To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


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


  TOKYO (August 26) - Tokyo police officer Masatoshi Toyoda prevailed over a strong field, including a former world champion, to claim the 55-kg crown at the Pytlasinski greco-roman tourney in Poland. Toyoda edged 2001 European champion Boris Radkevich of Belarus 3-1 in the semifinals and then pinned 1997 world champion Ercan Yildiz of Turkey for the title.

  Toyoda, speaking upon his return to Japan after two weeks in Poland, said he was happy with the win, but cautioned “I think (other coaches and wrestlers) will be studying me now.” Asked about the upcoming world championships, Toyoda remarked “It’s not good enough to aim for a berth in the Olympics. I’m aiming for a medal.”

  The greco-roman world championships, to be held October 2-5 in Creteil, France, will serve as the first qualifying competition for next year’s Olympic Games in Athens. The top 10 wrestlers at each weight will earn a berth at the 2004 Games. “Since this tourney was right before the world championships, I wasn’t hiding anything. I used everything I had in my arsenal of techniques,” Toyoda said.

  “I might have won because the other wrestlers have not studied me. They will be watching me now, so the world championships will probably be a lot tougher.” Meanwhile, Makoto Sasamoto also advanced through a tough field at 60 kg, only to fall 1-3 to former two-time Asia champion Ali Ashkani of Iran in the semifinals.

  Sasamoto, however, rebounded with a win over Kostas Gikas of Greece for third place. Results of Japanese entries:

55 kg - TOYODA, Masatoshi (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department)
1R - df. Piotr Jablonsiki (POL) 9-4
2R - df. Tenyo Tenev (BUL) by TF
3R - bye
QF - df. Ir Tchotchua (GEO) 4-3
SF - df. Boris Radkevich (BLR) 3-1
F1 - df. Ercan Yildiz (TUR) by fall
(Toyoda 1st, 22 entries)
60 kg - SASAMOTO, Makoto (Sogo Security Company)
1R - bye
2R - df. Mehdi Telassi (TUN) by TF
3R - df. Nikolai Antonkin (RUS) 4-0
QF - df. Statis Theodosides (GRE) 4-0
SF - lost to Ali Ashkani (IRI) 1-3
F3 - df. Kostas Gikas (GRE) 5-0
(Sasamoto 3rd, 19 entries)
74 kg - NAGATA, Katsuhiko (New Japan Pro Wrestling)
1R - lost to Vugar Aslano (AZE) 2-3
2R - bye
3R - df. Daniel Schnyder (SUI) 5-1
(Nagata 14th, 30 entries)
96 kg - KATO, Kenzo (Japan Self-Defense Forces)
1R - lost to Marek Sitnik (POL) by injury default
2R - bye
3R - lost to Rocco Ficaro (ITA) 1-7
(Kato 22nd, 24 entries)


  ISTANBUL (August 25) - Sachiko Akasaka won the gold medal at 51 kg to keep Japan’s winning streak at 50-51 kg alive, but the rest of the Japanese women’s were sent home empty-handed from the junior wrestling world championships. Akasaka, a student at Fukuoka University, defeated Canada’s Sara White 4-0 in the finals for Japan’s lone medal of the competition. Yuri Funatsu (48 kg), Chikako Matsukawa (55) and Chie Ishii (59) all lost in the semifinals and then again in the finals for third place as Japan fell to its worst-ever finish in junior world meet.

  More stunning for Japanese wrestling officials was the sudden success of Russia which won three individual titles and China which had six medals overall including two championships.

  Japan had expected the female wrestlers from other countries to improve after the decision to include women’s wrestling on the program for the Olympic Games. But the success of the Russian and Chinese junior wrestlers one year prior to the Athens Olympics has Japanese officials worrying about predictions that they would win three of the four gold medals at stake in the 2004 Games.

  The first junior world championships for women was held in 1988, but Japan did not field a team after sending a team to the first senior world meet the year before. Japan, however, showed up for the second junior world meet in 1993 and won the team championship with four individual crowns and a second place. The Japanese were held to one championship at the third junior championships, but also won a silver medal and four bronze medals. In 1999, Japan won four titles, paced by 54-kg champion Seiko Yamamoto, and took home medals in seven of the weight categories.

