STRATHCONA COUNTY, Canada (September 28) – Three-time Olympic Games champion Saori Yoshida pinned all four of her opponents at 55kg to claim her 10th straight title on the second day of the women's wrestling world championships.
Yoshida's title gave her 13 world-level championships — one more than greco-roman legend Alexander Karelin (RUS) who won nine world titles and three Olympic Games gold medals between 1988 and 1999.
Despite the four pins, Yoshida had a bit of a scare in the semifinals when European champion Natalia Synyshyn (UKR) took the first period with a counter-throw out of bounds.
Yoshida took the second to draw even, then scores a fall in the third period off a double-leg takedown.
In the final, Yoshida took a one-sided bout from Helen Maroulis (USA) with a bar arm and body press for the fall.
"I can feel that everyone is out to beat me, so I can't relax even for a moment on the mat," Yoshida said. "I'm happy to have surpassed Karelin's record, but I think the feeling will grow even stronger after a few days."
Meanwhile, Hiroe Suzuki lost to Chinese veteran Xu Qing in the first round and was eliminated from medal contention when the former Asian bronze medalist did not make it to the finals.
55kg – YOSHIDA, Saori (Gold, 17 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Akziya DAUTBAYEVA (KAZ) by fall, 1P=0:58 (F3-0)
Yoshida scores with a single-leg takedown and moves quickly to an arm bar for the turn and fall.
R3 – df. Geeta GEETA (IND) by fall, 2P=0:29 (1-0, F3-0)
Yoshida spins behind for a point in the first period, then opens up with a double-leg and moves directly to a body press to pin the 2012 Asian bronze medalist.
SF – df. Nataliya SYNYSHYN (UKR) by fall, 3P=1:44 (0-4, 1-0, F3-0)
Yoshida drops the first period after being thrown out of bounds by the European champion on an attempted force-out, but comes back with a double-leg in the second.
In the third period, Yoshida scores with a single-leg and then hits a double-leg for a takedown and fall.
F1 – df. Helen MAROULIS (USA) by fall, 2P=0:52 (2-0, F4-0)
Yoshida scores a point off a front headlock and then adds a go-behind in the first period. In the second, Yoshida gets behind for a point and then works an arm bar to pin the Pan American Games gold medalist.
72kg – SUZUKI, Hiroe (11th, 16 entries)
R1 – lost to XU Qing (CHN), 1-2 (3-0, 1-1x=last, 0-1)
Suzuki counters a front headlock with a leg attack in the first period. Suzuki also takes the lead in the second with a single-leg takedown at 1:29, but gives up a point at the buzz to hand the period to Xu.
In the third period, Xu counters Suzuki's leg attack with a front headlock and goes behind for the winning point.
Xu, an Asian bronze medal winner in 2008, loses in the semifinals to eventual champion Jenny FRANSSON (SWE), knocking Suzuki out of the contention.