NEW DELHI (April 21) – Chihiro Kumabe and Hiroe Suzuki won Japan's first gold medals of this year's Asian championships and Yurika Ito added a silver medal on the fourth day of the five-day meet.
Kumabe needed three periods to get past London 2012 entry Aisuluu Tynybekova (KGZ) in her opening bout at 59kg, and three periods to defeat world bronze medalist Tungalag Munkhtuya (MGL) in the championship final.
The victory was Kumabe's second international win and follows her victory in New Delhi a year ago in the Hari Ram Grand Prix tourney.
Suzuki also needed three periods to secure her gold medal and avenge a loss to Odonchimeg Badrakh (MGL) in the World Cup meeting in March.
It was the fourth senior-level title for Suzuki, who also took individual honors at the World Cup, despite her loss to Badrakh. Most recently, Suzuki won the New York Holiday crown in November by defeating 67kg world champion Adeline Gray (USA).
At 63kg, 2011 junior world champ Yurika Ito notched three falls on her way to the finals, but was pinned by 2011 world champion at 67kg Xiluo Zhuoma (CHN). The silver medal was Ito's first medal in an international tourney since formally moving up to 63kg.
Also, at 67kg, Yoshiko Inoue lost to London 2012 silver medalist at 63kg, Jing Ruixue (CHN), in the first round, but was knocked of medal contention when the two-time former world champion lost to Nasanburmaa Ochirbat (MGL) in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, in men's freestyle, Nobuyoshi Arakida lost to former Asia cadet medalist Dmitriy Popov (KAZ) in the first round at 120kg and was knocked our of the tourney when the young Kazakh fell in the quarterfinals to London Olympian Chuluunbat Jargalsaikhan (MGL).
In the final rankings for women's freestyle, Japan finished in second place with 54 points, behind China which racked up 58 points. Mongolia also scored 54 points, but assigned third place with only one gold medal to Japan' two.
59kg – KUMABE, Chihiro (Gold, 10 entries)
R1 – bye
R2 – df. Aisuluu Tynybekova (KGZ), 2-1 (0-1, 4-0, 6-2)
SF – df. Seo Hee-Jeong (KOR), 2-0 (5-0, 3-1)
F1 – df. Tungalag Munkhtuya (MGL), 2-1 (1-5, 2-0, 6-0)
63kg – ITO, Yurika (Silver, 9 entries)
R1 – df. Hou Min-wen (TPE) by fall, 1P (F5-0)
R2 – df. Nestan Kiazova (KGZ) by fall, 1P (F4-0)
SF – df. Tumentsetseg Sharkhuu (MGL) by fall, 1P (F5-5)
F1 – lost to Xiluo Zhuoma (CHN) by fall, 2P (0-2, F3-7)
67kg – INOUE, Yoshiko (6th, 7 entries)
R1 – lost to Jing Ruixue (CHN), 1-2 (1-0, 1-2, 0-2)
72kg – SUZUKI, Hiroe (Gold, 7 entries)
R1 – df. Jyoti (IND), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF – df. Elmira Syzdukova (KAZ), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
F1 – df. Odonchimeg Badrakh (MGL), 2-1 (0-1, 2-0, 2-1)
120kg – ARAKIDA, Nobuyoshi (10th, 13 entries)
R1 – lost to Dmitriy Popov (KAZ), 0-2 (0-4, 2-3)