To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

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


TOKYO (June 21) – Reigning national champion Kei Yamana flattened four-time world champ Ayako Shoda with a headlock in the third period of their special wrestle-off bout to grab the last spot on the Japanese women’s squad for the world championships in Denmark.

Yamana, who won the All-Japan title in December, surrendered the first period to Shoda on a go-behind point, but evened the match with a takedown from the clinch in the second at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

In the third period, Yamana took a 1-0 lead on a single-leg attack midway through the stanza. Then with Shoda pressing for a point and the win, Yamana caught the world champion moving forward and countered with a headlock which she held for the fall and her first trip to the world championships.

“I’m really not very good at throws, but in that situation I just had to go with it,” Yamana said, adding “It will be my first world championships, but by defeating the world champion in Shoda-san, I will go there with confidence and do my best.”

Yamana won the All-Japan title in December after Shoda pulled out of the meet just prior to the weigh-in. Shoda, who had won her fourth world title in October, won the women’s national title in April to force the world team wrestle-off.

Women’s freestyle (World team wrestle-off)

Kei Yamana df. Ayako Shoda by fall, 3P=1:37 (0-1, 2-0-2:06, F4-0)