To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


  TOKYO - The men’s and women’s national teams leave/left for the United States November 2 for a weeklong joint training camp with the U.S. team in Colorado Springs. The training camp, located 1,700 meters above sea level, is scheduled to run until November 9 with the teams returning to Japan on November 12.


  TOKYO (October 25) - World champions Seiko Yamamoto and Kaori Icho head up the Japanese women’s team for the Asia Cup competition in Almaty, Kazakhstan in November, the Japan Wrestling Federation announced. The Asia Cup, scheduled for November 28-29, will be a regional version of the World Cup featuring teams from Japan, China, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

  Women’s national team head coach Akira Suzuki said that Japan had considered sending its best wrestlers to the competition, but because of injuries and academic commitments a number of top competitors were replaced by the second- and third-ranked wrestlers in Japan.The women’s squad is scheduled to leave for Kazakhstan on November 25.

  Members of the Japanese greco-roman national team will also travel to Kazakhstan at this time. The greco-roman and freestyle Asia Cup is scheduled to be held at the same time as the women’s competition, but Japan is not one of the countries entered. Instead, the Japanese greco-roman team will take part in a joint training camp with the Kazakh team from November 19 to November 27.

The women’s delegation:Team manager - Akira Suzuki
Coaches - Shigeo Kinase, Ryo Kanahama
Trainer - Yasuyuki Sasaki
48 kg - Misato Shimizu
51 kg - Ninako Hattori
55 kg - Seiko Yamamoto
59 kg - Rena Iwama
63 kg - Kaori Icho
67 kg - Norie Saito
72 kg - Miki Ninomiya

The men’s delegation:
Team manager - Hiromichi Ito
Coach - Hiroshi Kado
55 kg - Masatoshi Toyota, Takashi Yasuhara
60 kg - Makoto Sasamoto
66 kg - Masanori Oi
74 kg - Katsuhiko Nagata
84 kg - Shingo Matsumoto


  Shizuoka Prefecture (October 29) - Makoto Sasamoto, Japan’s mainstay in greco-roman at 60 kg, found the competition too heavy at 74 kg as he lost in the quarterfinals of the Shizuoka National Sports Festival. Sasamoto, who finished 17th at the greco-roman world championships earlier in the month at 60 kg, lost to former national team member Taichi Suga at the Higashi Izu Rodosha Sports Center.

  Suga went on to win the title at 74 kg in the annual multi-sport event known in Japan as the “kokutai.”

  Meanwhile, former Olympic freestyle team member Kazuyuki Miyata made a successful switch over to greco-roman by winning the 66-kg crown.Miyata, who wrestled in the 2000 Sydney Games, made the switch in a bid for an Olympic berth after the Japan Wrestling Federation tentatively named world bronze medalist Kazuhiko Ikematsu as their choice at 66 kg in freestyle for next year’s Athens Olympics.

  In the festival’s freestyle competition, veteran Hidekazu Yokoyama won the battle of national team members with a fall over Olympic qualifier Kunihiko Obata in the 84-kg final. Obata finished 10th at 74 kg at the freestyle world championships in September. In the schoolboys (high school) division, Noriyuki Takatsuka repeated as champion at 63 kg for his fourth major title of the year while Zen’ichi Yamagata added a fourth jewel to his championship crown this year with the title at 85 kg.

Individual winners were:
Greco-roman, adults
55 kg - Tomoya Murata, Shiga
60 kg - Shingo Hirai, Tokyo
66 kg - Kazuyuki Miyata, Fukushima
74 kg - Taichi Suga, Tokyo
84 kg - Mitsuhiro Ota, Oita
96 kg - Tsuneaki Ota, Saitama
120 kg - Katsuaki Suzuki, Tokyo
Greco-roman, schoolboys
50 kg - Yasuyuki Momiyama/Shoyama, Shizuoka
54 kg - Ryutaro Matsumoto, Gunma
58 kg - Ryutaro Sekiya, Kagoshima
63 kg - Kohei Fujimoto, Shizuoka
69 kg - Kazunori Okamoto, Shizuoka
76 kg - Tetsuya Saikawa, Tochigi
85 kg - Shinsuke Goto, Shizuoka
97 kg - Takahiro Shimonaka, Tokushima
120 kg - Katsunobu Takeuchi, Ibaraki
Freestyle, adults
55 kg - Tomohiro Matsunaga, Shizuoka
60 kg - Kenji Inoue, Saitama
66 kg - Mitsuhiro Amagai, Ibaraki
74 kg - Yuji Kudo, Okayama
84 kg - Hidekazu Yokoyama, Akita
96 kg - Kiyotaka Kodaira, Tokyo
120 kg - Kohei Suwama, Fukushima
Freestyle, schoolboys
50 kg - Naoki Tomioka, Nagano
54 kg - Hidekazu Tomita, Kagoshima
58 kg - Shigeki Ozawa, Ibaraki
63 kg - Noriyuki Takatsuka, Ibaraki
69 kg - Otsuki, Oita
76 kg - Kudo, Aomori
85 kg - Zen’ichi Yamagata, Kanagawa
97 kg - Katsuya Kitamura, Tokyo
120 kg - Satoshi Akiyama, Shizuoka


  HIGASHI IZU, Shizuoka (October 29) - World champions Kyoko Hamaguchi and Kaori Icho scored falls in an exhibition of women’s wrestling at the Shizuoka National Sports Festival. While the Japanese women have been setting the standard for women’s wrestling around the world for the last decade, it was only the second time that women’s wrestling has been part of the program of Japan’s domestic version of the Olympics.

Exhibition results:
51 kg - Chiharu Icho df. Yuko Motohashi by TF, 1:36
63 kg - Kaori Icho df. Chie Ishii by fall, 1:33
72 kg - Kyoko Hamaguchi df. Ayako Murashima by fall, 1:42


TOKYO (October 9-10) - Wrestlers from Takushoku University won four individual titles as the Tokyo school won its fourth straight collegiate greco-roman championship crown. Takushoku’s Bunsei Murakami won the title at 55 kg to give him a sweep of the championship and collegiate open crowns for a third straight year.

  Naoki Sawada, also of Takushoku, repeated as champion at 120 kg. Kokushikan University’s Tsukasa Tsurumaki, who represented Japan at the Asian championships in June, took the championship at 74 kg as a freshman. In the team race, Nippon Sports Science University finished second without an individual championship while Chuo University won two titles for third place overall.

Individual champions were:
55 kg - Bunsei Murakami, Takushoku
60 kg - Takuya Hasegawa, Chuo
66 kg - Nobutake Nakai, Takushoku
74 kg - Tsukasa Tsurumaki, Kokushikan
84 kg - Jun Aisawa, Chuo
96 kg - Nobuhiko Maeshima, Takushoku
120 kg - Naoki Sawada, Takushoku

Team standings
1. Takushoku, 60 points; 2. NSSU, 49; 3. Chuo, 31; 4. Kokushikan, 29; 5.
Tokuyama, 23; 6. Nihon, 22; 7. Kanagawa, 16; 8. Aoyama Gakuin, 13.