To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


   TOKYO (November 30) - Three officials in the women's 72-kg gold medal final at this year's world championships have been demoted after failing to take action for a head butt by eventual winner Stanka Zlateva of Bulgaria.

   Mario Saletnig, head of FILA's officiating commission, told Japanese journalists of the sanctions during the FILA coaches clinic for female wrestling held in Tokyo, November 23-26. Zlateva head-butted Japan's Kyoko Hamaguchi during their match in Guangzhou, China, but the officiating crew did not penalize or caution the Bulgarian wrestler who went on to win her first world championship title.

   Hamaguchi required surgery for a broken nose. The Japan Wrestling Federation submitted a complaint to FILA along with a video of the head butt.

   Saletnig explained that three of the four officials judging the bout were demoted, but the fourth official was not demoted since he retired following the match. Saletnig stressed, however, that the result of the bout cannot be changed, leaving Hamaguchi, a former five-time world champion, with her second silver medal in as many years.