Wrestlers Tosaka, Hamada earn titles at world championships

Kyodo

Eri Tosaka successfully defended her title in the women’s 48-kg class by beating Iwona Nina Matkowska of Poland in the final at the World Wrestling Championships on Wednesday.

Japan’s women claimed two of the four gold medals on offer on the third day of the worlds.

The 21-year-old Tosaka won three consecutive matches from the first round by technical fall before seeing off Hyong Gyong Kim of North Korea 4-0 in the semifinals and clobbering Matkowska 10-2 in the final.

“I wasn’t able to fight against (London Olympic silver medalist Mariya) Stadnik, but I got today’s victory facing some really strong opponents,” said Tosaka. Stadnik of Azerbaijan lost to Matkowska in the semifinals and finished with a bronze.

“I am much happier about this year’s victory than last year’s victory,” she said.

Chiho Hamada won her first title at 55 kg after defeating Russia’s Irina Ologonova 4-3 in the final. The 21-year-old won three matches after appearing in the second round in the weight category, which will not be contested at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It feels awesome to win at my first senior meet. I was determined to go for points where I could without getting frustrated,” said Hamada.

At 69 kg, Sara Dosho, who won a bronze medal at 67 kg at the previous worlds, also won three matches before beating London Olympic 72-kg champion Natalia Vorobeva of Russia to book a spot in the final, where the 19-year-old had to settle for the silver after falling to Germany’s Aline Focken.

At 60 kg, Katsuki Sakagami was eliminated after a second-round defeat to eventual gold medal winner Tserenchimed Sukhee of Mongolia and also losing in the repechage.

On Tuesday, Sosuke Takatani claimed the silver medal in the men’s 74-kg freestyle.

Takatani fell 8-2 to London Olympic bronze medalist Denis Tsargush of Russia in the final, failing in his bid to become the first Japanese in 33 years to win a freestyle world title.