 A year later, Yamamoto and soon-to-be rival Saori Yoshida led Japan to five individual titles and six medals in seven weight categories. The Japanese juggernaut continued to roll in 2001 with three championships and a pair of bronze medals out of eight weight categories.

  The junior world meet was not held in 2002. Japan has been in the vanguard of promoting women’s wrestling, creating a girls division at the junior national championships in 1994. And in 1995, the Japan Women’s Wrestling Federation began holding competitions and training camps for junior high school girls, resulting in a group of women that enjoy considerable success internationally on the senior level.

  But, the results of this year’s junior world championships should be a warning to Japanese wrestling officials that they cannot sit by idly while the rest of the world continues to improve. Girls wrestling needs to be incorporated into the national high school championships and into the national sports festival and wrestling officials need to recommit themselves to developing female wrestlers on the junior level.
Results of Japanese wrestlers:

44 kg - SHINDO, Megumi (Sakai Girls High School)
1R - df. Etelka Kapitany (HUN) by fall, 1:20
2R - lost to Yulia Starovoitova (BLR) by fall, 1:25
3R - lost to Marta Podedworna (POL) 5-12
(Shindo 9th, 17 entries)
F1 - Lyudmila Balukhka (UKR) df. Sigrun Dobner (GER) 6-0
F3 - Zhang Yanhong (CHN) df. Marta Podedworna (POL) by fall
48 kg - FUNATSU, Yuri (Toyo University)
1R - df. Zamira Rahmanova (KGZ) 8-1
2R - df. Kamini Yadav (IND) by fall, 1:21
3R - bye
QF - df. Martina Zakravska (CZE) 6-0
SF - lost to Chen Jingjing (CHN) 1-4
F3 - lost to Mary Kelly (USA) by TF, 10-0, 2:57
(Funatsu 4th, 23 entries)
F1 - Oorzak, Larissa (RUS) df. Chen Jingjing (CHN) 3-1
51 kg - AKASAKA, Sachiko (Fukuoka University)
1R - df. Debbi Sakai (USA) 6-3
2R - bye
3R - df. Marta Paciorek (POL) 4-2
QF - df. Palina Kashcheyeva (BLR) by TF, 11-1
SF - df. Nadine Tokar (SUI) by TF, 10-0, 1:16
F1 - df. Sara White (CAN) 4-0
(Akasaka 1st, 20 entries)
F3 - Nadine Tokar (SUI) df. Valentina Minguzzi (ITA) by fall
55 kg - MATSUKAWA, Chikako (Nihon University)
1R - df. Madina Kurmangalieva (KAZ) by fall, 2:50
2R - df. Olesja Zamula (LAT) by fall, 3:16
3R - bye
QF - df. Helene Lebon (FRA) by fall, 2:41
SF - lost to Jessica Bechtel (GER) 2-4
F3 - lost to Sylwia Bilenska (POL) 1-6
(Matsukawa 4th, 21 entries)
F1 - Yan Zhihui (CHN) df. Jessica Bechtel (GER) 3-1
59 kg - ISHII, Chie (Chukyo Women’s University)
1R - df. Elodie Aucaigne (FRA) 5-1
2R - bye
3R - df. Marianna Sastin (HUN) 5-0
SF - lost to Jiao Yuanyuan (CHN) 3-7
F3 - lost to Julia Weiss (GER) by fall, 2:33
(Ishii 4th, 19 entries)
F1 - Maria Smoliakova (RUS) df. Jiao Yuanyuan (CHN) 3-0
63 kg - UNO, Hiromi (Yokkaichi Yongo High School)
1R - lost to Olga Butkevich (UKR) by TF, 2-12
2R - lost to Chong Kyi (CHN) by TF, 0-11
3R - bye
(Uno 17th, 19 entries)
F1 - Anna Polovneva (RUS) df. Chong Kyi (CHN) 4-2
F3 - Emila Drzewinska (POL) df. Alaina Berube (USA) by fall
67 kg - MATSUI, Takako (Toyama Daiichi High School)
1R - df. Myrsini Dimou (GRE) by fall, 2:25
2R - lost to Monika Szerencse (HUN) by fall, 1:24
3R - lost to Lin Ya-ting (TPE) by fall, 1:45
(Matsui 8th, 14 entries)
F1 - Ali Bernard (USA) df. Maya Hristova (BUL) 14-7
F3 - Ashlea McManus (CAN) df. Monika Szerencse (HUN) by fall
72 kg - SHINKAI, Mami (Hino Wrestling Club)
1R - lost to Darya Ibragimova (UKR) 0-4)
2R - lost to Li Yanfang (TPE) 1-9
3R - lost to Alma Izquierdo (MEX) by fall, 4:16
(Shinkai 11th, 17 entries)
F1 - Li Yanfang (CHN) df. Stanka Zlateva (BUL) 6-3
F3 - Anna Wawrzycka (POL) df. Alena Staradubtseva (RUS) 4-1


