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Twin Tornado Take Wrestling by Storm

Regina and Marina DoiBRISTOL, Tenn., May 22, 2015 – The sport of women’s wrestling is increasing in popularity across the United States. King University’s women’s wrestling team not only has increased the fan base for the sport by winning two back-to-back national championships but also has a unique pair of wrestlers unlike others currently competing.

Originally hailing from Kingsburg, Calif., the Doi twins, who stand at 4’8 ½” and 4’9” tall, have been wrestling competitively since they were four years old. “Our brother wrestled in high school. When we were younger, we would watch him compete and cheer him on,” said Marina. “[Our family] threw us on the mat, and we liked it, so we stuck with it.”

Regina added, “We started off wrestling as kids in high school gyms. Now we wrestle in foreign countries; which is pretty cool.”

To date, the Doi twins have competed in 13 different countries; they have competed in Europe every year since their freshman year in high school.

Marina and Regina Doi came to King last year as freshman. The two Biology majors both plan to go into imaging fields such as radiology. This year, they both received academic honor awards. Marina and Regina both received the Eula Cosby Coffey Award in the Basic Sciences for Chemistry, and Marina also received the Spanish Language Award.

When they aren’t studying, they are competing on the mat. “It is neat to compete as twins. We always have a practice partner,” said Regina. “We always push each other to do better, and are always competitive with each other, even in school.”

The twins came from a state in which women’s wrestling is immensely popular, and yet chose to come cross country to compete for King University in Bristol, Tenn. “[King] has the number one wrestling program right now,” said the twins. “We had a ton of friends who were on [King’s] wrestling team who told us great things about [the school] and encouraged us to come here.”

“One of my favorite things about wrestling is the travelling and the people you get to meet,” said Marina. “We have friends from all over the world. It is great to experience the different cultures.”

Both twins have a solid record in competition. From her high school competitions, Marina was the FILA Cadet World medalist and Junior World bronze medalist in 2014, while Regina was the 2013 Cadet World silver medalist and Cadet Pan-American champion, and silver medalist for the 2014 Pan-American games. During their freshman year at King, Regina’s collegiate record stood at 13-5, going 8-0 on technical falls 8-0. Marina’s collegiate record held at 18-5 going 7-1 on decisions 7-1 and 5-4 on technical falls 5-4.

“We are so fortunate to have Regina and Marina a part of our program and University,” said King’s Head Men’s and Women’s Wrestling Coach Jason Moorman. “Their hard work is impeccable, and it shows in their performance not only on the wrestling mat, but in the classroom as well. They both truly are role models for future student-athletes.”

In early May, both Marina and Regina travelled to Havana, Cuba for the 2015 UWW Junior Pan American Championships. Regina represented the United States by competing for Team USA; Marina accompanied her as her sister’s training partner.

“Competing on Team USA is definitely a privilege,” said Regina. “As you put on your singlet, it says USA on your back, not King. You aren’t just representing your state, or your school; you are representing the whole country. When you go out there, you have to perform at your best no matter what. It is a great experience to represent the U.S.”

In competition at the Pan-Am Games, Regina took third. She won her first bout on a 10-0 technical fall over Leydi Moran of Ecuador. However, she then fell to Venezuela's Naiyeliz Silvann Gutierrez Rivas on a fall, and Amanda Hernandez Rodriguez of Cuba on a 4-4 decision.

It was only earlier this year that restrictions were eased and travel allowed from the United States to Cuba. “Going to Cuba was definitely a lot of fun,” said Regina. “Being able to go to Cuba was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Cubans treated us very well. We knew we were pretty lucky to be able to go to there.”  The twins both commented the cars were some of the coolest they had seen. “The cars were so old. We were able to ride in an old 1950s Pontiac. It felt like you were at a car show.” Marina added, “Cuba was beautiful, but there was also a lot of poverty.”

Even though the 2014-15 academic year has come to a close, the competitions have not stopped for the twins. After Havana in early May, they headed to the Body Bar UWW National Championships in Irving, Texas, where Marina brought home gold. Her medal earned her a spot on the U.S. UWW Junior World Team.

Marina’s competition at Body Bar started quarterfinals with a 12-0 technical fall win over Josalyn Van Gundy before taking a 10-0 technical fall win over Maia Phanthanda to advance to the finals. In the championship best-of-three format, Marina defeated her sister Regina by forfeit, earning her a spot on the team at 44 kilograms.

For now the two twins continue to focus on college and the Team USA tournaments.

Currently, 24 colleges and universities sponsor varsity wrestling programs for women. In 2004, women’s wrestling became an Olympic sport.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.