World Champ Mukaida Helps Japan Jolt to Trio of China Open Golds

By Eric Olanowski

TAIYUAN, China (June 22) - World champion Mayu MuKAIDA (JPN), alongside YU MIYAHARA (JPN) and Yuzuru KUMANO (JPN) jolted Japan to a trio of China Open gold medals on the opening day of competition in Taiyuan’s Shanxi Sports Center. 

In the finals, Mukaida used a quartet of takedowns and a pushout with under ten seconds left to grab the 9-1 victory over China’s U23 world runner-up and Ivan Yarygin champion, ZHANG Qi.

Mukaida, who's only suffered two international losses since 2015 outscored her opponents 29-1 through her three matches on the day. When asked what worked for her this weekend, Mukaida said, "I just concentrated on one match at a time, and I was able to wrestle freely. I was able to do what I wanted." 

Yu Miyahara collected Japan's second gold medal of the night in a rematch of the Ivan Yarygin semifinals where she once again defeated Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS). This time, it was for the 53kg China Open gold medal. Though the Russian wrestler improved on January’s 10-0 defeat, Miyahara’s double leg takedown and side headlock roll were good enough to claim the 4-1 victory. 

Yuzuru Kumano gave Japan their third and final gold medal from the first day of competition with a 9-3 thumping of Russia’s Veronika CHUMIKOVA in the 59kg gold-medal bout.

RONG Ningning (CHN) presented the host nation with their first gold medal after sticking Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS) in the 57kg championship bout. “I felt very excited to win this gold medal. I brought glory to this Chinese team.”

After winning the Ivan Yarygin and Asian Championship at 59kg, Rong decided to move down to compete at 57kg. “The 2kg difference was not hard to make. It was just a few extra runs. But, I felt light. This is going to be my weight class moving forward to the Asian Games and the World Championships.” 

The final gold medal of the day went to Romania's Alina Emilia VUC. Vuc, the runner-up at the 2018 European Championships and Klippan Lady Open bronze medalist finally claimed the gold medal she’s been chasing all year with a 1-0 win over China’s ZHU Jiang.

GOLD – Alina VUC (ROU) df. ZHU Jiang (CHN), 1-0 



BRONZE – PANG Qianyu (CHN) df. LOU Lannuan (CHN), via fall 
BRONZE – LIU Yujiao (CHN) df. Mercedesz DENES (HUN), 10-0 

GOLD – Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) df. ZHANG Qi (CHN), 9-1 

BRONZE – OH Hyemin (KOR) df. Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN) 
BRONZE – OUYANG Junling (CHN) df. Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR), 5-2

GOLD – RONG Ningning (CHN) df. Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS), 5-0

BRONZE – UM Jieun (KOR) df. Kateryna ZHYDACHEVSKA (ROU), 3-3

BRONZE -  Tetyana KIT (UKR) df. Xingru PEI (CHN), via injury default 

GOLD – Yuzuru KUMANO (JPN) df. Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS), 9-3  

BRONZE – Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) df. WANG Yuan (CHN), 11-0 
BRONZE – ZHANG Yue (CHN) df. SUN Xinyuan (CHN), 8-6


World Champion Tkach Closes out China Open with First Gold of the Year

By Eric Olanowski

TAIYUAN, China (June 23) - Yuliia TKACH (UKR), the 2014 world champion improved on her second-place finish at the Klippan Lady Open, stopping China’s BAO Lingling (CHN), 4-1 in the 62kg finals to claim her first gold medal of the year. 

“I thought about the mistakes I made at the Klippan Lady Open and just wanted to win here. This is wrestling, and wrestling is my work and my life. I like wrestling and I’m happy that I took first place.” 

Tkach‘s lack of activity in the opening period of the finals put her in a 1-0 hole heading into the break. The three-time Olympian said, “I have to start wrestling if I want to win.” 

Last year's world runner-up got to work in the second period, scoring four points off a high crotch and a leg lace. “Overall, I thought I was aggressive. In the first period, not so much. But in the second period, I was go-go-go, and I was able to pick up the win.” 

At 68kg, fellow Ukranian Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) joined Tkach as a gold medalist after sticking Xiaoqian WANG (CHN) in the second China versus Ukraine match-up of the night.  


China wrapped up the final day of competition in Taiyuan with three gold medals, bringing their tournament total to four overall championship performances. 

TANG Chuying (CHN) captured the host nations first gold medal of the day, pummeling Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS), 11-0 in the 65kg finals.
In the first period, Tang led 1-0 before transitioning into two leg laces from a low-single. The Chinese wrestler held the 7-0 advantage heading into the final period. 

Tang closed out the match with a four-point throw, giving her an eleven-point technical superiority victory and China their second overall gold medal of the tournament. 

China's second gold medal went to WANG Juan (CHN) who won the 72kg Nordic tournament with four wins on the day, including a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Japan’s Masako FURUICHI (JPN). 

In the final bout of the tournament, Paliha PALIHA’s (CHN) second-period takedown helped her stop HUANG Yuanyuan (CHN), 3-1 in the all-China battle at 76kg, handing China their fourth gold medal of the tournament. 

GOLD – China (210 points)
SILVER – Russia (119 points)
BRONZE – Japan (110 points)
Fourth – Korea (90 points)
Fifth – Ukraine (65 points)

62kg (One bronze)
GOLD - Yulia TKACH (UKR) df. BAO Lingling (CHN), 4-1

BRONZE - CUI Fengfeng (CHN) df. HANG Jungwon (KOR), 5-1 

65kg (One bronze)
GOLD -  Chuying TANG (CHN) df. Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS), 11-0

BRONZE - Na LU (CHN) df. Miwa MORIKAWA (JPN), 6-4

68kg (One bronze)
GOLD - Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) df. WANG Xiaoqian (CHN), via fall 

BRONZE - QIN Suning (CHN) df. WANG Jiao (CHN), 12-2

72kg (One bronze)

76kg (One bronze)
GOLD - Paliha PALIHA (CHN) df. Yuanyuan HUANG (CHN), 3-1

BRONZE - Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) df. Eunju HWANG (KOR), 6-1