Analysis of the women’s Freestyle Championships 2006 Guangzhou 1.Basic preliminary remarks 1.Country-specific aspects of performance in competition 1.Qualitative analysis of combat behaviour 4. Individual world top performances under technical-tactical aspects
1.Basic preliminary remarks The 2006 World Championships were characterized by interesting developments. At the Junior World Championships in Guatemala it was in particular the women from Latin America who showed impressive performance progress. Other countries, like Sweden, Belarus, Roumania and Kazakhstan, were able to prove progresses in performance at the women’s events. Iran, Turkey, the USA, Japan, Kyrgistan, Kazakhstan and South Africa in freestyle wrestling, and Turkey, Iran, Korea, Kazakhstan, Hungary and Bulgaria in Greco-Roman style have reached the world’s elite in junior wrestling. Thus, they have demonstrated distinct progresses in their junior training concepts.
Under the aspect of successful work with the juniors, the teams from Russia have to be mentioned particularly, who represent absolute world’s elite in all three styles. From the point of view of contents, the further increase in technical versatility, the high stability and effectiveness of attacking actions and the increasing hardness of competition, particularly in women’s Wrestling, have to be mentioned. So it will not surprise to meet again some of the world’s best juniors at the Olympic Games in Peking.
At the Senior World Championships, the women from Belarus, Germany, Poland and Sweden were able to prove progresses in performance compared with Budapest. Once again, the Japanese team was outstanding, winning medals in all 7 weight categories and thus once again improving their incredibly strong performance in Budapest. In freestyle wrestling, the wrestlers from Iran, USA, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Azerbaidshan could improve as teams compared with Budapest. In Greco-Roman wrestling, the competitors from USA, Georgia, Russia, Iran and Finland could improve. There are distinct progresses in performance in the wrestlers from Turkey, who could gain another 13 nation points and so reached the first place in the nations ranking.
From the point of view of contents it becomes clear the forthcoming Olympic Games 2008 in Peking have already cast their shadows on Guangzhou. Here, tribute is to be paid to the great and successful commitment of the Chinese organisers, who made with meticulousness and passion the 2006 World Championships a great experience for all participants.
In Guangzhou, plenty of established wrestlers, like Saitiev, Barzakov, Nazarjan or Yerlikaja had to bury their hopes for medals or titles early. Youth was rushing forward with a view toward the Olympic Games 2008. Both in Greco-Roman (Sourian Reihanpour) and in freestyle wrestling (Khadimurov Gatsalov), only one world champion could defend his title from the previous year.
Coaches and athletes have adapted to the new competitons rules and they have modified training regarding the special strength and endurance abilities as well as the technical-tactical challenges. The realisation of 4 to 5 bouts a day requires enormous improvements of the special physical conditional abilities. As the results show, these requirements meet best with the training philosophy of American men. They were able to improve during the individual bouts and they could best cope with 5 bouts a day.
As regards the technical-tactical aspect, a concentration on the decisive gain of points during the last seconds of bout and the increase in pushing the opponent from the mat have been striking. In Greco Roman wrestling, in the clinch, the wrestler in “par terre” position allows less lift techniques, because immediately at the moment of the whistle, he turns himself into the opponent. The World Championships in Guangzhou have also made us clear that regarding the competitions rules, there are still some unresolved problems, particularly in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Still, the first minute in standing position remains in principle unimportant for the striving to gain points. The technical versatility and so the attractiveness of the bouts decline. The hesitant taking of the clinch position results in unacceptable prolongations of the duration of the bouts and the events. The sometimes unsporting behaviour of the athletes when taking the clinch position makes the referees’ work difficult and is unattractive for the public’s appeal. Some wrestlers seem to have attended a special semester at the drama school.
Mr. Mario Saletnig give us some very interesting details in this matter. In the detail analysis of the three wrestling styles we put in the centre the following positive features of combat behaviour, which determine the development. In particular, the integrated video analysis shows many attractive technical-tactical actions serving as examples for coaches and athletes.
2. Country-specific aspects of performance in competition The positive development trend of Japanese women’s wrestling is going on. As I have already mentioned above the Japanese team was outstanding, winning medals in all 7 weight categories and thus once again improving their incredibly strong performance from Budapest.
Fig. 1 Nation points of the 2006 WC and the 2005 WC in Female Wrestling
The Japanese female athletes did not only demonstrate the best values as regards quality, which will be proven later, but they have been able to continuously improve their performances and in principle, they have been superior to their opponents, as figure 1 shows. China, Canada, Russia, Belorussia and Germany also belong to the six best nations 2006.
Especially the girls from Belorussia, Germany, Poland and Sweden could improve their performance since Budapest. I would like to congratulate the female wrestlers from Spain in particular. They reached their first medial in their history and with the 11 place they are demonstrating the successful work of the Spanish coaches. The USA, China, Canada and Ukraine had to suffer losses.
