BELGRADE, September 16 – Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist Yui SUSAKI returned to international competition on September 14 to lead five teammates to titles at the Belgrade 2022 Senior Wrestling World Championships and the overall team title at Stark Arena in Belgrade.
Susaki made short work of all her opponents, rolling up a pair of pins and two more wins by technical fall at 50kg to claim her third senior world title. She also owns a pair of two junior world titles and three cadet crowns (2014-16).
Along with Susaki, teammates Mayu MUKAIDA-SHIDOCHI (55kg), Tsugumi SAKURAI (57kg) and Nonoka OZAKI (62kg), Miwa MORIKAWA (65kg) all took home gold medals.Shidochi won her fourth world title, and her first as Shidochi-Mukaida, to add to another gold medal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Also at the September 12-16 women’s events, Sakurai repeated her triumph of Oslo 2021 for a second world crown, while Ozaki improved on her bronze medal in Oslo to claim her first world senior title and Morikawa climbed the final rung to become the world champion at 65kg.
Meanwhile, world under-20 champions Ami ISHII (68kg) and Sakura MOTOKI (59kg) will take home a silver and a bronze medal, respectively, from Belgrade, while defending 2021 world champion Masako FURUICHI and 2019 junior world champ Yuka KAGAMI will have to settle for bronze medals at the two heaviest categories — 72kg and 76kg.
Akari FUJINAMI, the senior world champ at 53kg one year ago in Oslo, was forced to withdraw from the squad with a late foot injury, leaving no time for an alternate to be names.
On the mat, Susaki wasted little time dispatching Otgonjargal DOLGORJAV (MGL) with a front headlock to fall in the championship final at 50kg.Up to the semifinals, Susaki did not surrender a single point, wrapping up the matches in the first period by fall or technical fall for her first world title since 2018.
Shidochi, meanwhile, rolled to a 10-0 win in her finals bout with under-20 European champion Oleksandra KHOMENETS (UKR). Shidochi did not surrender a single point in her first mat appearance since Tokyo 2020.Her latest world triumph is her third at 55kg, after wins in 2016 and 2018.
Sakurai edged European champion Alina HRUSHYNA AKOBIYA (UKR), 2-2 on criteria, in the third round at 57kg. In the final, Sakurai squared off with Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Helen MAROULIS (USA) and fashioned a 3-0 victory for her second straight world championship crown.
Ozaki, fresh from a triumph at the world under-20 meet one month prior, handed Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) an 11-5 loss in the semifinal and then stunned Kayla MIRACLE (USA) with a 10-0 triumph off her ankle-lock and turn technique.
Ozaki, winning her first senior world title at the age of 19, had earlier won the Asian championship crown in April and the under-20 world title in August.
Morikawa, who faced Tokyo 2021 Olympian LONG Jia (CHN), held on for nail-biting 2-0 triumph to claim the world championship crown after being silver medalist the previous year. Forced to wrestle for six minutes in each of her three bouts, Morikawa held her opponents scoreless for the title.
In the final team score tallies, Japan claimed the team title with 190 points, even while missing points at 53kg due to Fujinami’s absence.It was Japan’s eighth straight team title in women’s wrestling and was the first time since 2006 that Japan claimed champions in five categories.
50kg – SUSAKI, Yui Gold, 22 entries
Round 1 – Bye
R2 – df. Thi Xuan NGUYEN (VIE) by TF, 10-0, 0:41
R3 – df. Anna LUKASIAK (POL) by TF, 10-0, 0:30
SF – df. Miesinnei Mercy GENESIS (NGR) by Fall, 2:24 (8-0)
F1 – df. Otgonjargal DOLGORJAV (MGL) by Fall, 1:23 (4-0)
55kg – SHIDOCHI, Mayu (JTEKT) Gold, 17 entries
R1 – df. Elvira KAMALOGLU (TUR) by TF, 10-0, 4:00
R2 – df. Marina SEDNEVA (KAZ) by TF, 10-0, 2:43
R3 – df. Mengyu XIE (CHN), 6-0
SF – df. Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) by TF, 12-0, 2:09
F1 – df. Oleksandra KHOMENETS (UKR) by TF, 10-0, 2:58
57kg – SAKURAI, Tsugumi (Ikuei University) Gold, 19 entries
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Evelina NIKOLOVA (BUL) by TF, 12-0, 5:16
R3 – df. Alina HRUSHYNA AKOBIIA (UKR), 2-2
SF – df. Zhala ALIYEVA (AZE), by TF, 10-0, 4:46
F1 – df. Helen MAROULIS (USA), 3-0
59kg – MOTOKI, Sakura (Ikuei University) Bronze, 14 entries
R1 – df. Ebru DAGBASI (TUR) by Fall, 2:42 (5-0)
R2 – df. Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) by Fall, 1:50 (6-0)
SF – lost to Anastasia NICHITA (MDA), 5-7
F3 – df. Qi ZHANG (CHN) by Fall, 3:45 (7-0)
62kg – OZAKI, Nonoka (Keio University)Gold, 24 entries
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Anna SZEL (HUN) by Fall, 0:53 (6-0)
R3 – df. Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) by TF, 10-0, 0:35
SF – df. Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ), 11-5
F1 – df. Kayla MIRACLE (USA) by TF, 10-0, 2:27
65kg – MORIKAWA, MiwaGold, 14 entries
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Mallory VELTE (USA), 2-0
SF – df. Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL), 3-0
F1 – df. Jia LONG (CHN), 2-0
68kg – ISHII, Ami Silver, 23 entries
R1 – df. Gabriela PEDRO DA ROCHA (BRA) by TF, 10-0, 3:00
R2 – df. Pauline LECARPENTIER (FRA), 3-0
R3 – df. Linda MORAIS (CAN) by Fall, 2:37 (5-8)
SF – df. Nisha NISHA (IND), 5-4
F1 – lost to Tamyra STOCK MENSAH (USA) by Fall, 2:10 (0-6)
72kg – FURUICHI, Masako Bronze, 14 entries
R1 – df. Qiandegenchagan QIANDEGENCHAGAN (CHN), 4-3
R2 – df. Kendra DACHER (FRA), 8-4
SF – lost to Amit ELOR (USA), 2-3
F3 – df. Buse CAVUSOGLU TOSUN (TUR), 3-2
76kg – KAGAMI, Yuka Bronze, 25 entries
R1 – df. Dymond GUILFORD (USA), 3-0
R2 – df. Francy RAEDELT (GER), 2-1
R3 – lost to Yasemin ADAR (TUR), 2-4
SF – df. Gulmaral YERKEBAYEVA (KAZ), 2-1
F1 – df. Genesis REASCO VALDEZ (ECU), 4-0