WRESTLING Preview: Japan goes for 11th Women’s World Cup title in Narita

World 76 kg Champion Adeline Gray of the U.S. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

A strong U.S. women’s team is in Narita, Japan to compete in the 18th UWW Women’s World Cup, the annual dual-meet competition among the top teams in the world.

Eight teams are usually included, but Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan declined, so there will be two pools of three teams:

Pool A: Japan (ranked no. 1), China (4), Ukraine (5)
Pool B: United States (3), Russia (2), Mongolia (7)

Pool matches will be held on Saturday, with the medal matches on Sunday. Look for results here.

Japan has dominated this event, winning 10 titles in the prior 17 editions. China has won six times and the U.S. has won once, back in 2003, in Tokyo. However, the American squad has also made it to the final, championships match three other times (last in 2011) and has won a bronze medal in 2006. Most recently, the U.S. has been fourth three times in a row.

The U.S. will be led by three World Champions: Jacarra Winchester (55 kg), Tamyra Mensah-Stock (68 kg) and Adeline Gray (76 kg). The 2018 Worlds silver winner Sarah Hildebrandt will fight at 53 kg with additional veteran talent in Whitney Conder (50 kg), Forrest Molinari (65 kg) and Victoria Francis (72 kg).

Japan’s three-time World Champion Risako Kawai (57 kg) is the headliner for the four-time defending World Cup winners. The hosts will also have former World Champions Yui Sasaki (50 kg) and Haruna Okuno (53 kg) in the line-up and 2019 Worlds medalists Hiroe Minagawa (76 kg silver), Yukako Kawai (62 kg bronze) and Masako Furuichi (72 kg bronze, but will compete at 68 kg).