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


BUDAPEST (July 22) – Haruka Hirano took a silver medal and two teammates bagged bronze medals on the first day of women's wrestling competition at the junior world wrestling championships in Budapest. Hirano of Nihon University won her first three matches at 51kg before being edged 2-1 by this year's Asia junior winner Sun Yanan (CHN) in the championship final.

Meanwhile, Asia junior champions Kanako Murata and Chiaki Iijima earned bronze medals at 59kg and 67kg respectively.

Murata of the JOC Wrestling Academy in Tokyo notched a pair of wins early, including a win by fall over former junior world bronze medalist Katerina Dombrovskaya (AZE). Murata, however, fell in the semifinals to 2009 World Cup individual winner Zhang Lan (CHN) before rebounding for a win over Battsetseg Soronzonbold (MGL), runner-up in the senior Asian championships this spring.

Iijima, also of Nihon University, notched three wins at 67kg, including a quarterfinal triumph over Europe's junior runner-up Maria Selmaier (GER), but lost by fall to reigning junior world champ Alina Makhynia (UKR) in the semifinals. Iijima, a junior world bronze medalist in 2008, claimed her second bronze with a win over Zhao Xuanyi (CHN).

At 44kg, Eri Koyanagi fell to Asia junior champ Li Ni (CHN) in the quarterfinals and did not qualify for the bronze medal bracket when Li lost to European junior winner Nadezda Federova (RUS) in the semifinals. Koyanagi of International Pacific Rim University had to settle for eighth place overall.

Results of Japanese entries:

44kg – KOYANAGI, Eri (8th, 17 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Ramona Balfour (CAN), 2-0 (1-0, 4-0)
R3 – lost to Li Ni (CHN), 0-2 (0-2, 1-4)

51kg – HIRANO, Haruka (2nd, 20 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Sima Ziogaite (LTU) by fall, 1P (F4-0)
R3 – df. Valentina Brik (RUS), 2-0 (2-0, 3-2)
SF – df. Amy Whitbeck (USA), 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
F1 – lost to Sun Yanan (CHN), 1-2(1-2, 3-3, 2-3)

59kg – MURATA, Kanako (3rd, 24 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Sabrine Trabelsi (TUN), 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
R3 – df. Katerina Dombrovskaya (AZE) by fall, 1P (F3-2)
SF – lost to Zhang Lan (CHN) by TF, 0-2 (0-6, 0-6)
F3 – df. Battsetseg Soronzonbold (MGL), 2-0 (3-3, 8-4)

67kg – IIJIMA, Chiaki (3rd, 20 entries)
R1 – df. Erin Clodgo (USA), 2-1 (1-0, 2-3, 1-1)
R2 – df. Ase Marie Karlsson (SWE), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
R3 – df. Maria Selmaier (GER), 2-0 (1-0, 3-1)
SF – lost to Alina Makhynia (UKR) by fall, 2P (1-1, F0-4)
F3 – df. Zhao Xuanyi (CHN), 2-1 (0-3, 4-0, 4-0)

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