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WEEKEND UPDATE: U.S. women third in World Cup after falling to Japan



Wrestling the Japan women's freestyle team is a difficult enough assignment no matter where you face them.

Doing it in the first round of the World Cup on their home turf in Nagoya, Japan, is an even more daunting task.

That's what the United States team discovered when it matched up against the powerful Japanese team that included six past World champions. Japan downed the U.S. 6-1 in the dual on Saturday, May 20.

Japan rolled to the team title while the American team rebounded to capture the bronze medal.

The U.S. defeated Russia 5-2 in the third-place match. Americans Stephanie Murata (48 kg/105.5 lbs.), Patricia Miranda (51 kg/112.25 lbs.), Sally Roberts (59 kg/130 lbs.), Sara McMann (63 kg/138.75 lbs.) and Kristie Marano (72 kg/158.5 lbs.) each collected wins. Murata, Miranda and McMann compete for the Sunkist Kids, Roberts for the Gator Wrestling Club and Marano for the New York Athletic Club.

Katie Downing of the Sunkist Kids was the lone American to win against Japan. Downing, a 2005 World bronze medalist, beat Yoshiko Inoue 1-0, 1-0 at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Downing lost by fall to Russia's Elena Perepelkina in a battle of the two 2005 World bronze medalists.

One of the best matches of the United States-Japan dual came when 2004 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Kaoria Icho edged 2004 Olympic silver medalist McMann 1-0, 1-0.

The U.S. followed its loss to Japan by rolling to a 6-1 win over Ukraine. Marano beat World bronze medalist Svitlana Sayenko 2-0, 1-0 in that dual. The Americans finished the competition with a 2-1 record.

Coming Up: World Team Trials set for this weekend

Memorial Day weekend promises to be memorable for at least 14 wrestlers at the U.S. World Team Trials on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

Seven champions will be crowned in both men's freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Those 14 champions will represent the United States at the World Championships on Sept. 26-Oct. 2 in Guangzhou, China.

Past World champions Sammie Henson and Dremiel Byers headline a field that also includes World bronze medalists Joe Williams, Tolly Thompson and Justin Ruiz.

Henson, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist, will compete in freestyle at 55 kg/121 pounds. Byers will compete in Greco-Roman at 120 kg/264.5 pounds. Williams, a two-time World bronze medalist, will be at 163 pounds in freestyle. Ruiz will be at 96 kg/211.5 pounds in Greco-Roman.

The World Team Trials for women, normally held in conjunction with the men's competition, is set for June 30 in Colorado Springs. The women's event was moved to allow them to compete at the World Cup this past weekend in Japan.

Two other USA Wrestling events are set for this weekend. The Central Regional Championships for Kids and Cadets in freestyle and Greco-Roman is set for May 26-28 in Battle Creek, Mich. The Southeast Regional Championships for Kids and Cadets in freestyle and Greco-Roman is scheduled for May 26-29 in Greenville, S.C.

Gold Medal Reception set for Saturday, May 27, in Sioux City

The wrestling community is invited to meet numerous wrestling heroes of the past at the "Gold Medal Reception" in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday, May 27. This special evening will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center, from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The general public can attend for $25 per person.

It is being hosted in conjunction with U.S. World Team Trials in men's freestyle and Greco-Roman will be held in Sioux City at the Tyson Events Center, May 27-28.

All of the past U.S. Olympic Team and U.S. World Team members who are in Sioux City will be the special guests of the hosts of the championships for this reception. The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, drinks and entertainment. The setting will allow anybody who attends a chance to mingle with these stars in a friendly, informal manner.

It will be a "can't miss" opportunity to have a fun time with wrestling's greatest stars. Tickets for the Gold Medal Reception can be purchased at the Box Office at the Tyson Events Center, as well as online at the official web page of the World Team Trials:
http://www.2006trials.org

Among those expected to be in Sioux City this year are:

Olympic champions: Kevin Jackson, Steve Fraser, Momir Petkovic, John Smith, Tom Brands, Cael Sanderson, Kenny Monday, Doug Blubaugh, Mark Schultz

World champions: Terry Brands, Stan Dziedzic, Bill Scherr, Zeke Jones, Chris Campbell, Sammie Henson. Lee Kemp, Dremiel Byers

Olympic medalists: Lincoln McIlravy, Barry Davis, Andy Rein, Gene Davis

World medalists: Jim Scherr, Lee Roy Smith, Tolly Thompson, Joe Williams, Justin Ruiz

Olympians: Ike Anderson, Jim Gruenwald, Dan Chandler, J Robinson, Shawn Sheldon, Bobby Douglas, Andy Seras, Jim Hazewinkel, Dave Hazewinkel, Charles Burton, Alan Rice, Kerry McCoy, Eric Guerrero, Brad Vering, Oscar Wood, Daniel Cormier

World Team members: Marty Morgan, Jim Raschke, Eric Akin, James Johnson, Michael Lightner, Chris Bono, Bill Zadick, Mo Lawal, Lindsey Durlacher, Joe Warren, Marcel Cooper, Harry Lester, T.C. Dantzler, Keith Sieracki
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