To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：firstname.lastname@example.org）
SASAMOTO FALLS TO NAZARIAN, TAKES 7TH IN
GR WORLD C'SHIPS
PATRAS (Greece) - Makoto Sasamoto fell to two-time Olympic champion Armen
Nazarian of Bulgaria 8-2 in the quarterfinals
of the 46th greco-roman wrestling world championships
on Sunday and earned Japan a seventh place
finish at 58 kg. Sasamoto's seventh was one step better that his eighth
place at last year's Sydney Olympics and
was the best performance by a Japanese male
wrestler in either the greco-roman or freestyle
world championships this year.
Sasamoto, seeking to avenge a technical fall loss
to Nazarian in Sydney, came out the aggressor in their
bout at Dimitrios Tofalos Stadium in this
western Greek port city, but the Olympic
champ earned the first passivity call at
1:07. Nazarian went quickly for a reverse
waist lock, but Sasamoto countered by sweeping his arm through underneath
and coming out with a body lock to move on
top for a 1-0 lead. He added a quick gut
wrench for a two-point lead.
Sasamoto then tried to pad his advantage with a lift
to back-arching throw, but fell to his back
as the pair tumbled out of bounds with Nazarian
landing on top for two points and a 2-2 tie.
Nazarian tried to get his reverse waist lock again
when the match was re-started and then switched
off to a front headlock when Sasamoto attempted
to counter again with the same body lock.
Nazarian then scored twice with three-point throws
from the front headlock position and pulled
away 8-2 before the break.
In the second period,
Nazarian parried Sasamoto's straight-ahead attack to preserve his
lead and advance to the semifinals. "I
lost, but I scored some points (on the Olympic
champion), so I think that my wrestling was
pretty good," Sasamoto said after the match. "I hope I have
a chance to turn this around (on Nazarian)
Sasamoto's points along with a ninth-place finish
at 54 kg by Tomoya Murata on Friday gave Japan six team points and
share of a five-way tie for 22nd place in
the team standings.
In Sunday's other bouts,
Nazarian fell to Kazakhstan's Karen Mnatsakanyan 5-4 in the semifinals and then lost to Pan
American champion Roberto Monzon of Cuba in the bronze medal match 3-1. In
the championship final at 58 kg, Asia No.
2 Dilshod Aripov spotted Mnatskanyan three points in the first period and then
stormed back for Uzbekistan's first world
title in greco-roman wrestling with a 6-3
At 69 kg, two-time Olympic
champion Filiberto Azcuy of Cuba rocked Olympic bronze medalist Alexej Gloushkov 4-0 with a gut wrench and step-over counter
to the gut wrench for his first world championship
title. Ukraine veteran Rustam Adzhy, the world champion in 1995, wrapped up
Jimmy Samuelson of Sweden with a front headlock and cranked
him over for a pin at 1:28 of the bronze
At 85 kg, Mukhran Vakhrangadze edged American Matt Lindland 2-1 in overtime to give Georgia its first
world champion in greco-roman since the former
Soviet republic's debut as an independent
team in 1993. Former junior world champion
Alexander Daragan of Ukraine stopped 1998 world champion Alexander Mentshikov of Russia 3-0 for the bronze medal.
At 130 kg, Olympic champion
Rulon Gardner of the United States forged a 2-0 victory
over European champion Mihaly Deak-Bardos of Hungary with a pair of penalty points
out of the clinch position for his first
world title. Gardner drove Deak-Bardos out of bounds from the clinch position to
open the second period for a 1-0 lead and
then hoisted the Hungarian over the edge
in a sumo-like move to start the overtime
period for his margin of victory.
Hometown hero Xenofon Koutsioubas rolled over Bulgarian veteran Sergej Mureiko 8-0 for the bronze medal in his first appearance
at the senior world championships.
Cuba won the team title with
54 points, followed by Russia (38) and the
United States (33), which won its first-ever
team medal in the greco-roman world meet.
Russia and the United States, however, led
in the medal standings with a gold and two
silver each, followed by Cuba which had a
gold, silver and two bronze.