  ISTANBUL (AUGUST 31) - Takashi Adachi of Yamanashi Gakuin University posted a pair of wins in preliminary pool matches at 60 kg and came away with a fifth-place finish at the junior world championships in Turkey. Adachi defeated Andrei Perepelita of Moldova and then scored a win by technical superiority over Yasser al Qubaisi of the United Arab Emirates to advance to the championship bracket of the freestyle competition.

  In the quarterfinals, however, the YGU student fell to Iran’s Yousef Nokandeh Sharbati 7-4. Adachi’s fifth-place in the junior world championships matched the finish two years ago of Seshito Shimizu at 54 kg. It was the third straight meet in which the Japanese men were sent home without a medal.

  Also in freestyle, Takayuki Suzuki of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto notched two wins in the preliminary rounds, but lost in the first round of the championship bracket at 66 kg to settle for 12th place. The lone high school wrestler on the Japanese men’s team Noriyuki Takatsuka (Kasumigaura high school, Ibaraki Prefecture) went 2-1 in the preliminaries to finish 13th at 60 kg.
In the greco-roman tourney, Michimoto Fukuma of Nippon Sport Science University was the only Japanese wrestler to move beyond the preliminary pools, but lost in the quarterfinals for xxth place.

  Kohei Hasegawa was the only other Japanese wrestler to post a win in the greco-roman competition, going 1-1 at 55 kg for 18th place.
Results of Japanese entries and medal finals (N.A.=result not available)
50 kg - FUKAZAWA, Tsuyoshi (Tokuyama University)
1R - lost to Devender (IND) by TF, 2:35
2R - bye
3R - lost to Kim Kang-Hyun (KOR) by TF, 2:41
(Fukuzawa 18th, 21 entries)
F1 - Farzan Monajemi Bahrami (IRI) df. Zhassulan Mukhtarbek (KAZ), N.A.
F3 - Maxim Petrov (BUL) df. Paul Donahue (USA), N.A.
55 kg - ADACHI, Takashi (YGU)
1R - df. Andrei Perepelita (MDA) 5-0
2R - Yasser al Qubaisi (UAE) by TF, 1:58
3R - bye
QF - lost to Yousef Nokandeh Sharbati (IRI) 7-4
(Adachi 5th, 31 entries)
F1 - Ersin Cetin (TUR) df. Adam Batyrov (RUS), N.A.
F3 - Youri Holub (UKR) df. Yousef Nokandeh Sharbati (IRI), N.A.
60 kg - TAKATSUKA, Noriyuki (Kasumigaura HS)
1R - df. Vijay Tonde (IND) 7-0
2R - df. Jacques Schoeman (RSA) 5-0
3R - lost to Orhan Binboga (TUR) 0-4
(Takatsuka 13th, 35 entries)
F1 - Makhach Murtazaliev (RUS) df. Meiromzhan Beisebaev (KAZ) by TF 10-0,
time not available
F3 - Gergoe Woeller (HUN) df. Orhan Binboga (TUR) by injury default
66 kg - SUZUKI, Tyuki (Ritsumeikan University)
1R - df. Rain Aleksandrov (EST) 7-1
2R - df. Tim Wadsworth (CAN) 3-1
3R - bye
Q1 - lost to Michail Petrov Ganev (BUL) 0-3
(Suzuki 12th, 37 entries)
F1 - Geandry Garzon Caballero (CUB) df. Suren Markosyan (ARM), N.A.
F3 - Niranjan Singh (IND) df. Abbas Rangbar (IRI), N.A.
74 kg - MATSUI, Sho (Ritsumeikan University)
1R - lost to Lee Du-Soo (KOR) by TF, 4:16
2R - lost to Sergey Vitkovski (RUS) by fall, 2:35
3R - bye
(Matsui 32nd, 32 entries)
F1 - Sergey Vitkovski (RUS) df. Misam Amini (IRI) 4-0
F3 - Gabor Hatos (HUN) df. Soslan Gatsiev (BLR) 5-2
84 kg - MATSUMOTO, Shinya (Nihon University)
1R - df. Tomas Nalepka (SVK) 6-2
2R - lost to Steffen Hartan (GER) 6-8
3R - bye
(Matsumoto 16th, 28 entries)
