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.


Yayoi Urano




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: Wikipedia.org and Memim.com

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)



Nikola Hartmann-Duenser (in blue)






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)


Gudrun Hoie (in blue) against Brittanee Laverdure, Canada 2010




Stanka Zlateva, Bulgaria

Born on March, 1, 1983

5 gold medals in World championships and 1 bronze, 6 gold medals in European championships and 2 bronze, 2 silver medals in Olympic games

For several years this bulgarian wrestler was very glorious, with 11 titles in World and European championships. Her first european gold medal came in 2006 after a victory over Ukraine´s Svetlana Saenko. The same year she also won the World championships when she defeated Kyoko Hamaguchi, Japan on points. 2007 and 2008 she was able to defend her titles but, maybe a bit surprisingly, she lost the 2008 Olympic games 72 kg final on fall to China´s Jiao Wang. New victories followed in WC and EC the following years but when the next Olympic games, in London 2012, came Zlateva was once again pinned in the 72 kg final. This time by Natalya Vorobieva from Russia. After this dissappointment Stanka Zlateva took a break from wrestling competitions in 2013. But 2014 she was back on the mats again and won the 75 kg European championships final after a victory over Vasilisa Marzaliuk, Belarus on points. That was Zlateva´s last big title. The same years World championships was a dissappointment. Stanka ended on 8th place and the next year she retired. 

Stanka Zlateva (in blue) against Canada´s Akuffa


Stanka Zlateva (red) in a match against Maider Unda from Spain

Adeline Gray, USA

Born on January, 15, 1991

3 gold medals, 2 bronze medals in World championships

Adeline Gray, the second most succesfull american female wrestler, made her debut as a senior World champion competitor in 2009 with a 5th place and took her first WC medal 2 years later when she beat Burcu Orskaya, Turkey on points in the bronze match. The next year she became world champion for the first time after a 5-0 victory over the canadian Dorothy Yeats in the 67 kg category. In 2013 she lost against China´s Fengliu Zhang and couldn´t defend her title but took another bronze after a victory over Yasemin Adar from Turkey with 3-1. 2014 was a great year for Gray in that years championships. After victories over Qian Zhou, China, Yasemin Adar, Turkey, Hiroe Suzuki, Japan and Epp Mae, Estonia Adeline had reached the final in the 75 kg class.There she met Brazil´s Aline da Silva Ferreira. After the first period the standing was 1-1 but Adeline made a good second part of the match, took 2 new points, won with 3-1 and took a gold medal for the second time. The year after Adeline Gray competed in the WC at home in the USA and became world champion for the 3rd time when she defended Qian Zhou, China with 4-1 on points in the 75 kg category. Now Gray was one of the favourites to win an olympic gold in Rio 2016. But the competition became a dissappointment for the 25 year old american wrestler. Vasilisa Marzaliuk from Belarus stopped Gray´s medal plans when she won the second round match with 3-1. Since then Adeline have won 3 big US competitions, despite injury problems the last year, and competed with the american team in the 2017 World cup where the wrestlers from USA ended on a 4th place. 

Adeline Gray (in blue) against da Silva Ferreira, Brazil in the 75 kg World champion final 2014


Adeline Gray (blue) throws Jackie Cataline, USA in one of many matches between these two opponents


Adeline Gray (blue) in a Beat the streets 2016 match



Jackie Cataline Surber, USA

Born on May, 27, 1988

Pan American champion 2006, Russian open champion 2014, US Open champion 2014, USA junior nationals champion 2005 and 2006

Compared with other wrestlers on this page Jackie Cataline Surber doesn´t have any real big title and she hasn´t competed in any World championships. But despite that Jackie is a good wrestler who have done good results in national tournaments and has been a Pan American champion. Cataline Surber has been a member of the US national wrestling team in two periods, 2006-07 and 2013-17. As a senior her biggest succes at home probably is the US open title she took in 2014 when she beat Iris Smith in the 75 kg final. This year she also won the Russian open, also after a victory over Iris Smith. 2014 she also reached the World team trials finals but lost both matches against Adeline Gray who she have met many times and, as far as I know, never have defeated. In 2015 Jackie competed in the Pan American championships but without success. She ended at 7th place. In 2016 Jackie won the US nationals 75 kg final with 8-4 on points against Victoria Francis, one of the biggest merits in her career.

