Marwa Amri of Tunisia rewrote the wrestling history books after becoming the first-ever wrestler from the African continent to rise to no. 1 sport in the world rankings of the sport.
The organizing body in the sport, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) made the official announcement on Thursday (Australian time) confirming Amri’s status as the best in the 55-kilogram division in freestyle wrestling. She became the first-ever wrestler from Africa to rule the rankings both in the freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.
The 25-year-old Tunisian won the championship at the Grand Prix of Spain and Olympic tourney in Greece in July and August 2014. For 2014, the Tunisian has won five titles overall.
As per the FILA Web site, "wrestlers are ranked according to a comprehensive analysis of their performance in international competition over the previous 12 months.” This means that Amri has had the most consistent top performance in the past year in her division.
Other wrestlers who are in the top five in Amri’s division are Jill Gallays (Canada), Chiho Hamada (Japan), Kanako Murata (Japan) and Zalina Sidakova (Belarus).
Here are the other top-ranked wrestlers in various weight categories in the women's division:
48kg 1. Mariya Stadnyk (Azerbaijan) 2. Eri Tosaka (Japan) 3. Sun Yanan (China)
53kg 1. Saori Yoshida (Japan) 2.Maria Gurova (Russia) 3. Sofia Mattson (Sweden)
58kg 1. Kaori Icho (Japan) 2. Risako Kawai (Japan) 3. Valeria Koblova-Zholobova (Russia)
60kg 1. Yulia Ratkevich (Azerbaijan) 2. Michelle Fazzari (Canada) 3. Katsuki Sakagami (Japan)
63kg 1. Anastasia Grigorjeva (Latvia) 2. Jackeline Rentaria Castillo (Colombia) 3. Elena Pirozhkova (USA)
69kg 1. Natalia Vorbieva (Russia) 2. Jenny Fransson (Sweden) 3. Alina Makhinya (Ukraine)
75kg 1. Erica Wiebe (Canada) 2. Hiroe Suzuki (Japan) 3. Vasilisa Marzaliuk (Belarus)
Amri’s feat is impressive but the Japanese’s consistency across all weight divisions is also notable. From the eight categories, seven from Japan are inside the top three in the respective rankings of the weight divisions.