To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


   NEW YORK (September 11) - Preliminary pool groupings for the Japanese women at the freestyle wrestling world championships at Madison Square Garden (Top five place-winners at 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg and 72 kg earn berths in 2004 Olympic Games in Athens):

48 kg - SAKAMOTO, Makiko (29 entries, Pool 8)
1R - Mayeril Karipa, Venezuela
2R - Nicoleta Badea, Romania (2002 world c’ships, 4th)
3R - Lidiya Karamchakova, Tajikistan (2002 Asian Games silver medalist)
(Note: Advancing out of Pool 8, Sakamoto may have to face two-time world champion Irina Melnik of Ukraine in the quarterfinals for a berth in the 2004 Athens Olympics.)
51 kg - ICHO, Chiharu (18 entries, Pool 5)
1R - bye
2R - Emese Szabo, Hungary
3R - Alexandra Demmel, Germany (2003 European c’ships, 3rd)
(Note: Advancing out of Pool 5, Icho will be in semifinals. European champion Natalia Karamchakova of Russia is in the opposite block.)
55 kg - YOSHIDA, Saori (29 entries, Pool 2)
1R - bye
2R - Olga Serbina, Belarus
3R - Kitti Godo, Hungary
(Note: Advancing out of Pool 2, Yoshida could face last year’s 51-kg world champion Sofia Poumpouridou of Greece or 2002 bronze medalist Ida-Theres Karlsson of Sweden in championship bracket qualifier. Four-time former world champion Anna Gomis of France and American rival Tina George are in the opposite block.)
59 kg - YAMAMOTO, Seiko (14 entries, Pool 2)
1R - Huang Yu-ning, Chinese Taipei
2R - bye
3R - Emily Richardson, Canada
(Note: With only 14 wrestlers, Yamamoto can advance to the semifinals out of Pool 2. Defending champion Alena Cartashova of Russia is entered at 63 kg.)
63 kg - ICHO, Kaori (27 entries, Pool 4)
1R - bye
2R - Agoro Papavasileiou, Greece
3R - Christiana Renee LeGrand, France
(Note: Icho will face two-time former world champion at 67 kg Legrand in her second match. Advancing out of the pool, Icho will likely face five-time world champion Nikola Hartmann of Austria in the quarterfinals with an Olympic berth at stake.)
67 kg - SAITO, Norie (13 entries, Pool 4)
1R - Martina Zyklova, Czech Republic
2R - Jodeen Marie MacGregor, New Zealand
3R - Kristie Marano, United States
(Note: Saito will meet 2000 world champion Marano in the third round, most likely to decide who advances to the semifinals. Defending champion Katerina Burmistrova of Ukraine is in the opposite block.)
72 kg - HAMAGUCHI, Kyoko (23 entries, Pool 5)
1R - Svetlana Sayenko, Ukraine (2002 world c’ships, 7th)
2R - Sonika Kalirman, India
3R - bye
(Note: Advancing out of Pool 5, Hamaguchi could meet Polish rival and 2001 world champion Edyta Witkowska in the quarterfinals. Last year’s world runner-up Wang Xu of China and U.S. favorite Toccara Montgomery are in the opposite block.)


NEW YORK (September 11) - Preliminary pool groupings for the Japanese men at the freestyle wrestling world championships at Madison Square Garden (Top 10 place-winners qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens):

55 kg - TANABE, Chikara (31 entries, Pool 8)
1R - German Kontoev, Belarus (2001 world champion)
2R - bye
3R - Mikheil Japaridze, Canada (2003 Pan Am Games, bronze medalist)
(Note: Advancing out of Pool 8, Tanabe could face 2002 Asian Games champion Dilshod Mansurov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. Pool 6 is so-called “Group of Death,” with Olympic champion Namik Abdullaev of Azerbaijan, U.S. hopeful Stephen Abas and young Russian star Mavlet Batirov grouped together.)
60 kg - OTA, Ryosuke (36 entries, Pool 9)
1R - bye
2R - Lin Chien-liang, Chinese Taipei
3R - Oyunbileg Purevbaatar, Mongolia
(Note: Ota will have to defeat Oyunbileg, twice a world silver medalist, to advance to the quarterfinals and be assured a berth in the 2004 Olympics)
66 kg - IKEMATSU, Kazuhiko (40 entries, Pool 12)
1R - bye
2R - Cory O’Brien, Australia
3R - Bayanjav Batzorig, Mongolia
(Note: Mongolian entry is not the 2002 Asian Games bronze medalist who Ikematsu had defeated in the Asian championships in June. Advancing out of Pool 12, Ikematsu will be in the quarterfinals and will be assured an
Olympic berth.)
74 kg - OBATA, Kunihiko (34 entries, Pool 6)
1R - Hakki Ceylan, Turkey
2R - bye
3R - Eugen Preda, Romania
(Advancing out of Pool 6, Obata would need a win in the championship bracket qualifying round to reach the quarterfinals. Even with a loss, Obata could still earn an Olympic berth with a top 10 finish.)
84 kg - YOKOYAMA, Hidekazu (36 entries, Pool 1)
1R - Sergey Kolesnikov, Israel
2R - Magomed Kurugliyev, Kazakhstan (2002 Asian Games silver medalist)
3R - bye
(Note: Kurugliyev was also third at 2003 Asian championships in June. Winning Pool 1 would still leave Yokoyama needing another win to reach the quarterfinals.)
96 kg - NAKAO, Yoshihiro (36 entries, Pool 11)
1R- bye
2R - Yan Virin, Israel
3R - Tuvshintur Enkhtuya, Mongolia
(Note: Nakao lost to Enkhtuya 4-1 at last year’s world championships. Winning the preliminaries this year would put Nakao in the quarterfinals and assure him an Olympic berth.)
120 kg - SUWAMA, Kohei (29 entries, Pool 2)
1R - Otto Aubeli, Hungary (2003 world c’ships, 5th)
2R - Adrian Gilmore, Ireland
3R - bye
(With nine groups, a win in Pool 2 would assure Suwama a berth in the Olympics.)