To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


TOKYO (July 21-29) - A training camp for some of the top women's wrestlers in the world, including eight reigning and former world champions, was held in Tokyo and Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture. Participants in the camp came from China, France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Taiwan as well as host Japan.


  The first half of the training camp was held at the recently completed National Sports Science Center in Tokyo and was capped with a series of practice matches on July 23. Former world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi, Japan's national team member at 72 kg for the Asian Games and world championships, pinned reigning world title-holder Edyta Witkowska of Poland in only 37 seconds. Hamaguchi then brought home the difference in strength and ability between her and her main opposition with a fall at 2:34 against 2001 world silver medalist Ma Bailing of China.

  ''The only thing on my mind as I wrestled was to leave all of my strength out on the mat,'' said Hamaguchi, who appeared satisfied to gain a measure of revenge against Witkowska for last year's 3-1 loss in the semifinals of the world championships. Hamaguchi suggested later that she had considered wrestling a longer match in order to learn more about Witkowski, but in the end, she chose to go for the quick win to build up her own confidence.

  As for Ma, who Hamaguchi is very likely to face in the Asian Games as well, the 2001 East Asian Games champion indicated she was confident about winning since "I was not going to lose."

  Meanwhile, Saori Yoshida, Japan's entry at 55 kg for the Asian Games and world championships, rolled to an easy win over five-time world champion Anna Gomis of France.
The second half of the training camp was held at a retreat site in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture, where the training schedule focused primarily on the physical conditioning of the athletes.


TOKYO (July 8) - The Japan Women's Wrestling Federation (JWWF) named its squads for this fall's World Cup meet in Egypt (October 19-20) and the world championships in Greece (November 2-3). In a surprise move, the JWWF named two-time world champion Hitomi Sakamoto as its entry at 51 kg for the World Cup, even though the former FILA female wrestler of the year has been on the sidelines this year following knee surgery in January.
Officials and coaches for the squads will be named later.

World Cup squad:
48 kg - Misato Shimizu, 51 kg - Hitomi Sakamoto, 55 kg - Seiko Yamamoto, 59 kg - Rena Iwama, 63 kg - Kaori Icho, 67 kg - Norie Saito, 72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi

World championships squad:
48 kg - Mika Noguchi, 51 kg - Chiharu Icho, 55 kg - Saori Yoshida, 59 kg - Rena Iwama, 63 kg - Kaori Icho, 67 kg - Norie Saito, 72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi


KALININGRAD, Russia (July 12-14) - Tokyo police officer Chikara Tanabe defeated four Russians and a Japanese teammate to win the 55-kg crown at the Beloglazov Cup freestyle wrestling tournament. It was the second international title for Tanabe, who finished 10th at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 at 54 kg. Tanabe's previous win over an international field was at the Olympic qualifying meet in Tokyo in February 2000. Ryosuke Ota, also with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, took fourth place at 60 kg for Japan