TASHKENT - Securing the world championship two years in row made Eri Tosaka happier than winning her first title last year.
The 21-year-old Tosaka wore a huge grin at the world wrestling championships in Tashkent on Wednesday when she captured the gold medal in the women's 48-kilogram class for the second straight year, beating Iwona Nina Matkowska of Poland 10-2.
"I feel much happier than last year," said Tosaka, referring to the time when she won her first world title. "It's hard to keep winning."
Tosaka showed outstanding stable performances en route to the final, recording technical falls in her first three matches. In the semifinal, she outclassed Kim Hyon Gyong of North Korea 4-0.
In the final, a nervous Tosaka allowed Matkowska to score two points first, but turned the match around when a successful takedown sparked her offence. The 1.52-meter wrestler overwhelmed her opponent in the remainder of the match to grab her second world title.
Tosaka won the silver medal in the world championships in 2012, and bagged her first world title last year.
Nonetheless, "I don't think I'm in the defending position," Tosaka said, citing the fact that Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijan, a 2012 London Olympic silver medalist, did not compete in last year's tournament.
Tosaka had hoped to face Stadnyk, but the Azerbaijani was beaten by Matkowska in the semifinals.
In the 55-kilogram class, Chiho Hamada won the gold medal when she edged Irina Ologonova 4-3.
"I just feel happy, as [winning a world title] was one of my major goals," said Hamada, 21, who competed in a world championships for the first time.
Hamada had been one point behind toward the end of the final. Ologonova attempted to lay down her opponent to earn more points, but Hamada instead took her down to add two points to win the match.
"I desperately wanted to add [more points]," the 1.6-meter wrestler said. Hamada allowed her opponents to earn points first in all her matches at the championships. "I have to get more offensive," she added.
In the 69-kilogram class, Sara Dosho failed to win the gold medal when she allowed Aline Focken of Germany to add points just before the end of the final to edge her 5-4. Katsuki Sakagami lost in the second round of the 60-kilogram class.