Yayoi Urano, Japan

Born on March, 30 1969

6 gold medals and 1 silver on world championships 1990-1996


Between 1990 and 1996 Urano was very succesful in the FILA-wrestling world championships for women and beat good opponents like Emmanuelle and Doris Blind from France and

Christine Nordhagen from Canada. In 1997 the long run of medal victories took an end when Germany´s Nina Englich beat Yayoi, who weren´t fully trained, with 3-0 on points in the bronze match.

Unluckily she suffered from a knee injury and was forced to retire from the big wrestling championships but won the Clansman International championships final in the 63 kg class 1998.

Yayoi Urano was one of the first of all the great female wrestling champions from Japan. In 2007 she was inducted in the FILA Hall of fame.





Christine Nordhagen-Vierling, Canada

Born on June, 26, 1971

6 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze in World championships


Christine began with wrestling at the age of 20 and debuted in World championships 1993 when she reached the final in 70 kg and met the almost unstopable Yayoi Urano from Japan.

Nordhagen did a good match but lost on points. A year later she became world champion for the first time when she defeated the russian Elmira Kurbanova. The Moscow championships 1995

was a dissapointment for Christine who finished 4th, losing the bronze match against Germany´s Nina Englich. But already in 1996 Christine won the world championship again, beating the 

bulgarian Galina Ivanova in the 70 kg final match. The year after she won the 68 kg gold medal against the american Sandra Bacher and 1998 Nordhagen won the title for 3 times in 3 years

after a victory with 4-0 on points over Stephanie Gross, Germany. In WC 1999 Christine Nordhagen lost to the japanese Kyoko Hamaguchi on points and missed the chance to became champion

again but in the bronze match Nordhagen crushed Austria´s Elvira Barriga and won on fall efter only 17 seconds. In the 75 kg WC final 2000 Christine took another World championship title

when she defeated Edyta Witkowska from Poland and in 2001 she competed for the last time in a World championship and won her 6th gold medal efter beating USA´s Toccara Montgomery

in the 68 kg final. The year after Christine suffered from a lengthy injury which spoiled much of her wrestling competing in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 Nordhagen could train hard again and had

high hopes for that year´s first Olympic games wrestling for women and the competition began well with victories over Anita Schaetzle, Germany, Toccara Montgomery, USA and Katarzyna

Juszszak, Italy but when Christine Nordhagen met China´s Xu Wang she lost on points and that did that Christine only finished on the 5th place in the 72 kg weight class. Soon after that 

Nordhagen took the decision to end her active wrestling career. In September, 2006 Christine was recorded as the first woman in the FILA International Hall of fame.

Information sources: and

Christine Nordhagen-Vierling (in blue) against Italy´s Katarzyna Juszczak



Nikola Hartmann-Duenser, Austria

Born on June, 5, 1975

5 World championships gold medals, 5 european championships gold medals

Nikola is one of the most succesful female european wrestlers of all times. As late as 2006 she took a bronze medal in the european championships. The big successes began in 1993. In July she came on 2nd place in the junior world championships 60 kg class, losing to France´s Lise Golliot in the final and, maybe a little bit surprisingly, she became senior world champion for the first time less than a month later when she won the final in 61 kg over another french opponent, Isabelle Dourthe. In 1994 Hartmann once again beat Isabelle in that year´s WC final and took her second gold medal. A year later Moscow held the women´s world championships, Nikola got to the final where she met the home wrestler Natalia Ivanova and despite the home crowd´s support for Natalia it was Nikola Hartmann who won the match.

Her first european championships gold came in Oslo in 1996 after a victory over Poland´s Anna Udycz in the 61 kg final.Nikola should won the european title 5 years in a row 1996-2000. Surely impressing for the powerful austrian wrestler. The WC 1997 was a big dissapointment for Nikola who only finished on 8th place, but 1998 it was time to be a world champion again when Nikola beat Lene Aanes from Norway with 4-0 on points. And two years later Nikola Hartmann won the WC gold medal for the last time after a victory over the rather unknown japanese Rena Iwama in the 62 kg final. Hartmann should continue with wrestling until 2009, sometimes with some success, but after 2000 she should not win World championships or european championships gold medals any more. The last big competition Nikola participated in was the 2009 World championships where she defeated Hanna Belyaeva, Belarus with 6-2 on points in the first match but lost to Germany´s Stefanie Stueber in the next round. It became an 11th place in the 63 kg weight class and must have been a dissappointment career ending for Nikola but one year later she was elected to the FILA Hall of fame.

Nikola Hartmann-Duenser (in red)




Gudrun Hoeie, Norway

Born on July, 13, 1970

4 World championships gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze

Gudrun Hoeie was surely a real women wrestling pioneer and she had a surprisingly long career, from 1986 to 2010. In the beginning when the concurrance wasn´t so hard Gudrun was very succesfull, winning the 2 first official FILA World championships. 1989 in 57 kg against Japan´s Riyoko Sakae and 1990 in the same weight class against Olga Lugo from Venezuela. The year after Hoeie and Lugo met again the 57 kg WC final and this time Olga won and took the only big title in her wrestling career. The year 1992 Gudrun Hoeie didn´t compete, at least not in the World championships but the next year she was back again in the WC when that year´s tournament was held in at home in Norway and for the third time in their careers Hoeie and Olga Lugo met each other in a World championship final. It was a memorable match for Hoeie who pinned her venezuelan opponent in overtime in front of an enthusiastic norwegian audience. I guess it must be one of the strongest wrestling memories for Gudrun. After that it took 5 years before Gudrun Hoeie was back in a World championship. But it was a very strong comeback. In the WC 1998 Gudrun first defeated Tina George, USA and Tatyana Lazareva, Ukraine before meeting one of that era´s female wrestling giants, France´s Anna Gomis in the 56 kg final. Hoeie did probably one of the best matches of her long career when she defeated the strong, black Anna with 5-1 on points. But, maybe a bit surprising, it was also Gudrun Hoeie´s last big championship victory. She should continue her career for 12 more years but never again take a real big title. Two years after her wrestling career´s ending Gudrun became a part of the famous FILA Hall of fame.

Gudrun Hoeie (in red)