April 25 - Women freestyle wrestlers took centre stage at Astana's Daulet Sports Complex as wrestlers from China, Japan and North Korea claimed all five gold medals on offer at the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles Asian Championships.
China's Xeuchun Zhong secured the first Asian title of the day in the 53 kilogram category by earning two technical falls before pinning her opponent Thi Lua Nguyen of Vietnam inside 45 seconds.
Japan's Hikari Sugawara upset the home crowd by denying Zhuldyz Eshimova bronze, while Roazalia Tilegenova of Kyrgyzstan secured the other bronze against Uzbekistan's Asem Seydametova.
Zhong was joined on the top of the podium by compatriot and 2012 world champion Lan Zhang who came into the final of the 60kg class carrying an injured right knee.
That injury looked to be putting paid to her chances of victory as Kyrgyzstan's Aisuluu Tynybekova appeared well on the way to securing a win and was 11-4 ahead with two minutes to go.
But the veteran showed all her class and experience by not panicking and found an armbar from a scramble position to pin a stunned Tynybekova and take the win.
"If I was healthy then the match was no problem for me," claimed an excited Zhang afterwards.
"I'm very happy that my coaches told me to keep wrestling.
"The ligament is torn, yes, but I am still strong."
Mongolian Tserenchimed Sukhee and Haruka Sato of Japan took the bronze medals.
Sandwiched between those wins for China was a victory for North Korean Sun Jong In who overcame Orkhon Purevjav of Mongolia by criteria, 4-4 in the final of the 55kg class.
Bronze medals were picked up by Yajing Guan of China and Kazakhstan in the form of Avym Abdildina.
An 8-4 scoreline saw Japan's Yurika Ito take the 63kg title as she impressively saw off the challenge of her Chinese opponent Yan Hang Ying with Kazakhstan picking up bronze again through Yekaterina Larionova, while North Korea secured a second medal on the day in the form of Mi Kim Ran.
The final match-up of the night pitted Mongolian Tumentsetseg Sharkhuu against Sara Dosho of Japan in what was a rather one-sided affair as Dosho never looked in any trouble and went on to secure the Asian title with an 8-1 win.
Yet again, China and Kazakhstan made the podium, this time through Bin Yang and home favourite Elmira Syzdykova, who took the bronze medals.
Tomorrow sees the final weight category in the women's freestyle schedule take place along with four weights in the Greco-Roman competition.
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