Jackie Cataline Surber


Jackie Cataline (in red) against Mary Westman in a match in US open 2014



Jackie Cataline (in blue) is getting to be pinned by Adeline Gray in the first USA world team trials 75 kg final match 2015

Amanda Hendey, USA

Born on April, 12, 1992

Pan American Junior champion 2012, Silver at Pan American championships 2011 and 2016, Silver at World University championships 2014

Amanda Hendey is another good american wrestler who never have competed in any World championships, but despite that have had some success on the wrestling mats. Her only championship gold came in 2012 when she won the Pan American junior championships after a victory over Maurys Serrano Gomez from Venezuela in the 67 kg final. She has also taken two silver medals as a senior in Pan American championships 2011 and 2016.
Another of her best results was when she reached the 63 kg final in the World University championships 2014 but lost the match against Danielle Lappage, Canada. The last year Hendey competed in the big tournament in Kiev, Ukraine and became 7th of the 11 wrestlers in 63 kg.

Amanda Hendey (blue) in a US open match


Amanda Hendey (blue)

Natalia Strzalka, Poland

Born on August, 4, 1997

Gold medalist Flatz Open 2016, Silver medalist World championships cadets 2014, Bronze medalist European championships cadets 2014, Bronze medalist Youth olympic games cadets 2014, Bronze medalist Alrosa cup 2015

Natalia began her wrestling career 2014 with success. She was 2nd on World championships cadets, bronze medalist on the european championships cadets and 3rd on the Youth olympic games. Her silver medal on the cadets world championship that year is probably the biggest merit so far even if she lost the final to Germany´s Nicole Amann. Her only victory in a quite big competition came in 2016 when she defeated Vivien Szaraz from Hungary in the Flatz open 75 kg final 2016. After that her best results is 3 5th placings, the latest one in Kiev 2018 when she was the last wrestler in the 68 kg category. The future will tell us if she is able to break her downward trend.
Natalia Strzalka
  Natalia Strzalka (red) in some trouble on the wrestling mat
Monika Michalik has put Natalia (blue) in a difficult position

Jenny Fransson, Sweden

Born on July, 18, 1987

Gold medalist european championships juniors 2006, Gold medalist Grand Prix of Germany 2008, Gold medalist Austrian ladies open 2010, Gold medalist Klippan lady open 2011, Gold medalist World championships 2012, Gold medalist Grand prix of Spain 2016, Bronze medalist Olympic games 2016

Jenny Fransson is one of the most succesful female swedish wrestlers of all time. She started wrestle already in 1994 at an age of 7 years. In 2004 she took her first important victory on the Nordic championships in the 70 kg category. 2 years later she won the European junior championships in 72 kg. Then she won the german grand prix in 2008, the austrian ladies open 2010 and Klippan lady open 2011 before the real big succes came in the World championships 2012 when Jenny beat Gouzel Manyurova from Kazakhstan with 3-1 on points in the 72 kg final and became world champion for the first and only time so far. Four year later she took bronze in the Olympic games after defending Canada´s Dorothy Yeats in the 69 kg weight class. Last year she competed in the pro wrestling league with Team Sweden which ended on 4th place and in Klippan lady open there she lost the 69 kg final to Koumba Larroque from France. And this year she won the Klippan lady open final in 72 kg
after a victory over Russia´s Tatyana Kolesnikova Morozova. Jenny is now over 30 years old but her wrestling form holds the highest grade.
Jenny Fransson (in red) wrestling against another swedish girl
Jenny Fransson (in blue) having Germany´s Aline Focken in a upside-down hold
Jenny Fransson (in blue) seems to have Ali Bernard, USA in a pin-hold

Johanna Mattsson, Sweden

Born on May, 2, 1988

Gold medalist european cadets championships 2004, 2005, Gold medalist Junior world championships 2005, Bronze medalist european championships 2006, 2017, Gold medalist european championships 2009, 2014, Bronze medalist World championships 2010, 2017

Another female swedish wrestling veteran who began with wrestling early, at the age of 8, is Johanna Mattsson, the lesser known of the Mattsson sisters. Johanna had great successes when she started competing seriously in 2004-05 with a lot of competition victories. In 2006 she took a bronze medal in the european championships after she had defeated Germany´s Jessica Bechtel in the 3rd place match. 3 year later she won the final against Irina Chariv on points in the 59 kg class. In 2014 she won the european championships again when she pinned Hafize Sahin from Turkey in the 60 kg final. In the World championships Mattsson have taken two bronze medals. 2010 she beat Kelsey Campbell, USA on fall after less than 1½ minutes of the 59 kg match and last year it was time for another success in for Johanna. In the 60 kg bronze match she met Mongolia´s Shoovdor Baatarjav and won with 3-1 on points. Since then, she hasn´t participated in any major competition and maybe she thinks that it at almost 30 years old and a long and succesfull career it´s time to retire as a wrestler. The future will give us the answer. 
Johanna Mattsson, Sweden
Johanna Mattsson (in red) has got her opponent, Taube Yusein from Bulgaria, in a difficult position
Johanna Mattsson (red) is on her way to defeat Ukraine´s Irina Chariv in the 59 kg European championship final 2009

