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By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee:wmay52@hotmail.com


NEW DELHI (May 14) – Japan's seven entries all won medals in the women's events but only national team newcomer Chiaki Iijima was able to claim a gold medal on the third day of the Asian wrestling championships.

Iijima notched a pair of come-from-behind falls on her way to the 67kg title at Indira Ghandi Sports Complex. It was Iijima's first triumph as a member of the senior national team and follows her Asia junior crown in 2008.

Junior world champion Fuyuko Mimura and defending Asia champion Chikako Matsukawa lost to Chinese opponents in the championship finals and had to settle for silver medals.

Mimura got caught in a front headlock in the 48kg final and was pinned by World Cup silver medalist Zhao Shasha. Meanwhile, Matsukawa gave up a late low single in the first period of the 55kg final and then was dropped to her back trying to counter a single-leg attack in the second as Yang Senlian avenged her World Cup loss to Matsukawa.

Another defending champion Yurika Ito appeared to injure her collarbone in semifinal loss by fall to Battsetseg Soronzonbold (MGL) at 59kg, but returned from an trip to hospital to win a bronze medal.

Four-time world champ Seiko Yamamoto also had to settle for a bronze medal after a first-round loss to Cui Haili (CHN) on a late go-behind in the first period and a back trip for takedown in the second.

Japan's last two bronze medals went to Hiromi Sakurai at 51kg and Yoshiko Inoue at 72kg after a pair of early losses to wrestlers from Kazakhstan.

Sakurai, only in her fourth year of wrestling, fell to 2008 world silver medalist Jyldyz Eshimova in the semifinals and Inoue was pinned in the first round by former Russian regular Guzel Manyurova.

It was Inoue's second straight bronze medal at the Asian championships, while Manyurova won the gold medal in her debut for Kazakhstan. Manyurova was the 2004 Olympic silver medalist and, most recently, took a bronze medal for Russia at last year's Golden Grand Prix final.

The Japanese women finished second in the team standings behind China which won four gold medals, a silver and two bronze.

Women's freestyle

48kg – MIMURA, Fuyuko (2nd, 11 entries)
R1 – df. Tsai Pei-ching (TPE) by fall, 2P (3-0, F7-0)
R2 – df. Mikhrniso Nuratova (KGZ), 2-0 (1-0, 8-0)
SF – df. Thi Lua Nguyen (VIE) by fall, 2P (4-1, F6-0)
F1 – lost to Zhao Shasha (CHN) by fall, 1P (F0-3)

51kg – SAKURAI, Hiromi (3rd, 7 entries)
R1 – bye
SF – lost to Jyldyz Eshimova (KAZ), 0-2 (0-3, 0-4)
F3 – df. Babita Babita (IND), 2-1 (4-1, 0-3, 1-0)

55kg – MATSUKAWA, Chikako (2nd, 11 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Tamara Kazaryan (UZB) by fall, 1P (F3-0)
SF – df. Choe Hung-yong (PRK) by fall, 1P (F6-0)
F1 – lost to Yang Senlian (CHN), 0-2 (1-1x, 1-4)

59kg – ITO, Yurika (3rd, 8 entries)
R1 – df. Nestan Kiiazovia (KGZ) by fall, 1P (F7-0)
SF – lost to Battsetseg Soronzonbold (MGL) by fall, 1P (F0-3)
F3 – df. Chiang Yuan-chi (TPE) by fall, 1P (F8-0)

63kg – YAMAMOTO, Seiko (3rd, 10 entries)
R1 – lost to Cui Haili (CHN), 0-2 (0-1, 0-1)
r1 – df. Thi Quyen Luong (VIE) by fall, 1P (F4-0)
F3 – df. Hou Min-wen (TPE) by injury default

67kg – IIJIMA, Chiaki (1st, 6 entries)
R1 – df. Geetika Jakhar (IND), 2-0 (3-0, 2-1)
SF – df. Ying Chen (CHN) by fall, 2P (0-1, F5-5)
F1 – df. Oyunsuren B. by fall, 2P (0-1, F3-2)

72kg – INOUE, Yoshiko (3rd, 8 entries)
R1 – lost to Guzel Manyrova (KAZ) by fall, 1P )F0-4)
F3 – df. Anmol Anmol (IND) by TF, 2-0 (6-0, 7-0)

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