ULAANBAATAR (June 7) – Miku SAITO won the battle of former cadet champions to bag Japan’s third gold medal in women’s freestyle at the Asian junior wrestling championships.
Saito of Tokyo’s Abe Gakuin high school, the Asia cadet champion in 2012, notched a pair of wins and then edged 2013 cadet winner Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ), 7-6, for her second Asia age-group crown.
Meanwhile, Rumi HIROSE lost to Yarygin Grand Prix bronze medalist ALTANTSETSEG Battsetseg (MGL) in the 55 final for the silver medal for a second year in a row.
Kona SUZUKI at 63kg for the women and Taiki YAMAMOTO at 120kg in men’s freestyle bagged bronze medals for Japan.
Suzuki opened in the semifinals against world bronze medal winner Ekaterina LARIONOVA (KAZ) and lost by fall, but won by technical fall over Uzbek newcomer Narbeva KHALBAZAR (UZB) in the third-place final
In the final women’s standings, Japan finished in fourth place overall with three gold medals, a silver and bronze behind Mongolia, Kazakhstan and India.
48kg – WATANABE, Yuka (did not compete)
55kg – HIROSE, Rumi (Silver, 8 entries)
R1 – df. Kim Hong-Sim (KOR), 9-6
SF – df. Lalita LALITA (IND) by TF, 12-1
F1 – lost to ALTANTSETSEG Battsetseg (MGL), 2-10
63kg – SUZUKI, Kona (Bronze, 7 entries)
R1 – bye
SF – lost to Ekaterina LARIONOVA (KAZ) by fall
F3 – df. Khalbazar NARBEVA (UZB) by TF, 10-0
72kg – SAITO, Miku (Gold, 6 entries)
R1 – df. PARK Chae (KOR) by fall
SF – df. PURVEE Nominerdene (MGL) by TF, 12-1
F1 – df. Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ), 7-6
Team scores: (1) Mongolia, 67 points; (2) Kazakhstan, 63; (3) India, 60; (4) Japan, 57
50kg – UEMATSU, Hayato (10th, 10 entries)
R1 – lost to SIN Chol-U (PRK) by TF, 0-10
120kg – YAMAMOTO, Taiki (Bronze, 7 entries)
R1 – df. BAK Chan-Myeong (KOR), 10-4
SF – lost to Akbar YELUBAIULY (KAZ) by TF, 1-11
F3 – df. Roubal SINGH (IND) by TF, 12-1