F1 - Georgi Tibilov (RUS) df. Steffen Hartan, N.A.
F3 - Yumagali Mamutov (KAZ) df. Antony Fasugba (ITA), N.A.
96 kg - YOSHIDA, Toshinari (Senshu University)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Mike Neufeld (CAN) 3-7
3R - lost to Magomed Ibragimov (UZB) by fall, 0:37
(Yoshida 19th, 23 entries)
F1 - Magomed Ibragimov (UZB) df. Mohammad Hossein Khaleghi Far (IRI), N.A.
F3 - Muhamet Sait Bingoel (TUR) df. Sergey Sitinski (UKR), N.A.
120 kg - SHINBORI, Takeshi (Toyo University)
1R - lost to Andrey Svatkovskiy (KAZ) by TF, 4:14
2R - df. Michel Rizman (ISR) by injury default, 2:15
3R - lost to Andrei Voroncenco (MDA) by TF, 1:54
(Shinbori 13th, 23 entries)
F1 - Mohammad Hadi Pouralijan (IRI) df. Daniel Chintoan Rares (ROM), N.A.
F3 - Tamerlan Piliev (RUS) df. Andrey Svatkovskiy (KAZ), N.A.
50 kg - UEDA, Yoshiki (Tokuyama University)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Arman Adikyan (ARM) by fall, time not available
3R - lost to Danilo Tempesta (ITA) 5-8
(Ueda 19th, 22 entries)
F1 - Rovshan Bayramov (AZE) df. Yoon Youn-Min (KOR), N.A.
F3 - Halil Ibrahim Erciyas (TUR) df. Elbrek Tojiev (UZB), N.A.
55 kg - HASEGAWA, Kohei (Aoyama Gakuin University)
1R - lost to Ramazan Uezuem (TUR) 1-5
2R - df. Ahmad Rejepov (TKM) 4-2
3R - bye
(Hasegawa 18th, 33 entries)
F1 - Hamid Bavafa (IRI) df. Jagniel Hernandez (CUB) 8-0
F3 - Davud Bedinadze (GEO) df. Rinat Usupjanov (KGZ) 4-1
60 kg - FUKUMA, Michimoto (NSSU)
1R - df. Oscar Daniel de la Mora Murillo (MEX) by TF
2R - bye
3R - df. Machman Aliev 4-0
QF - lost to Lasha Lomadze (GEO) 0-6
(Fukuma 11th, 35 entries)
F1 - Nurbakyt Tengizbayev (KAZ) df. Davor Stefanek (SCG) 10-4
F3 - Saber Mirzadehj (IRI) df. Artak Harutyunyan (ARM) 5-4
66 kg - ETO, Noritomo (Takushoku University)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Valdemaras Venckaitis (LTU) 3-4
3R - lost to Babajanzadeh Mojtaba (IRI) 3-4
(Eto 28th, 39 entries)
F1 - Seref Tuefenk (TUR) df. Valdemaras Venckaitis (LTU) 4-1
F3 - Magomed Magomadov (RUS) df. Gevorg Varazhyan (ARM) 6-1
74 kg - TSURUMAKI, Tsukasa (Kokushikan University)
1R - bye
2R - lost to Ilgar Abdulov (AZE) 4-5
3R - lost to Zoltan Fodor (HUN) 3-8
(Tsurumaki 23rd, 33 entries)
F1 - Park, Jin-Sung (KOR) df. Otar Pheradze (GEO) 2-1, 9:00
F3 - Ilker Genel (TUR) df. Dauren Kegenbayev (KAZ) 3-2
84 kg - SOKABE, Ken (Kokushikan University)
1R - lost to Luka Bodzashvili (GEO) by TF, 5:27
2R - bye
3R - lost to Stanislav Volotkevic (LTU) 0-7
(Sogabe 28th, 29 entries)
F1 - Dennis Forov (RUS) df. Balasz Kiss (HUN) 3-1
F3 - Yanazbek Kenjev (KGZ) df. Vahram Galstyan (ARM) 10-4
96 kg - YOSHIDA, Koji (Fukuoka University)
1R - lost to Ramaz Nozadze (GEO) by TF 0-10, time not available
2R - bye
3R - lost to Karol Maurer (EST) 0-6
(Yoshida 26th, 29 entries)
F1 - Ramaz Nozadze (GEO) df. Anatoly Makeev (RUS), N.A.
F3 - Mikhail Nikolaev (UKR) df. Emin Ozturk (TUR) 3-0
120 kg - GOTO, Yukikatsu (Nippon Sport Science University)
R1 - lost to Yavuz Guevendi (TUR) 1-3
R2 - lost to Dalal Dharmender (IND) 1-2, 9:00
R3 - lost to Jalmar Sjoeberg (SWE) by fall, 0:21
(Goto 19th, 22 entries)
F1 - Yavuz Guevendi (TUR) df. Revaz Chelidze (GEO), N.A.
F3 - Vladislav Kokoev (RUS) df. Ralf Boehringer (GER) 3-0


