Japan, China, Russia and USA Put Multiple Wrestlers in Women's Finals at #WrestleSofia
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 19:52 By Taylor Miller
Photo of Ruka NATAMI (JPN).
SOFIA, Bulgaria – Four nations put multiple finalists into the first set of women’s freestyle gold-medal matches at the 2019 Cadet World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Leading the way is Japan with three finalists, followed by China, Russia and USA, which each pushed two into the gold bout. India also advanced an athlete to the finals.
Japan will go head-to-head with USA in two matches tomorrow night.
At 49 kg, 2018 U15 Cadet Asian champion Moe KIYOOKA (JPN) will do battle against Cristelle RODRGIUEZ (USA).
In the semifinals, Kiyooka edged out 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist Xaomin XIE (CHN), 9-9, and Rodriguez pinned Yung Hsun LIN (TPE) in the first 20 seconds.
For the championship at 57 kg, 2018 Cadet Asian silver medalist Ruka NATAMI (JPN) will go against Skylar HATTENDORF (USA).
Both dominated their semifinals matches to advance to the finals. Natami collected a 9-0 win over 2019 Cadet Asian silver medalist Yifan TANG (CHN), while Hattendorf, like her American teammate, picked up a first-period fall over 2019 Cadet European bronze winner Birgul SOLTANOVA (AZE).
Photo of Luchana BEKBAULOVA (RUS).
Japan will also be represented in the final at 43 kg as Nagisa HARADA (JPN) overpowered Nazik MIRLAN KYZY (KGZ) in the semifinals, 11-0.
For gold, Harada must go through reigning 2018 Cadet World champion and 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist Luchana BEKBAULOVA (RUS).
Bekbaulova put together an impressive performance on the first day, outscoring her opponents 18-0 in her two matches.
The other Russian representative in the finals is 2019 Cadet European champion Olga KOZYREVA (RUS), who will face off another continental gold medalist, 2019 Cadet Asian champion Yifeng LU (CHN).
Lu dominated the returning World silver medalist Julia FRIDLUND (SWE) in the semifinals, scoring two big throws for a 12-2 technical superiority.
Joining Lu in the gold medal match for China is Binbin XIANG (CHN), who had no issues taking out 2019 Cadet European silver medalist Veronica BRASCHI (ITA) in the 65 kg semifinals, 5-0.
In order to get on top of the podium, Xiang will battle Sonam SONAM (IND), 2017 Cadet World champion and 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist.
Sonam blanked 2019 Cadet European champion Ekaterina GLUKHAREVA (RUS) with a 4-0 victory.
The finals will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) live on unitedworldwrestling.org.
43 kg: Luchana BEKBAULOVA (RUS) vs. Nagisa HARADA (JPN)
49 kg: Cristelle RODRIGUEZ (USA) vs. Moe KIYOOKA (JPN)
57 kg: Skylar HATTENDORF (USA) vs. Ruka NATAMI (JPN)
65 kg: Sonam SONAM (IND) vs. Binbin XIANG (CHN)
73 kg: Yifeng LU (CHN) vs. Olga KOZYREVA (RUS)