STRATHCONA COUNTY, Canada (September 27) – Yoshiko Inoue won a bronze medal at 67kg as Japan avoided being shut out on the first day of the women's world wrestling championships.
Inoue lost in a battle of 2011 world bronze medalists to Adeline Gray (USA) in the quarterfinals, but came back with a pair of wins in repechage to claim her second straight world bronze medal with a 2-0 win over Navjot Kaur (IND).
Kayoko Shimada came up short at 59kg, falling to Olga Butkevich (GBR) in the bronze medal final when she was caught on her back for the fall.
Butkevich, originally from Ukraine, won Britain's first-ever medal at a wrestling world championships.
At 51kg, Shigakkan high school sensation Risako Kawai had to settle for seventh place after a second-round loss to Kumari Babita (IND), a fifth-place finisher at the 2010 Asia championships.
The three weight categories contested on the opening day of the world championships — 51kg, 59kg and 67kg — are not included in the program of the Olympic Games.
51kg – KAWAI, Risako (7th, 14 entries)
R1 – df. Yuliya BLAHINYA (UKR), 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
Kawai opens with a quick takedown for one point and adds a go-behind late to win the first period. In the second, Kawai scores with a force-out early and adds a pair of single-legs to defeat the 2011 European champion.
R2 – lost to Kumari BABITA (IND) by fall, 3P=1:55 (7-0=1:07, 0-1, F0-4)
Kawai rolls up a technical in the first period with a double-leg and a series of cross-ankle turns. In the second, however, Babita comes back with a go-behind in the second, then capitalizes on Kawai's weak throw attempt for the fall in the third.
Babita, only 23rd in last year's world meet, loses in the semifinals to eventual champion Jessica MacDONALD (CAN), knocking Kawai out of medal contention.
59kg – SHIMADA, Kayoko (5th, 13 entries)
R1 – df. Iryna KHARIV (UKR), 2-1 (0-1, 2-0, 6-0=1:06)
Shimada is pushed out of bounds in the first period, but comes back with an ankle-pick and go-behind in the second.
Shimada gets rolling in the third period with a 3-point ankle-pick, then throws in a leg grapevine for two points and the technical against the 2009 European silver medalist.
R2 – lost to ZHANG Lan (CHN), 0-2 (0-2, 4-6)
Shimada is toppled with a pair of single-legs in the first period, and then is dropped to her back with a double-leg early in the second period and cannot overcome the deficit against the 2010 Asian Games silver medalist.
c1 – df. Lyudmila MIRONOVA (KAZ), 2-0 (3-0, 6-0=0:37)
Shimada scores with a double-leg and a leg grapevine for the first period, the rolls up a technical in the second with an ankle pick and a series of cross-ankle turns.
F3 – lost to Olga BUTKEVICH (GBR) by fall, 1P=1:57 (F2-5)
Shimada opens with an ankle-pick, but is reversed in par terre with exposure. At 1:40, Shimada closes to 2-3 and attempts a gut wrench for the win, but is caught on her back for the fall.
67kg – INOUE, Yoshiko (Bronze, 16 entries)
R1 – df. Iryna SHAUTSOVA (BLR), 2-0 (1-0, 7-0=1:45)
Inoue rolls up five points with a cross-ankle lock and turn in the second period against the 2010 European bronze medalist.
R2 – lost to Adeline GRAY (USA), 0-2 (1-1x=last, 0-3)
Inoue scores a force-out at 0:48, but Gray answers with a push-out at 1:39 to take the first period. Inoue gives up a takedown and ankle turn in the final 30 seconds of the second to the eventual champion.
c1 – df. Dzhanan MANOLOVA (BUL), 2-0 (1-0, 6-0=0:57)
Inoue gets a force-out off a single-leg attack early in the first period, then locks up the European bronze medal winner with a cross-ankle grip and rolls to a technical in the second.
F3 – df. Navjot KAUR (IND), 2-0 (1-0, 3-0)
Inoue takes the first period from the 2011 Asia No.3 with a go-behind midway through the stanza, then counters a leg-attack in the second for two points and receives a third point after India's challenge failed.