  ATHENS (August 24) - Japan Wrestling Federation president Tomiaki Fukuda has promised his help in trying to have Afghanistan represented at next year’s Athens Olympics, according to media reports from Athens. Fukuda, who also chairs the performance enhancement committee of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was in Athens for a meeting of delegation leaders for the 2004 Games.

  Fukuda met with the president of the Afghan Olympic Committee, who was himself formerly a wrestler, and promised his cooperation in trying to award Afghan wrestlers Olympic berths. Afghanistan sent five freestyle wrestlers to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but has not taken part in any of the Games since because of the years of civil strife there.

  Afghan sports officials have indicated they hope to take part in the next Olympics, since the establishment of the new government, but the current level of sports in Afghanistan makes it unlikely that the wrestlers can advance through the qualifying competitions.

  Fukuda, however, indicated that he would work with FILA to try and secure a wild card berth to the Olympics for the Afghan wrestlers.


  TOKYO (August 29) - Takushoku University freshman Takao Isokawa won the 84 kg title in the freestyle finals of the collegiate open wrestling championships to become the 10th wrestler to win in his first year at the summer wrestling classic. Wrestling at Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo, Isokawa became the first freshman since Kunihiko Obata won in his debut for Yamanashi Gakuin University in 1999. Other first-year champions were Akira Miyahara (Meiji, 1971); Katsuhiko Uno (Nippon College of Physical Education, 1971); Satoru Goizuka (Daito Bunka, 1979); Tamon Honda (Nihon, 1982); Takashi Kobayashi (NU, 1982); Kosei Akaishi (NU, 1983); Kazuyuki Fujita (NU, 1989); Hisashi Fujita (YGU, 1998) and Kunihiko Obata (YGU, 1999).

  All of the first-year winners, with the exception of Uno and Kobayashi, went on to be four-time winners in the collegiate open.

  Meanwhile, Kazuyuki Nagashima of Waseda University won his third straight title at 74 kg and was named the outstanding freestyle wrestler. Akihito Tanaka of Senshu University won his second championship at 120 kg, while wrestlers from Nippon Sport Science University took three of the titles up for grabs.

