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Iran’s female wrestlers learn from world’s best Japan

13 Apr 2017
Tokyo, Japan, April 13, 2017: Top officials in Iranian women’s wrestling visited Japan recently on a fact-finding tour of the world’s leader in women’s wrestling, observing training sessions and meeting with Japanese officials. Farnaz Panahizadeh, director of the Iranian wrestling federation’s international department and a member of United World Wrestling’s Women and Sport Commission, led the five-member group to Japan.

The delegation included members associated with the start of women’s wrestling in Iran two years ago. They visited Shigakkan University near Nagoya and toured the Ajinomoto National Training Centre in Nishigaoka, Tokyo.

According to Panahizadeh, there are about 100 women actively competing in wrestling in Iran with another 2,000 women throughout the nation reportedly enjoying the practice of the disciplines.

“Enthusiasm for women’s wrestling is growing. The reason we came to Japan is to study the method of training and practice environment of the strongest country in women’s wrestling in the world,” said Panahizadeh.

Asked for her thoughts on the training she observed at Shigakkan, the delegation leader remarked “Everyone there is so enthusiastic. It is like the only thing that matters is being No.1 in the world,” said Panahizadeh.

The school, formerly known as Chukyo Women’s University, produced all six of Japan’s entries in women’s wrestling at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Kaori Icho (58kg) and three-time gold medalist and Rio 2016 silver medal-winner Saori Yoshida (53kg).

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