Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Ano Liosia Olympic Hall, Ano Liossia
Date Started: August 22, 2004
Date Finished: August 23, 2004
Format: Round-robin pools, winner of each pool advanced to semi-finals. Runners-up in each pool advanced to classification round for 5/6 places.
The last four World Championships had been won by Japanese wrestlers, with Seiko Yamamoto winning in 2000-01, but she was then surpassed by [Saori Yoshida], who won in 2002-03. In both her World titles, Yoshida had beaten American Tina George-Wilson in the final, but George-Wilson was beaten in the US Trials by [Tela O’Donnell]. The four pool winners advanced to the semi-finals, where Yoshida defeated France’s [Anna Gomis] in a close match, 7-6, and Canadian [Tonya Verbeek] beat Swede [Ida-Theres Karlsson], 3-1. Neither medal match was close as Yoshida won the gold medal, 6-0, and Gomis won bronze by the same score.
In the early history of women’s wrestling Yoshida is considered the greatest ever practitioner. She would win Olympic gold again in this class in 2008 and 2012. Between 2002-14, she won 12 consecutive World Championships, and she also has four gold medals from the Asian Games. She retired in early 2014, but there has been some hint that she will return in 2016 to attempt to win a fourth Olympic gold medal. Her father, Eikatsu Yoshida, was a top international wrestler who finished fourth at the 1973 World Championships.
|6||Tela O'Donnell||22||United States||USA|
|7||Lee Na-Rae||25||South Korea||KOR||6||8|
|AC||Mabel Fonseca||32||Puerto Rico||PUR||DQ|