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


BUDAPEST (July 23) – Yu Horiuchi won the battle of junior world champions to claim Japan's lone gold medal in women's wrestling at the junior world championships in Budapest.

Horiuchi drove defending champion Yuliya Blahinya (UKR) to her back with a nearside cradle off a single-leg attack in the 55kg final, recording the fall at 1:54 of the first period at Syma Sport and Event Center. The triumph was the second junior world title for Horiuchi, who won the 51kg crown in 2008. The Nihon University student sat out 2009 to nurse a dislocated shoulder, but now appears to be completely recovered as she now sets her sights on the senior world championships in September.

Japan's other three entries on the final day of women's wrestling all recorded wins in their opening matches, but could advance no further as each wrestler lost her second match and did not get the chance to advance to any of the medal matches.

In the final team standings, Japan slipped into third place with one champion and 44 points, behind Russia with 59 points and China with 44 points and two gold medalists.

Results of Japanese entries:

Women's freestyle

48kg – NAGANUMA, Mika (8th, 19 entries)
R1 – df. Jasmine Slinn (CAN), 2-1 (1-0, 1-1, 5-1)
R2 – lost to Khrystyna Daranutsa (UKR), 0-2 (1-5, 0-2)

55kg – HORIUCHI, Yu (1st, 25 entries)
R1 – df. Hafize Sahin (TUR), 2-0 (4-0, 4-0)
R2 – df. Rim Ayari (TUN), 2-0 (2-0, 6-0)
R3 – df. Helen Maroulis (USA), 2-1 (1-0, 0-3, 3-0)
SF – df. Karima Sanchez Ramis (ESP) by fall, 1P (F3-0)
F1 – df. Yuliya Blahinya (UKR) by fall, 1P=1:54 (F3-0)

63kg – WATARI, Rio (9th, 18 entries)
R1 – df. Sharkhuu Tumentsetseg (MGL), 2-1 (1-1, 1-3, 3-0)
R2 – lost to Aline Focken (GER), 0-2 (0-1, 1-2)

72kg – TATEKO, Shiori (8th, 17 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Elmira Syzdykova (KAZ), 2-0 (1-0, 3-1)
R3 – lost to Yuliya Dravaziuk (BLR), 0-2 (0-6, 0-4)

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