Japan, India share 2 WW golds at U17 Worlds
Thursday, July 28, 2022 - 18:58 By Vinay Siwach
ROME, Italy (July 28) -- In the history of women's wrestling at the U17 World Championships dating back to 1998, India never won a medal in the highest weight class 73kg; earlier 70kg.
Priya MALIK (IND) now has changed that record. She broke the jinx in 2021 by winning the gold at the U17 World Championships in Budapest.
The 17-year-old on Thursday defended her world title with a clinic display, to become a two-time U17 world champion, only the third Indian wrestler to achieve the feat in women's wrestling.
Malik entered this competition with only one loss in her entire career, a 3-3 defeat against Nodoka YAMAMOTO (JPN) at the U20 Asian Championships just 20 days back.
Priya MALIK (IND) defeated Mariia ZENKINA (UKR) in the 73kg final. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
But she put that behind and wrestled like a pro throughout the tournament. After warming up with a 3-1 win over Kaiulani GARCIA (USA) in the opening round, she scored 10-0 on Dominika POCHOWSKA (POL) before pinning Alina YERTOSTIK (KAZ) in the semifinals, replicating the result from the U17 Asian Championships final.
In the gold medal bout, she wrestled European bronze medalist Mariia ZENKINA (UKR) and gave no chance to even score a point. A single leg attack opened the scoring for her and then she added one more takedown using the same attack as Zenkina tried to escape the hold.
Malik mixed it up with a double leg attack and go behind in the second period before securing the 10-0 win with 55 seconds remaining.
The Haryana-native has now joined Sonam MALIK (IND) and Komal PANCHAL (IND) as the only two-time U17 world champions in women's wrestling.
Ritika KATARIA (IND) defeated world champion Erica PASTORIZA (USA) in the 43kg. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
Another U17 Asian champion, Ritika KATARIA (IND), added a world title to her name. In the 43kg final, she defeated returning gold medalist (40kg) Erica PASTORIZA (USA) via fall after leading 9-0.
Kataria and Pastoriza were arguably the top two wrestlers of the weight classes as they dominated their way to the finals. But Pastoriza could not get going in the gold bout, failing to attack Kataria once.
The 15-year-old Indian tried to cradle Pastoriza early but the American survived the attempt. She again locked her arms in front and pressed Pastoriza's head for another cradle but once again the American defended but could not stop Kataria from a go behind. A takedown in the zone added two more to Kataria's score as she led 5-0 at the break.
It was a similar story in the second half as Kataria opened with a takedown before a headlock worked out well and she pinned Pastoriza to claim her first world gold.
Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) pinned Gerda TEREK (HUN) in 55 seconds to win 57kg gold. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
Japan also won two gold medals as Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) capped off a dominant display in Rome with a fall over European champion Gerda TEREK (HUN) in the 57kg final. She took only 55 seconds to get the pin.
A product of the JOC Elite Academy which has produced the likes of Olympic champion Yui SUSAKI (JPN) and Asian champion Nonoka OZAKI (JPN) among other stars, Uchida showed glimpses of the trademark Japanese wrestling style.
Keeping a low stance, she was lighting quick to attack the front leg of the opponents and finished her bouts well before the time, majorly using a leg lace.
Anju SATO (JPN) became the U17 world champion at 65kg. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
The second gold for Japan came at 65kg as Anju SATO (JPN) held on for a nervy 5-2 win over Maria PANTIRU (ROU) in the final.
Pantiru was called passive first and Sato shot for the leg soon after but the Romanian wrestler scored an exposure to lead 2-1. Sato continued her snap downs and during one such snap, Pantiru lost her balance and Sato was quick to go behind and score a takedown to lead 3-2 at the break.
A late takedown was the only other action in the bout as Sato kept her distance from Pantiru.
Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE) upgraded her '21 silver to gold in Rome. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
Japan's missed a chance to win a third gold medal of the night as Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE) won a thrilling 49kg final against Mihoko TAKEUCHI (JPN), 5-3.
The victory was even sweeter as Mammadov had to make a comeback in the second period after trailing 3-0. Warned for passivity, Mammadova gave up a takedown after conceding the point for passivity.
Takeuchi had to hold her lead but was warned for inactivity and she then gave up a takedown in the activity period as Mammadova took a 3-3 criteria lead with 15 seconds remaining.
As Takeuchi tried to find her final attack, Mammadova used an arm throw to score two more points and seal the gold medal with a 5-3 win.
The European champion had fallen short at the last U17 World Championships as she suffered a 7-2 loss to Komal in the 46kg final.
A clearly improved Mammadova showed up in Rome as she went past U20 European champion Sevval CAYIR (TUR) 3-2 in the quarterfinals as well.
She is now only the fourth wrestler from Azerbaijan to win the U17 world title in women's wrestling.
