USA Wrestling 68 kg Women s World...

68 kg Women s World Championships Preview

By Gary Abbott | Oct. 03, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)

Note: TheMat.com has resumed its series of previews for the 2001 World Championships. Although it has not yet been determined when and where the event will be hosted, the tournament is expected to be held this year. Those athletes listed as entries for the event originally scheduled for New York City will be used in these previews. 68 kg Women's World Championships Preview The United States has won this weight for two straight years, with Kristie Marano winning the 2000 title and Sandra Bacher winning the gold in 1999. However, the USA will be represented by exciting young Toccara Montgomery, who beat both Bacher and Marano on the way to the No. 1 position in the USA. Montgomery was a high school senior last year when she beat the World Champions, and is now starting her college career at Cumberland College. She placed second in the 2001 Junior World Championships, losing in the finals to Anita Schatzle of Germany, who was the World silver medalist behind Bacher in 1999. Schatzle was the 2001 European bronze medalist at this weight division. Five-time World champion Christine Nordhagen-Vierling, who won the 165.25 pound title last year, is dropping back to this weight class this season again. She has been one of the sport's dominant stars and will be expected to immediately return to prominence at this weight division. Many North American wrestling fans are hoping to see a gold medal finals between Nordhagen-Vierling and Montgomery this time around. Anna Shamova of Russia was second in the 2000 World Championships and third at the 1999 World meet, but is just one of the options on the Russian roster. Natalia Gavrilova, the 2001 European Champion, is another possibility for Russia, as is Svetlana Yaroshevitch. Tomoe Miyamoto of Japan claimed the World bronze medal last year, but will not be the team's entry. Mimi Sugawara, the 2001 Junior World bronze medalist, won a wrestle-off to earn the spot on the Japanese team. Lise Golliot-LeGrand of France, who won World titles in 1995 and 1997, is a veteran to watch. LeGrand won a silver medal at the 2001 European Championships, and should be among the medal contenders at this year's World meet. Venezuela has indicated that it will participate in the World meet, but did not provide a roster. Veteran Xiomara Guevera, who placed second in the 2001 Pan American Championships, would be a top challenger if she is in the field. Olesya Nazarenko of Turkemenistan won a bronze medal at the 2001 Asian Championships, placing behind opponents from China and Kazakhstan, neither of which are entered in this tournament. China will be represented by Yang Yanli, and Kazakhstan did not enter any athletes here. Monika Kowalska of Poland and Svetlana Sayenko of Ukraine also have solid experience. Sayenko placed fifth at the 2001 European Championships. With the return of Nordhagen-Vierling to this weight class, the rest of the field will have to be at its best. Montgomery proved that she could beat World Champions on the way to the spot on the U.S. team; she may have to beat a few more to win the 2001 World gold medal and keep the U.S. streak going. WOMEN'S 68 kg/149.75 lbs. (16 athletes as of 9/14) Bulgaria - Stanka Zlateva Canada - Christine Nordhagen-Vierling China - Yang Yanli France - Lise LeGrand Germany - Anita Schatzle Japan - Mimi Sugawara Norway - Nina Nilsen Poland - Monika Kowalska Russia- Svetlana Yaroshevitch, Natalia Gavrilova or Anna Shamova Spain - Maider Unda Turkey - Eda Toraman or Yuksel Sultansuyu Turkemenistan - Olesya Nazarenko Ukraine - Svetlana Sayenko United States - Toccara Montgomery