To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


 By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports


    TOKYO (September 10) - Profiles of members of the Japanese national team for the greco-roman wrestling world championships in Moscow, September 20-22.

55 kg - MURATA, Tomoya (Hino Wrestling Club, Shiga)

     Born: 1977 June 5, Mie Prefecture. Age: 24. Ht: 161 cm.  Education: Matsuzaka high school (Mie) -- Nippon Sport Science University.
    Won the national sports festival title in high school.  Took both greco-roman collegiate titles at 48 kg as a NSSU freshman in 1996, but struggled with introduction of the new weight categories in 1997.
   Murata became collegiate champion at 54 kg in 1999 and won his first senior national championship in 2000.
    World championships - 2001, 9th (54 kg)
    World university championships - 2000, 4th (54 kg)
    Jr. world championships - 1997, 17th (52 kg)

60 kg - SASAMOTO, Makoto (employee, Sogo Security)

    Born: 1977 October 22, Kanagawa Prefecture.  Age: 24.  Ht: 163 cm. Education: Kojo high school (Kanagawa) - NSSU.
    Sasamoto did not win any titles in high school, but developed at NSSU, taking second place in the senior national championships in 1998 and 1999. Sasamoto helped Japan earned a berth at 58 kg in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney during the second stage of qualifying.  He then won the playoff with veteran Kenkichi Nishimi for the right to represent Japan in Sydney, earning 8th place.
   Since then, Sasamoto has won the world university championship, inished second in the East Asian Games and 7th in the 2001 world championships.  He has also won the last two senior national championship crowns at 58 kg.
    Olympic Games - 2000, 8th (58)
    World championships - 2001, 7th (58)
    World university championships - 2000, 1st (58)
    Jr. world championships - 1997, 11th (56)

66 kg - IMURO, Masaki (Japan Self Defense Forces)

    Born: 1978 February 28, Shiga Prefecture.  Age: 24.  Ht: 173 cm. Education: Hino high school (Shiga) - Takushoku University.
    Won the junior national championship title as a high school student. As a first-year student at Takushoku in 1996, Imuro gave notice of his potential by finishing second in the greco-roman collegiate national championships and in 1998 won both greco-roman titles in the collegiate open and the collegiate national championships.  Imuro finished 6th at 69 kg at
the 2000 world university championships and then won his first senior national championship crown.
   He made his first appearance for Japan in the world championships in 2001 and won his second senior national title.
    World championships - 2001, 32nd (63)
    World university championships - 2000, 6th (69)

74 kg - NAGATA, Katsuhiko (employee, New Japan Pro Wrestling)

    Born: 1973 October 31, Chiba Prefecture.  Age: 28.  Ht: 170 cm.  Education: Seito high school (Chiba) - NSSU.
    Nagata never qualified for the high school national championships in high school but developed into the national collegiate champion at NSSU.  He has been a member of the Japanese national team since 1997 and in 2000 won the Asian championship title and earned a silver medal at 69 kg at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.  Nagata has won five straight national championship titles.
    Olympic Games - 2000, SILVER MEDAL (69)
    World championships - 1997, 16th (69); 1998, 23rd (69); 1999, 30th (69), 2001, 13th (69)
    Asian Games - 1998, 7th (69)
    Asian Championships - 2000, 1st (69)

84 kg - MATSUMOTO, Shingo (employee, Ichinomiyu Transport)

    Born: 1978 March 2, Ehime Prefecture.  Age: 24.  Ht: 174 cm.  Education: Tsushima high school (Ehime) - NSSU.
    Won the national sports festival title despite coming from prefecture little known for its wrestling.  Matsumoto finished second in the senior nationals in 1997.  He won both greco-roman titles in the collegiate open and collegiate national championships in 1998 and 1999 and pulled down his first senior national title December 1999.  Matsumoto won the East Asian Games in 2001 and was the runner-up in the Asian championships. Matsumoto has also won the last three senior national championship crowns.
    World championships - 2001, 13th (85)
    World university championships - 2001, 4th (85)

96 kg - MORIKAKU, Yusuke (employee, New Japan Pro Wrestling)

    Born: 1979 November 13, Nagano Prefecture.  Age: 21.  Ht: 183 cm.  Education: Kita Saku Nogyo high school (Nagano) - NSSU.
    Morikaku did not with a national title in high school, but captured the junior national championship in 1999 as a second-year student at NSSU. 
  Morikaku won the collegiate national championship title in 2000 at 85 kg and then moved up a weight to win the senior national championship.
    World championships - 2001, 26th (97)
    Asian championships - 2001, 5th (97)
    World university championships - 2000, 7th (97)
    Jr. world championships - 1999, 14th (85)
    Jr. Asian championships - 1998, 4th (83); 1999, 3rd (85)

120 kg - No entry.