Chisato YOSHIDA (JPN) will wrestle in the 69kg final on Friday. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
Japan, India dominate, again
Japan and India shared seven spots out of 10 in the finals on Thursday. Japan managed to send four wrestlers into the gold medal bouts while India managed three. The USA entered two while Ukraine managed a finalist.
In a repeat of the U17 Asian Championships final, MUSKAN (IND) set up the 40kg gold medal bout against Mona EZAKA (JPN). Both were class apart in the eight-wrestler field and will now wrestle for gold. In the Asian final, Muskan had pinned Ezaka.
At 46kg, Gabriella GOMEZ (USA) came from behind to beat European champion Kornelia LASZLO (HUN), 3-3, in the semifinals. She will now wrestle for gold against Koko MATSUDA (JPN) who managed to scrape past SHRUTI (IND) 4-0 with some solid defense.
India manage to beat a Japanese wrestler when SAVITA (IND) pinned Suzu SASAKI (JPN) in the 61kg semifinal by locking up a cradle. She will now face Valerie HAMILTON (USA) in the final after the USA wrestler made it past Sevinch SULTONOVA (UZB) with ease.
Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR) will wrestle Sakura ONISHI (JPN) in a bid to win her second U17 world title. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
At 53kg, one of the two finalists is destined to suffer their first-ever international loss. Sakura ONISHI (JPN) overpowered Ya CHEN (TPE) in the semifinal while returning world champion Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR) pinned Khaliun BYAMBASUREN (MGL) in the other semifinal.
Both Onishi and Yefremova have never lost a bout on the international stage but that record will hold one more day for one of them.
HARSHITA (IND) secured her first U17 world medal after missing out in 2021. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
The final pair at 69kg includes HARSHITA (IND) and Chisato YOSHIDA (JPN). Harshita gave no chance to Veronika VILK (CRO) to get her double arm lock and won 8-1 while Yoshida had to recover from 4-2 down to score a takedown Nadiia SOKOLOVSKA (UKR) and then score another clumsy one with seven seconds remaining.
GOLD: Ritika KATARIA (IND) df. Erica PASTORIZA (USA), via fall (9-0)
BRONZE: Elvina KARIMZADA (AZE) df. Arina ABDULLINA (KAZ), via fall (8-0)
BRONZE: Anastasiia POLSKA (UKR) df. Gulnura RUSLANOVA (UZB), 5-3
GOLD: Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE) df. Mihoko TAKEUCHI (JPN), 5-3
BRONZE: Sevval CAYIR (TUR) df. Aiymgul ABYLOVA (KAZ), 13-0
BRONZE: Fabiana RINELLA (ITA) df. Reka HEGEDUS (SVK), 7-0
GOLD: Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) df. Gerda TEREK (HUN), via fall (6-0)
BRONZE: Ulmeken ESENBAEVA (UZB) df. Shelby MOORE (USA), 4-2
BRONZE: Tuba DEMIR (TUR) df. Liza TOMAR (IND), 7-0
GOLD: Anju SATO (JPN) df. Maria PANTIRU (ROU), 5-2
BRONZE: Zharkynai NURLAN KYZY (KGZ) df. Sydney PERRY (USA), 7-0
BRONZE: Reka VAN OS (NED) df. Viktoria FOELDESIOVA (SVK), via fall (4-0)
GOLD: Priya MALIK (IND) vs. Mariia ZENKINA (UKR)
BRONZE: Alina YERTOSTIK (KAZ) df. Kaiulani GARCIA (USA), via fall (2-6)
BRONZE: Lotta ENGLICH (GER) df. Makoto KOMADA (JPN), 11-0
GOLD: Mona EZAKA (JPN) vs MUSKAN (IND)
SF 1: Mona EZAKA (JPN) df. Yagmur KARABACAK (TUR), 11-0
SF 2: MUSKAN (IND) df. Diana VOICULESCU (ROU), 10-0
GOLD: Koko MATSUDA (JPN) vs Gabriella GOMEZ (USA)
SF 1: Koko MATSUDA (JPN) df. SHRUTI (IND), 4-0
SF 2: Gabriella GOMEZ (USA) df. Kornelia LASZLO (HUN), 3-3
GOLD: Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR) vs Sakura ONISHI (JPN)
SF 1: Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR) df. Khaliun BYAMBASUREN (MGL), via fall
SF 2: Sakura ONISHI (JPN) df. Ya CHEN (TPE), 10-0
GOLD: SAVITA (IND) vs Valerie HAMILTON (USA)
SF 1: SAVITA (IND) df. Suzu SASAKI (JPN), via fall
SF 2: Valerie HAMILTON (USA) df. Sevinch SULTONOVA (UZB), 5-0
GOLD: Chisato YOSHIDA (JPN) vs. HARSHITA (IND)
SF 1: Chisato YOSHIDA (JPN) df. Nadiia SOKOLOVSKA (UZB), 6-4
SF 2: HARSHITA (IND) df. Veronika VILK (CRO), 8-0