Chiharu Icho

Chiharu Icho (Japanese伊 调 千 春, Chiharu Icho, born October 6, 1981 in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture) is a Japanese wrestler. She won at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, a silver medal and is also a four -time World Champion.


Chiharu Icho comes from a Ringer family. She is the elder sister by almost three years of the two -time Olympic champion Kaori Icho. After visiting the Choja Middle School, she began intensively to train when she visited the amino public high school. In the national championship of the high schools they had two successive terms in title wins. After that, she studied first at the Toyo University, which, however, broke off in favor of studying at the Chūkyō - Women's University and for many years their Wrestling Club ( Club Ringer ) belonged. The end of 2005, she joined, after completing their studies, for security companies Alsok Sogo Hosho Keibi ( Alsok综合 警备 保障), from which it is sponsored and struggling since that time for the wrestling club. Your trainer is Kazuhito Sakae.

The great sporting successes of her began in 2000 when he won the Junior World Championship title in the weight class up to 50 kg body weight (bw ). They defeated Natalya with Guschtschina from Russia and Iwona Sadowska - Matkowska from Poland two very strong wrestlers.

From 2001, she started at the senior sat in this age group, their success continued seamlessly. First, it was founded in 2001 in Ulaanbaatar in the weight category to 51 kg Asian Champion in front of the Chinese Li Xuehua and the Mongolian Naidan Otgenjargal and then she was in Martigny / Switzerland in the same weight class and equal world champion. She let it Natalja Guschtischina, Lindsay Rushton from Canada, Iwona Sadowska - Matkowska and Irina Melnik - Merleni from Ukraine, which should be their main competitor in the next few years behind.

In 2002, Chiharu Icho in Edmonton students world champion in the weight category to 51 kg body weight before welcoming of Gao from China and Lindsay Belisle from Canada. But at the World Cup this year in Chalkidis / Greece she lost in the same weight class in the final battle against the surprising locals Sofia Poumpouridou on points and had to settle for second place finish. In December 2002, she was first Japanese champion in the senior.

At the World Championship 2003 in New York, she took in the weight category up to 51 kg with wins over Emese Szabo from Hungary, Alexandra Engelhardt from Germany, Alena Ivanovna Kareicha from Belarus and Natalya Karamtschakowa from Russia their second world title at the senior, which in December 2003 the second Japanese league titles followed.

In 2004, found at the Olympic Games for the first time in women's wrestling competitions take place. However, only in four weight classes ( up to 48 kg, and 55 kg body weight, up to 63 kg and up to 75 kg body weight) instead. Chiharu Icho decided to start in the weight category up to 48 kg body weight, but had to 3 kg more than already been unlearn. In this new weight class it was first in Tokyo again Asia champion before Le Thing Trang from Vietnam and Dong Weichan from China.

At the Olympic Games in Athens, she beat the world-class wrestlers Lindsay Belisle, Brigitte Wagner from Germany, the World Champion from 2001 in this weight class and Angelique Berhenet - Hidalgo from France. In the final, she then stood Irina Melnik - Merleni opposite. The fight was perfectly balanced over the entire period and ended with 2:2 technical points at 1:1 warnings. The judges therefore had to decide who was the better and thus Olympic champion was and opted for Irina Melnik - Merleni due to the optical impression. Chiharu Icho had to settle for the silver medal. However, it was awarded the prize of the citizens of Hachinohe, the honorary prize of the citizens of Aomori Prefecture and the Sports Merit Award of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

In 2005, Chiharu Icho did not start at the World Cup, but was the third time Japanese champion before Makiko Sakamoto and Yuri Funatsu.

In 2006, she was at the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, back in the weight class up to 48 kg body weight at the start. She beat among others, there Carol Huynh of Canada and in the final battle the Chinese Ren Xuecheng and was the third time world champion. Then she won in Doha and at the Asian Games in the same weight class before Kim Hyung -joo of South Korea and Tsogtbadsaryn Enchdschargal from Mongolia. In the Japanese championship this year, she was not at the start.

At the Asia Championships 2007 in Bishkek, the Icho sisters made ​​for a small scandal. Chiharu stepped namely in the weight class up to 48 kg overweight and Kaori was just before the start of their first fight because of an alleged violation. Both occupied so in their weight classes the last place. About the reason for their behavior is nowhere read something.

This behavior also had no after-effects, as both wrestlers were then in 2007 in their weight classes again World Champions. Chiharu Icho needed here in Baku in the 48- kg class six wins and won, among other things about Stefanie Murata from the United States, Maria Stadnik of Azerbaijan and Irina Melnik - Merleni they. 2-0 round win at 3-1 techn Points defeated. It was in this year again Japanese champion before Makiko Sakamoto.

In the Olympic year 2008 Chiharu Icho Asian Championship title in South Korea Jeju again in the weight class up to 48 kg body weight and then started in the same weight class at the Olympic Games in Beijing. In the firm intention, this time to win the gold medal, she defeated Li Xiaomei initially from China, Irina Melnik - Merleni and Clarissa Chun of the United States on points and met in the final of the Canadian Sino- Vietnamese origin Carol Huynh. Surprisingly, they did not deal with this wrestler and lost pretty clear with two round losses in 1:6 techn. Points, so they had to settle again with the silver medal.

After these Olympics, Icho sisters announced their withdrawal from the international Ringer sport. In the meantime, they should have explained but by otherwise messages, but to want to struggle up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The future will tell.

International success

Note: OS = Summer Olympic Games, WM = World Cup tournament, everything in free style

Japanese Championships

  • 2002, 1st Place, to 51 kg body weight, before Ninaku Hattori and Miyuki Hiraoka
  • 2003, 1st place, to 48 kg body weight, before Makiko Sakamoto
  • 2005, 1st Place, to 48 kg body weight, before Makiko Sakamoto and Yuuri Funatsu,
  • 2007 1st place, to 48 kg body weight, before Makiko Sakamoto and Fuyuko Mimura


  • Journal The wrestler, numbers: 12/2001, 9/2002, 10/2003, 9/2004, 10/2006 and 10/1007
  • Database of the Institute for Applied Training Science at the University of Leipzig
  • Http://

Pictures of Chiharu Icho