Anastasia Shustova, Ukraine

Born on October, 9, 1996

Gold medalist World cadets championships 2013, Gold medalist Alexander Medved prizes 2017, Silver medalist european cadets championships 2013, Silver medalist european junior championships 2015, Bronze medalist european junior championships 2014, Bronze medalist european nations cup 2016, Bronze medalist World U23 championships 2017, Bronze medalist ukrainian international tournament 2018

Anastasia started wrestle 2010, at the age of 14, and in 2013 she first reached the 70 kg final in the european cadets championships where she lost to Arina Babkina from Russia. Only 2 months later she got to another big final, the World cadets championships. This time she defeated Japan´s Mei Shindo and took the most fortunate victoriey in a big tournament so far. 2014 Shustova took bronze in the european junior championships 72 kg class and the next year she met Sabira Alieva, Azerbaijan in that competition´s final but lost to her hard-defeated opponent. In 2016 Anastasia took a bronze medal together with Team Ukraine in the european nations cup and last year she won a tournament again when she managed to defeat Anzhela Kataeva, Russia in the 75 kg final, she also took a bronze medal in the World U23 championships. Very recently Anastasia took a 3rd place in the International ukrainian tournaments 76 kg weight class. At the age of 21, Anastasia has, if she wants, probably many years to spend on the wrestling mats, but she needs to improve her wrestling capacity a bit to reach a real world class and become able to win big titles as a senior. For the moment she is not really strong enough to successfully defeat the very best opponents in her weight class, although she is obviously a good and strong wrestler who still is young and maybe
can be a name for the future, we´ll see how things are going on. Shustovas match recently against the canadian Leah Ferguson in Kiev showed that Anastasia still has shortcomings as a wrestler. The ukrainian had the lead during almost the whole match and led by 6-5 when it remained less than 15 seconds. Then Ferguson rather easily could break her down, put a grip on her legs, score 3 points, win with 8-6 and go to the final. There Leah was chanceless against her countrywoman, the olympic champion Erica Wiebe and lost the final with clear numbers. So if Shustova should have a chance to measure with really skilled wrestlers, she must definitely improve her ability and be able to resist attacks of mediocre opponents in a different way that she can handle today.
Anastasia Shustova (in blue) meets Gracelynn Doogan from Canada
Anastasia Shustova (in red) against Mongolia´s Urtnasar Gan Ochir
Leah Ferguson, Canada has taken a leg hold on Anastasia Shustova (red) at the end of their match in Kiev 2018 which meant that Anastasia lose the meeting with 6-8

UWW Women´s rankings, March, 2018

50 kg

1. Chun Lei, CHN

2. Vinesh Vinesh, IND

3. Yui Susaki, JPN

4. Yuki Irie, JPN


53 kg

1. Yongmi Pak, KOR

2. Sumiya Erdenechimeg, MGL

3. Nanami Irie, JPN

4. Zhuldyz Eshimova, KAZ


55 kg

1. Saki Igarashi, JPN

2. Hyemin Oh, KOR

3. Davaachimeg Erkhembayar, MGL

4. Lannuan Luo, CHN


57 kg

1. Xingru Pei, CHN

2. Sara Natami, JPN

3. Sae Nanjo, JPN

4. Battsetseg Altantsetseg, MGL


59 kg

1. Ningning Rong, CHN

2. Nabira Esenbaeva, UZB

3. Bisola Makanjuola, NGR

4. Shoovdor Baatarjav, MGL


62 kg

1. Orkhon Purevdorj, MGL

2. Xiaojuan Luo, CHN

3. Yurika Ito, JPN

4. Sakshi Malik, IND


65 kg

1. Petra Olli, FIN

2. Kaur Navjot, IND

3. Hannah Amuchechi, Rueben, NGR

4. Miwa Morikawa, JPN


68 kg

1. Feng Zhou, CHN

2. Danielle Lappage, CAN

3. Tumentsetseg Sharkhuu, MGL

4. Blessing Oborududu, NGR


72 kg

1. Yue Han, CHN

2. Jenny Fransson, SWE

3. Nasanburmaa Ochirbat, MGL

4. Winnie Gofit, NGR


76 kg

1. Qian Zhou, CHN

2. Adeline Gray, USA

3. Hiroe Minagawa Suzuki, JPN

4. Yasemin Adar, TUR

Jenny Fransson, Sweden (in blue) ranked as number 2 in 72 kg

Erica Wiebe, Canada (in red) ranked as number 8 in 76 kg. Here in a match from the Rio 2016 women´s olympic wrestling tournament