlet for the first time in 10 months and had to settle for fifth place at the prestigious Poland Open Warsaw Cup of women’s wrestling. Hamaguchi was upended by 2004 Olympic silver medalist Guzel Manyurova (RUS) in one of the consolation finals at 72kg to finish the day with two wins and a pair of losses.

Manyurova used a tilt off the front headlock to take the first period from Hamaguchi in their first-ever face-to-face meeting, then countered the clinch in overtime with a sprawl and tilt to take one of the bronze medals. The loss was a disappointment for Hamaguchi, who is taking the year off away from competition. The 31-year-old veteran, however, has been training separately and reportedly wanted some matches to stave off the mat rust and a bit of the tournament hardware to take home.

Earlier in the day, Hamaguchi also had the chance to renew her rivalry with three-time world champion Stanka Zlateva (BUL) in the semifinals. The match, however, was largely a one-sided affair for Zlateva, who posted her third straight win over Hamaguchi. The world champ and Beijing Olympic silver medalist now holds a 3-2 advantage overall in head-to-head matches with Hamaguchi.


72kg - HAMAGUCHI, Kyoko (5th, 16 entries)
R1 - df. Svetlana Sayenko (UKR) ? 2-0 (2-0, 1-0)
Hamaguchi keeps this year’s European bronze medalist off balance, pulling her down for a pair of go-behind points and running over a snap-down for another point.

R2 - df. Marina Gastl (AUT), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
Three go-behind points were enough to give Hamaguchi the win over the former European junior champion.

SF - lost to Stanka Zlateva (BUL), 0-2 (0-6=1:12, 2-4)
Zlateva hit her trademark fireman’s carry midway through the first period and didn’t look back, taking the first period by technical superiority and then holding off Hamaguchi’s efforts to come from behind in the second.

F3 - lost to Guzel Manyurova (RUS), 0-2 (1-3, 0-2=2:15)
The 2004 Athens Olympic silver medalist takes the first period with a go-behind and crotch lift, then breaks the clinch with a sprawl in the second and turns in overtime to win.