TOKYO, Japan – The United States closed out the 2012 Women's World Cup with a strong 5-2 win over Azerbaijan in the seventh-place match.
The top eight nations from the 2011 World Championships were entered in the World Cup, which is the annual international dual meet championships. Team USA finished with a 1-3 record.
Team USA swept the first four matches of their dual meet against Azerbaijan, clinching the victory before losing their first bout.
The first win came from two-time Olympian and 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), who scored a dominant technical fall over Anzhela Dorogan, 8-0, 6-0.
After Alyssa Lampe (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) dispatched Nigar Ahmadova at 51 kg/112.25 lbs, the USA added another win at 55 kg/121 lbs. when Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./New York AC) stopped Yarina Dubovska, 7-3, 5-0.
The team win was clinched at 59 kg/130 lbs., when Leigh Jaynes (USA) pinned Irina Netreba in the first period.
After two wins by Azerbaijan, the USA victory was closed out with a win at 72 kg/158.5 lbs., as 2011 World bronze medalist Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) pinned Nataliya Palamarchuk in the second period.
Japan won the championship match by a 5-2 margin over Russia. The big news from the dual came from one of the matches Japan lost. Saori Yoshida, a two-time Olympic champion and nine-time World champion, lost only the second match of her Senior-level international career, falling to Valeria Zholobova of Russia, 2-1, 0-2, 0-3 at 55 kg/121 lbs. Her previous loss was to American Marcie Van Dusen at the 2008 World Cup, held in China.
Taking third was China, which defeated Canada, 5-2. Placing fifth was Ukraine, a 5-2 winner over Mongolia. All four teams from Pool A won their medal match dual meets, the pool which the USA was drawn into.