Fig. 2 Development of world top performance in female wrestling in comparison to men’s disciplines 3. Qualitative analysis of combat behaviour
As figure 2 shows, the level of quality of combat behaviour of the women had always been slightly better that of men’s disciplines as far as we analyzed it since 2001. Especially after the first participant of female wrestling 2004 on the Olympic Games there is a continuous increase of female wrestling. With an average of 1.9 technical points per minute of bout women have achieved in Guangzhou the best result since 2001 and they are better in comparison with the men disciplines.
So the positive developmental trend in women’s wrestling continues, and with the increase of the efficacy quotient in 2006 compared to 2005 the changes to the rules – as it had been intended – have been successful. However, this improvement since 2004 can not only be explained by the changes to the rules. It is rather the fact that the Japanese female wrestlers predominating the scene and new generation has taken over in some countries and weight categories after the Olympic Games which has caused the increase in performance. By the way we could find out in our analyzes that there is an increase of toughness as the following video clips are showing.
USA - SWE Junior World Championships 2006 in Guatemala increasing toughness
Fig. 3 Technical-tactical performance 2001-2006 of the best nations in female wrestling
Behind the wrestling performance – shown by medals and nation points – is the quality of technical and tactical competition performance, which, in its turn, is the product of efficacy of training. Therefore, an analysis of the technical and tactical efficacy is useful since it does not only explain the performance in competition, but also strategies of training and their efficacy in competition. Figure 3 shows the values of technical and tactical performance capacity (ratio of scored and lost technical points per minute) of the best countries. It shows that during the past four years, the Japanese female wrestlers were able to improve the quality of their performance in competition continuously and that in 2006 the team could reach a level which is often never even demonstrated by individual world champions. Compare to 2005 they increased their technical-tactical performance once more.
Fig. 4 Attack efficacy 2001 – 2006 in Female Wrestling
After a big jump in quality in 2005, the Chinese team achieves again a similarly good level like the Japanese team. Both countries (Japan with 1.41 and China with 1.19) leave the other countries behind clearly. Canada, Russia, the USA and all the other countries are under a value of 0.5. In the end, an improved quality of attack is also an indication of a higher attractiveness of combat behaviour (fig. 4). This is the only technical tactical parameter of performance where the Japanese female athletes have still been topped by the Chinese girls as it has been already 2005. The distance in this parameter between China and Japan has been smaller due to the little increase of the Japanese females. Figure 4 also shows that in the longitudinal comparison the Chinese and Japanese female wrestlers have always been superior to their opponents from other countries. So they confirm FILA’s philosophy of showing the audience attractive bouts with attacking actions.
Fig. 5 Attack efficacy comparison WC 2006 and WC 2005 in Female Wrestling
Figure 5 confirm our longitudinal viewing of the superiority of both countries concerning the attack efficacy. USA, UKR and Germany have losses in this parameter. But successful attacking strategies are only half the way to success when they are not coupled with highly effective defensive actions. That means successful attacks are little useful when the opponents are just as successful in their attacks. In order to clarify this situation, we have analysed in figure 6 the quality of defensive performances of the best national teams.
Fig. 6 Defence efficacy WC 2001-2006 in Female Wrestling
As regards this parameter of performance of the technical tactical combat behaviour the superiority of the Japanese athletes is obvious. While in 2001, the Japanese had still been on level pegging with their rivals by losing an average of 0.6 points per minute, they have continuously improved, and in 2006, they only cede 0.3 points per minute to their opponents as already 2005. This outstanding stability against the opponent’s attacks is certainly one reason of the superiority of Japanese female wrestlers. Far behind them, as regards the quality of defence, are all the other countries, partly with three time worse values than Japan at the 2006 world championships. The USA could improve their defence quality since 2004 and Ukraine since 2005, while Canada and Russia had to suffer losses in defence quality.
Fig. 7 Wrestling efficacy WC 2006 in Female Wrestling
The figure 7 underlines the statement that only Japan and China had 2006 a positive relation between the attacking and defence behaviour. All the other countries, especially Belarus, USA, Ukraine, Poland and Germany have problems with their defence abilities. The following chart shows the qualitative parameters of performance of the country-specific combat behaviour from 2001 to 2006.
Fig. 8 Technical tactical performances of the female world champions und female Olympic champions in longitudinal section
The tendencies of technical tactical development of performance shown under country specific aspects turn up again in the analysis of the winners’ performances. The female world champions have improved since 2001 as regards technical tactical performance capacity and efficacy of attack and excel by a high efficacy of defensive performance (fig. 8). The performance index is going up continuously, the same thing with the attack efficacy and among the best nations the defence abilities are very stable.
A comparison of the technical tactical performance between the female world champions 2005 and 2006 underlines the fact that the top athletes had improved their capacities. In figure 9 and 10 we can see that 2006 six of the world champions had values from over 1.5 in the attacking behaviour while it 2005 were only 4. Hitomi Sakamoto allows her opponents no one point.
Fig. 9 Technical tactical performances of the female world champions 2005
Fig.. 10. Technical tactical performances of the female world champions 2006
4.Individual world top performances under technical-tactical aspects Backward bending with leg hook RUS - SWE