| Event type

Lightweight, Freestyle (≤57 kilograms), Women

Date4 – 5 August 2021
LocationMakuhari Messe, 2-1, Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Participants16 from 16 countries

Japan’s Risako Kawai was the defending Olympic gold medallist and the 2019 World Champion in this class and had also won the 2018 Worlds at 59 kg and the 2017 Worlds at 60 kg. She was seeded first, followed by Nigerian Odunayo Adekuoroye, a three-time medallist at the World Championships and a Commonwealth Games Champion in 2014 and 2018. Japan’s Kaori Icho, likely the greatest ever female wrestler, had won gold at 58 kg in Rio, following three gold medals at 62 kg in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Since retired, Icho’s absence opened up the class for other wrestlers looking to medal.

The other seeds were Iryna Kurachkina (BLR-3) and Rong Ningning (CHN-4). Kurachkina had two bronze medals from the World Championships while Rong had won the Worlds in this class in 2018 and was runner-up in 2019 to Kawai. Unseeded but also expected to challenge was the United States’ Helen Maroulis, who had won the gold medal at Rio at 53 kg, but had since moved up in class.

The shock of the opening round came when Adekuoroye was taken down by fall by unheralded Moldovan Anastasia Nichita. Rong was also defeated in round one, but she was taken out, 8-0, by Maroulis, not really an upset. Both Kawai and Kurachkina won their opening matches.

The semi-finals saw Kawai meet Maroulis, who she defeated in a defensive struggle, 2-1, and Kurachkina facing Bulgarian Evelina Nikolova, who was no match for the Belarussian, losing 11-0 by technical superiority in 4:42. Kawai and Kurachkina met for the gold medal, with Kawai winning a workman-like victory 5-0. For Kawai, this completed a family wrestling double as two days before, her younger sister, Yukako Kawai, had taken the gold medal at 62 kg, and gave her two consecutive Olympic titles in this event.

The bronze medals went to Maroulis and Nikolova in easy victories, Maroulis winning by technical superiority, 11-0, over Mongolian Boldsaikhan Khongorzul, and Nikolova taking down ROC team member Valeriya Koblova by fall.

1Risako KawaiJPN1200223Gold
2Iryna KurachkinaBLR10012510Silver
=3Helen MaroulisUSA1101286Bronze
=3Evelina NikolovaBUL11101414Bronze
=5Boldsaikhan KhongorzulMGL9011723
=5Valeriya KoblovaROC7001314
7Anastasia NichitaMDA610514
8Tetiana KitUKR51028
9Anshu MalikIND200313
10Rong NingningCHN10048
11Alma ValenciaMEX10025
12Fatoumata CamaraGUI100218
13Odunayo AdekuoroyeNGR00082
14Mathilde RivièreFRA00057
15Siwar BousetaTUN00002
16Jowita WrzesieńPOL00003

Round One

Date4 August 2021 — 12:50
Match #104 Aug 12:50Risako KawaiJPNDecisionFatoumata CamaraGUI
Match #204 AugBoldsaikhan KhongorzulMGLWin by injuryMathilde RivièreFRA
Match #304 AugTetiana KitUKRFallSiwar BousetaTUN
Match #404 AugHelen MaroulisUSADecisionRong NingningCHN
Match #504 AugIryna KurachkinaBLRDecisionAnshu MalikIND
Match #604 AugValeriya KoblovaROCDecisionAlma ValenciaMEX
Match #704 AugEvelina NikolovaBULDecision by shutoutJowita WrzesieńPOL
Match #804 AugAnastasia NichitaMDAFallOdunayo AdekuoroyeNGR


Date4 August 2021 — 21:20
Match #104 Aug 21:20Risako KawaiJPNDecision by shutoutBoldsaikhan KhongorzulMGL
Match #204 AugHelen MaroulisUSADecision by shutoutTetiana KitUKR
Match #304 AugIryna KurachkinaBLRDecisionValeriya KoblovaROC
Match #404 AugEvelina NikolovaBULDecisionAnastasia NichitaMDA


Date4 August 2021 — 18:55
Match #104 Aug 18:55Risako KawaiJPNDecisionHelen MaroulisUSA
Match #204 AugIryna KurachkinaBLRTechnical superiority by shutoutEvelina NikolovaBUL

Repêchage Round One

Date5 August 2021
Match #105 AugBoldsaikhan KhongorzulMGLTechnical superiority by shutoutFatoumata CamaraGUI
Match #205 AugValeriya KoblovaROCDecisionAnshu MalikIND

Repêchage Final

Date5 August 2021 — 11:00
Match #105 Aug 11:00Helen MaroulisUSATechnical superiority by shutoutBoldsaikhan KhongorzulMGL
Match #205 AugEvelina NikolovaBULFallValeriya KoblovaROC

Final Round

Date5 August 2021 — 20:55
Match 1/205 Aug 11:30Risako KawaiJPNDecision by shutoutIryna KurachkinaBLR