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|Japan sweeps three gold medals, as Yoshida, Shoda and Icho win titles in women’s wrestling at World Wrestling Championships|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
World powerhouse Japan won all three gold medals contested in women's wrestling at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, September 29.
Capturing gold medals were Saori Yoshida at 55 kg/121 lbs., Ayako Shoda at 59 kg/130 lbs. and Kaori Icho at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. All are previous World Champions, and Yoshida and Icho were among the 2004 Olympic champions. All three Japanese wrestlers shut out their opponents in the finals, not allowing a single point.
Yoshida defeated Su Lihui of China, 3-0, 3-0. He scored three takedowns in the first period, then scored a two-point throw and a takedown in the second period to win her bout.
Yoshida has never lost an international match on the Senior level. She has now won three World titles and an Olympic gold medal.
Shoda defeated local hero Mariann Sastin of Hungary in dominant fashion, 4-0, 6-0. In the first period, she had a three-point throw and a takedown for the 4-0 win. In the second, she added another three-point takedown plus and additional backpoint, then ended the match with a two-point gutwrench.
Shoda was a 1999 World champion, and is on her first Japanese World team since then.
Icho defeated Jing Ruixue of China, 3-0, 1-0 in the finals. Icho had a three-point takedown in the first period, and added a one-point takedown in the second period for the win.
Icho is now a three-time World champion, along with the 2004 Olympic champion.
After two days of competition, Japan has won four of the five gold medals awarded. The final two weight classes, 67 kg/147.5 lbs. and 72 kg/158.5 lbs. will be contested on Friday.
Gold - Saori Yoshida (JPN)
Silver - Su Lihui (CHN)
Bronze - Natalia Golts (RUS)
Bronze - Tonya Verbeek (CAN)
5th - Minerva Montero (ESP)
5th - Ludmila Cristea (MDA)
7th - Ana Maria Paval (ROM)
8th - Jessica Bechtel (GER)
9th - Sylvia Bilenska (POL)
10th - Anna Gomis (FRA)
Gold - Ayako Shoda (JPN)
Silver - Marianna Sastin (HUN)
Bronze - Sally Roberts (USA)
Bronze - Lene Aanes (NOR)
5th - Anna Zwirydowska (POL)
5th - Ida Theres-Karlsson (SWE)
7th - Yuliya Ratkevich (BLR)
8th - Michelle Richardson (CAN)
9th - Olena Komarova (UKR)
10th - Alka Tomar Singh (IND)
Gold - Kaori Icho (JPN)
Silver - Rui Xue Jing (CHN)
Bronze - Sara McMann (USA)
Bronze - Olga Khilko (RUS)
5th - Anna Polovneva (RUS)
5th - Katarzyna Juszezak (ITA)
7th - Michaela Krizkova (CZE)
8th - Tara Hedican (CAN)
9th - Monika Szerencse (HUN)
10th - Helena Allandi (SWE)