TOKYO, March 17, 2014 - Japan, riding a wave of emotion throughout the two-day World Cup of women’s wrestling, capped their inspired performance with an 8-0 drubbing of Russia in the championship final.
The victory at Azusawa Gymnasium in Tokyo was Japan’s seventh World Cup triumph since the event was first organized in 2001. It was also the first time since the current competition format was implemented in 2005 that the winning team in the championship final blanked the opposition.
The Japanese, who also rolled over defending champion China 7-1 in the preliminary pool matches, had appeared to be on a mission in the wake of the unexpected death of national team coach Eikatsu YOSHIDA (JPN) last Tuesday.
Fittingly, Yoshida’s daughter, world and Olympic champion Saori YOSHIDA (JPN), led the charge in the final with a 12-1 win over Klippan Ladies winner Maria GUROVA (RUS) at 53kg. The win was one of three technical falls and a fall for Japan as the hosts raced out to a 4-0 lead.
Unlike the first four, three of the four final bouts went down to the final minute with Sara DOSHO scoring a four-point double-leg takedown in the final 25 seconds for a 5-3 upset of London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) at 69kg.
Kyoko HAMAGUCHI (JPN), whose last of five world titles came in 2003, forged an 8-0 lead over 2011 world silver medalist Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS) over the first 4:30 at 75kg and then held on to preserve the shutout, 8-5, for Japan.
In the dual for third place, China got wins from its world champions SUN Yanan (CHN) and ZHANG Fengliu (CHN) on its way to a 6-2 victory, while 2011 world champ XILUO Zhuoma (CHN) added a hard-fought 2-0 win over Schultz Memorial bronze medalist Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN).
In the battle for fifith place, world bronze medalist TUNGALAG Munkhtuya (MGL) rolled up a 15-5 technical fall over junior world bronze medalist Jennifer PAGE (USA), giving Mongolia the win on classification points, 18-17, over the United States after each side had posted four wins.
For seventh place, Paris Golden Grand Prix runner-up Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) wrapped up Kateryna SASSA (UKR) for the fall 41 seconds into the 75kg bout and gave Hungary a 4-4, 18-17 win over Ukraine.
Japan 8, Russia 0
China 6, Canada 2
Mongolia 4, United States 4 (Mongolia wins on classification points 18-17)
Hungary 4, Ukraine 4 (Hungary wins on classification points, 18-17)
Final World Cup rankings
6. United States