  The most outstanding wrestler in both styles was awarded to 120-kg greco-roman champion Naoki Sawada of Takushoku University, who won his third straight collegiate open crown.

The individual freestyle champions were:
55 kg - Seshito Shimizu (NSSU)
60 kg - Takafumi Kojima (NSSU)
66 kg - Koji Yoshizane (Ritsumeikan)
74 kg - Kazuyuki Nagashima (Waseda)
84 kg - Takao Isokawa (Takushoku)
96 kg - Masahide Moriyama (NSSU)
120 kg - Akihito Tanaka (Senshu)


  TOKYO (August 27) - Takushoku University teammates Bunsei Murakami and Naoki Sawada rolled to three-peat titles at the greco-roman wrestling collegiate open championships. In all, Takushoku wrestlers claimed five of the seven titles at Komazawa Gymnasium while Nippon Sport Science University grabbed the remaining two weight categories.

  Meanwhile, Ayako Suga of Nihon University and Ayako Murashima of Chukyo Women’s University each won for the third year in a row in the women’s competition.

The individual champions were:
55 kg - Bunsei Murakami (Takushoku)
60 kg - Yuya Shoji (Takushoku)
66 kg - Nobutake Nakai (Takushoku)
74 kg - Ryosuke Kogawa (NSSU)
84 kg - Satoru Yamamoto (NSSU)
96 kg - Nobuhiko Maeshima (Takushoku)
120 kg - Naoki Sawada (Takushoku)

48 kg - Fukumi Hiraoka (Daito Bunka)
51 kg - Ninako Hattori (CWU)
55 kg - Yu Sekine (Daito Bunka)
59 kg - Ayako Suga (Nihon)
63 kg - Ayako Shoda (Toyo)
67 kg - Maki Tsukamoto (CWU)
72 kg - Ayako Murashima (CWU)


  SHIMABARA, Nagasaki Prefecture (August 4) - Noriyuki Takatsuka led Kasumigaura high school of Ibaraki Prefecture to the team title and four individual crowns in the high school (freestyle) wrestling national championships.

  Takatsuka, who won five individual high school titles last year, repeated as national champion at 63 kg for his third crown of the year. The Kasumigaura phenom earlier won at the high school national invitational and the junior national championships. Also, Takayuki Miyaji of Sanjo Kogyo in Niigata Prefecture, who lost in the first round of the national invitational, prevailed at 76 kg to give the former powerhouse prefecture its first high school champion in 33 years.

  In the team competition, Kasumigaura rolled over Hiryu high school (formerly Numazu Gakuen) of Shizuoka Prefecture 6-1 for its second straight and 16th title overall. Third place went to Yamagata Shogyo and Ginan Kogyo of Gifu Prefecture.

Individual winners were:
50 kg - Takeshi Nagao (Kindai Fuzoku, Osaka)
54 kg - Yasuhito Inaga (Kasumigaura, Ibaraki)
58 kg - Shigeki Ozawa (Kasumigaura, Ibaraki)
63 kg - Noriyuki Takatsuka (Kasumigaura, Ibaraki)
69 kg - Sho Arakawa (Kasumigaura, Ibaraki)
76 kg - Takayuki Miyaji (Sanjo Kogyo, Niigata)
85 kg - Zen’ichi Yamagata (Nichidai Fujisawa, Kanagawa)
120 kg - Takahiro Shimonaka (Ikeda, Tokushima)


  TOKYO (August 6) - The president of the All-Japan Pro Wrestling organization Keiji Muto presented the Japan Wrestling Federation with 5 million yen to use as funds for training for next year’s Olympic Games in Athens.

  “We have received donations from pro wrestling before, but this is the first time we have been given such a large amount as 5 million yen,” JWF president Tomiaki Fukuda said. “I hope we can repay this by winning a gold medal in Athens,” Fukuda added.

  The donation was the result of a suggestion made by former pro wrestler and one-time Olympic team member Hiroshi Hase. Hase, who wrestled in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, convinced AJPW grapplers to accept less money for a performance in his home of Ishikawa Prefecture on July 27 and got local people to volunteer their time to manage the event.