To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：email@example.com）
NAGATA OUT OF FORM ON TRIP TO POLAND, HUNGARY
Olympic silver medalist Katsuhiko Nagata could only manage an 11th place in the Pytlasinski
international tourney August 10-12 in Wroclaw,
Poland as the entire Japanese national team
struggled in its tune-up for the world championships
in September. Nagata, who won the silver medal at 69 kg at last
year's Sydney Olympics, was the only Japanese
wrestler to get through the elimination groups
The former Tokyo police officer,
however, lost in the first round of the championship
tourney 3-0 to Ukraine's Rustam Adzi, an
eighth-place finisher in Sydney, and had
to settle for 11th place out of 35 entries
at 69 kg.
Mitsuo Tomitani of the Japan Self Defense Forces posted
a 2-1 record in the elimination group competition
at 58 kg for Japan's best finish of the tourney,
taking seventh out of 20 entries.
After the competition, the Japanese
team joined the Hungarian team for a 12-hour
bus ride back to Budapest, where the two
teams and France worked out together in a
joint training camp.
JAPAN STUMBLES AT JR WORLDS
Japan suffered through a disappointing
showing at the junior world championships
in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on August 9-13 as
only three wrestlers were able to advance
beyond their elimination groups.
Seishito Shimizu (54 kg) and Tsuyoshi Sugawara (58 kg), both of Nippon Sports Science University,
and Waseda University's Kazuyuki Nagashima (76kg) advanced to the quarterfinals after
finishing on top of their respective elimination
groups, but each went out in the first round
of the championship tourney.
In the greco-roman competition,
Japanese wrestlers could only manage three
wins in the elimination groups as the entire
squad made an early exit.
YOSHIDA LEADS JAPAN IN FEMALE JR WORLDS
Defending champion Saori Yoshida won her fourth straight age-group world
title at the female junior world championships
in Martigny, Switzerland on August 17-19
as three Japanese wrestlers claimed crowns
and the team took second place overall. Yoshida of Chukyo Women's University in Nagoya won
all four of her bouts at 58 kg to claim her
second junior world championship to go along
with the world titles she won in 1998 and
1999 at the cadet world championships.
Chiharu Icho of Toyo University won her second straight
championship at 50 kg while Momoko Sera of Fukuoka University won the 43 kg title.
Toyo's Airi Funatsu and Mimi Sugawara of Kokushikan University were bronze medalists
for Japan at 46 kg and 68 kg respectively,
but defending champion Ayako Shoda, also a senior world champion in 1999, failed
to advance beyond her elimination group at
NORDHAGEN, TEAM CANADA TRAIN IN JAPAN
Five-time world champion
Christine Nordhagen and the Canadian women's team arrive in
Japan on August 15 for two weeks of training
with the Chukyo Women's University club in
Nagoya and the Japanese national team. The
Canadian's held their first workout with
the CWU club on August 16 and then went to
the national team training camp in Tokamachi,
Niigata Prefecture on August 21.
Nordhagen has won four world championship titles at
68 kg, but in 1999, lost to Kyoko Hamaguchi in a bid to win the crown at 75 kg in a
battle of the world's top two "heavyweights"
in women's wrestling. Nordhagen, however, gained revenge for her loss to
Hamaguchi the year before by winning the 75-kg crown
The Canadian ace will
be wrestling at 68 kg in this year's world
championships in New York and for this reason,
the two gladiators -- Nordhagen and Hamaguchi -- were looking forward to renewing their
rivalry in camp.
Meanwhile at camp, a special
three-way wrestle-off was held to determine
Japan's entry at 68 kg. Mimi Sugawara, a bronze medalist in this year's Asian
championships, prevailed on technical points
after all three competitors finished with
a win and a loss each. Sugawara won over Norie Saito but lost to Erii Sakamoto.
Sugawara is the daughter of 1976 Montreal Olympic
bronze medalist at 68 kg Yasaburo Sugawara.
ITO, KATSUMURA WIN VETERANS WORLD TITLES
Saitama high school teacher
Kazumasa Ito and Hachinohe Industrial University professor
Yasuo Katsumura won titles in their respective divisions
at the veterans world championships in Martigny,
Switzerland on August 17-19.
Ito took the gold medal
at 63 kg for competitors in the 51-55 age
group while Katsumura won in the same weight category for wrestlers
56 years old and older.
Also, Masaaki Hatta finished with the silver medal at 58 kg
for the group over 56 years old and Osamu "Animal" Watanabe was second in the same age group at 63 kg.
Watanabe was the world champion in 1962 and 1963
and claimed one ofJapan's five gold medals
in wrestling at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
At the veterans' meet, however, Watanabe injured his leg in the semifinals and defaulted
to Katsumura in the final.