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）
SASAMOTO ADVANCES IN GRECO-ROMAN WORLDS
PATRAS (Greece) - Japan's Makoto Sasamoto pinned Asian junior champion Ravinder Singh
of India on Saturday to move into the quarterfinals
of the 46th greco-roman wrestling world championships
at 58 kg. Sasamoto, an eighth-place finisher at last year's
Sydney Olympics, forged a 5-0 lead in the
first period of his final preliminary round
matchagainst Singh at Dimitrios Tofalos Stadium.
The 23-year-old Kanagawa
native then got rolling in the second period,
opening with a tight underarm spin and throw
for three points and then spinning with the
arm on the mat a couple more times until
Singh was flat only 22 seconds into the stanza.
The victory gives Sasamoto a chance to measure his improvement over
the past year against two-time Olympic champion
Armen Nazarian of Bulgaria, who defeated the Nippon Sports
Science University graduate 11-0 in the preliminaries
Meanwhile, Japanese Olympic
silver medalist Katsuhiko Nagata rebounded from Friday night's shocking loss
at 69 kg to Moises Sanchez of Spain with a workmanlike 4-1 win over
Venezuela's Endrix Arteaga. The former Tokyo police officer and Japanese
team captain, however, failed to advance
beyond the preliminaries and settled for
Japanese national team
newcomer Shingo Matsumoto had a bye at 85 kg, but saw his chance for
a berth in the championship bracket evaporate
when Olympic silver medalist Sandor Bardosi of Hungary rolled to a 12-0 technical fall
win over Jerry Van De Pool of the Netherlands. Matsumoto, who posted a technical fall over Van De Pool on Friday, finished in 13th place.
In the first evening of
gold medal finals, Ara Abrahamian of Sweden avenged a loss to Russia's Alexei Mishine in the European championship final with
a pin, nailing the 1999 junior world champion
with a throw out of the clinch at 5:04 of
the 76-kg final.
Kim Jin-Soo of Korea landed on top of a headlock attempt
by Ukraine's Sergiy Solodkyy to claim a 3-0 win six seconds into overtime
of the bronze-medal match.
At 54 kg, Asia No. 2 Hassan Rangraz of Iran used a late trap-arm gut wrench
for four points to pull away for an 8-4 win
over Brandon Paulson of the United States for the gold medal.
Defending world champion and Olympic silver
medalist Lazaro Rivas took third place with a 3-1 win over Uran
Kalilov of Kyrgyzstan.
At 63 kg, Vaghinar Galustyan of Armenia caught Korea's Kim In-Sub with a deep waist bodylock and converted
with a drop and then a gut wrench for eight
points in the first period to score an 8-3
triumph over the former two-time 58-kg world
champion. Israel's Michael Beilin, a bronze medal winner in 1999, scored a
3-0 win over two-time Olympic silver medalist
Juan Maren of Cuba for third place.
At 97 kg, European champion
Alexandre Bezroutchkine of Russia raced out to a six-point lead
in the first minute of the final and then
cruised to a 7-0 victory over Cuba's Pan
American kingpin Ernesto Pena. Turkey's Mehmet Ozal took home the bronze with a 7-5 win over
Petru Sudureac of Romania.
Also on Saturday, Olympic
heavyweight champion Rulon Gardner of the United States forged a 3-0 win over
Ukraine's Georgiy Soldadse to advance to the quarterfinals in the 130-kg
weight category. Joining the Wyoming dairy
farmer in the elite eight are European champion
Mihaly Deak-Bardos of Hungary, 1996 Olympic bronze medalist
Sergej Mureiko of Bulgaria and 1999 junior
world champion Yuri Patrikeev of Russia.
Two-time Olympic and world
champion Hamza Yerlikaya, however, was knocked out of the tournament
in the first-round of the championship bracket
at 85 kg with a 6-4 loss to Martin Lidberg of Sweden, a seventh-place finisher in Sydney.