TOKYO (March 18) – Olympians Kaori Icho and Kyoko Hamaguchi along with Chikako Matsukawa were named individual champions for third-place Japan at the World Cup of women's wrestling held March 5-6 in France.
Icho, the reigning Olympic and world champion, won all four of her bouts at 63kg for the individual crown in the dual-meet team competition. Olympic and world bronze medalist Hamaguchi (72kg) and former Asia champ Matsukawa (55kg) each notched three wins against one loss, but were awarded first place on criteria.
Meanwhile, world champion Hitomi Sakamoto had to settle for second place at 48kg despite winning all four of her matches. Sakamoto racked up 15 classification points with her four wins, but was edged by Jyldyz Eshimova (KAZ) with 16 points.
Individual champions at the other weight categories were Jessica MacDonald (CAN) at 51kg, Anna Polovneva (RUS) at 59kg and Hong Yan (CHN) at 67kg.